Latest Discussions : Plumbing

taylor123

04:48PM | 12/05/03
Member Since: 12/04/03
4 lifetime posts
Hopefully someone can help this Navy wife.

Double sinks in kitchen, one has disposal. Disposal wasn't working so I used the wrench it came with to turn and it works now; unfortunately water is not draining from either sink. I had to use wet/dry vac to get water out of both sinks. Looking down into sink disposal is all clear?

What else can I look for? Advance thanks for any replies!!

Jim D

11:36PM | 12/07/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Taylor123 - hi, maybe I can offer some tips for you - please don't hold my active duty Air Force status against me! Whatever was clogging your disposal has now moved out of it and into the main drain pipe your double sinks use. (My mother-in-law had the same problem before.)

First, does your disposal unit have a vent located above the sink? It may have some sort of cap over it that, when pulled off, shows a small pipe coming up, bending back over, and having a small gap between the end of the pipe and the end of the pipe going back down under the sink. If so, check that and make sure it's clear of old food debris. You may need to use a pipe cleaner or Q-Tip to try and dislodge anything stuck/crusted in the pipe.

When that's done, then you may need to go underneath the sink and remove the J pipe. You'll probably see it connecting just below where the two sinks connect into 1 pipe, and the drain pipe leading away from the kitchen area. Be ready for whatever water's in the pipe to spill out when you loosen the connections on the J pipe. Then, once it's off, you'll need to use a plumber's snake to clean out the pipe - force it in a ways, then turn the handle to spin the snake while pulling & pushing it. (You can get them fairly cheap at Home Depot or Lowe's.) The idea is to basically clean the sides of the pipe as you push the snake end down the pipe. If you hit resistance, spin it a few times and then try pushing some more of the snake in...the resistance could be the clog, or it could be a turn in the drain pipe.

Once you're satisfied that you've cleaned the stoppage out, reassemble the J pipe and run some COLD water to check the J pipe connections for leaks. You can then run COLD water for a couple minutes - turn the dispoal unit off and on for 5-10 seconds once or twice while running the water - and see if the water drains away properly.

What I found my mother-in-law doing was (1) putting too much stuff that was too large in size into her disposal unit, and (2) not flushing it through properly. Disposal units aren't normally made to handle the cut-off ends of carrots, bite-sized pieces of steak, etc. - those should go into the garbage can. Also, as I was emphasizing above - use COLD water when using the disposal unit. Hot water can make greases and oils coat the disposal unit lining and they'll eventually catch other food particles, which will start to clog the unit. Cold water, on the other hand, tend to make greases and oils congeal into more solid clumps (like the leftover oils in a pan after they've cooled down). Truthfully, oils and greases shouldn't go down the disposal unit but you can't always drain all of them off from pots and pans...

Finally, always try to run the COLD water for about 15 seconds or so after running the disposal unit. The running water will help carry away the ground-up matter that's now in the drain pipe and get it past many of the places in the pipe where clogs can form.

I hope this is helpful to you. Also, please pass on my thanks to your husband for his service to our country. I hope he's home for the holidays - I'm thankful that I am. In my nearly 30 years of service, I've had my share of time away from home on the holidays and know how it feels. Good luck! Jim D, CMSgt (E-9), USAF/Heathsville, VA (just up the VA coastline from VA Beach...10 miles from where the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay meet, in the Northern Neck. I also spent 3 years at Langley AFB! Now I'm at Andrews AFB, MD)

taylor123

05:57PM | 12/08/03
Member Since: 12/04/03
4 lifetime posts
Jim, thank you so very much for all your advice.....it'll be kept for future gremlins that always seem to attack when my sailor leaves and I do plan to purchase one of those snakes. Thankfully he returns from a 10 day det this week :-)

I opted to call "rent-a-friend/Chief" husband and was way too embarrassed after he unclogged the sinks.

Turns out I was definitely at fault....not with trying to churn large amounts or pieces of foodstuff, but cleaned a candle and thought the remnants would melt and go down the drain....NOT! You know us women think the disposal can take care of everything!

The pieces and parts of the candle were small enough thankfully to float up out of the bowels of the sink/pipes so a lot of straining was in order.....lol.

To make a long story short, running very hot water into one sink while plunging the other for maybe 15 minutes did the trick and all is working like a champ now. Needless to say the rent-a-Chief did his best to refrain from laughing, bless his little heart but I'm sure I won't be hearing the last of this for a while.

Thanks again, enjoy your holidays and God bless you for your service to our country......even if you are AF! ;-)
Taylor

[This message has been edited by taylor123 (edited December 08, 2003).]

plumber Tom

05:58PM | 12/08/03
Member Since: 05/10/03
801 lifetime posts
Sounds like a grease clog. 3 of the worst things u can put down a drain (and don't think just because u have a g/d it will help) 1 bacon grease 2 cooking oils 3 eggshells (they won't pass the trap and will collect food particles) Coffee grounds are also a no-no. they not only stink, but are acidic.

taylor123

06:02PM | 12/08/03
Member Since: 12/04/03
4 lifetime posts
Thanks Tom! I always put grease in a can or jar and throw it away. Neither of us drinks coffee but when we have friends over coffee is there for them and the grounds/filter go into the trash, not the g/d. I didn't know it was wrong to put egg shells in it though....yikes!

Please note I'm not a 'young' Navy wife and I have fixed more things around here than I care to remember.....it's that 'every now and then' that just kills me .

[This message has been edited by taylor123 (edited December 08, 2003).]

[This message has been edited by taylor123 (edited December 08, 2003).]

Jim D

10:49PM | 12/08/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Taylor123 - thanks for posting the solution. It's good you were able to clear the clog, and it's good you had a "Rent-a-friend" available. Those Navy Chiefs are impressive people - I've met a few over the years...now, if you want to keep him from "reminding" you about the "rescue" you may need to get him a case of his favorite adult frothy beverage. The last time I rescued a co-worker whose AF hubby was TAD (we call it TDY), she had him get me a case of German adult frothy beverage. It helped he was in Germany at the time - the domestic stuff always tastes better than the export version...who cares if you can't read the labels?!

Glad to hear it's working well, and especially glad to hear your sailor will be home soon. (I haven't been on a ship since 1990, when I did some security inspections on the USS Midway over at Yokosuka, Japan...) Please give him a salute for me!

As you also saw, Plumber Tom had some good tips. I scan through several of the boards here on a near-daily basis and pick up gems from these pros - be sure and visit often! Thanks to Plumber Tom too!

Happy Holidays to all posters/readers and your families! Jim D/Heathsville, VA

taylor123

01:45AM | 12/09/03
Member Since: 12/04/03
4 lifetime posts
Hi Jim,
The Chief in this house isn't much of a drinker so the frothy beverages are out. I've beat him every time in playing 'quarters' .

I think I'll just put the man to work fixing the lights on the tree that blew out last night :-( It's always something!

I already have this board in my favorites!
Taylor



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