Today I discovered that my garbage disposal unit was leaking. The plumbing was sound but apparently it was leaking through a seal inside as water was dripping from the areas of the reset button and the wiring box. Aside of having water pooling beneath the sink, I know enough about plumbing and electricity to know that water and live wires together is not a good combination. I turned off the circuit breaker, disconnected the wiring and secured the wires so they would away from any water and not touching each other.
Then I went to seek a replacement. I found that the local hardware store no longer carries them as they can’t compete with Lowe’s and Home Depot on them. So I went to Lowe’s to see what they had to offer. After searching through the plumbing sections, one of the staff told me they were “hidden” at the end of aisle 38.
Near the end of Aisle 38 I found the secret cache of a rather small selection of garbage disposal units ranging in price from $80 to $320. Eighty dollars for a 1/3 horsepower garbage disposal? I had been expecting to pay around $40 which I feel is a reasonable price. But $80? I’m not that desperate for a disposal. For less the $20 I can install a regular drain and some PVC pipe. For $80 I would expect very finely chopped garbage going down the pipe.
Still, I was amazed that they actually had a $320 unit. I’ll admit that it was a thing of beauty. A one-horsepower motor and a shiny chrome finish. (Just who is going to see this? I’m sure your plumber won’t be impressed.) If I were to spend over $300 on a garbage disposal I would certainly feel justified in expecting it to purée a whole chicken, bones and all.
I’m still wondering where Lowe’s is hiding the $40 garbage disposals.
I did a little research, checking Lowe’s and Sears web sites and found that the $40 garbage disposal may be extinct. For less than $20 I replaced the defective unit with a standard drain. As an added bonus, there’s more room under the sink.