I would use this excuse to get a new one, at least 3/4 hp. If it was worn
enough for the nut to come off, other things should be equally worn. And I
don't know if one could get down in there and torque that nut down
sufficiently to keep it from doing a repeat performance.
Garbage disposers have become a disposable item, but are still a few bucks
by the time you buy all the stuff you will need to change it. But it sure
is nice to have the thing working right again, and work for a long time.
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Replace is your only option. However....
Totally agree with opinions here that the disposer is a useless piece
of hardware. When our last one gave out some years ago, it was not
replaced and SWMBO says it is not missed. She would rather have a more
sanitary sink and use the garbage can for what it was intended.
So redoing the plumbing to have a simpler lifestyle is your other
option. Think of it as your contribution to Earth Day.
I have to wonder if putting food down the disposal is any worse for
the earth than putting it in the garbage where it will sit in a land-
fill. I thought a disposal WAS earth friendly (excessive water use
Anyhow, I thought about this idea of NOT having a disposal while home
for lunch (this was easy since my broken disposal is the one under
discussion). I stood at the sink with a bowl of soft Cheerios and
milk that would normally have gone down the disposal. Seems like a
hassle to pour out the milk and try to keep the cereal in the bowl so
I can then put it in the garbage. In this case, I dumped it in the
other sink bowl and just smashed the Cheerios down through the
Looks like I'll be watching some videos on disposal replacement.
There are a ton of seemingly good ones available.
Thanks for all the replies, folks!
Yes, I think you're right Mike, replacement is the best bet for you.
If it happened to me, I might just waste some time disassembling the
disposer to see if I could chuck the motor armature in my lathe and
drill and tap the end of its shaft to accept a piece of threaded rod to
replace the busted off stud. But. judging from your OP, that's likely
not something you could do.
Jeff (With time to kill and a penchant for gaining enjoyment from fixing
: So what do you think? Is this fixable, or is a replacement disposal
: the only viable way to go? If I do end up getting a plan to fix the
: unit, it seems like pulling teh disposal from the sink will be the
: only way to get down into the guts where the bolt meets the motor.
Years ago, when my car's alternator or starter acted up, I replaced a diode
or brushes. Can't even buy small parts anymore. Go to a parts place and
they'll gladly sell a remanufactured or new 'assembly'. Time is money. Get a
new unit and be done with it in an hour.
Almost certainly the "spinning bolt" is a threaded motor shaft.
Go to Costco and get a new disposal. Your time is worth something too.
It takes only an hour or so to remove and replace a disposal.
And of course ignore all the people that tell you to forgo a disposal.
Disposals are keeping massive amounts of garbage out of landfills, and
they keep the kitchen much more sanitary. They also prevent clogs in
drain pipes which can be difficult and expensive to fix.
A composter is another way to reduce the amount of garbage you dump into
The only time you might not want to have a disposal is if you're using a
septic tank rather than being on sewers. It will need to be emptied more
frequently if you use a disposal.
I'd say that anyone against having a garbage disposal is a Fox News
Agreed. It's *just* possible that something could be done to fix it
(extending the broken shaft, moving the motor mounting points etc.) but
extremely unlikely - and if it broke once, it suggests there's something
wrong with the design (the shaft's of poor quality or just under-spec for
the job) and so it might just fail in the same way again.
Where I used to live, we had two garbage cans, one for landfill stuff and
one for compostable - each was picked up on alternate weeks. Maybe the OP
has such a scheme running locally...
Yeah, I remember when the scheme first came in (previously they used to
collect once a week, with no separation according to type) and there was
a huge outcry about how it was going to stink, and what a poor service it
As it turns out, it really wasn't much of an issue - it was *slightly*
noticable at the end of the two weeks at the height of summer, but other
than that not a problem. My only worry was what would happen if there was
any problem with the system such that a pickup didn't happen though, as
then it'd be a month and that would probably be horrible! :-)
All our compostable waste goes on the compost pile here - recycleables go
to the drop-off point behind the nearby gas station whenever we need to
and happen to be passing anyway (we don't make special trips). All other
garbage we haul ourselves in the truck whenever we need to - usually
takes about 3 weeks to fill a 55 gal garbage can (and just costs about
$50/year in gas)
Here they put it in a huge compost pile, with lawn waste, and sell the
compost at HD as "Dillo Dirt". I quit using it as soon as I found out they
only do toxicology testing one every 3-5 years. But when I did it made
fantastic soil conditioner. I'm more worried about lawn chemicals than the
sludge though. No telling what these fools put on their yards.
My initial reaction to whether it's worth fixing or not is your
price-to-pain quotient. You don't mention the size of disposal your using
nor the brand. If all you use it for is simple grinding, then a cheap,
on-sale model du jour would be the easiest, and ultimately cheapest, route
My BIL, He Who Can Fix Anything Mechanical, would never agree to purchasing
a new one because his hobby is fixing the unfixable. He's willing to search
out parts, tear things down, and rebuild a new machine simply because he
enjoys it. He'll spend a whole weekend rebuilding something without thought
to cost in resources and time because that's his hobby.
For my money, and time, the armature was sheered off which means replacing a
significant piece inside the housing and motor area, which also means
tearing everything apart without breaking it, and THEN putting it back
together after you have all the tiny pieces layed out and organized (or
labeled), with the same precision as the robots that assembled it prior,
properly sealed everything, and hopefully tested it before putting it back
under the sink and running water through it.
The call is ultimately yours.
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