1.10.2006

A Public Service Announcement

Please, please, please people. If your sink is draining slowly and your garbage disposal is not working properly DO NOT pour caustic chemicals down there because when they don't work not only do you have a nasty mess on your hands, but you've got a nasty mess capable of eating through organic tissue. And especially, please, don't call your landlord (i.e., ME) only after you've filled the sink with lye TWICE.

Garbage disposals do not normally just "go out." You've done something to it. Were you trying to grind up broccoli stems again? Cuttings from herbaceous shrubs? Chicken bones? Because I can tell you that no matter how long you boiled that carcass for stock, if they still look like chicken bones they probably don't belong in the kitchen drain. The term disposal is just an advertising gimmik. It doesn't really dispose all. In fact, it doesn't really dispose much. Certainly not an entire Christmas dinner, centerpiece and all. Just admit what you did so I know what I'm dealing with. It's not like I'm NOT going to fix it. And you know me better than to know that I would charge you for it. After all, you're normally a decent-enough renter and those are hard to find these days. Though I AM thinking of charging you for the reconstructive surgery that will most likely be necessary to repair the chemical burns on my hands.

In fact, why not just learn how to take your sink drain apart yourself? It's not hard. With just a few common-sense modifications the basic instructions I've just provided you apply to almost every sink. And modern PVC pipes don't require the slip-joint pliers, they're loosened and tightened by hand. It's quite empowering, really. No having to call a landlord or plummer and wait for them to fit you in. No having to buy dangerous chemicals and then wait for them to work. Just you, your hands, a big bucket, and a lot of sludge. Instant gratification. Yes, you will get dirty. Foul water will splash on you. You will get flecked with bits of matter that you would prefer not to examine too closely. But at least it will be YOUR matter. Matter that was produced by you and your loved ones. But just think of me. If you don't take your drain apart yourself to get the clog out -- you know, the one YOU put there -- I'll be inundated with matter and slime that was not produced by me or my loved ones. Germs that did not originate in my body. Hair that did not grow in my follicles. You know I have germ issues; how could you do this to me? The rent you're paying me is not covering the mortgage on the property, let alone the therapy I'm going to need after seeing what you've decided to grind up in the kitchen sink.

Shit, man, do it for me. Or, if you won't do it for me, do it for the little fishies. I mean, it's their home you're polluting. Organic matter is fine, after all, quite tasty to fish. But lye (or draino, or liquid plumbr)? That's just nasty.

Posted by Trista @ 8:27 AM

Read or Post a Comment

he he...I tried the broccoli stems ONCE

Posted by Blogger M. @ 9:26 AM #
 

And that is reason #241 why I will not have a tenant in the basement apartment of our house.

Posted by Blogger Jennifer @ 10:04 AM #
 

I put a bunch of potato peels down the garbage disposal a few months back. I don't know what made me do it... I knew better. I knew the second I did that they would all plaster themselves flat against the inside of the pipes and I would be screwed... but it was too late because I had already flipped the switch. Naturally, it clogged. That is when I learned to take apart the sink drain all by myself. And it was QUITE empowering. Only trouble is that now I feel like I'm invincible when the garbage disposal is involved just because I can take the drain apart to fix it if need be. It's sort of a catch 22. (Don't those chemicals specifically say not to use in garbage disposals?)

Posted by Anonymous Molly @ 10:43 AM #
 

We used to have to take apart our sink all the time... actually, it would fall apart. And apparently it was allergic to milk and milk products, because it only exploded with dairy. And preferably spoiled dairy.
Thenmy father in law did magic and it was all better.
Oh, and then we had ALL the plumbing under the house and to the city replaced, the the tune of 6 grand, and then we never had another problem. Even with dairy.

Posted by Blogger Estelle @ 1:01 PM #
 

My dad sells appliances, including garbage disposals, and he says that chicken bones are perfectly fine - they sharpen the blades. But that is the ONLY bone. (If you don't eat chicken, ice will do the job too.) However, I've learned that potato peelings will gunk it up. Some things are just too mushy. Except banana peels. Those are fine.

Posted by Blogger Lorem ipsum @ 5:53 PM #
 

It turned out to be potato peels. She was a bit indignant that 2 potatos worth of peels would gunk up the disposal, but I told her I'm not putting in a bigger one.

My grandma told me I should grind up egg shells in the disposal to sweeten the smell and clean and sharpen it. I should try the ice sometime... wait, I don't have a disposal at my home, only at the rental.

Well, maybe when we redo the kitchen here in a couple of weeks I'll get myself one for the house.

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 6:05 PM #
 

Lemons. Lemons are good to get smells out of disposals. And don't forget about the secret reset switch that lots of people don't know about. Sometimes pushing the reset button is the only thing you need to do.

Posted by Blogger Jen @ 7:55 PM #
 

guilty. but NOT on purpose. truly.

we rent. and our disposal stopped working. well, when the maintenance guy came by to fix it he discovered the culprit was a bottle cap and proceeded to notify us that he "didn't think those things were supposed to go in the disposal". well, no kidding. oops.

Posted by Blogger betsy @ 1:38 PM #
 

i think i love you.

my bathroom sink is mostly clogged up, and this is exactly what i have to do to fix it.

if you hear screaming and cursing coming from minnesota, it's probably because the 1 1/2 bottles of drano i've already poured down there are still in the pipe.

Posted by Blogger betsyl @ 2:45 PM #
 

Unless you buy a heavy duty commercial grade disposal, chances are that the one you have under your sink is pretty much useless for any actual "disposing". And if it's original to the house, then I can pretty much guarantee you that it's not heavy duty.
Speaking as another landlord, it's not so much the kitchen issues that bug me so much as it is having to give the "No Flushing Of Feminine Products/Condoms" lecture to naive college students.

Posted by Blogger Anonymous Assclown @ 2:32 PM #
 
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