dead disposal

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Old 04-12-16, 09:46 AM
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dead disposal

Hi everyone. I have some issues surrounding a failed disposal that I’d sure appreciate your help with.

The disposal hums but doesn’t spin when I flick on the power switch (it'll be the left most switch in the picture). I tried resetting it by pushing in the red button on the bottom of the unit and also tried the broom handle method of freeing whatever could be stuck but those didn’t work. And it looks like water got down in the motor because underneath the unit I can see rusty water stains around the holes and seams. I don’t want to replace it, would rather install a strainer instead. I bought a strainer, a 12” tail pipe that I can cut to the proper length, and a new p-trap but thought I’d better check with you all before I started wrenching on things. The distance between the bottom of the sink and the middle of the waste pipe is 13”.

When the disposal was working I think the vibrations may have loosened the fastenings that keep the sink basin attached because I found lengths of metal and some other hardware on the floor when I opened the cabinet. Those vibrations may have also compromised the seal at the bottom of the sink basin and caused the leak that damaged the floor and the disposal.

How do I address that power cable that will be left behind when I take the disposal out? Twist on some wire nuts and call it good?

Water and mold/mildew damaged the bottom of the cabinet under the sink and so it smells pretty nasty. I think I should remove the damaged cabinet floor and replace it but I don’t know exactly how to do that. I mean, I can probably go buy a Dremel and cut out the bottom of the cabinet. And I can find and cut a sheet of plywood to replace the damaged piece with but how do I best fasten it in place? Or is that even the correct thing to do?

The back of the cabinet is also toast. Yeah, that’s foam that was sprayed in there to fill the gaping holes that go directly to the crawlspace. And it didn’t fill all the holes either. What’s the best method for replacing the cabinet’s back wall?

The house was built in 1955. We’ve been here for about 3 years. There’s a crawlspace so, if I need to, I can get under the house to access the guts. The plumbing is what looks to be a mix of cast iron, galvanized, copper, and PVC.

I'll try to post some pictures:






Thanks for any help you can provide!

--Brandon
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 04-12-16 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Removed unneeded pictures
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Old 04-12-16, 10:07 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Your thread was put into moderation due to the high picture count. We usually like to see a picture or two. I'm not sure why there are so many pictures here with some looking like duplicates.

The BX cable going to your disposer needs to be removed from the disposer and put into a junction box with blank cover.
 
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Old 04-12-16, 10:25 AM
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Thanks, I'll look for a surface mount junction box at one of the big box stores and then put that BX cable in it and use a blank cover. Any posts in the future will contain a picture or two only.
 
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Old 04-12-16, 02:21 PM
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The disposal hums but doesn’t spin when I flick on the power switch
Just an FYI - Your disposal is not dead, it is just stuck. Look at the bottom and you will find a Allen wrench hole and maybe a wrench taped to the side of the disposal. Insert the wrench and turn it back and forth to dislodge it.
 
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Old 04-12-16, 02:49 PM
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Thanks for responding, Tolyn. I used a broom handle wedged against each of the "teeth" and was able to force the plate to move in both directions (barely and slowly) but nothing was freed up by that action.
 
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Old 04-12-16, 03:24 PM
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Denver, I suggest we slow down a little. Every problem you have is pretty standard in older homes.
I do this a lot and here's some priorities:

- Replace disposer with regular drain and sink strainer basket
- Secure the flex in a box, or find the source and abandon it there (better). Source is going to be at disposer switch

Replacing the sink cabinet deck and fixing the back of the cabinet can come later, after everything goes smooth on the electric and plumbing.

You can get plenty of help here on all of the above.
 
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Old 04-13-16, 01:45 PM
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Slowing down is fine with me. I'll get started on the plumbing tomorrow night after I get home from work, I have class after work tonight and it'll be too late once I get home. I'll post a picture as soon as I can. Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 04-15-16, 07:52 AM
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Here's an update. I was able to remove the disposal (after figuring out that there's a compression ring that needs to be pried off the flange), put in the strainer, and dry fit a couple of new drain pipe pieces. I don't have what I need to complete the connection--these two pictures kind of show you where I'm at. You guys have any suggestions for what I'll need to complete the connection?

Also, how tight should that strainer end up being? I put about a 1/2" bead of plummer's putty around the opening in the sink and then tightened the brass nut from the bottom until really snug but if I wanted to and put some weight against it, I'd be able to slide the strainer around in the opening still. I stopped tightening when tightening the nut turned the strainer as well.



 
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Old 04-15-16, 11:16 AM
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Put a 45 1" galvanized street ell on the stub from the wall so it points to the right in the picture then use a new trap with an arm that hasn't been cut off. If trap arm still too short use an extension tube.

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Old 04-15-16, 11:38 AM
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Thanks! I'll pick up those pieces on the way home from work tonight. Is the far side of that street ell threaded? Would I need to apply tape to the threads?
 
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Old 04-15-16, 11:56 AM
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Yes the end of the elbow the trap arm slips into is male threads (threaded on the outside). No pipe dope since the seal is the plastic washer on the trap arm.

The end that goes on stub is a female thread (thread inside). You do put tape or dope on the stub threads.

(Stub is the threaded pipe coming out of the wall.)

You may need to go to a hardware store not BigBox for an 1" 45 street el.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 04-15-16 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 04-15-16, 12:10 PM
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I read this thread Title as pertaining to how best to dispose of the dead . . . . but I see now that would be a mis-interpretation.
 
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Old 04-16-16, 01:25 PM
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I tried forcing the plastic to fit inside the galvanized 45 degree ell but it just wouldn't go in. I used a rubber coupling on the advice of the guys at Ace. So far, no leaks. Have you seen this setup work before?

The other end of that BX cable goes to a switch above the sink. Should I disconnect the BX wires from that switch and replace the switch cover with a flat cover plate? While I was at the hardware store I picked up a box, a cover, and a 3/8 squeeze connector. I was thinking that if someone down the road wants to put in a new disposal they'd have the wires if I leave the BX in the cabinet terminated in a box. Should I connect the BX to the box and mount the box or would it be better to just pull out the BX from the wall and throw it away?



 
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Old 04-16-16, 03:24 PM
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Your setup looks fine. The alternative would have been to use a regular 45 el and a nipple.
Should I disconnect the BX wires from that switch and replace the switch cover with a flat cover plate?
Yes. Cap the individual power in wires. You can cut the BX cable wires in the switch box and shove the BX out of the box into the wall. Under the cabinet cut off as much of the BX as you can easily get to if you can't pull it out of the wall.
 
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