Saturday, May 13, 2017

ask Google - garbage disposal

Yep, today I asked Google "would your arm really get sucked down into the garbage disposal if it got turned on".  See, we're binge watching Supernatural and a repair guy was fixing a garbage disposal when a poltergeist turned the power back on and it sucked his arm down in and killed him.  Paul questioned the accuracy of that injury and so did I, so we asked the Internet.

I only got one hit:
but it has the answer.  Thank you Google and Straight Dope.

Old 09-17-2007, 02:50 PM

Charter Member

I've treated a couple of patients over the years who had put their hands into running disposals. They were drunk.

The fingers were bruised and contused, and in both cases, holes had to be burned thru the fingernails to release the trapped blood underneath, to relieve their intense pain.

I don't remember having to do any sewing of stuff back together, though.
Old 09-17-2007, 03:29 PM

Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
I've treated a couple of patients over the years who had put their hands into running disposals. They were drunk.
who needs chicken legs when you have drunk volunteers. Hurray for science.
Old 09-17-2007, 04:20 PM

You could probably force a whole arm through a disposal if you had the will and didn't go into shock(or it was someone else's arm.)

They have limited mean of pulling things down so most people getting hit by the blades are going to pull back and receive some damage but nothing spectacular. They have great ability to turn anything that gravity or any other force pushes into them into puree.
Old 09-17-2007, 04:51 PM

Originally Posted by wolfman
I'm not sure they are even mashed between. There really arn't blades at all. The food is basically swatted by the blade(which is more of a paddle) and thrown into the side of the thing, Until it slips through.
Correct. The main functionality of the garbage disposal is courtesy of the impellers, which are pivot-mounted free-rotating square unsharpened bits of metal on a flywheel. Their primary function is to create a forceful current to pull waste through small rotating holes and/or. Failing that, the suction holds objects in place within the shredder ring while the impellers themselves perform blunt-force shredding of tougher waste. As I mentioned they are unsharpened and free-pivoting, so anything not being sucked against them by the waste stream will just get knocked about the hopper chamber. If there is no water backed up into the hopper, there is no suction. If the object is actually protruding out the top of the drain it may even get knocked upward out of harm's way. If the object is attached to the nervous system of an unrestrained person, almost certainly it will be withdrawn reflexively before any really serous damage can occur.

So the net effect of sticking your hand in would not be unlike sticking it into, say, a metal fan. Metal fans look really scary but in reality they are lightweight, relatively slow-moving, and unsharpened. The most that generally happens is that your hand gets knocked out aside with some bruises to show for it.

Anatomy of a garbage disposal


aikon said...

Well I'm not afraid of these, but of deep holes like garbage disposal that's just a vertical tunnel in a block of flats or a well, it was said BTW in my childhood that in wells lives a force called "jitko" that likes to suck in you in sometimes...

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