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The Garbage Disposal

This weekend, I learned that shrimp shells are not appropriate fodder for the garbage disposal. Previously, I have learned that tea leaves are not appropriate fodder for the garbage disposal, either.

I learned about the shrimp because Mrs. Mellow created a wonderful shrimp dish for my Sunday School picnic this weekend. I went to clean up the dishes and all the shells were still in the sink, so I fired up the disposal and started flushing the shells down the drain. At first, everything seemed fine. About halfway through, however, I noticed that the water level in the sink was rising. Obviously, the disposal had done all it could and some of the shrimp shells decided to clog the drain anyway. I spent about an hour trying to scoop mangled shrimp shells out of the disposal. Eventually, I gave up -- it was about one o'clock Monday morning by this point -- and put some Drano in the drain, hoping it might do *something* overnight and I'd be able to figure it out Monday.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to find the sink still clogged. I poked with it a little bit before going to work, but couldn't get it flowing again. I decided that my next move was probably going to be to remove the disposal and turn it upside-down and shake, hoping to dislodge anything that was still causing a problem. I certainly didn't have time for that before work yesterday, so I went ahead to work.

I got to a good stopping point on my project about halfway through the afternoon, so I decided to come home and spend some quality time with the disposal. I had given myself several hours to take apart the disposal, clean it, and reattach it. Sure enough, when I got home, there was still some standing water in the sink. As a last ditch effort before taking apart the entire assembly, I retrieved the plunger and gave the sink a couple of plunges.


I tried again.

*gurgle* *gurgle* *bubble* *bubble*

It looked like the water might be slowly receding. Another couple of plunges and the water was definitely receding. I reached my hand in the drain and scooped out some more shrimp an onion. Once I took my hand out, the drain seemed clear and the water drained freely.

I ran some more water down the drain and ran the disposal for about 30 seconds to make sure it seemed to be working fine. It was. I fed the disposal a sliced lemon to make sure it would still dispose of garbage. It did. I enjoy feeding the garbage disposal lemons because it makes the kitchen smell so good.

Relieved that the project I thought would be messy and take several hours to complete only took me about ten minutes, I went downstairs and read more Ender's Game.

I'd make a poll, but I hate checking the text entries of polls, so I'll just ask the question and encourage everyone to respond in the comments: What have you fed to a garbage disposal that you shouldn't have?

Now playing: Down on My Bended Knees - Big Joe Duskin (Don't Mess with the Boogie Man)</span>


Jun. 29th, 2004 06:25 pm (UTC)
Potatoes (they seem to form the perfect starchy sediment which clogs the drain nicely)

By far the worse thing was accidentally spilling gravel from an aquarium which completely locked up the disposal. It took about an hour with a screw driver to dislodge many pieces of gravel to allow the motor to move again.

Our current house doesn't have a disposal, but our last apartment had an ancient one with ancient plumbing to compliment it. The drain was too slow to handle the post processed materials most of the time and was prone to clogging very easily. Apparently disposals have some kind of pressure relief system. One time the drain was clogged up so firmly that the disposal sprayed quite a bit of waste water underneath the sink.

I agree with the other comment: "Contractor Grade" anything sucks in a big way. It's amazing how you can have a nice house built and the cheapest of the cheap plumbing, appliances, etc. will be installed by the contractors.

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