Garbage disposal

How do you normally check a garbage disposal? I had one a couple of months ago - turned it on, but it was empty, sounded fine. On final walk-through, the disposal didn’t work.
The realtor called a plumber-he said it was rusted and couldn’t have worked.
It’s being replaced under the AHW warranty.

So, how do you check them, or do you check them?

I got this to clean my disposer at home. I’m thinking of using these to check the disposal during my next inspection. It’ll clean the unit and I will know it’s working…

Just check the motor sounds ok and check the blades if you can remember to do so.

Sometimes in a vacant house the plate and chamber will rust up and seize. If you can turn it to free it up they will often work fine.

You can run a couple handfulls of ice cubes through to break-up clean off the some of the rust. But if it sits unused for a long time it will seize again. I prefer the disposers with the stainless plates and chambers, not just the rams, for this reason.

As far as the plumber goes: unless he was there with you on the day of the inspection, he has no basis upon which to make such a statement. If he made such a comment around me, i would have told him to please tell us all the exact date that it did stop working since he seems to be clairvoyant.

That was essentially my reply - and it was dropped. I would like to have a better way to test it, that’s why I want to have something to drop in that wouldn’t be bad to leave, in case the thing doesn’t work.

andrew if You turn it on …it runs and it sounds ok that is about as much as You can do…jmo…jim

I run it and look inside to see how it looks. If it is heavily rusted I comment that it may be nearing the end of it’s life.

I try and put my hand down in and spin the impellers, or use a long screwdriver, that way I know whether the impellers rotate or not . . . I’m not at my normal computer or I’d post a cut away to place in my report . . . will try and get back with the photo/illustration I use.

Found photo/illustration on laptop . . . hope this helps.

Ice cubes

Do you bring them with you in a vacant house? . . . or one with frig missing in action?

I wrote up a frozen dispsoal once and a realtor jacked around with it and got it working during the inspection so I changed my report and said it worked. About three weeks later the buyer calls and says his disposal did not work, I reminded him that I told him that, at the time of the inspection, but that his realtor got it working. Since that time if anyone “fixes” any thing while I am there I note what was fixed and by who. :smiley:

No good deed goes unpunished. :twisted:

Home Inspection is not a “performance inspection”. Check your SOP. Some do not even require that you look at appliances…

HI does not require testing of capacity or analysis of performance.

Throw in some ice, watch it break, get out your wallet!
The GD is not designed for high speed ice crushing. And how many “rusted” ones are out there in poor shape?

Oh, and the GD is not prone to misuse and abuse by the homeowner? How many years does your inspection warrant it?

Thought so…

I look in the drain area to see if there is anything in there before I turn on the switch. Look for any heavy deposits that might damage the unit if I turn it on. Run water down the drain. Then turn the switch and listen for any irregular noises. Turn the switch off and check that it still rotates for a second or two after power has been turned off. Usually will indicate a worn bearing if it stop too soon. You should also be able to see the blades pivoting at when it slows down. After it stops, AI turn off the water and check for leaks underneath the sink, especially at the sink attachment flange.

When I write something up, I always point out that although appliances may be functioning at the time of inspection, they have moving parts that can wear or break down at any given time and that the inspection process does not determine the life expectancy of any appliance but merely documents the current condition at the time of inspection. Document whatever you or anyone else has to do in order to get tricky appliances to work in your report. Also, document anything realtors decide to say or comment about during the course of YOUR inspection process.

If I turn anything on and it does not come on in the first attempt, I always write it up.

"The device did not operate on the initial attempt. The device began functioning after repeated testing. Recommend replacement. "

This often happens to me with GFCI resets.

If it didn’t work once, it will likely fail again in the near future.
This is one time you can truly say the device is likely at the end of it’s expected life.

If something doesn’t work when I inspect it, it goes into the report.

If someone “fixes” something while I am still at the inspection, typically, my report does not change. They can later say that they fixed it if they want.

I’ve changed my report when I realized that I wasn’t operating something properly though. :oops:

Disposals I turn on the water with it and listen.

In addition to running it, I check for the condition of the throat insert. I also check beneath to see if it’s leaking and for signs of external corrosion. Lastly, I check the electrical supply–about 1/2 of them are missing a romex connector at the unit.

Where did you come up with that?

According to ISE (emphasis added):
DO …
• First turn on a moderate to strong flow of cold water and then turn on the disposer. Continue running cold water for a few seconds after grinding is completed
to flush the drain line.
Grind hard materials such as small bones, fruit pits, and ice. A scouring action is created by the particles inside the grind chamber.
• Grind peelings from citrus fruits to freshen up drain smells. Important – The model LC-50 is designed specifically for light commercial use. Examples of these applications include: grocery/convenience store delis, fast food restaurants, office/church kitchens, and bed and breakfast inns. Use of this disposer in applications other than those named above may void your warranty.
• Use a disposer cleaner, degreaser, or deodorizer as necessary to relieve objectionable odors caused by grease build-up.

I’m not suggesting that inspectors “repair” these devices, but it’s appropriate to be able to tell the client why the plate and/or rams may seize on a unit that hasn’t been run for a while and how it can be addressed without necessarily having to replace the unit.

That is for the home owner not the home inspector.

You break it doing an inspection outside of the HI SOP you may get the bill for it.

Just my opinion, you can run your business the way you wish.

Ice from the freezer has a higher hardness than “small bones, fruit pits and Ice” (that’s been in a glass for a while).

I would not put anything into a food disposal system in order to test it’s operation. Sooner or later someone is going to ask you to start testing washing machines and dryers. I am not going to start carrying around a load of laundry in my van to test installed appliances. I inspect for proper installation and obvious defects only. Anything more and you can open up a can of worms for someone who really wants to find someone else to pay for a new appliance because they don’t like the color.

from insinkerator install manual, I have used lemon rinds and ice for more years than I care to remember.
Operated to manufacture recommendations.
the jpg was a rush job here is a pdf
:DHappy Holidays:D