Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Crazy Weird Self-Repairing Appliance
This post takes us deep below life's superficial gleam, to a place few dare to go, that world lurking just beneath the shine and luster of the kitchen sink. Next to the trash bin lives a beast that gobbles food waste at the push of a button, or at least used to. Its role in the town's digestive tract is mandibular, grinding vegetable scraps into bits before sending them further down the pipe for their ultimate digestion at the River Road wastewater treatment plant.
The garbage disposal has long seemed content with its role, resigned to its less than glamorous name and catch-as-catch-can diet. But about six months ago--hard to say just how long it's been--the disposal stopped working. There's a fuse on its bottomside, and also on the wall switch, and one or the other would be tripped every time I turned the disposal on. Something was making the grinding mechanism very hard to rotate.
Thus began a protracted period of inaction, during which the sink would periodically back up, requiring that I get down on hands and knees and manually crank the disposal from below. We compost foodwaste, so the annoyance was minor, but still. Internet research suggested that a few robust crankings would dislodge the obstruction. But they didn't. I had resigned myself to either a life of weekly disposal crankings or a trip to the hardware store to buy a replacement. The disposal had narrowly escaped replacement before, and now its continued existence seemed completely dependent on my powers of procrastination.
And then, just a few days ago, the cranking suddenly became easier. I re-engaged the fuses, flicked the switch, and voila, that fine whir of a functional garbage disposal greeted my ears. Maybe it was a change in the weather, a la Mary Poppins. Or maybe some appliances really do heal themselves in the fullness of time. Life really shouldn't reward procrastination, but at least in this one case, it did.
Posted by Stephen Hiltner