The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Yak shaving the garbage disposal

The garbage disposal went kaput last night. Bunny just got home with the new unit. How hard can it be to replace it?

[A shot of a kitchen ceiling, which includes a pan rack, and some decorative copper molds flanking a ceiling fan.] Everything is looking up.  Of course, that's easy to say when one is flat on their back on the kitchen floor.

Next time I'm flat on my back on the kitchen floor, I'll make sure not to ask that question.

Removing the old unit was easy enough—pop the circuit breaker to it (just in case), disconnect the drain hose and the hose to the dishwashing machine, twist hard and let it fall. Then remove a small panel on the bottom of the unit, and unwire the power. The only hard bit was pulling the wires out as they were this very thick solid copper wiring.

Installing the new unit? Well, wiring in the power was a bit tough, what with having to manhandle the thick ground wire (and honestly, I thought that was going to be the hardest bit of the job). Then it was just a simple matter of remounting the disposal to the bottom of the sink. The mounting bracket is standard, so I didn't have to install that. It was a matter of lifting the unit, catching some tabs onto a rail and twist!

Half an hour later and I'm flat on my back, garbage disposal still not mounted, and out of ideas. It's that the unit is just heavy enough to be unwieldy, and it was proving to be very difficult to line the tabs up and ensure they engaged with the rails.

Bunny suggested we set the unit on something to help hold it up. What finally worked was a small step stool, several planks of wood and a few shims. Took just a few seconds.

[Picture of a garbage disposal, sitting on some wedges, several pieces of wood, and a small foot stool I couldn't fit into the shot.  Also, there's a drain pipe hanging off the left side of the unit.] See that black thing hanging off the left side?  Yes, that's the drain pipe.  That's going to prove to be problematic in a few moments.

Then the next problem cropped up—the drain pipe out of the garbage disposal was too long, and in the wrong location, to hook back up to the normal plumbing. Inspecting the old unit showed the drain pipe had been cut, and given the new unit was pretty much the same as the old one, I figured I might as well use the drain pipe from the old unit. Only issue here was getting the drain pipe off the new unit.

It turned out I had to unmount the unit.

Sigh.

A few moments to switch out the drain pipe, and then another twenty minutes trying to remount the unit back to the underside of the sink. I think I got very lucky on the first attempt, because the second attempt was not going well.

But eventually I got it.

Then all that was left was to reattach the dishwasher hose, then the drain pipe to the rest of the plumbing and … oh look! That part came off in my hand.

Sigh.

So tomorrow it's off to the hardware store for some new plumbing hose, and we should be all good to go.

“Oh no!”

I was afraid to ask, but did anyway. “What's up?”

“The toilet … ”

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