Garbage Disposal Etiquette

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Pictured above are three kitchen sinks representing three of the Quintet's five floors. Each empties into a common “stack,” which eventually finds its way into horizontal drain lines below.

Now imagine a clog in the stack where we’ve drawn the red circle. With the stack clogged, the neighbor on the third floor empties his sink and drainage begins to back up above the red circle. Where’s the drainage going to go?

If you said into the sink on the first floor, you’re right. And if there’s a lot of drainage, it overflows the sink on the first floor and spills onto the floor. People who live on the first floors of the Quintet are not amused when discussing this issue.

What’s the most common cause of clogging in kitchen-sink stacks? Residue from garbage disposals. Egg shells. Coffee. Stuff that becomes (essentially) sand when it’s ground up in a garbage disposal and flushed down the stack.

Garbage-disposal etiquette is cardinal in a multi-level community like ours. Steve Meyer has written a brief article about garbage-disposal etiquette that has appeared in numerous publications over the years. You’ll find it here. Take a few minutes to become familiar with it. The guy downstairs thanks you.