I like stuff.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Zen and the Art of Garbage Disposal Repair

So on Friday, the leasing office left a notice on everyone's door indicating how to deal with most maintenance issues that might come up during the holidays (I especially like the guilt trip near the end: "If you do need us during the holiday we will have someone available to postpone their celebration to make sure your celebration continues.")

Anyhow, I read through the tips, and got to the section on how to reset your garbage disposal. Considering that my disposal hasn't worked in six months and I keep forgetting to call in a work order, I said "Hey, why not?"

It seems there is a small red button on the bottom of most (if not all) garbage disposals that works much like a thermal circuit breaker. I've had a garbage disposal on and off throughout life and I've never heard of such a thing. Is there a manual somewhere that I was supposed to read?

So I pressed the button (it was clearly in the "tripped" state). Turned on the water. Flipped the switch.


Well, it's a start. Before it did nothing.

So I consulted my good chum the Internet and found a PDF of basic apartment care instructions for student housing somewhere, and it actually had a section for "But what if I pressed the red button and now my disposal only sits there humming?" (Holy cow, those red buttons must be universal in the realm of disposal anatomy!) Seems there's another trick that involves an allen wrench (some call 'em hex wrenches) that will let you manipulate the drive assembly from outside the unit. I went and dug out my socket kit (heretofore used mostly for disassembling things for comedic purpose) and behold, there was a hex port on the bottom of the unit. Some struggling, some profanity, some grinding noises and some very tired arms later, the bond that had fused the inner mechanics together was broken and the disposal breathed new life.

I'm sitting here asking myself: Is this stuff common knowledge? Did I miss out on that life lesson?

Do you have a garbage disposal? Are you aware of the standard maintenance features?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do not have one but did growing up. My father was an engineer among other things and he told me never to get one because they were so flawed in their design that it would break and be useless sooner than later.

That being said, ours always proved him wrong even when I shoved things down it to see if I could break it.

No idea about the red button though.

I think it's funny that they had your exact problem. Still useful but funny anyway.