Tag Archives: disposer spinning but not grinding

Dispose of Your Fears

9 Jul

Disposers and toilets are my most frequent service calls. It’s not because they are particularly difficult things to fix, they just trigger too much fear and loathing.  The hero has to conquer fear to defeat the beast. If you want to be a knight in shining armor you have to slay a few dragons. Your armor is a little bit of knowledge and your sword is a few ordinary tools and fearless determination.

As I have said before, disposals are very durable machines. At the factory they actually test them by grinding batches of bones and wood blocks-two things I wouldn’t put down my disposer. One of the more perplexing problems of disposer repair is when the rotor is spinning but not grinding. This is usually caused by a stuck blade. What gets stuck can often be unstuck. It can be difficult to do from the top but not impossible. Often it is necessary to pull the unit down, remove the splash guard (the black rubber thingy) grab the blade with a pliers and twist. I don’t know how many disposers I disposed of before I realized that this problem is often fixable. But to repeat my fist mantra: a handyman is just someone who has screwed up enough times that he finally gets it right.

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