No garbage disposal--screening garbage away from drain

Several months ago I started a thread about the benefit of NOT having a garbage disposal in the kitchen sink. The problem I have is draining water out of a sink when the strainer is so full of food bits that the water won’t drain. I try tipping the strainer slightly, but some of the garbage finds the unprotected space between the strainer and the edge of the drain, defeating the purpose of the strainer. What’s the best way to deal with this?

Scrape your plate into the trash first, for one thing. If that’s not possible, stick your finger in the goo and make a hole for water to pass through.

I think the simplest and most effective way is to get more of the garbage off the dishes before they are put into the sink.

A larger strainer could work, but it would probably have to cover the entire bottom surface of the sink and you would probably have to make it yourself.

In this case, it was stuff stuck to the “non-stick” surface of the skillet.

We don’t have a garbage disposal. After years of experimenting, my solution is to put a bowl on the countertop. Every bit of wet green waste goes in there. Dish scrapings, peels, tea leaves, and everthing ithat would otherwise end up in the sink. And once a day, I empty the bowl in the green waste bin.

Get a better quality non-stick skillet that stuff actually doesn’t stick to.

Garbage disposal units in the drain are non-standard here (in Australia). S.O.P is to scrape plates, etc. into a bin before rinsing into the sink and setting aside for washing (by hand, or in a dishwasher). The sink drain has a strainer which is periodically emptied into the same bin.

The bin can be the general waste bin, or it can be a dedicated bin which later goes into compost or chook feed.

Unscrew one end of the S- or P-trap and rotate it out of the way. Place a bucket under the sink. (Not necessarily in that order.) Remove strainer from sink for cleaning. Remind self not to let it get clogged again.

Add some water and leave it to soak for a few minutes. Then pour out the water before before scraping into the bin. That usually works.

Lectures about not clogging the strainer aside, what works well for me is to stir the stuff clogging it. Just shove a finger or two through the clog and move it around some. Dislodge the stuff, and water flows again, but if you stop stirring, usually the clog settles back into place, so you have to do it until the water is gone. Then you can clean the strainer.

Is your strainer a flat lid with holes or is it a mesh half sphere? In countries where garbage disposal units aren’t standard, I’ve always seen flat lids with holes which are easy to take out and empty if they’ve become clogged, but some of the ones I saw in the US were a pain to clean. See if you can get something like this.

And as so many others have said, make sure you remove as much food off the plates as you can before putting them in the sink or rinsing them.

I did something revolutionary about ten years ago. I removed the strainer from my kitchen sink, and just let small food bits go down the drain. Everything just goes down, as long as it fits through the little x-shaped thingie just beneath the drain opening (sometimes I force things through with my finger). This is especially handy when cleaning out the cats’ bowl, which usually still has uneaten food in it. No problem in ten years; and no need for Drano or anything else.

At my previous house I got away with that for many many years, but eventually it bit me. There was an old cast iron ‘Y’ fitting under the concrete and I guess it developed sharp edges which would start snagging the bits of refuse and it snowballed from there. I had to snake out the thing all the time, and sometimes it took hours. Not fun! I wasn’t about to chop up the concrete just to replace it.

So if you’re going to abuse your plumbing, make sure you have nice smooth PVC everywhere. Proper venting on all your runs helps too.

It’s not necessarily PVC vs whatever you might have had like you think for two reasons. First of all, older house, (mid 70’s ish) had whole house traps that can cause problems for obvious reasons. A plumber (well, my plumber) explained to me that you can tell if your house has a whole house trap by the angle of the clean out. I don’t remember which is which, but it has to do with if the cleanout goes straight into the floor vs if it goes in at an angle, but I could be misremembering. I just remember he snapped off his roto rooter bit trying to navigate it.
Second, PVC isn’t always better. Sure, it’s smoother (again, this is from a plumber) but it has a gap at each seam whereas clay (which has slick walls) and cast iron don’t have seams because of they way they’re put together.

Again, I was told all this many years ago and could be remembering it, but what it came down to is that while PVC drains have their advantages, they’re not automatically better.