Renovating Kitchen with New Sink —Assur?

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  • #619192
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Is it assur to renovate a kitchen in your property (personal or income) with…

    1) An Unkasherable Sink?

    1) Only one sink that can be kashered?

    #1215591
    Meno
    Participant

    1) Probably not Assur but might be inconvenient

    1) Probably not Assur but might be inconvenient

    #1215592
    Participant

    With a single sink does it matter whether or not it can be Kashered?

    #1215593
    Nechomah
    Participant

    Why would you be chayav to have either two sinks or a kasherable single sink? The laws of kashering are such that having one sink that you thought you would be kashering between meat and milk would make use of that sink almost impossible, as there has to be 24 hours from the time anything hot (certain temperature) was poured into the sink (the hot water from the spout included), so you would not be able to use anything hot in the sink for that period of time, then you could kasher the sink, which would make it parve,and then the same thing goes the other way. People I know who have had only one sink have washed their dishes in plastic bowls that they place in the sink and probably do not use water that is soooo hot and do not pour anything that is either meat or milk that is hot at the temperature that is problematic into the sink. It may be a little tricky, but requiring somebody to put in plumbing that would enable 2 sinks is not practical. The people who first lived in houses that had running water and subsequently had enough money to renovate their kitchens did not necessarily add a second sink as there may not have been enough place in the kitchen to accommodate one.

    #1215594
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    What about people who install those big barn sinks made from porcelain or some unkasherable ceramic?

    #1215595
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Does anyone live in a house with an unkashered kitchen sink?

    Thanks for the info on the two bins inside the one sink. Didn’t know how people did that.

    #1215596
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    Plenty of people. They just make sure not to put the dishes directly in the sink- use a dish rack inside or a basin as was suggested. Like it’s Pesach all year round.

    Although I would go crazy with just one sink- that would mean I would always have to wash one set of dishes (say from lunch) before I could switch over to the other for the next meal.

    #1215597
    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s, almost everyone I knew only had one sink and generally it was not kasherable. I remember watching my parents and their friends lining the sinks with contact paper for pesach (not everyone used inserts). My parents kitchen is small and can only accommodate one sink, currently one that can be kashered.

    #1215598
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Wow. I didn’t know that sinks could be coveted in contact paper. That inspires me to contact paper more kitchen surfaces.

    Thank you 🙂

    #1215599
    Nechomah
    Participant

    LB, I would not cover the sink year-round with contact paper, for a week it’s not bad, but more than that, it starts to peel off due to the almost constant contact with water. As far as using two bins, they might have one sitting on one counter next to the sink and the other one in the sink itself or on the other counter. When they wish to do dishes, then they put the bin in the sink and wash them. Or maybe they do the dishes without the bin at all, just use it to collect them in it.

    When I designed my kitchen in an apartment that was as yet unbuilt, I paid extra to have a second sink put in and brought over large stainless steel sinks so that I could kasher them for Pesach. That is a near-ideal kitchen, but I could have easily spent less money and brought in ceramic sinks that I could not kasher for Pesach. Here in EY, they sell plastic insert for sinks for Pesach. But there is definitely nothing assur about using one sink or a not kasherable one.

    #1215600

    I see the terms ‘assur’ and ‘mutar’ thrown around here. Why would one be obligated under halacha to kasher a sink??

    #1215601
    iacisrmma
    Participant

    For pesach

    #1215602
    theprof1
    Participant

    THERES NO ISSUR OF HAVING ONE SINK. ITS VERY INCONVENIENT.

    #1215603
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Nechomah: Hmmm. That’s what I would think (about the wetness being an issue with contact paper.

    My countertops are ceramic tile and unkasherable, from what I read online about it.

    I have a double sink.

    I only eat pareve foods, baruch Hashem.

    The right sink doesn’t have a garbage disposal. I rarely/barely use it. If any water goes down it, it’s usually unintentional.

    To the right of the right side sink is my dish rack thing for handwashing dishes. Underneath that dishrack and around the joining countertop is contact paper, which is connected to the sink with clear shipping tape. B”H is it holding up.

    I wipe up the contact paper when water from clean dishes drips on it.

    On the left side, however, is no contact paper, a sink that gets daily use multiple times a day, and also ceramic countertops that get splashed on. —This is the side that I want to seal with contact paper in my quest for having a kosher kitchen.

    Maybe I should just try contact paper anyway and use that bath/shower caulking underneath the shipping tape.

    #1215604
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    Talk to a Rav about how to kasher your kitchen. You may not need contact paper. Splashing water from the sink does not necessarily make the surrounding counter treif. It will depend on how hot the temperature is and what is being splashed.

    Growing up we had 1 ceramic or porcelain sink and used the formica counters for both meat and milk- we had dish racks inside the sink for washing dishes and always used placemats on the counter when preparing food. Hot dishes were placed on trivets or the placemats, not directly on the surface of the counter.

    #1215605
    Nechomah
    Participant

    LB, I totally agree with WTP. You might even want to speak to people who are in a similar situation as you are, how they use their kitchens with the sinks and counters that have or have not been kashered. Kashering a kitchen also includes the dishes/pots that you use. If you take WTP’s comments to heart, you can find lots of ways to prevent the heat of say a hot pot on the treif counter getting transferred into your kosher pots. You might need to invest in accessories like he mentions. There are neat things like silicon trivets and so forth that are available and probably more practical than worrying about contact paper.

    #1215606
    lesschumras
    Participant

    This is just ankther example of people living inside a bubble. Did the OP ever consider that for seventy+ years, the vast majority of Jews in just the NYC area lived in apartments and dealt with only one sink? It is not a new issue?

    #1215607
    Avi K
    Participant

    Hot according to Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach is 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit). If food or a utensil that is less than this temperature falls into a sink that is less both are permitted. As for washing, I do not think that the average person can stick his hands into water that is this temperature. This is why it is called “yad soledet”. As for trivets, if the pot is extremely hot they are needed to protect the surface of the table or counter-top.

    #1215608
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    LB, if you eat only pareve foods, why would you need two sinks?

    #1215609
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    I don’t need two sinks but I like having that option.

    I asked this question because despite the way people got around to living in the past, I wondered if someone who is house flipping needs to think of having a frum homeowner or tenant in mind when renovating a home.

    #1215610
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Does someone who is frum and knows that a double sink and kasherable one makes life easier have a responsibility of making a kosher-friendly space?

    Or can one renovate based on interior design trends, hoping to get more bang for the buck regardless of how practical it is for a person who is frum to live.

    #1215611
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I think the answer to your question is that having separate sinks and stoves is not just a convenience issue, it is also a kashrus issue. Mishaps with milk and meat are less likely to happen, and certain leniencies do not have to be relied on.

    In my opinion, these are more important issues than trendiness of design.

    #1215612
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    lesschumras,

    This is just ankther example of people living inside a bubble. Did the OP ever consider that for seventy+ years, the vast majority of Jews in just the NYC area lived in apartments and dealt with only one sink? It is not a new issue?

    This is just another example of people reacting without having all of the facts. Lightbrite has expressed numerous times that she is a BT. How exactly is that living inside a bubble?

    #1215613
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    lightbrite,

    Does someone who is frum and knows that a double sink and kasherable one makes life easier have a responsibility of making a kosher-friendly space?

    Or can one renovate based on interior design trends, hoping to get more bang for the buck regardless of how practical it is for a person who is frum to live.

    How likely is it that the subsequent purchasers would be Jewish? If the house you are flipping is in a Jewish neighborhood, I would think that a kosher-friendly kitchen would be a pretty big selling point.

    #1215614
    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Renovating for yourself: better to have two sinks.

    Thinking of a tenant: two sinks is a good point to advertise.

    Flipping: no guarantee that you will sell to someone who needs two sinks.

    #1215615
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Renovating or building from scratch:

    Make sure that your multiple sinks have their drains plumbed separately. That way the milk you pour down the drain in the dairy sink can’t come up through the drain in the meat sink and cover meat dishes, etc.

    Most plumbers will simply use one waste line fed by both sinks; spend the extra money and avoid problems.

    We actually have three sinks. There are meat and dairy at opposite ends of a 12 foot island, and there is a pareve sink with disposal on a side counter used for fruits and vegetable prep.

    Pesach is not an issue as we have a separate Pesach kitchen

    #1215616
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Yes, it would be nice to have six sinks.

    #1215617
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    DassYochid

    Mrs. CTL is a builder designer. Our home is her portfolio. Thus, it MUST contain the newest and most innovative things to show prospective customers.

    We don’t live in an area with that many frum Jews, b ut many Italian Americans have 2 kitchens in their homes. One on a lower lever for cooler cooking in the summer.

    I don’t consider most of our kitchen accoutrements to be luxuries as we cook from scratch. No prepared frozen food or takepout

    #1215618
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    CTL- you don’t have to defend your lifestyle choices, spending habits and home design to us. But since you are sharing it with us, you should realize-and this is just my feelings- that sometimes it sounds that you present the way you live as a general solution to whatever issue was raised, without realizing that these solutions are way beyond the means of the typical poster here. I assume you don’t mean it that way, because you generally seem to be a nice, caring type of person, but sometimes your posts come off as being insensitive to those who do not have the means that you do.

    #1215619
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Avram in MD: Thank you!

    lesschumras: Yes of course. The question is not if people can live without two sinks or an unkasherable sink.

    This is one thing that sparked that thought…

    Watching home renovations tv shows where the designer comes in with this “gorgeous” reclaimed barn sink in a kitchen. It’s a selling piece.

    —-And thinking to myself… is it really a selling piece? What if the homebuyer keeps kosher and this is just an expensive burden or at the very least it didn’t add value to this particular prospective buyer.

    Also thinking of what happens when someone who is frum renovates a house in an area where there are frum Jews and nonJews.

    Maybe if the frum seller makes the kitchen appealing for a secular lifestyle with its comprehensive kitchen design choices, then the seller could make a sale on the house to someone who isn’t Jewish.

    At the same time, what if the seller has enough evidence to support the possibility that the home could go either way.

    -50% chance it’s a frum homebuyer.

    -50% chance it’s someone who isn’t Jewish

    Does the homeowner have a responsibility to make the house more accommodating for a frum Jewish homeowner?

    Why not help create one more frum-friendly kitchen space with one’s home renovation if he or she has the opportunity and can afford it?

    Yet it may require more thought and planning, or just someone to pause and ask for a different sink material and a double instead of a singular sink, if the budget can afford the separate plumbing. Maybe the house already had that plumbing done but a previous owner installed one sink.

    Anything is possible.

    Thank you

    #1215620
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    WTP……………

    My suggestion was that if you are going to install two sinks spend the extra money (probably one hour plumber’s labor and $30 material) not to have a joint waste line, so that meat or dairy waste can’t back up into the other sink.

    Also, most dishwashers drain through the garbage disposer and can back up into the sink, so if your dishwasher is going to be fleischige you don’t want it draining through the milchige sink.

    Most people spending good money renovating a kitchen won’t think of these things, that’s why I’m offering the suggestions from experience.

    The vast majority who post in the CR are in Metro NYC or EY they do not have the luxury of the space I have living in a small town. BUT that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t share what I’ve learned from experience.

    When we started off as young married 45+ years ago, we had just the basics in a 2 1/2 room apartment. The kitchen was a 5′ galley with minimal features. We made it work. We also learned what to look for in each step up.

    None of my children have homes the size of ours nor Pesach kitchens…especially since they all come to us for the entire Yuntif. Having a separate Pesach kitchen allows us to start cooking and freezing now, making life easier.

    In 45 years, we’ve never gone to a hotel or resort for Yuntif, but plowed whatever money we could into our home to make Yuntif more enjoyable.

    #1215621
    Lightbrite
    Participant

    CTLAWYER: Thank you ~ Your advice is amazingly practical and great for future planning 🙂

    #1215622
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Lightbrite………..

    95% of my wife’s clientele are not Jewish, and the few Jews are not Frum.

    In the last 10 years she has not designed or built a single kitchen without twin dishwashers. We have had them for decades so as to have both milchige and fleischige, but most clients entertain and want one set for dishes and flatware and the other with racks for pots. pans, mixing bowls.

    Separate sinks are featured in that there is a main sink in the island and another in the counter near the cooktop. This is where vegetables are often peeled and prepped just before cooking.

    The best thing my wife started proposing in her plans about 25 years ago is a potfiller behind the cooktop. No more lifting heavy stockpots of water and carrying them to the stove to boil, cook soup, pasta, etc. You fill the pot with the solid ingredients, place it ion the burner swing the potfiller arm over the pot and turn on the tap. She figures that when doing a new kitchen or major renovation a potfiller can be added for less than $200 (labor and materials). As I’ve gotten older I appreciate not lifting 24 qt post opf water out of the sink and carrying them to the stove.

    #1215623
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    CTL- it was the end of your post, and DaasYochid’s comment on it, and your defensive response to that one that made me raise my point. You always have great advice to give, the point about the single pipe line is a good one. It would only be problematic if the back-flow was at the temperature of yad soledes bo, though, which I assume could be an issue for the dishwasher, less for the second sink.

    Can you explain this potfiller thing more- I never heard of such a thing. It sounds like a nice solution to the lifting problem. I usually fill it on the counter (my faucet pulls out so it can reach) and then slide it over to the stove, so only a little lifting. Is it another faucet behind the stovetop? Is there a draining area underneath it? What happens if you need to fill a pot when there is already something cooking on the stove- how do you get to the handle to turn it on without burning yourself? Any kashrus issues of hot steam from a fleishig pot hitting the faucet, and then using it to fill a milichig pot?

    #1215624
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    LB, if there is a good chance that a frum family would buy the house (I think 50% is a good chance, considering the actual % of frum Jews there are in the general population) then you should make the kitchen kosher user-friendly. It sounds like from what CTL was saying, that non-Jews would appreciate 2 sinks also, so if you have the room for 2 sinks, go for it. But keep in mind that having side-by side double sinks is not as convenient as having totally separate sinks in separate areas, if that is technically possible.

    I know from the seller’s point of view, fixing up can increase the value and sale-ability of the home, and that you usually earn back way more than was invested in the renovations, but from the buyer’s point of view, I rather put in a new kitchen that fits my taste and needs, and is built of a quality to last, rather than pay more for the house because it is renovated and get a kitchen that may look nice but does not fit my personal needs. For example, I want place for 2 ovens, and an extra freezer, and don’t like to have to walk around an island to get from the counter to the oven, while a different buyer might really want that barn sink in the island. So maybe by not renovating, you increase the sale-ability of the home?

    #1215625
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    WTP……..

    The potfiller is a long necked faucet that is attached to the wall to the left or right of the cooktop just beyond the exhaust hood. It is mounted to be lower than the hood. The faucet swings in and can fill pots on the burners closest to the side where it is mounted. Then if needed the pots can be slid across to other burners,

    The control to turn on/off and amount of pressure is mounted on the wall below the faucet up-pipe. Typically it is a turn knob or X, as on an outside spigot. Since the pipe swings out from above the cooktop when you are not filling a pot it is not subject to direct contact by steam from cooking. It also keeps the controls cool by being outside the cooking area.

    There is no need for any drains. We’ve used these for years in our home, and I had them in my commercial kitchens when I was in the catering business in the 1970s. Next time you fill a stockpot with 8 quarts of water to make pasta, notice how much lower the water level is after you cook the pasta. The food absorbs the water and you are lifting a pot with 25% less water to empty in the sink.

    The only stove setups I’ve seen that have potfillers and drains surrounding the cooking rings are commercial wok ranges for Chinese restaurants. After cooking each dish, they swing the potfiller over the wok, run hot water, brush the wok and tip the water over the side into the drainage channel. This is not something that would be found in a home.

    I know it is hard to visualize some of the things I post, but CR does not have the capability to copy and paste a picture into a post, not can I post a link to a photo.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    In terms of backup in the sinks, it’s not just about temperature (yad soledes bo).

    Let’s suppose you have twin kosher sinks, one milchige and one fleishige. When leaving for work in the morning you place some frozen beef in the fleischige sink to defrost (intending to cook it when you come back mid afternoon). Your MIL (mine moved in 2 weeks ago) has her breakfast at 9 and washed her milchige cereal bowl, dumping the unfinished milk down the drain. It backs up the common waste pipe and covers the meat in the other sink. Temperature is less than 60 degrees F. You come home and find the meat covered in dried milk waste. Would you just wash it off and use it?

    Many problems/aggravations are easy to avoid with a little advance planning and not great expense.

    #1215626
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    CTlawyer- I think I can picture it even without the picture. Pretty cool device, seems like they thought of everything!

    the milk/meat question would be one for the Rav. Of course this particular problem could be avoided altogether if you listen to health recommendations and only defrost your meat in the fridge. (Confession, I do it all the time too- it takes days to defrost in the fridge).

    Another non-kashrus reason for 2 separate waste pipes- kitchen pipes tend to get clogged, from all those fatty food bits that stick to the sides. I would imagine that 2 separate pipes would take twice as long to get clogged as one.

    #1215627
    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Ctlawyer: your scenario with your MIL, halachicly you may be able to do just that or to slice off a thin layer (unless it’s ground beef where you are not able to do that). Personally we do not defrost items in the sink. We don’t want anyone to start washing dishes with detergent with food in the sink. We defrost in pans on the counter.

    #1215628
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    iacisrmma………..

    My post started “Let’s suppose…” it was just a hypothetical mentioning a MIL, not something that actually happened to us.

    We do defrost meat in the sink, because our bigger dogs could reach it if it was on the counter. No one would wash dishes with detergent if there was meat in the sink. Dishes get a quick rinse and are placed right into the appropriate dishwasher (except on Shabbos or Yuntif and we’d not be defrosting raw meat then).

    But, thanks for your advice, anyway.

    #1215629
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    “We do defrost meat in the sink, because our bigger dogs could reach it if it was on the counter.”

    reminds me of the time I was defrosting chopped meat on the counter, and the neighbor’s cat climbed thru the window and helped himself. He should have waited until they turned into meatballs, much yummier.

    So LB, the moral of the story is that you should definitely put in 3 sinks- one for milichig, one for flieshig and 1 for defrosting. But only if you have a dog or your neighbor has a cat.

    #1215630
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    WTP………..

    a kindred soul, finally someone else who uses the term chopped meat, not ground beef.

    I still have fond memories of my oma using a hochmesser in a wooden bowl to turn a piece of beef into chopped meat to make meatballs, or meatloaf. The texture was so different from the paste that passes for ground beef today.

    #1215631
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    CTL- Not to mention those who call it minced meat.

    Confession, it usually is chicken or turkey by us, but chopped meat sounds better than chopped fowl.

    My Bobby had a special meat grinder, besides the wooden bowl and cleaver.

    #1215632
    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    WTP………….

    Minced meat is a term I’ve only heard in UK and former possessions: Canada, Australia, South Africa.

    In the US if you hear ‘mincemeat’ it’s one word and refers to chopped nuts used in goyishe winter holiday pies.

    We don’t use ground/shopped chicken at all, but do use turkey regularly

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