Sink disposals

bevwinchesterFebruary 15, 2014

Ok, I need you heavy hitters out there. I have wanted a disposal for years, but DH keeps saying that because we are on a septic system(it's one of those aerobic ones); I can't have one!! Is this correct? May I have some of your very worthy personal comments, advice, whatever? This country wife of 37 years is so damn tired of all that gunk in the sink! BTW, sink setup is 2 SS sinks with the smaller prep sink on the left. Thank you so much!!

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Gwarstong

Not a very heavy hitter but have spent most of my life in residences with septic systems.

Could depend on the size and age of the system. Generally, assuming you're talking about a normal household volume going through the disposal and a "normally" sized septic system for your building and it's operating properly, your septic system will handle it just fine. Only downside would be that you'll be putting more solids in the tank than before and may have to pump it out more often. I suspect that's your husband's concern because there aren't any others.

If you have an older or smaller system or one that has shown signs of compromised operation, I would have a different opinion.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 2:41PM
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athomesewing

We live on acreage and have had a septic system and garbage disposal since 1993. No problems at all with our septic.

In my opinion, organic food waste going into the septic tank is good for it. It's far better for the septic system than the bleach and detergent from the laundry, or the daily blast of hot dishwasher detergent. Bacteria breaks down waste. Ground up food from the disposal creates bacteria in the septic tank -- bleach and other cleaners kill bacteria.

We're adding a second disposal in the new prep sink. If we had any problems, we wouldn't do it.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 4:34PM
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bevwinchester

Gwarstong- thank you; that sounds very logical; our system is only about 6 years old now & functions very well.

Athomesewing- thank you; personal experience. Is invaluable as I prepare my case for DH!!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 8:10PM
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OrchidSlayer

I worked for a plumbing company for many years and, as someone with a septic, have had many discussions with the septic people about this. They all say it is OK to use the disposal lightly (like the stuff in the bottom of the sink or the strainer), but don't scrape dishes or peel potatoes, etc. into the system. One report I read said that a disposal could double the amount of solids you put into the tank. I don't know about your system, but we would be pumping a lot more often.

Also, scientific studies show that stuff like Rid-X is totally useless. Here is just one University publication on septics: http://www.soil.ncsu.edu/publications/Soilfacts/AG-439-13/

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 8:30PM
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chesters_house_gw

I have a septic system, and my contractor was quite insistent about not putting in a disposal. The problems he said were grease (as in scraping plates) as well as the fine bits of food that disposals produce. They can move on with wastewater and can clog the leach field.

I have an old system, and I'm content to scrape into the trash and to dump what collects in the strainer. Better to put off the unhappy day when it fails.

If I had a new septic system that I knew was big enough for the additional load AND I could be sure that everyone who lends a hand with doing the dishes was doing the dishes was careful, I might think about a disposal.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 9:45PM
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bevwinchester

OrchidSlayer- thank you for the link- I checked it out. We have an aerobic system & it's fairly new but still requires periodic pump outs. I think perhaps I better just live without one- it's not anything I am not adjusted to- oh well.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:25PM
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bevwinchester

Chestershouse- thank you; I seem to be understanding the trade off. I would hate to put the darn thing in & have issues with maintenance.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:29PM
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jane__ny

We lived for 40 years in Westchester County, NY. We had a well/septic. Disposals were not permitted on a septic system. I knew other people who lived in other areas who had them, but in our County they were not allowed.

We now live in Florida and we have one for the first time. When it dies, I will not replace it. They smell. Also, I am so used to scraping dishes into the garbage, I rarely us it.

Jane

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:24AM
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EpicureEmily

I wonder if this depends on what part of the country you live in. I'm in Northern CA, and everyone has septic around here...and we all have disposals. I've never heard of the problems people are reporting or reasons contractors are stating. In fact, my father built custom homes for decades...I know if it was an issue he would have removed ours.
Perhaps you should consult local professionals....
I love my disposal. If yours stinks, you are not running it properly. Try putting a lemon rind down...it freshens and cleans it.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 1:12AM
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homepro01

Insinkerator makes a Septic assist disposer. I have no idea if this does anything at all.
Best of luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: insinkerator Septic Assist disposer

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 10:04AM
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Gwarstong

I've had disposals in my life since the late 1950's. Never yet had one that smelled whether city sewer or septic. Suspect something else going on with Jane_ny's installation.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:04AM
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