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The Epic Plumbing Saga

This is excruciatingly long mostly because I want to type it out in excruciating detail.

I usually do my big round of cleaning on Tuesday mornings. However, this last Tuesday as I began working on the kitchen I noticed the garbage disposal wasn't turning on. I flipped the switch a couple of times and no workie. I wasn't sure if it was the switch or the garbage disposal. I figured the switch was $2 and a simple swap out, so I replaced the switch. Still no workie. I called my plumber and he came over and installed a new garbage disposal. He plugged it in and flipped the switch and no workie. He plugged it into an extension cord and plugged that into a different outlet in the kitchen and the disposal turned on, so the problem apparently was the power outlet under the sink. I hadn't even considered that the other end of the switch was an outlet. I guess I just kind of assumed the switch was attached to the disposal... which it turns out really is a silly idea when it can be easily done with and outlet. So, next step was to replace the power outlet, which it turns is a MOTHER F*(&^*&$#$@($* PAIN IN THE ASS when it is under the sink. It's cramped, it's small, there are pipes and shit in the way. MEH. I replaced the outlet... but the switch still wasn't turning the disposal on.

Oh, and did I mention that the electrician who labeled Circuit #13 on my circuit breaker panel is a LIAR? So, I thought I had the power off.... and NO. ZOT! Electrocution is not fun.

I finally got the outlet replaced, but the circuit wasn't working. I flipped some wires on the outlet. Still no good. I flipped them back (which was good, because my original work was correct). Unfortunately, while doing this I leaned on the plumbing under the sink and pulled several of the pipes apart.... but I didn't see what I had done. *sigh*

I pulled out the switch again and saw that I had wired it wrong, fixed it and viola! The circuit works. I had a couple of small lights plugged into the outlet so that I could easily test the switch/circuit without the danger of shorting out the new garbage disposal. I pulled them out, plugged the garbage disposal back in and fired it up.... and it sounded wrong. It sounded like it was getting power, but may have been stuck or something because you couldn't hear the blades spinning. I called the plumber back and he came out and tried it and said, "Ok, so it's working just fine. These new garbage disposals are just REALLY quiet."


I'm such a noob.

Ok, 2 plumber visits. 2 trips to the hardware store. What seems like an eternity fighting with circuitry under the sink and I finally have a working sink again.... or so I thought. I had not yet discovered the slipped pipes.

I began doing the dishes and putting stuff down the garbage disposal when I noticed the rug in front of the sink was REALLY wet. I look under the sink... and all of the shit I just put down the disposal is all over the place. *sigh* I inspect it and see that the pipes have slipped so I try to push it back on. I don't understand the mechanism and my efforts are wasted. So, I'm tired and frustrated so I go for some brute force. I wrap a towel around one of the pipes and hit it with a hammer a couple of times to shimmy it back onto the pipe. No go.

Tom comes over and refits the pipes into the proper place, but there is still water leaking out. Then we discover that my brute force approach cracked one of the pipes. *sigh* One more hardware store trip and a little more work under the sink and Tom fixed it for me.

Motivation is really hard for me to find right now. I mostly just want to sit and do nothing all day, so when I manage to get a big boost of motivation to do massive cleaning it really sucks to be derailed. Then derailed again. And again. and AGAIN... and again. *sigh*

So, the epic struggle over a tiny little thing is done thanks to much help from Tom.

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