Friday, November 7, 2008

Not so Disposable

When we lived in Florida, the best part was meeting Jane. And of course the beach & Disneyworld. The worst part was that our sink didn't have a garbage disposal. The lack of dishwasher I lived with, but I hated not being able to put anything down the sink, having to always be so careful not to clog the pipes. We suggested one to our landlord & even offered to put it in ourselves. Afterall, I'm handy like that. I installed a new garbage disposal in our home in Arizona.

And a couple weeks ago it was looking like I needed to install another disposal. It had been getting a little more sluggish. Then one day, it just stopped. There was power - it was humming away. But no spinning. And it's not exactly like you can stick your hand down there to check things out. Please don't do that.

And so I took it off. The garbage disposal, that is. It's easier than you might think. A few things first though. Unplug the disposal, turn off the water running to the sink, and unhook the pipes running into and out of the disposal. I left the flexible pipe running to the dishwasher because I didn't ever pull my disposal all the way out. Here's a picture.

Then I looked inside & this is what I saw. Yes, that's macaroni. And peaches. We have little boys here. And then there's the 12 tons of gross, unidentifiable goop! And I want to say that I cleaned it all out & disinfected it - but remember, there's no water & at that point the hole in the bottom of my sink lead straight down to the cabinet. So let's pretend.

Also at this point I realize that the rusty bottom of the disposal is supposed to spin & mine obviously doesn't. Also, if you squint really hard you can see the writing on the garbage disposal reads "3 year warranty," and you guessed it - I put it in just over three years ago. So I was bemoaning the cost of a new one, and checking prices online, when I had the bright idea to check for repair help online too. The internet is my friend!

Here's what I found on They listed common problems, like the disposal not turning on at all, and no movement, while making a humming sound. Bingo. Then they told me how to fix it. And provided a handy diagram so that when they talk about the "flywheel" I can associate that with the rusty bottom of my disposal. And although I had no idea where the special wrench that came with my disposal was, I used a paint stir stick until I got it unstuck. And it didn't cost me anything, thanks to And my well-rounded woman-ness.


Jane @ What About Mom? said...

You rock!

You're now officially up there with my friend in ID who takes apart her dishwasher every few months to scrub off the hard water deposits.

You well-rounded women ASTOUND me!!

Becky said...

That happens every so often to mine and I just turn it with the key thingy. Glad I haven't had to remove mine and look inside it!

Kirby3131 said...

The wrench on all of my garbage disposals have always been taped to the side of the disposal or on the bottom. I guess if you had the disposal out and in your lap, you would have noticed if it was taped to the side lol

Good for you for fixing the darned thing. I was going to say that your disposal should last you MUCH longer than three years.

Berry Patch said...

I've never had one so I have to say I haven't missed what I haven't had. BUT I am LOUDLY applauding you over here in Maine since you actually took it apart & fixed it YOURSELF! I wouldn't have ever thought to do that. I would have left it for hubby. Seriously. Good job!

Jane @ What About Mom? said...

Dick and I totally fixed our disposal last night, thanks to your post and the site. Woot!