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#403844 - 09/26/07 11:22 PM My Garbage Disposal is Humming, but not Jammed!
sunnyj Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/15/03
Posts: 209
Loc: Sacramento, CA
I have an ISE Badger 5 1/2 hp garbage disposal that is somewhere between 15 - 19 years old. The house was built in 1988 and I bought it in 1992. The disposal has been fine all this time, only a couple of minor jams. The disposal hums when I turn it on, but does not run. Sounds just like a jam, only not quite as loud. I got out the garbage disposal wrench and had a go at it with the water on. I could hear things turning freely and the 'stuff' was disposed of, but it still would not run. Water drains through okay and the dishwasher is fine. There is a sort of slow leak on the drain side of the disposal, but I am getting by on that with a dish tub under the sink. What could it be and how could I fix this? I am fairly handy, but I have never worked on a garbage disposal and know very little about plumbing. I need to keep this going for a while longer if possible. Thanks!

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#403845 - 09/27/07 12:38 AM Re: My Garbage Disposal is Humming, but not Jammed [Re: sunnyj]
bubbadersh Offline
Super Handyman

Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 2278
Loc: Southern California
Have you priced replacements yet? They are relatively easy to replace as a DIY project. The stainless steel ones last a very long time. Also, the new ones are so much quieter than the old ones.
_________________________
--- bub

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#403846 - 09/27/07 01:57 AM Re: My Garbage Disposal is Humming, but not Jammed! [Re: sunnyj]
Nikm Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/03/04
Posts: 201
Loc: L.A area Cali
15 to 19 years? you are beyond the lifespan of one of these, you should feel lucky. I would replace and most of the time you can get away with leaving the same flange in the drain but after all that time your rubber sound baffle is probably in bad shape plus didn't you say it was leaking? It is about a half an hour to an hour but if you have never done it it could take quite a bit longer. Is the humming the motor running and it's not engaging the grinding wheel. If you look down in there I wouldn't be surprised if it's corroded out and not too long before it rots through the housing. Good luck

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#403847 - 09/27/07 06:40 AM Re: My Garbage Disposal is Humming, but not Jammed! [Re: Nikm]
Clint_Robbins Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/19/01
Posts: 10472
Loc: Akron, OH
I agree with the others - you have a bottom of the line disposal that has lasted longer than normal and it's time for a replacement. It sounds like the motor is shot and repair isn't an option. I have seen this model of ISE disposal corrode and become ineffective in only a few years. I just discovered that my mother's old Badger, which lasted longer than usual, is corroded so bad that it is leaking through the housing.

I recommend garbage disposals with all stainless steel grinding components. The size of the motor shouldn't be the major consideration as some disposals with less powerful motors outperform some with more powerful motors. But, I found that the ones with the most stainless components also had more powerful motors.

In October 2001, I had a bottom of the line In-Sink-Erator disposal fail from corrosion after about 3 years and replaced it with a Kenmore Model 60554 that has all stainless grinding components, a 7 year warranty, and was on sale for $119.99 (regular price $149.99).

I installed the new Kenmore on the old sink flange and mounting assembly as the mounting assemblies were the same except for the name. Although In-Sink-Erator makes approximately 80% of all disposals under various brand names, the models, specifications, warranties, prices, etc. aren't the same across the various
lines.

There is a Consumer Reports article on disposals is in the February 2004 edition. The Kenmore model I have is rated number 3 in the article and is cheaper than 7 of the continuous feed models tested.

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#403848 - 09/27/07 11:50 AM Re: My Garbage Disposal is Humming, but not Jammed! [Re: sunnyj]
Bob_Fleming Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 28338
Loc: Ft Collins, CO USA
Yes, replace it! The starter switch plate is probably out. It can be replaced but is not worth the effort.

Clint has a good suggestion. The Sears units are made by ISE and they may carry a better warranty, and are frequently on sale. I was really upset when I went to install a new ISE for a customer a while back. My favorite model (the Badger 5+) had been replaced by a new model; essentially they raised prices across the board. I was even told by an ISE rep that I might get a better deal from Sears.

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#403849 - 09/27/07 11:48 PM Re: My Garbage Disposal is Humming, but not Jammed! [Re: Bob_Fleming]
sunnyj Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/15/03
Posts: 209
Loc: Sacramento, CA
Yipes! I figured it had lasted well, but my budget is in no shape to replace it just now. I priced the same model at HD for $80 and at Sears for $75 (on sale), but that doesn't get it installed. I know it would be good to get one of the better ones with a warranty, but I just can't. I have never done a disposal repair or install and don't know where to begin. I haven't priced installation yet. The closest I have ever come to this was putting in a couple of toilet kits and replacing some spinkler PVC - had a tree taken out and its roots made a mess of 2 zones. I am afraid I might not be able to intall the silly thing right and then mess up a new disposal.

I did get a better look at where the leak is. It's not the garbage disposal itself, it's the garbage disposal end of the drain tube that comes from the dishwasher and connects to a fitting high up on the side of the garbage disposal. The end of the tube has a little split where it is connected. There seems to be enough extra to trim it and re-attach. I got out a flahlight and looked for signs of corrosion. I found some, but it didn't look too bad. When I use the wrench, the little deely inside spins around and took care of the accumulation. So, if I fix the drain tube where the diswasher connects in and switch to using the other side of the double sink, maybe I could get by? What do you think? I have to pay property tax by 11/10, I have two sons plus me in college, so the wallet is very thin just now. I need to get by with this for another 3-4 months, if possible. Thanks!

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#403850 - 09/28/07 01:11 AM Re: My Garbage Disposal is Humming, but not Jammed! [Re: sunnyj]
PAPlumber Offline
member

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 178
Loc: Washington state
If you can get the leak fixed you should be fine,just throw the food in the garbage and when you got some extra cash buy one and read the instructions theyre really not that difficult to replace.A plumber should be able to change one out in less then an hour.,it can be done with a flathead screwdriver and pair of channel locks.


Edited by PAPlumber (09/28/07 01:20 AM)
_________________________
You can never have enough tools cuz the one you need is the one you dont have!!

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#403851 - 09/28/07 11:30 AM Re: My Garbage Disposal is Humming, but not Jammed [Re: sunnyj]
FranS Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/21/02
Posts: 42157
did you push the red reset button on the disposal? and yes, you can replace the thing urself.

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#403852 - 09/28/07 12:26 PM Re: My Garbage Disposal is Humming, but not Jammed! [Re: sunnyj]
Woz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 207
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I totally understand your predicament. Once you get the leak fixed, you can definitely do the disposal on your own. If you search this site you'll find good links prviding instructions as to how to change out your unit. To make your life even easier, if possible find a unit that has it's holes in the same location as your current unit. That way the drain pipe and dishwasher pipe won't have to be adjusted.

The people on this forum walked me through this exact thing and I've had no problems with the disposal. (I smile everytime I use it.)

Cheers.

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#403853 - 09/29/07 09:54 PM Re: My Garbage Disposal is Humming, but not Jammed! [Re: PAPlumber]
sunnyj Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/15/03
Posts: 209
Loc: Sacramento, CA
For everybody who has been so graciously helping me with this little issue - THANKS!!!

Ah, well, the best plans - as they say. Messing around with the tubing finished it off. Turns out it was old, stiff and brittle. I will have to get a new piece of tubing. Happily, the two sides of the sink have completely separate drains.

Most happily a very good friend of mine has offered to get the garbage disposal, so there will be a new one to install this weekend. Yeah!

Since there is no corrosion around the top of the garbage disposal and the rubber part in the sink looks good as new, can I just leave the flange (???) on? Is that the top piece that attached to the sink? On the back side of the garbage disposal, I see the little nuts attaching a plate thing to the plastic drain pipe. As far as I can tell, it looks fine too. There is some tan goop stuff pooched out around the fitting. I see that on the other threaded plastic pipe joints too. What is that stuff? I suppose I will need to buy some? I have decided to go ahead and replace with the same model garbage disposal and my friend and I (who has no plumbing experience either) will try to put it in. If money were not so tight, I might do otherwise, but...

How do I get the garbage disposal off, and the new one on?

Thanks!

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