Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gloria's Christmas Present

With Christmas rapidly approaching I asked my wife what she would like for christmas. She promptly and enthusiastically responded a GARBAGE DISPOSAL. So we hit up our favorite shopping place Craigslist.

Day 1
We found a sink with a garbage disposal for $50. Score! We were excited. Because I had just told my wife I needed a sink in the basement for when I finish working on the cars my clean up can be done there instead of the kitchen sink or her bathroom.

I bring the sink and the disposal home and promptly remove the garbage disposal from the sink. And I start preparing the electrical work under the sink. We were in luck that there was already power under the sink. I just had to relocate the electrical box. I also poked and prodded the plumbing system. A move I would soon regret.

Day 2
I get a phone call from the Lady of the house, my wife, explaining that the kitchen floor is covered in water. Turns out that my poking and prodding disturbed the fragile plumbing connections. :( So right after work I head to Lowes, a local home improvement store, to purchase the supplies needed to finish the install. We have an unusual situation in that this sink uses an air admittance valve. Also the plumbing beneath the sink look like one of the home inspection nightmares from This Old House. So I purchased a new AAV (air admittance valve), a new 1 1/2" disposal waste plumbing kit, a p-trap with a waste arm, 10 feet of 1 1/2" ABS pipe, and some other items I don't feel like listing right now.

Everything is going smoothly. I shut off the power beneath the sink, and started disconnecting the plumbing. I then installed the garbage disposal so I could line out how the plumbing would need to run. When I discovered the disposal waste plumbing kit had the wrong type of connection. But I realized this 10 minutes before Lowes closed. So I had to stop that portion.

I decided to forge ahead and get the wiring done. I decided to use a GFCI plug switch combo. Just in case in the future Gloria needed a plug beneath the sink to run a steam mop or something. I initially wired the GFCI combo incorrectly. So I turned to google to search for how to wire it correctly. Of course, it turns out I still did it incorrectly again. Then I decided to sit down and explain to my son how to wire a plug. You may not believe it but by having to explain something it forced me to not make assumptions and think critically about what I was doing.

3 minutes later everything is wired correctly and I head to the basement to turn on the power. I shouted a quick warning to my wife to be prepared with the fire extinguisher just in case in a joking manner. I turned on the power and heard a electrical hum followed by a click. I start looking over the disposal and I smell smoke. My heart falls to the pit of my stomach. You know the feeling you get when you pass a parked police car while speeding. I flick the switch killing power to the dispsoal. Thinking maybe I wired it backwards and the motor wasn't able to spin. I kill power from the circuirt breaker and reverse the wiring, press the reset button on the garbage disposal. Power back on the ciruit and again same thing hum followed by a click. Looks like our favorite shopping site delivered its first lemon.

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