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I expect that Doomsey will sympathize. - Paint It Black
Living the American dream one heartbreaking piece at a time
I expect that Doomsey will sympathize.
Z'ha'dum, when I bought it, came with a dual-basin kitchen sink. This is handy for washing dishes by hand as the house did not come with a dishwashing machine. As I rather enjoy doing dishes by hand this was okay by me. It helps me find a little piece of zen peacefulness when I'm up to my elbows in hot water and scrubbing on plates and glasses. But I digress from the real point here -- my two-basin kitchen sink. In the left basin there is an In-Sink-Erator food disposal. I found out from reading the disposal's label that the unit is a Badger 5 model which has served me faithfully since I bought the house way back in January of 2004. Until a little while ago, that is. One of the last times lady_curmudgeon was visiting we made chilli with pepper and onion and lots of other goodies. We dumped the remains of the vegetables into the sink and, when I flicked the disposal's wall switch, all I got was a dimming of the can light paired with a humming. Sadly, there was no disposal action. My InSinkErator disposal was no longer insinkerating (or, if you prefer, no longer disposing)! This situation was tolerable to me only because the basin could drain. Until tonight, when it wouldn't. Clearly something had to be done.

Surprisingly enough the "Disposal Doctor" on InSinkErator's website was able to help me resolve the problem. With a 1/4" Allen Wrench and my trusty flashlight I gave the Doctor's advice a try. I figured I had nothing to lose -- if this didn't work I could get a new unit from Lowe's tomorrow and install it sometime over the weekend. I crawled under the sink, set up my flashlight and grabbed my pack of Allen wrenches. Sure enough there was a wrench hole and it was indeed set up for a 1/4" Allen wrench. Unsurprisingly, upon my first experimental tug, the wrench did not turn. The Doctor said this might happen and that it was okay to use some force. I applied a bit more elbow-grease to the wrench and suddenly there was movement! I spun the wrench a bit in one direction, then back in the other, gradually working up to full circles. There was a rush of water as what was backed up into the basin was freed to flow and I reset the InSinkErator's built-in breaker, which I had tripped in my frustrated on-off switching action earlier this evening. With some trepidation I hit the wall switch but I was pleased to hear the normal whirring of the disposal and saw a steady flow of water disappearing down the drain. Success, I had a properly-functioning disposal that was back and insinkerating again!

I'm glad this worked out. While I would have enjoyed buying myself a shiny new 3/4 horsepower disposal I was not relishing the idea of spending the better part of a day underneath my sink ripping out old equipment and installing new.

In other news: this Friday afternoon will see the arrival of my parents on a holiday visit from Minnesota. I expect I'll be pretty busy but at some point Curmudgeon will have the chance to meet the people who spawned and raised me. I'll be getting a new couch (where am I going to put yet another piece of furniture?!?!) and some incredibly awesome oak bookshelves that my mother managed to find in the thrift ads. Hooray for bookshelves, I'll finally get my living room floor back from the stacks of manuals and texts that have been sitting there since I moved in!

It's a never-ending circus ride

Tags: , , , ,
Current Location: home
Current Mood: satisfied satisfied
Current Music: Talking Heads - Burning Down the House (Alternate Version)

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angelwind From: angelwind Date: December 20th, 2006 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Well you can always spend $400 to see if certain items will blend to get that destructiveness out of you.
From: duncandahusky Date: December 20th, 2006 09:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Having actually replaced a garbage disposal before, I can say it's not necessarily an all-day proposition, though there is a certain charm to be found lying uncomfrtably on your back, halfway into the cabinet under the sink, with an appliance that weighs a good 50 pounds suspended precariously directly over your face.

Good times.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 20th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

Doomsday installations

Installing one of those is fairly easy, even for non-plumbers like me!
The fittings go in on the bottom of the sink, then the disposal usually fits in with a bayonet type action, so you don't have to hold it in place very long.

You must have led a sheltered life to not know about the little wrench socket on the bottom!
feren From: feren Date: December 20th, 2006 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Doomsday installations

[You must have led a sheltered life to not know about the little wrench socket on the bottom!]

I'm sure that, having never before had a domicile equipped with a food disposer, my life could be considered "sheltered."

Or possibly it has something to do with the fact I've never been so bored that I have ever felt remotely compelled to crawl into a cupboard and spend any part of my day gazing at the many "wonders" to be seen on the underside of my kitchen sink. I'll leave that to party people like yourself.
ronbar From: ronbar Date: December 21st, 2006 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I tripped the breaker on a disposal too. I found out from my brother-in-law it's a thermal breaker, so I let it cool and reset it. Then I manually emptied most of the water into the other basin, ran hot water into the disposal basin, then flicked the disposal switch on and off 3-4 times per second. It worked itself free after about five seconds. I didn't know about the Allen nut on the motor shaft... handy.

I clogged it again the next time we had potatoes, and I figured out it was the bad-spot carvings combined with the hot water that were making a gooey, glue-y, starchy mass in the macerator. (Our apartment building had extremely hot water... 180 degrees, according to our meat thermometer. It noticeably softened the tupperware.) From then on I scooped them out of the sink and into the trash instead of rinsing them down the drain.

The house we have now has a septic system, so we throw food waste in the trash to avoid filling the tank with un-digestible sludge. And saturated fats and some polyunsaturated fats can solidify in sewer pipes and build up over time to clog them.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 17th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Well Done

You were the only site, and I've looked at many, that had the allen wrench size information. Saved me some time...Thanks
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