Things to Know About Your Home

By
Home Inspector with Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton

What are the things you don't know about your home? 

They are all the important things you don't know are important until you need to know them.  Now is that clear to everyone.  Ok, here's an example: You call the plumber because the garbage disposal is acting up.  All it does is hum, kind of a deep throated "mmmmmmmmmmm".  Then after trying to get it to run by turning the switch on and off several times, it even quits the "mmmmmmmmmm". Wow, now you've done it.  It is seriously injured at this point, right.  Nope, it is just stuck.  You can't imagine how many times this happens in households across the nation.  What causes this is something (from bones to plastic straws) has wedged itself between the internal rotating blades and the external (stationary) blades.  Sound complicated, it really isn't.  Did you know that this is considered a consumer repair item.  That's why they give you a wrench when you buy a new disposal.  Most disposals have a wrench that fits in a hex receptacle on the bottom of the disposal.  This is made to give the disposal some assistance if it gets stuck.  If you don't have a wrench your local hardware store or home improvement store will.  Make sure you turn off the switch. Then just locate the hex shaped receptacle on the bottom of the disposal, insert the wrench and turn. Believe it or not, it really is easy.  But there is one more thing to do (isn't there always).  There is a red or black button on the bottom of the disposal.  The button is a reset for the motor, it keeps the motor from burning up.  Push the button until it sticks out a bit.  Make sure there is no one with hands feet or anything else close, then turn on the switch.  Hopefully, whatever was stuck is clear and it will run.  If it doesn't, turn the switch off and repeat the above until it works again.  If it doesn't work after repeated tries then it is time to call the repairman.  Make sure you NEVER put your hands in the disposal.  By the way, if you still have your paperwork for the disposal all of the above is in the instructions.  Even if you don't have the paperwork you can access this information (a much better written version) on line.

Now, maybe you did know all that and if that is the case I apologize for repeating it.  If you didn't then you now know something about your house you didn't know before.

Other things are even higher on the need to know list than how to unstick your garbage disposal.  Like where is your main shut off valve for your water and where is the main disconnect (switch/breaker) for the electric or the main service panel itself. 

Jack Gilleland

Home Inspection Services, Clayton

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Paul Walker 10/31/2010 03:56 PM
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Tags:
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Rainmaker
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Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Jack, this is a great tip! Especially the red reset button. This happened me and we called the general contractor that did lots of the work for the seller we purchased the home for (he was very kind to give his number for us to call with questions). Yep..he told us about the red button and voila! You just saved many folks lots of time!

Oct 31, 2010 03:55 PM #1
Rainer
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Patty Luther
Rock-n-Roll Realty - Lewiston, ID
Lewiston ID Real Estate, Idaho-Washington

Yep~  a person needs to feel all around for the reset button!  I discovered that many many years ago!

Oct 31, 2010 04:03 PM #2
Rainmaker
179,180
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Cindy, it is really funny how many people don't know what that wrench is for or the little button.

Patty, unfortunately we usually find out the hard way.  Careful feeling around on the bottom of those disposals, some installers aren't too careful about how they install the wiring.

 

Oct 31, 2010 04:31 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,278,166
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

In the olden days, before they included that Allen wrench in the disposal kit, we used to use broom handles inserted from the top and turned around until the bottom rotated easily!

Did you?

Oct 31, 2010 06:38 PM #4
Rainmaker
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Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Yeah.  I even made a special tool out of a piece of 3/4" CPVC, but I think I'll leave that to the plumbers and inspctors in the audience

Oct 31, 2010 07:27 PM #5
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jack, great post that can help people save a lot of money that would result in the plumber only doing what you recommended

Oct 31, 2010 09:12 PM #6
Rainmaker
1,278,166
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

My next door neighbors called me one Thanksgiving afternoon in a panic because their disposal was stuck, full of sludge and the sink was nearly overflowing with water, stuff and Liquid Plumber!  The lady was freaked and the house full of people.

I went over with my handy dandy Allen wrench, turned it, pushed the red button and boom, Mr. Disposal came alive!  I was careful to cover up in case L.P. was to spray out all over me!  I screamed, "It's aliiiiive!" and walked out.  A moment later they realized it was fixed and to great clapping I just went back to my football...

The next day I stuck a bill in their door for $259.95.  They never paid me...

 

OK, I really wasn't expecting to get paid...

Oct 31, 2010 09:29 PM #7
Rainmaker
179,180
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

But Jay, you know someone would have charged them at least 200.00 on Thanksgiving.

Nov 01, 2010 02:24 AM #8
Rainmaker
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Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Thanks Charles.  I got the idea from a very nearby garbage disposal.

Nov 01, 2010 02:25 AM #9
Rainmaker
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Pat Starnes
Pat Starnes Real Estate - Brandon, MS

I've heard that familiar "whirr" humming sound before. Now if only I can find that little wrench that came with my new disposal. Seriously, I labeled it with an Avery label and HOPE I can find it if I ever need it. Thanks, Jack. This post is a rock star for every homeowner.

Nov 03, 2010 10:17 AM #10
Rainmaker
179,180
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Pat, I found mine in the proverbial junk drawer. Of course, that was only after a minute or two of, "Now where did I put that thing".

Nov 03, 2010 02:55 PM #11
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