Odd kitchen sink clog

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  #1  
Old 01-30-09, 04:31 PM
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Odd kitchen sink clog

I have a double sink. Left side has the garbage disposal. Both sides have their own traps and tie in after them.

Have standing water in the garbage disposal side. Disposal works, get a vortex when it is turned on, yet nothing drains.

Any easy ideas, or am I tearing into the drain/trap?

Thanks in advance,
Bill
 
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Old 01-30-09, 05:46 PM
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Have you tried plugging the other sink and plunging the sink with the disposal? This may save you the trouble of removing the traps.

Be careful what you put down the disposal. Stringy veggies. Gunky solids like pasta. Potato peelings will grind into a starch paste. Coffee grounds and egg shells get stuck to gunk in traps and pipes and can cause clogs. Another tip is to continue to run the disposal after the waste has passed through the disposal. This will assure that the waste has been washed down the line and past the trap.

Previous discussion: http://forum.doityourself.com/toilet...ont-drain.html

And, here's a video that shows you how to plunge: How to plunge a garbage disposal | Wonder How To
 
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Old 01-30-09, 06:22 PM
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Thank you for the links. Looks like I will be taking apart the trap... tomorrow. Not ready for that on a Fri evening.

We are good about what goes down, I think my wife and daughter shut off the water before they shut off the disposal.

As I was 'mentored' when IWas getting married by a guy who was married 35 years at the time: "You can be right, or you can be happy, but you can'tbe both"
 
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Old 01-30-09, 06:31 PM
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So, the plunger did not work? A pity. I had my fingers crossed that would solve the problem.

There's a saying, "You can make some of the people happy some of the time, but you can't make all of the people happy all of the time." If it's any consolation, Abe Lincoln said, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
 
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Old 01-31-09, 12:55 AM
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if the water doesnt back up into the other side with having a seperate trap i would say you have a clog in the trap of the disposal side. plunging is kind of silly when you have the pressure of the disposal as it is running.

tell your wife to turn on the water then the disposal then turn off the disposal then the water. you can cause clogs the other way
 
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Old 01-31-09, 06:15 AM
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Plunging is a great idea. With the disposal OFF, try pulling up on the plunger quickly (watch out for splash) and pushing down gently to reset the plunger. This technique will hopefully pull the clog back up the pipe just enough to dislodge it. Once it loosens up, turn on the disposal to "pump" it all down.
 
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Old 01-31-09, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by twelvepole View Post
Coffee grounds and egg shells get stuck to gunk in traps and pipes and can cause clogs. [/url]
Egg shells.. We have a winner!!!!

A complete clog consisting of egg shells. It makes sense. Wife and I did P90X so we were having eggs every morning for breakfast.

Sent her a text already.

Thanks for the help fellas!!
 
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Old 01-31-09, 08:15 AM
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Aha! Gunk in the traps! Look for enzyme digester drain cleaner in the plumbing aisle of your local hardware or home center. Pour enzyme digester drain cleaner down the drain and let set. Doing so before going to bed gives enzymes longer to digest the organic gunk. For serious gunk, repeat application(s) may be necessary.

In addition to watching what you grind up in the disposal and running water to flush drains after grinding, drains should be maintained with periodic cleaning. You can pour enzyme digester drain cleaner in all the drains in your house before you go to bed at night. Or, you can dump a cup of baking soda (not baking powder) in drains and pour in a cup of hot vinegar. The baking soda and vinegar will foam like a volcano and loosen the gunk in the drains. Regular maintenance of drains will tend to minimize the problems most folks have with slow drains and drains with clogs due to gunk. And, most importantly, it saves having to pay a plumber.
 
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Old 01-31-09, 08:33 AM
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Hi twelvepole Ė

This diverges a little but seemed better to ask here than to start a new thread. I have a septic system. First time Iíve had one and Iíve been very leery about what kinds of cleaners and stuff I put down the drains. That baking soda and vinegar sounds really good to me and it seems like that would absolutely be septic system safe. Is that your understanding?
 
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Old 01-31-09, 10:45 AM
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Yes, vinegar and baking soda are safe for your septic system. Both vinegar and baking soda are great for cleaning household surfaces. You might want to check out the threads in the Green Cleaning Forum.

Using natural cleaners is more environmentally safe, just as effective, and cost waaaay less than store bought chemical cleaners. This is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, consumers fall victim to irresponsible marketing and advertising, and the retailers and manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank knowing that beneath consumers' sinks and in their pantries are arsenals of expensive chemical cleaners.

One must be careful what goes down the drain when sewage goes to a septic system. Most septic systems can handle the occasional chlorine bleach, detergent, toilet cleaners, etc. It's the addition of large amounts of chemicals that upset the balance of bacteria in the septic system.

The most common cause of septic failure is simply too much water going into the system. Most septic systems, especially those for older homes, are not large enough to accommodate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers. When septic systems are installed the size is based on what is considered to be normal household usage based on the number of bedrooms.

Depending on amount of solids deposited into the septic tank (Garbage disposals are not recommended, although there are enzymatic garbage disposals available.), there is the occasional required pumping to make sure there is room in the tank and that the solids don't overflow into the drainfield. Solids in the drain field will clog the drain field and surrounding soil. Then, a new drain field will have to be installed. Considering the cost of installing a new septic system, it is extremely, extremely important to properly maintain your septic system.

Here's a good read on septic systems and how they work, as well as care and maintenance tips: index
 
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Old 01-31-09, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by twelvepole View Post
Aha! Gunk in the traps! Look for enzyme digester drain cleaner in the plumbing aisle of your local hardware or home center. Pour enzyme digester drain cleaner down the drain and let set. Doing so before going to bed gives enzymes longer to digest the organic gunk. For serious gunk, repeat application(s) may be necessary.

In addition to watching what you grind up in the disposal and running water to flush drains after grinding, drains should be maintained with periodic cleaning. You can pour enzyme digester drain cleaner in all the drains in your house before you go to bed at night. Or, you can dump a cup of baking soda (not baking powder) in drains and pour in a cup of hot vinegar. The baking soda and vinegar will foam like a volcano and loosen the gunk in the drains. Regular maintenance of drains will tend to minimize the problems most folks have with slow drains and drains with clogs due to gunk. And, most importantly, it saves having to pay a plumber.
Do you recommend the digester for all drains or just the ones that see food etc?
 
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Old 01-31-09, 12:01 PM
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Enzyme digester cleaner is good for all drains on a city sewer. Some enzyme drain cleaners are labeled safe for septic systems. Enzyme digesters are natural enzymes. Enzymes are not caustic chemicals. More and more plumbers are switching to enzyme drain cleaners.

I just poured some enzyme digester drain cleaner down the bath tub this morning. It's a rental, and from time to time the bath tub drains slowly. I attribute that to the folks on the other side of the wall sharing the main drain pipe, as I can hear them in the tub and shower. So, while I had out the container, I poured some down the bathroom sink. Bathroom drains tend to be a problem because of soap scum and body oils and soils and hair. You can minimize scum problems in the tub/shower by switching to liquid body wash. It's the talc in bar soap that tends to be the biggest contributor to scum.

I never have a problem with a kitchen sink drain. I always attribute that to not ever putting oil or grease down the drain. I always sop up oil or grease with paper towels and dispose of. Too, I tend to use extremely hot water in the kitchen sink. This tends to keep trap and drain clear.

Here's a dandy 2-page article on garbage disposal maintenance to prevent clogs and odors: Garbage Disposal Maintenance: Prevent Clogged Pipes and Bad Odor - Associated Content

I never put grease or oil down the drain at my mountain cabin which has a septic system. I've never had a problem with a drain there because I'm the only person that goes there, so gunk in drains is not a problem. There is no dishwasher, clothes washer, or disposal there. Input into the septic is just what I generate, so I don't have to worry about too much water in the septic system. A cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar in the drains a couple times a year work for me as a precaution, despite minimal use.
 
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Old 01-31-09, 12:26 PM
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Thank you for your help!!
 
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Old 01-31-09, 05:36 PM
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Thanks twelvepole! Followed your link and that is an excellent description of the septic system. Iíll check out the threads in the Green Cleaning Forum. Iím going to use the baking soda and vinegar combo you suggest.
 
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Old 01-31-09, 06:46 PM
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Glad to be of service to fellow DIYers on our website.
 
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