Can My Garbage Disposal Be Lower Than Drain?

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It’s not ideal to have your garbage disposal lower than the drain. This is because the disposal will only function properly, grinding up food waste for clean disposal with the help of gravity. If you notice that your garbage disposal is lower, another thing you can do is raise the drain wall.


How far below the garbage disposal should the P-trap be?

When it comes to the installation of new sinks, there are a lot of things that you need to put into consideration.

For instance, it’s important to discard the old drain, replacing it entirely with a new drain assembly. Apart from that, another thing to consider is the position of the P-trap away from the garbage disposal.

For those who don’t know, the P-trap (or plumbing trap) is the U-shaped portion of piping under your kitchen or bathroom sink. This piece plays an important role in the installation of a new sink.

The primary purpose of the P-trap in the installation of the sink is that it helps to trap solids, especially those that can potentially clog the drain or sewer line.

Apart from that, the plumbing trap is also effective for preventing or stopping sewage gas from entering back through the drain line into your home.

According to the plumbing codes, one of the requirements for installing a new sink is that you need to install P-trap, especially if there’s an open drain line that throws out wastewater into the drain, waste-vent system.

For you to achieve the best results with your kitchen sink installation, it’s important to place the P-trap at the right height away from the garbage disposal. If you’re wondering what the right height should be, you might have to stop doing that.

Here’s what you need to know; ensure the P-trap is located at a height that’s not more than 24 inches below your drain. The truth is there’s no set standard as to how far the plumbing trap should be from the garbage disposal and drain.

Height can vary from sink to sink. To be on the safer side, make sure you avoid placing the P-trap at a height above 24″ away from the drain. This way, you’ll be good with your installation.

Don’t get it twisted; the 24″ mentioned above is not the standard height for placing the P-trap. In most cases, the sink connection is the major factor that determines what the exact height should be.

The bottom line is that there’s no fixed height when it comes to the placement of the P-trap away from the garbage disposal. However, for effective results, ensure to place the plumbing trap at a height of about 24 inches or less below the drain.

Can my garbage disposal be lower than the main drain?

During the installation of a new sink, another thing that should be considered is the position of the garbage disposal. However, before going into that, let me briefly talk about how “garbage disposal” works.

Here’s how the garbage disposal works

For those who don’t know, the garbage disposal is also known as a disposer. The device is often installed on the underside of a kitchen sink. Its primary function is to collect and grind up food waste for clean disposal.

Here’s how the garbage disposer works; the device has several different components, including a hopper chamber, flywheel, shredder ring, motor, impeller, and waste line controller.

  • The hopper chamber is responsible for when waste food enters into the disposal.
  • As soon as you switch on the disposer, a spinning disc, which happens to be the impeller plate, turns rapidly.
  • The rapid turning of the impeller plate is what forces the waste food against the wall of the grinding chamber. After that, the food gets pulverized into small pieces and then washed down the drain.

The position of the garbage disposal

Speaking of the positioning of the garbage disposal; it should be located higher than the drain. Yes, the drain should be lower than the disposer for a couple of reasons.

Here’s the thing; if the drain is higher than your garbage disposal, it’ll be very difficult for the device to wash down the food waste into the drain pipe.

That said, when installing your sink and garbage disposal, you need to make sure the disposer is higher than the drain. This is pretty much essential as the movement of the shredded food and wastewater down the drainage pipe is possible because of gravity.

That said, the primary purpose of placing the garbage disposal a little bit higher than the drain is to give room for gravity to do its thing.

Placing the drain above means you need another component to get the shredded food waste from the disposer up to the drain – unfortunately, the garbage disposal isn’t designed to work that way.

The bottom line is that the design of the garbage disposal doesn’t allow for the drain to be higher than the disposer itself. As such, it’s not ideal for the garbage disposal to be lower than the drain.

Dirty dishes in the kitchen

Why does my garbage disposal drain slowly?

There’s no denying that owning garbage disposals comes with a lot of benefits. However, it’s worth knowing that the devices aren’t without their issues.

One of the common issues that concerned people face with their disposers is when the unit fails to turn on.

Apart from that, another common issue is when the unit cannot drain properly. A couple of factors can make your garbage disposal misbehave and drain slowly.

One of them, which happens to be the most common cause, is the drain trap or P-trap.

You already know what the P-trap is designed to do; it helps to stop sewer gas from entering back through the drain line into your home. The trap could also make it possible for your disposal to drain slowly. Here’s why below:

  • If you don’t have enough flushing water, it could cause the disposal to clog, causing slow draining.
  • I’m sure you know that it’s not all food items that should be allowed into the disposal. For instance, grinding up eggshells can also make the device clog. Here’s the thing; as the eggshell gets ground, small granular waste is achieved. Unfortunately, the tiny particles can stick easily to any sludge inside the pile, causing the clog.
  • Apart from eggshells, other food wastes that could end up clogging your disposal and making it drain slowly are banana peels and potato peels. Potato peels, when ground up, tend to form a starchy paste, which could end up clogging the drain pipe. The same thing also goes for banana peels; they form a starchy paste with a mix of fiber when ground up.

If your garbage disposal is currently draining slowly, the best thing you can do is to consider removing the P-trap and removing every trapped waste product inside.

After that, you need to clean it before reinstalling it.