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garburator under sink

Many homes have garburators or garbage disposal units built into their kitchen sinks. While these units are handy for disposing of small-scale kitchen scraps, they can cause your household sewer system nothing but trouble if they are not used correctly. Read on to learn about the proper care of your garburator and minimize the risk of messy blockages.

What is a garburator/garbage disposal unit?

According to the Urban Dictionary, a garburator is "a Canadian word that involves garbage disposal through your kitchen sink! When you turn it on, it makes a loud grating noise and... bye-bye garbage!" While this definition may be true, when you dispose of garbage through the garburator, the waste is actually being flushed down your pipes to your sewer line, where it travels through the lines on your property to the municipal sewer system and on to the treatment plant where it is processed with the rest of the wastewater. The waste from your garburator is combined with the waste from your toilets and other wastewater that comes from your house.

The pipes that carry your homes' wastewater are different sizes

Inside your walls, some pipes carry freshwater into and wastewater away from your home. These pipes are typically different sizes, depending on the job that they do. For example, the pipes that carry wastewater from your kitchen sink generally are between 1.5" and 2" in diameter, whereas the pipe that carries waste from your toilet is 4" in diameter. This means that toilet pipes have double the capacity of kitchen sink pipes. If the pipe's capacity is exceeded and there isn't enough water to move those solids, then the solids put into that pipe will have trouble flushing through that pipe to the municipal lines.

The pipe that carries waste from your garburator can only handle so much

It is essential to only use your garburator for small, light scraps of soft organic material. Think of a few carrot peelings that were left in the sink after putting the rest into your food waste rather than large volumes of garbage. Avoid items with low moisture content like bready, starchy, dry items and things like bones or items that the macerator may have trouble handling without a struggle. Dairy and fats of any kind should never be put down in a garburator as the fat in the dairy could solidify in your pipes and cause blockages over time. Also, remember that every bit of garbage that you put into the garburator will have to run all the way from your sink to the municipal sewer line, so it is important to run the grinder and the water for some time after you have finished grinding the waste. Bottom line – your garburator should be used sparingly and only for small items that won't have trouble clearing your pipes.

Budget Drainage, your premier source for sewer line blockage repairs

The crew at Budget Drainage has seen it all when it comes to the things that people put down their garburators and will come to your rescue to flush even the most stubborn blockage. If you find yourself with a sewer line backup and need help, call us today! Budget Drainage, serving North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby and Greater Vancouver since 1994. 778-231-6960


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