About your Kenmore Waste Disposer

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About your Kenmore Waste Disposer


Post by philip » 13 years ago

Since I'm focused on my own kitchen sink waste disposer .... I've been reading about why some of these "disposal" grinders last forever while most others die often.

Once again, I recommend eBay to find these nation wide stores that sell slightly scratched Sears appliances ... for a lot less money.


As a 16 year professional General Contractor running a Handyman business, I put in and service alot of garbage disposals. I have made lots of money taking out coins, dog collars, towels, bottle caps, screws, pieces of metal such as parts of forks, spoons, etc., and these are usually from rental apartments. Of course this gets charged backed to the tenants by the owners/property managers, so I walk away looking like a knight in shining armor for rescuing them...............TILL THEY GET THE BILL from someone other than me!

The worst things, bar none, to put in a garbage disposal? Potato peels. And cooked rice. Both, but especially potato peels turn into glue in your drain, as the starch gets ground up, sitting in your pipes to harden or just cause a blockage if not enough water pushes it all the way to the water treatment plant. A little bit, a little at a time may be fine, but that Thanksgiving dinner or Xmas dinner potato preparation could cause you a large plumber's bill. Beware!!!!!!!!!! I have NEVER taken stringy blockages out of a garbage disposal or pipes, though I agree with that advice in a general sense. My general rule of thumb? Put your bones, garbage, debris in the garbage pail, and save the disposal in the sink for the crud that gets washed off the plates doing dishes. Scrape those plates into the trash can. Don't say that you haven't been warned. I love your money! There is good reason New York City banned garbage disposals. Too big a load on the waste water treatment facilities trying to remove the debris in processing the water.

Handyman Mar 09, 2007 08:50PM


citrus skins
banana peels
garlic ends
onion/leek ends
carrot ends
peach/apricot/prune pits
small (or any) bones
tea bags
coffee filters
paper towels
paper napkins

hotoynoodle Mar 09, 2007 09:49PM

Handyman again........

The horsepower of the unit will give the blades much more power to crush things such as bones. But the part you all seem to be missing is that this debris clogs THE PIPES. One big problem is at the baffle inside the drain pipe directly under the sink, to slow down the joining of the water from two sinks as they merge together in the pipes, but this is only if you have a double sink. If you look at a cross section of the pipe, you will see the pipe is split in half inside, making the opening 3/4" high instead of 1 1/2". Now you put the potato peels, bones, etc. in there in great amounts, and you really gum things up. Same applies for a single sink, but you get the idea. So, in answer to your question, it is not the horsepower or the garbage disposal per se, but the mess you cause in your drain as the debris exits. And sometimes it jams the disposal. And then add coffee filters, tea bags, etc. (I must admit that these are all new ideas to me) and you have increased the problem potential. Yikes. I'm glad it is not my home that my wife is doing this at.

Handyman Mar 13, 2007 07:37PM

Hi all. Handyman again. Sounds like most of you agree with me about not putting alot down your disposal. And to all of you that insist............It just takes the bill of one plumber to make you a convert. At least I would think. So if your bread dough, potato peels, and starchy things are gonna go down the magic hole, think twice before you do it. And for those of you that don't, great. I love making money on the repair of your system. Use your system for gunky waste rinsed off plates, everything else in the trash. Otherwise, I will have my hand in your pocket eventually.

For the record, I took out long stringy vegetable stems today. Looked kinda like spinach stems/green onions/unknown object. It wasn't stuck in the garbage disposal. No, it was stuck in the drain as it exited the disposal.

Yes, citrus is a long used freshener. I have also seen some small capsules sold by hardware stores for the same purpose. Never used them or talked to anyone who did. Am I the only one who never smelled a bad smelling garbage disposal? Lots of bad smelling houses/apartments with said garbage disposals in them, but................ Again, use lots of water to flush the waste away. The "p-trap" or "J-bend" (same thing) under the sink is supposed to stop those odors from eminating from your pipes.

And for the record, the "blades" in your disposal are not blades. You might think of them as hammers. There are no sharp edges on then. Think of them as two or so hammers banging against the food at incredible speed, shattering it into tiny pieces. Kinda how junkyard recyclers process all those old cars or metal. Put them in a hammer mill that strikes at high speed/impact until everything in it's path is shattered into manageable chunks. Hence, the firmer the debris in the disposal, the easier it is to break it apart. That is why stringy things don't get chopped up. They kinda ooze thru the holes, clogging things up.

And to prove my point about ice down the disposal to sharpen the blades, have you ever heard of anyone sharpening a hammer??????????????????

BTW, grease is bad. Not on your disposal. Just in clogging up the pipes as it hardens.

Sorry to be so snide. I just love this subject. Have a clog free day!

Handyman Mar 13, 2007 01:06PM

Passed 08May2008
My friend, you are missed . . .

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Post by redmondjp » 13 years ago

Heh heh heh! This is great stuff. Back in the 1970s, my dad owned several duplexes, most of which were purchased from an owner who lived on one side. Invaribly the owner had upgraded their side with a disposal. My dad (and then me, as the on-call junior plumber :wink: ) got so tired of calls about jammed-up disposals that we ripped them all out and then only had problems with idiots pouring liquid animal fat down the drains (a P-trap makes a great mold, BTW) as well as the usual hair-clogged shower drains.

Oh, another likely reason that NY banned disposals is that the trail of pureed food that leads from your kitchen sink drain into the sewer tends to attract RATS who follow the food up into your house.

So you Seattle-area residents are now warned--if you leave your toilet seat lids open, and want to encourage Rattus Norvegicus to make a personal (nighttime) visit, just put lots of food down the disposal. Oh, that tiny bit of water in the toilet trap? Not even close to enough to dissuade a persistent critter, as they can survive underwater for over a minute (don't ask me how I know this).

Another thing about the sewers in Seattle proper--in the older neighborhoods, the storm drains connect into the sanitary sewer, making easy access for rodents into the sewer system via a downspout drain near the ground.

And food scraps make great compost for the garden (although they can attract rats/racoons/other critters out there, too).
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Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

ah, the rats in NYC-

that really might be a reason why disposals where banned in NYC, but I believe the ban was ended in 1998 or 97, but nobody I know wound up getting one after the ban was lifted.

NYC did have a big rat problem before my time, in the start of the 1900's or so, and rats are still there, I lived in queens for a little bit, it wasnt really a good area either, and there where plenty rats. If you walk down the street at night rats would scurry along the corners of buildings and in alleys trying to hit up a dumpster or a open can of garbage. Manhattan isnt so bad, but the bronx and queens are where you will see a rat every few minutes or so walking down the street and stuff.

Personally I dont feel that NYC should use garbage disposals, even if it was rat free. The infrastructure in NYC is pretty old and its getting to be overloaded. Frequent brownouts and subways flooding, along with the occasional backing up of sewage. Not saying that old stuff isnt bad, it was just designed for less usage than today.

But then again, I never really use garbage disposals. I dont find them necessary, I wouldnt get a heart attack if I just put the waste food in the garbage, so thats what I just wind up doing instead of garbage disposaling things.

That'll be my 2 cents, probably had no real point to it except for me rambling about what us "long" "guylanders" call "the city"
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