(Note: very little cooperation was forthcoming in the way of picture taking. I did my best)
I’m sure some bloggers are writing about concerts, ruckus parties, or fabulous food served on the patio in Bali. I am not one of those bloggers. It’s Friday night and I’m writing a post about my garbage disposal.
In 16 years, our industrial strength garbage disposal needed to be serviced only once. The service call cost me 163 dollars and 52 cents. It would have cost me $163.53 but I deducted the penny the repairman found jamming my disposal. How a penny fell into the disposal is anyone’s guess.This week our disposal was, for the second time in its long life, refusing to dispose. It hummed but did not spin within its mechanical bowels. Since I was not looking forward to paying another service bill, I asked my handy 17-year-old to watch some YouTube videos and see what he could find out about humming garbage disposals. About an hour later my kid calls me into the into the kitchen, where I find to my surprise my garbage disposal and all its guts spread out on my kitchen floor. Oy vey.
My motto is, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. I joined Cole on the kitchen floor and while he sorted through various and sundry tools, I shook the disposal and explored the inside with a flashlight. The enemy this time was a paperclip. It seems our disposal has very expensive taste. I pried the paperclip out, but not before Cole had dashed across the street to borrow yet another tool from our neighbor. Cole brought back the tool and the neighbor who was soon lying on the kitchen floor with his head under my sink while Cole explained the mechanics of our disposal. My father-in-law rigged it up differently from other disposals. I won’t bore you with the details, but my English-speaking son and our Polish-speaking neighbor pondered together for a bit, while I kept pointing to the paper clip in my hand. I felt a little like a Beagle. “Look! Here is the problem! Here it IS! HERE IT IS!!” Eventually, after a great deal of persistence on my part the guys noticed the paper clip between my fingers and acknowledged the culprit. Before leaving the neighbor gave Cole some advice: “Tighten screws tightly, and run ice through disposal when done.” I gave the neighbor a couple of packs of Peeps and a chocolate bunny. It seemed the neighborly thing to do
After the neighbor left, Cole began the process of putting the disposal back together again. This involved lying on his back in a cramped position under the sink while trying to line up and hold in place the very large, very heavy garbage disposal whilst he screwed it in place. It was next to impossible, and there wasn’t room for me to help. After struggling with the problem for a bit he suddenly yelled, “Jamming jeepers garbage disposal,” and sat up, banging his head in the process, and then said another word I chose to ignore. His brainstorm was to use his car jack to hold the disposal in place. And damned if that wasn’t brilliant—it worked like a charm. Before I knew it the screws were tightened and the disposal was back in place, spinning its blades and chomping on ice. Cole sealed the pipe with a little Sugru where the rubber sealing ring had cracked, and so far it is holding pretty well. In the long run I’m sure it will need to be sealed with something a little stronger.
(Note: My job: Positioning the flashlight, keep track of the screws, make sure the wrench is within reach. In other words I’m the mahout*)
Full disclosure. Jobs of this sort are never accomplished without some Mom angst, and usually the results are a mixture of professionalism and amateurish creativity. Perfection is something I have learned to live without in order to support Cole’s desire to become a “fix it” sort of guy. My teen is more likely to learn how to get rid of moles or fix the lawn mower than to mow the grass. On the other hand it’s a lot cheaper to hire someone to mow the grass than fix the lawn mower.
Saved money from service call: $170.00
Sugru to seal pipe (it worked): $7.00
Chocolate Bunny and Peeps for neighbor: $5.00
Lucky Brand dress shirt (which I was talked into because of the repair bill savings): $55.00
Glow of satisfaction on Cole’s face for a job well done: Priceless.
Motherly pride: To infinity and beyond.
Odd Loves Company!
*Mahout: The person who follows the elephant and cleans up after him.
Bonus Cole’s Tips:
For lifting heavy objects and holding them in place, consider using a tire jack. Most of have one, and it’s easy to use.
Use a magnet to keep track of screws. Use another pair of hands to pass you tools.
Take a pictures of the project as you go along so you can refer to them if you don’t remember where something goes.
Check to make sure everything is in place before you screw it all together. Including, but not limited to small rubber sealers.
Watch your head. Your not a gnome.