Today, I fixed the garbage disposal at the house we’re purchasing. The symptoms of its problem were that it would hum when you flipped its switch, and after a couple of seconds, the reset button would toggle. It wouldn’t spin at all. I researched disposals and found that this usually means that something’s keeping the flywheel that drives the rotation from moving. Nobody’s lived in this house for a year, and I guess the owners left some junk in the disposal when they left. After doing my research, I checked, and, sure enough, there was lots of brown crud caked all into the inner workings of the disposal as seen from above.
Typically, when you need to loosen the flywheel, you stick an allen wrench up in a hole devised for the purpose and turn until the wheel loosens enough to let the thing spin. Then you pulse the switch to fling out whatever the obstruction was. But Whirlaway units (the brand installed at my new house) have no hole for this purpose. When I called the manufacturer to find out more about how to fix the thing, they told me that the preferred way of fixing this issue is — get this — to jam a broomstick down into the disposal and try to get leverage enough to loosen the wheel. Whaaa?
I tried that technique yesterday, applying enough force to bend (not in a damaging way) the stainless steel sink, to no avail. The manufacturer today suggested WD-40, and I sprayed the better part of a can of that down the disposal today trying to eat away at some of the gunk in hopes that it was corrosion rather than food. That cleaned things up a bit but didn’t solve the problem. So I attacked it with some Drain-O. Which still didn’t solve the problem. At this point, I summoned my inner brute once again and applied more force with a paint roller extender (in lieu of a broomstick). The aggregate effect of the chemicals and my own manly labors with the extender did the trick, and I finally got the flywheel to move.
And that’s how you fix a Whirlaway disposal.
powered by performancing firefox