Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ten Cent Repair

Ah, house repair. Nothing conjures the image of a cursing dad better than those words.

...dumb, frattin', housesnickle viper!

While I didn’t have to struggle with a rassafrassin’ furnace, I did have to fix our disposal. Somehow, someone* dropped a dime in the garbage disposal.

Not a pay phone

Naturally, this deposit into the First National Bank of Kitchen Appliances went unnoticed until the disposal was switched on. After some entertainingly distressing noises, the garbage disposal ground to a halt. Upon close inspection, the dime was revealed to have snuggled down into a cozy spot between the spinning bottom plate and the inner wall of the disposal. The spin of the plate managed to wedge it under a small bump of metal, encasing it both on top and bottom.

Secure in its Fortress of Solitude, the dime feared no interference from nefarious ne’er do wells

Stacy and I struggled with the dime for a while, but it was well and truly jammed. I determined that no less than removing the disposal to get into its innards would free the dime from its cozy new home. Not having the energy or time, I did one of the things I do best, put it off for later.

Or never, whatever

We lived the next few weeks with no disposal. It seemed that any time I was ready to work on the sink, either it was full of dishes or the dishwasher was running. Oh, also I was lazy. The stars finally aligned today and I was determined to vanquish the rogue coin. I armed myself with a bucket full of wrenches, screwdrivers, and clamps. One of us was going to walk away from this a victor, with the disposal possibly becoming collateral damage.

A few scraped knuckles and some under-the-breath curses later and I had freed the disposal from its hoses, clamps, and power lines. All that remained was the offending money. Stacy managed to pry the dime away from the inner wall with a screwdriver while I turned the baseplate manually. A few more minutes and curses and I was able to grab the dime with a needle-nose vice and haul it out.

The offending dime

The dime was somewhat worse for the wear, but I had high hopes for the disposal. It spun freely using the manual key at the bottom. The riskiest part was still ahead, installing it so there were no leaks and no crossed wires. Amazingly enough, the reinstallation went pretty smoothly with Stacy’s help. We flipped the switch and heard the sweet music of the disposal spinning, ready to macerate anything we dumped into it, barring dimes, of course.

In and done!

*Living in a house with four kids, “someone” could be anyone, and yet is never one of the people I ask.

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