Tag Archives: garbage disposal

At your disposal

SkillLevel2When my ever-loving wife, “Contessa” (not her real name) yelled, “It’s all wet under the sink!”, my finely honed senses from many years of wedded bliss detected that the tone of her voice meant something other than, “Oh, I’ve been waiting such a long time and I’m so glad it finally got wet under the sink.”

We’ve had a variety of problems with disposals. Sometimes they won’t turn on. Sometimes they make that awful crunching-rock sound. Sometimes they plug up and the water won’t drain out of the sink. Sometimes they sound like a truck up against a brick wall with the gas pedal floored.

This time it was a wet sink cabinet floor, which as we all know is where you keep the dishwasher soap so it stays dry. Contessa was not amused.

Water was dripping out of the bottom of the disposal in a pretty steady stream. (Check the video below.)

I decided to check the selection of new disposals on line. Big mistake. There must have been hundreds of different brands and sizes. Apparently, the garbage disposal business is pretty lucrative and everybody and his brother make and sell them. Most houses have a disposal and the typical warranty is 1 – 2 years! You can do the math. (If you are looking for a new business opportunity, you heard it here first.)

So I went to the local Big Box store, which narrowed the field down to about eight choices and picked a medium quality disposal (with a whopping 3-year warranty!) that was fairly quiet. We don’t run a disposal often enough that noise is an issue but it is usually a good indicator of quality and durability. Many reviews ragged on disposals with plastic cases because they crack so I made sure this one had a metal case.

What’s nice about replacing a disposal as opposed to adding one for the first time is you don’t have to install the special collar in the sink drain that supports the disposal. You can just leave the old one there and hook on the new disposal. That saved me a lot of time.

The dishwasher drains into the disposal for two reasons. Dirty dishes can have chunks of food on them that get flushed out the dishwasher drain and you want to be able to grind them up so they don’t clog the sink drain. The other reason is that dishwasher water is hot and soapy and helps to clean the disposal and reduce odors. Wash your dishes; wash your disposal. It’s a two-fer.

Drain hose from dishwasher has a low spot instead of a high loop
Drain hose from dishwasher has a low spot instead of a high loop

After I cleaned out the soggy mess under the sink I saw problem #2. Continue reading At your disposal