This episode finds us once again in the kitchen. How many of you are familiar with disposals or the Insinkerator found in the kitchen sink of many homes and apartments? Well, I’m very familiar having put one in every house we re-habbed as well as being born into a family whose home had one and always would. So I know what I can and can’t put in them.
It all started on a Saturday night. I was preparing dinner at about 6:30. My Mom’s delicious Chicken and Dumplings…mmm. After peeling the carrots, I washed some peelings down the drain, ran the disposal and water. Peeled some more and same thing. But, oh no, it’s backing up and filling the sink with waste water! Fortunately I’d seen this before. I know the rules. No bones, fruit pits and if you’re smart no chicken skin. Cellulose material only. Personally I don’t throw celery or onion peels in, just in case.
Having lived with a septic system (hate, hate, hate those things) for 7 years, I know about drain care. And having re-habbed over 6 pre-WWII houses, I know drain “science” and Insinkerators. Dragged a stool into the kitchen, unloaded the area under the unit. Looked for the reset button, found it but it wasn’t out. Pushed it up anyways. Searched for the allen wrench that comes with every unit and is usually taped to the contraption but found nothing. Went online to http://www.insinkerator.com. and watched the trouble shooting video. Yep, I really did know what I was doing. However, when I left my former life, I didn’t bring all the tools with me since I would be renting. Hello? “Landlord, this doesn’t work, please fix it”. I shouldn’t need them.
Called Nubers and was shocked. She actually answered the phone. I explained the problem and she said I didn’t know what I was doing. She went on to admonish me that these were very delicate machines and you had to be very careful what you put in them. No citrus, carrot, potato or onion peels. No cabbage and on and on.
She told me to find the reset button and push it. I told her I had done so several times. Then I told her I tried to find the allen wrench that comes with every disposal. She said she didn’t know what I was talking about. Note that I’d already gone online, watched the Insinkerator how-to video, and it confirmed what I knew what to do. Plus, a window opened after the video with instructions on ordering a replacement allen wrench, which I did.
I explained that all Insinks come w/ one and whoever installed this one must have tossed it. Suddenly she said, “oh, I know, we took it, we don’t want the tenants playing with those things”. I swear, she makes up her own reality and truth to fit her needs.
She said she’d try to get someone to come out even though it was late. Well I knew that wasn’t going to happen. There went my dinner.
So the next day, I gave her some time to call me. When she didn’t I became the rusty wheel making noise. Called her at 2, 3, 5 and 6:15 p.m. leaving messages each time. No response till about 7 p.m. when Nubia finally returned my phone calls. She has a “new” excuse…Tito’s (one of her handymen) mother died “a week ago” so she can’t get hold of him to fix stuff like my plugged sink. One problem with that, she used the exact same excuse with the furnace a few weeks earlier. “Oh the tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive” (Sir Walter Scott). She said she’d still try to get hold of someone and if not it’d be tomorrow sometime.
Thankfully, Eric the owner took pity on me and came over at about 8 p.m. He stopped at the Home Depot and picked up a tool that resembled a Swiss Army Knife but with allen wrenches in every size you could ever want. They pull out just like the knife. Brilliant! I told him that Nubers told me that I should never put potato skins down the disposal (or citrus or carrot peelings, which really made me question reality). Turns out it’s her reality that’s questionable. Eric even laughed and said, “that’s silly, my mom always told me to put lemon skins down the disposal to clean it” and said no problem w/ potato or carrot peelings either.
I had pulled all the cleaning stuff out so he got on the floor and tried the allen wrench but it didn’t help. Darned if the wrench didn’t make the receptacle turn perfectly 360 degrees clockwise and counter-clockwise. Hmmm? He didn’t know what to do.
So I taught him a new skill. (Can you tell I’m rather pleased with myself? 🙂 Neither of us had a plunger, so borrowed one from the new neighbor. I told Eric to plug up the left sink to create a vacuum and plunge the heck out of the right side (the one w/ the Insinkerator). Took less than 15 seconds and voila! The water and waste went down the drain. I knew this from re-habbing houses for years.
Pretty funny teaching for a guy who buys old houses, fixes them up, rents them out and has a Ph.D in English. Book smarts I guess. Still, he really is a good guy per se. As Eric was cleaning up he told me he’s going to tell Nubs that he told me to always put lots of potato, carrot and orange peels down the disposal. Lol 🙂 Gave him a few ripe avocados so he left smiling despite the time of night.
So what was going to turn into another lengthy Nubs drama was solved easy peasy. I just needed muscle and good knees. 🙂
I’m so glad when things have nice endings. Have a lovely night and dreams.