Monday, October 18, 2021

Home Repairs—Garbage Disposal Edition

I had to replace my garbage disposal, and I wasn’t happy about it.  But who would be happy about replacing a garbage disposal other than a plumber?  At a visitation fee of $250 plus $450 per hour, I'd be happy; however, I am not a plumber, and I wouldn’t know how to invoice myself anyway.

The trouble first started when it suddenly stopped running.  I had been hand washing some dishes, and I thought I would run the disposal a few moments to clean out the stuff that had collected in it after draining the sink.  I turned on the water, and then I turned on the disposal.  The disposal started and suddenly stopped.  I turned the disposal off for a minute or so, and then turned it back on.  It ran perfectly.  Okay.  Problem solved.  Or so I thought. 

The next morning I went into the kitchen to make breakfast, and there was water everywhere.  A small search located the crack in the side of the disposal causing drainage every time the sink was utilized.  Oh, the joy!

Every hardware store in the area was out of the replacement for this disposal, and I didn’t want to re-plumb under the sink any more than I had to.  Fortunately I could order the replacement on line, and for just $72.50 additional, I could have it the next day.  Well, it was still cheaper than the quote from the plumber.

The instructions were simple.  The first line said, ‘Do not try this at home!’  The second line said, ‘Do not use in or near water!'  I never read the third line.

I gathered my tools and crawled under the sink to remove the old disposal.  A couple of screws, a bolt or two, and a smashed finger later, the old unit was out and headed for the trash bin.  Now to replace it with the identical new one.  Did I say ‘identical?’  Every thing was the same.  Every fitting, every wire, every bracket, every thing.  Why didn’t it fit?

Gravity was the reason the old disposal was easy to remove.  Now I had to work against gravity to install the new one.  I’m not really certain just how much the disposal weights, but my estimate is about 75 pounds.  Plus or minus.  Mostly plus.  I was on my left side holding the new disposal in place with my left arm, and attempting to replace screws and bolts with my right hand.  Four and one-half hours later it was in place.  One problem--I forgot to install the electrical cord.  Thirty minutes later the disposal was uninstalled.

After a day off to recover, I wired in the electrical cord to the unit, and just 5 hours later it was working.  No sparks, no leaks.  It really worked.  Now I understand the first instruction, ‘Do not try this at home!’