Garbage Disposal/Dishwasher
December 7, 2004 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Garbage disposal/dishwasher part deux. [mi]

So last night, after attending a work holiday function...I decided to test out some of the suggestions from y'all regarding the disposal.

I reached under the disposal and found the reset button. I pushed it and then flipped the switch for the disposal it buzzed for a second and then died again. Then the water I was running in the sink started to fill into the dishwasher which I did not realize until it started seeping out onto the floor.

Well, in my slightly inebriated condition (perfect for home improvement don't you think) I neglected to clean out the filter in the bottom of the dishwasher which is now filled with food from the sink/disposal.

Do you think this could have caused the disposal to die right away? Is this where it needs to get air?

Any other suggestions or time to call the plumber? I will try again tonight without the help of alcohol. (Stupid me).
posted by Lola_G to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:24 AM on December 7, 2004

DA- Considering this is a continuation of an earlier question, I see no problem with the way it was posted. It might have been nice to put a link to the original question, but that's now taken care of.

Now time for my advice: On the bottom of the disposal, right in the middle, you should be able to see the end of the motor shaft. If the motor is all gunked up and cannot free itself, you may be able to help it. In the end of the shaft should be a hex recess (a six-sided hole). See if, around your sink, there is an allen wrench (they come with disposals and sometimes people leave them under the sink or nearby) that fits the hole. (An allen wrench is an L-shaped piece of metal made out of six-sided stock to fit hex recesses.) If so, WITH THE POWER OFF, insert the allen wrench into the hole and try to turn the motor by hand. If you can get this to work, it may free up the disposal so the motor can turn it. Afterwards, REMOVE THE WRENCH, make sure the motor is reset, start your water (water should always be running when the disposal is on) and let 'er rip.

Here is a link I found that may help.
posted by Doohickie at 8:48 AM on December 7, 2004

Response by poster: DA -- point taken.

Doohickie, thanks for the link. The blades do not seem to be stuck but I will give the allen wrench a try. If I can't fix it tonight -- I will call the plumber and not commit another askme posting foul.
posted by Lola_G at 9:08 AM on December 7, 2004

For future reference, it is my fervent hope that you never put potato peelings in the disposal, as they always seem to junk it up. Why? Beats me.
posted by Pressed Rat at 9:48 AM on December 7, 2004

If you turn it on and the unit hums quietly to itself before clicking off, it's stuck. If you can't turn the shaft using an allen wrench, you probably either need to put a new one in or have someone do it for you. Instead of a plumber, you may want to consider going to one of the big box hardware stores, buying the unit and paying for them to install it. They will be able to tell you the install price up front.
posted by Doohickie at 12:45 PM on December 7, 2004

I always taped the wrench to the customer's disposal once around with some gaffer's tape. That way at least the wrench is there for the first time it plugs up. I've seen them taped to the hoses leading to from as well.

The reason your getting back flow into your dishwasher is either the drain connection from the disposal to the sewer line is partially/wholly plugged or the drain hose from your dishwasher is not coming all the way up to the bottom of the counter before connecting to the disposal. Or both I suppose.

If you need to replace the disposal it's pretty easy. Two hose conections; one electrical hookup and the connection to the sink. If you get the same brand the sink connection can often be reused. I like to wire in a box and then wire a plug cord on the disposal. That way you can unplug the unit when you are unjamming it. This may or may not be required/allowed by code in your area.
posted by Mitheral at 2:49 PM on December 7, 2004

one electrical hookup
In most modern homes, there is a plug under the sink for the disposal... no wiring at all, really, just unplugging and plugging.
posted by Doohickie at 7:15 PM on December 7, 2004

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