What do garbage disposals and the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining have in common? Answer: they both require caretakers who will always be there and not abuse the position. Maintaining a garbage disposal means using tools you probably already have somewhere. In fact, you might even be called upon to use a broom handle as a tool. Other than that, the tools for garbage disposal maintenance are things like a snake auger, Allen wrench and something known as a disposal turning tool. That latter little tool is something you may need to use one day, so don’t toss carelessly aside if you are reading this in conjunction with getting a brand new garbage dispoal installed today.
What does a broomstick have to do with garbage disposal maintenance? Sparkle Plenty and her smelly uncle B.O., man, what do you think? The broom handle will come in plenty handy when things fall into the disposal unit. You know, things like lockets usually hanging around your neck, silverware and the cork from that bottle of champagne that went wildly bounding around the kitchen. Turn off the power that is juicing your garbage disposal, remove that splash guard and use your flashlight to take a gander down into the disposal unit. If the thingie that has fallen down there can’t be retrieved, stick the broom handle down and rotate what your owner’s manul calls the grinder.
That special disposal turning tool probably came with the garbage disposal if you bought it new. If the disposal was pre-existing inside the home when you got there, well, that’s a little different. The dispoal turning tool is used to turn the bottom of the garbage disposal this way and that. This tool comes in handy when the garbage disposal gets clogged up and won’t rotate.
If the garbage disposal is suffering simply because you combine the slobberiness of Oscar Madison with the anal retentive cleaning of Felix Ungar, you need to know where your appliance’s rest button is located. Find the button. Press the button. Be the button, Danny. You will usually need to press the reset button when the disposal has become overloaded and shuts itself off automatically. Let the disposal cool down for a few minutes before pressing reset. If the reset button does not get your garbage as happy as a 500-pound chef sitting in butter then make sure that the power was not cut short by a blowing a fuse or tripping a circuit.