Are You Connected?

I often do inspections on older houses that have been remodeled.  This house turned out to be a pretty good one.  There were a few things, there always are it seems.  But this one thing stood out.

This very new disposal was installed and they used the old cable to do so.  While that isn't necessarily a problem, two things needed to be done. 

First, the cable should have been trimmed a bit to utilize new, smooth copper and get rid of the frayed material. 

And, second, they should have used a connector clamp and secured the cable to the drain nearby.

Connector clamps are very important.  Every electrical connection should have some sort of clamp.

Guaranteed, one came in the kit when this disposal was purchased.  It would look much like this.  Maybe they didn't think it was important, or didn't know, or actually found it in the box when they were finished and wondered what it was!  Who knows?  It is very easy to install.

Not surprisingly, there is a purpose in putting one in.  They do two things - they secure the cable into the box so it cannot accidentally be pulled away, and they fill the hole so no sparks can escape.  An electrical spark is about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and can easily cause a fire.  The clamp is machined to perfectly pop into the hole into which the cable would go.  It tightens down real easily, and it makes everything very secure.

My recommendation:   When you see a remodel, one way to check to see how professionally it was done is to reach under the disposal and feel for a very secure clamp.  You won't get shocked if you touch it.  It is little stuff like this that makes a job top rate or otherwise.

Wisdom looks for the small and simple.  And a professional pays attention to it!

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jay | Tue, 12/27/2011 - 22:47

Thank Scott. I check them every time. It is very common not to see clamps here too!

Scott Warga (not verified) | Tue, 11/29/2011 - 14:05

These clamps are missing from the bottom of the disposal about 1/2 the time in my area. Most inspectors do not take the time to check it out. Kudos to you for doing so.
Nice job on the site.

jay | Wed, 10/21/2009 - 20:24

Theo - you could do it yourself. Clamps are available. But you will have to disconnect the electrical cable and take the disposal apart. If you are capable of doing that, safely, you might try. If you do not feel comfortable then get a professional to help you.


Theo (not verified) | Sat, 08/15/2009 - 20:22

This was an interesting thing to learn. I checked my disposal and there is no clamp! I guess I should have had you inspect my house before I bought it. Do I have to pay someone to do this or can I buy a clamp and do it myself?

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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!