Before I became a homeowner, there were many things I didn’t know. I wasn’t aware that disposals had a reset button on the bottom or that an Allen key could help loosen the grinder in the disposal. I didn’t know that furnaces could have reusable filters. Or that it was a good idea to have maintenance on a heating and a cooling unit once a year.
I know better now, thanks to my dad and my brother helping me with a few things around my old house and even at my new house. They’ve made sure to tell me how to take care of appliances, large and small, around the house so they can last for the long haul.
But there have also been times where they’ve insisted on taking care of the matter instead of showing me how to do it. I’m not gonna knock it. It’s pretty nice when someone else does it. But I am going to tell you a couple stories about drains and how my family members took care of them for me and for the rest of the family.
My First House
The first is a story from my first house. I had been in the house roughly two years, give or take a few months. I had a disposal that had an interesting quirk where you needed to hit the reset button or use an Allen key on it to make it work. It would get into a mode where it would just hum and wouldn’t work. Using one of those techniques would help, and I could go about my day.
Well, one day, I went home at lunch and realized I had food in the fridge that needed to go. It was this delicious Mediterranean pasta salad that I just couldn’t finish, and it had gone bad. I decided to send it down the disposal, and I’d deal with the dishes later. This is where it gets interesting.
The disposal stopped working. Barely a hum, the reset button didn’t work, and the magic of the Allen key trick had been used up. I was upset but thought that I’d be okay until the end of the day, and I would ask my brother to come over after work and help out his little sister. I returned to the office and happened to run into him. I told him about the disposal, and he started laughing, which was quickly followed by him telling me that he wouldn’t be able to help me until the end of the week.
Here’s a couple of crucial details I’ve left out. One being that the disposal died on a Monday. The other being that this happened during the summer, like in July or August. So, you can probably tell where this is going.
I returned home that night, and I could smell the salty feta cheese from the disposal. So, what did I do until my brother could get there? I put a bowl over the disposal in the sink. It actually worked for the next few days, and I counted down until my brother came over to help me. I’m not saying this was the best idea, but it worked in a pinch.
I got off work that Friday and headed straight home. I pulled up to my house and saw that the garage door was open, and so was the front door. Then when I walked in, I saw that my brother opened every door and window possible in my house. The new disposal was in, and I couldn’t understand why everything was open. I assumed it was to help the swamp cooler work better.
Wrong! I saw my brother sitting at my dining room table, drinking water. I looked at him and asked what was going on. He started chuckling and said that my disposal was so nasty that he almost gagged on the smell of what had been hanging out in the disposal all week. He added that he ran it out to the trash bin outside as soon as he could because the smell was worse than what he was anticipating. Thankfully he and I laughed about it, and we waited a little longer before we closed the necessary doors and windows to my tiny house.
A Story From My Parents’ House
Here’s the story I was promising from my parents’ house that I think of sometimes.
For years, I’d always been someone to put potato peels down the disposal. I never knew or thought that it was bad to do. My dad used to gripe at us about doing it, but we (myself and my family) never stopped.
Well, the inevitable happened. We sent one too many potato peels down the disposal and clogged the sink. My poor dad had to be the one to get under the sink and clear out the blockage. The entire evening, we heard him complaining about the smell, how he was too old to get under the sink, and why didn’t we listen to him about not putting potato peels down the disposal. We felt bad and promised my dad we would never do that again.
Flashforward to working at Albuquerque Plumbing Heating & Cooling, and it became incredibly clear how bad it was and that there’s people who still put potato peels down the disposal. Why is it so bad to do? Because the peels are pretty thick and fibrous. After the experience of seeing my dad unclog his own drain due to his family’s negligence, I knew I had to knock off my bad habit for good. To this day, I will peel my favorite spuds over the trashcan.
Learning Our Lesson
If you’re reading this, and you’re a homeowner, I’m sure you have your own stories of things you’ve experienced. Things you shouldn’t have done, things you wished you knew better, and projects you tackled by yourself. What kind of lessons did you learn?
There are many homeowners with the team at Albuquerque Plumbing Heating & Cooling who have had to learn some things about their homes that they probably wished they hadn’t. It seems that one of the most common lessons to learn has to do with the drains. But thankfully, we have an amazing team that we stand behind to help us with whatever our drains throw our way. And we’re here to help you too!