In-Sink-Erator 555ss Garbage Disposal

In-Sink-Erator 555ss Garbage Disposal

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"Garbage" Accurately Describes This Disposal Unit

Jan 27, 2008 (Updated Jan 27, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:When it works, gets rid of messy food scrapes quickly

Cons:Caused clogged pipes, broke down on us twice, cheaply made unit

The Bottom Line: Could be dangerous to use, especially if you have young children

In our old home, I first thought the garbage disposal system was a convenient appliance to have in the kitchen. No more nead to throw food scrapes into the trash, making a smelly mess - simply turn the disposal unit on, turn on the kitchen faucet, scrape the food into the hungry throat of the disposer, and viola! No more smelly mess!

The unit is nothing more than a motorized impeller mounted in line with the kitchen sink's drain line. It is designed for convenience.

And to our delight, that is pretty much how the disposer worked for us, at first. Then one evening after work my wife complained that the dishwasher would not drain (she always gets right to the point like that). So, after a full day of work, I got into my work clothes and sniffed out the trouble. I traced the problem back to a clog in the waste line were it "T'd" off into the garbage disposal. Some mucked up food was pushed into the waste line by the centrifigal force of the garbage disposer. I cleaned out the line, and the dishwasher drained fine. This happened again pretty much about once each month, until I finally decided to route the dishwasher waste water into another pipe.

Then, one Sunday morning I was reading the newspaper in the other room when my wife screamed: "Ahh!" just as the power went out. She was cleaning out the refrigerator and disposing of old food in the sink disposer when it clogged up. The strain from the clog knocked out the power. I cleaned out the clogged food with a stick then I turned the power back on, but the disposer would not go back on again. After a quick look under the sink, I noticed that there is a fault safety switch on it that tripped when the power went out. After I turned the power on, the unit operated again but made an awful noice. Apparently the clog caused the bushings in the motor to distort so there was now a wobble when the motor spun. Oh well....

Then one day I reached under the sink for some cleaning chemicals and noticed the area there was all wet. Yup, the disposal system was leaking. Ugh! I took it apart and noticed that a lot of parts were worn and coroded from chemicals used to clean the sink and acids in the foods. I went to Home Depot to try to get some replacement parts, but of course they did not carry parts. The store clerk suggested I write to the company for the parts. I decided to just replace the whole unit.

Installing the unit was a pain in the neck (I hate working under the sink!) There are so many gaskets, bushings, sleeves and stuff to deal with. The unit had a rubber gasket, do at least I did not have to roll a bead of plumbers putty. After I had the new unit all installed, I tried it out and guess what? It leaked! Ugh! I tightened up the hex fitting as tight as possible. It still leaked. Then, I gave it one more turn and it cracked! Ugh! I took it off again, returned it to the store for a replacement, installed this one this time using plumber's putty along with the rubber gasket. No leaks. It worked like a charm for about a year and 6 months. Due to a major clog, the motor burned out.

If that was not enough, shortly afterwards the sink backed up. The plumber said the cause was due to food and grease and stuff that stuck to the inside of the pipes. He said the food disposer was the probable cause. I never bothered replacing the unit again, since we were planning to move shortly thereafter.

From my experience with this garbage disposal unit, I am no longer a fan of garbage disposal units. Sure they are convenient when they work, for reasons stated earlier above. Now that I live in the country, we prefer to compost our vegatative food wastes. We definitely do not have a garbage disposal unit, especially since we have a septic system.

This unit was not overly expensive. I believe I only paid about $100 dollars for it at the time. In recent trips to Home Depot and Lowes, I see they have come down in price and there are lots of other brands available now. I would recommend buying a better quality unit, if you are going to get one. This one has a lot of plastic crap on it that can crack.

If you do get this unit, I would strongly recommend that you use extra care not to put huge chunks of food into it or stuff it to the point where the motor slows down. Always have the water running while operating the unit to flush the chopped up food into the drain. If the unit should get stuck, NEVER stick your hands into the drain!!! Always use a heavy stick, such as a wooden broom stick. If the machine were to suddenly power back on, you hands could get hacked right off.

Friends of ours live in the city and they have a commercial grade garbage disposal system made by a competing company. They claim they can put an over cooked stake in the garbage disposer and the machine will not even burp. They demonstrated it with some chicken scrapes. However, they claimed they paid several hundred dollars for the unit. They believe it is worth every penny. City people. So, if you need a garbage disposal unit, get a commercial unit and plan to spend big bucks.

I would not recommend this unit for the obvious reasons stated within. I was also concerned at the lack of safety features on this unit, as well as other units I've seen, especially since we have small children that love to wash their hands in the kitchen sink. If you do get a garbage disposal unit, here is where a quality unit will go a long way (one made of all metal parts with lots of horse power in the motor). Replacing these units is a pain in the neck, back and butt. Thank you for reading my review and best wishes for a nice day!


Recommend this product? No

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