The joyful adventures in homeownership

We were overjoyed to participate in our congregation’s second in person worship this year. It was a pleasant hour and a half in worship and fellowship. We picked up a couple of leftover breakfasts. Fresh out of the oven egg, bacon, and potato casserole. Yummy.

So we came home and vegetated for most of the rest of the day. Then! Carrie called out to me as I was perusing Facebook. There’s a leak under the kitchen sink. Sure enough, under the sink was a puddle of water. Thankfully Carrie had a metal tray under the spot where the leak was. I looked, and I looked again. Where was that dang blasted leak? The inlet for the dishwasher was fine. No moisture was on the drain. I looked, and then I noticed. On the side of the garbage disposal was a hole! Yes, the side of the disposal had corroded through, and water was coming out.

Changing that can’t be too hard. I thought to myself. So I went to Lowe’s website. I did some looking about and decided on one. The main decider being I could pick it up at the store that day. I did have the presence of mind to look over the instructions. Isn’t it great that many places put the installation instructions where you can open them up and read them?

Now that didn’t look too bad, pretty standard stuff. So I ordered it, and about twenty minutes later, I get an email saying it is ready to pick up. So off Carrie and I go. We drive the scenic route down Peach Orchard and come into Lowes on the backside. Nice drive. Glad we went that way. Lots of new houses. I grabbed the new disposal, and home we went. So far, nothing could be easier.

After I opened the box, I skimmed through the instructions to find the ones covering removing the old disposal. They weren’t complicated.

It is not the complications that are the hard part. It is the execution.

Step 1. Disconnect the electricity. Easy. The old one was plugged into an outlet. Pulling the plug, I completed that step.

Step 2.  Disconnect the drain pipe and dishwasher hose. Not bad. Boy, those joints were tight.

Step 3. Support disposer, Insert end of wrenchette (wrenchette?) into right side of mounting lug. Check!

And Turn. Disposer will fall free. Yea, sure. Someone with big muscles put this in. Not only is it very tight. Support and turn? Am I supposed to turn with one hand? It feels like I need both hands and a place to put my feet so I can get some leverage.

Maybe if I loosen those screws, I see?  Big mistake, the whole thing turns, and I’m no closer to getting the disposer off the sink.

How big a guy put in the old disposal? I grunt I groan. Then the whole assembly moves a little.

I go off and sulk. Then I return and after an indeterminate time of battling the thing. The disposer turns just enough that I can turn it with one hand and hopefully catch it as it falls and it falls off into my hand.

Steps 7 and 8 remove the mounting assembly. Totally missing step 6. Is the old assembly the same as the new one? If yes, skip steps 7 and 8. I read that after I get the new disposal halfway through this process. Of course, I would have had to reseal the flange since I broke the seal during the disposal removal.

Step 9: Remove the old flange and plumber’s putty from the sink. Quick and easy.

Step 10. Evenly apply a rope of plumber’s putty around the sink flange. Plumber’s putty? Do I have any? A frantic search for something I do not have and if I did have would have been so old that it would have dried out and would be unusable as I expected no plumber’s putty. I call my son Tim. Some time ago, he ran a handyman business. Perhaps he has some. No, he doesn’t. But maybe I can use the unused portion of the silicone caulk that has been sitting in my garage for only a few years.

Next, I call Jason. He might have some plumber’s putty. Bingo! He has some. So off Carrie goes to pick it up from him. At the same time, I remove the electrical cord from the old disposal and install it on the new one, steps 16 through 20.

When Carrie returns, I begin the process of completing steps 10 through 14. I did step 15 (Remove drain plug from the dishwasher drain) while Carrie was away.

Step 12. Place weight such as the disposer on the sink flange to hold it in place. Use a towel to avoid scratching the sink. Done

Step 13. Place three pieces of the mounting assembly on the sink flange. Install mounting snap ring.

How is this supposed to work?!. The flange assembly moves as I try to install that stupid snap ring. The weight does not seem to help any.  I remove the weight and towel. After several attempts, I get the support assembly in place.

Will it leak? The only way to find out is to try it. So I plug the sink with the new sink plug and try it. For your information, the plug does not seal unless the disposal is installed. I had a deep metal pan under the opening. Not much got wet.

Steps 20 through 22. Install the various fixtures needed to hook the disposal to the water outlet.

Steps 23 through 24. Connect the disposer to the mounting assembly. The reverse of the old one’s removal. Align the three mounting tabs. Find tabs, find the openings for tabs. Look at everything and examine the illustrations. Oh, that’s them. The disposal is now hanging from the slide ramps. All I need to do now is turn the mounting ring until everything snaps into place.

Did I get it? I think so. So now I check for leaks. No! It leaks from the flange. Is there a leak from the disposal top as well?

Remove all the pieces and start over. I’m about to get the hanging disposal part. But, I give up on the plumber’s putty. The seal breaks each time the assembly moves a little.

After a run to Walmart, I didn’t trust that the old silicone sealant would still be usable. I do it all again.

I give up!. And then watch the video that the disposal company has online. After watching the video three times, pausing, rewinding, and pausing it again, I think I understand it.

Yes! I am happy to report the disposal is in, and it does not leak! I neglect to tell you that the last time I got it all together, I forgot to attach the drain line, and water spilled all over when I remove the plug. But you don’t need to know that.

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