It's not often one needs to install a garbage disposal, but when you do it is amazing what Life Lessons you can learn from the "easy" installation.

I am no plumber. This fact was confirmed a little over a year ago when my garbage disposal developed a hole, causing water to spray out the side. Not wanting to spend money on a new disposal at the time - and the installation - I proceeded to repair the hole with some plumber's epoxy putty and duct tape. Sure, go ahead and laugh, but my repair job lasted for over a year.

(Zane Mathews)

So, the time came to bite the bullet and buy a new garbage disposal for about $85. It says right on the box "EASY TO INSTALL", so I figure I should be able to do this job my self. LIFE LESSON  #3906: If is SAYS "Easy to Install", that usually means it isn't. Don't believe everything you read.

The first step was easy - removing the old disposal by unfastening the drain pipe, and the hose that runs from the dishwasher. Last step is simply turning the dial directly beneath the sink drain by using the special wrench provided with the new unit.

So far so good.

Although hardware was included with the new unit for mounting the disposal under the sink, my old hardware was still in tact, so there's no sense in creating more work for myself. Securing the disposal to the existing mount was a cinch - once I realized that I was turning it the wrong direction, which cost me about 15 minutes of labor time. LIFE LESSION #3307: Don't turn things in the wrong direction. Life is easier when you turn things in the right direction.

Next step was to turn the disposal so it's facing the right direction so the drain pipe can be inserted. I secured the metal gasket, and re-connected the black hose from the dishwasher after knocking out the little plastic tab inside the hole. Ready for a test.

(Zane Mathews)

I turn the water on. Water pours from the gasket where the drain pipe runs into the disposal. What the __? This has me stumped, so I run to the hardware store. The helpful associate mentions a black rubber gasket/washer. "Oh," I said, "I have one of those. I thought it was an extra part." Turns out the directions I was following so closely failed to mention the fact that the large washer needs to be inserted in the side of the disposal. LIFE LESSON #3308: Don't forget to insert the big black washer in the hole where the drain pipe fits into the disposal. There's a reason and a purpose for everything, even if you don't realize it immediately.

(Zane Mathews)

Back at the scene of the install job, I get the washer inserted, re-attach the drain pipe, and ready for another test. No leakage whatsoever at the point of the connection. Success!!

But wait. Right at the bottom of the disposal, little droplets of water are coming out. Are  you kidding me? The unit is defective. Ninety minutes of my life is gone, wasted - never to be regained.

(Zane Mathews)

I determined that there was no leakage from any of my connections. There is a crack in the side of this brand new garbage disposal. So I called the support number provided, and they agree to send me a replacement - which they said would take several business days. That means my kitchen is in disarray while I wait for the replacement plus,  I can't use my sink. LIFE LESSON # 3309:  I am not a plumber. Don't try to be something you aren't.

(Zane Mathews)