Archive for January 7th, 2010

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Garbage Disposals The Good The Bad and The Ugly!

January 7, 2010
Garbage Disposals The Good The Bad and The Ugly!
By Lorraine Cyr

New Pipe

Sometimes I wonder what our government leaders are thinking. When buildings have renovations done it is mandatory that one of the upgrades added to the unit is a garbage disposal.  Which is a great thing, only the city does not require that the contractor upgrade the pipes in the wall to handle all this extra waste.  In new construction all waste lines are required to be at least 4 inches. The older code required 3 inch waste pipes.  Over the years pipes get coated on the inside with all sorts of junk so 16 years later your 3 inch pipe is now a 1 inch pipe and now instead of just water you want it to handle all sorts of ground up food also.

If you live on the top floor you will seldom have problems.  It is the first floor or basement units that have all the flooding.  Think of the waste system in your building as a tree trunk with branches.  Each branch goes to a floor and each floor connects to the trunk, and the truck carries all the waste out to the city pipes. Now the person on the top floor runs the hot water for 5 minutes to heat up the pipes so they can dump grease down the garbage disposal.  Great for them the grease is gone.  But the farther down the line the colder the pipe so that by the time it gets to the basement you now have a blockage of grease.  And every time someone in a unit on top of the basement uses the water it will come out of the drain line of the basement sink and could flood a unit and the person 3 floors up has no idea of what they have just done.
At Lorraine Cyr Management we try to educate through our newsletter and flyers what “to do” and what not “to do” and if we find that we have the same problems over and over in a unit we will meet with them in person, show them the damage that happens in a flooded unit with pictures and even a visit with a firsthand inspection if necessary.  We tell our members that if they have slow drains to call us before we have a major problem.  Our biggest request to our members however is to use their garbage disposal for table waste, scraps from the dinner plates and not as a way of throwing out all the shells from cleaning shrimp, or getting rid of a pot of soup that no one liked.

Old Pipe

Please call your Property Manager at 202-669-8080 if your sinks are draining slowly, your toilet is making gurgling noise or smell an odor from your pipes
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