Got home last night to find one of the dog's Nylabones jammed in the
disposal (don't ask -- I don't know). I managed to turn the disposal
(hex key underneath) until the bone popped free. Removed bone, reset
the breaker and turned on the disposal.
Shut everything off and managed to get the "hammers" spinning freely
and tried again.
Something is apparently broken inside the disposal, but it runs
I'm reasonably good with tools. If I can disassemble the thing and
find what's broken, are repair parts available (it's a Kenmore if that
helps)? OR!!! Does anybody have any other good ideas what might
be wrong with this thing.
As far as parts, the Sears web site will answer that question. You'll need
the 8 trillion character model number that's on the back side of the
disposal where only a snake could get into a contorted enough position to
The insides of these machines are pretty tough, so I'd be surprised if
something was actually broken. Hardware stores sell something like a dental
mirror, but with a larger rectangular mirror. I'd try that and a bright pen
light first - you might be able to see quite well. If it's obvious that one
of the hammers is shot, there's your answer. Otherwise, it could be just a
piece of debris. Was the dog thing totally intact? The hammers are not
sharp - no reason not to explore by hand. If you think a piece of the bone
might still be in there, find a SAFE way to seal the drain tube - maybe a
foam hearing protector. Fill the thing with hot water and let it sit for a
It needs to be repaired/replaced, so remove the unit. Disassembly (in
my experience) is unobvious on some models, so contacting
repairclinic.com might be the best first step. If the proceedure is
within your skill and tool level do an autopsy and order the parts.
You may find a bent motor shaft (fatal), bent hammer pivot (maybe
repairable), or distorted housing (questionable).
With these data in hand decide whether repair is the better option or
installing a new unit. If replacement is the choice, check with
Consumer Reports on the best models out there; there are some pretty
flimsy ones installed in tract homes these days.Good luck.
If you can disassemble it, good change it will never go back together again.
If you cannot find the problem from the top, you'd be as well off putting in
a new unit. Most are built by the same couple of companies and things will
usually line up easily.
I recently decided to grind up some aquarium stones in mine (actually
it was an accident). It was quite easy to remove, disassemble, remove
the stones, re-assemble and re-install. It only took about 45 minutes.
Once you have the grinding chamber cover off, you may be able to see
where your problem is.
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