A Wing, a Prayer and a ¼” Allen Wrench



By Patricia L Johnson

There is basically nothing that I am not able to do with a piece of paper and a computer, but when it comes to anything mechanical or electrical forget it, I’m totally out of my realm, and if something breaks and I don’t really need it I don’t particularly care whether or not it gets repaired.

Such is the case with my dishwasher and garbage disposal. The garbage disposal decided it was overworked and simply wasn’t going to do anything constructive anymore so I thought okay, one of these days I’ll get it fixed.

A few weeks later the dishwasher played the same game, only this time I did call the repairman and the dishwasher worked its charm for at least a day or two before it went off the deep end. I was brought up to believe that when you did a job, you did it to the best of your ability and you didn’t give up until the work was perfect. Obviously, that isn’t something that’s taught much anymore, or at least not to the repairmen I’ve been using.

I simply don’t have the patience to deal with anyone that doesn’t do a good job so my tendency is to replace items rather than have them repaired, especially if I’ve had them for any length of time. It was going to be far less aggravating for me to buy a new dishwasher/ disposal than to have some clown come out again, and repair something that they obviously didn’t know how to repair.

Bright and early this morning I sent Brian (our regular contractor) a text asking how much he was going to charge to install a new garbage disposal and dishwasher and when he would be available. We decided on next week so I started gathering the information off the garbage disposal and the dishwasher so I could order duplicates.

I couldn’t read part of the information on the garbage disposal, but there was a phone number so I called the manufacturer to ask them what model number I would need to purchase as a replacement. The salesperson advised the unit was only a few years old and might still be under warranty if I had the receipt. I explained my filing system was non-existent so it was best to assume I didn’t have a receipt, at which time the salesperson asked if I had attempted to troubleshoot the unit.

“Yep, I turned it on and it doesn’t work”. The young man then asked me what happened when I turned it on and I explained it would make a buzzing sound, but then would stop making noise.  His next question was whether or not I had a ¼” Allen Wrench, and of course my answer was “I don’t know”. I knew what an Allen Wrench was, but didn’t have a clue they came in different sizes.

His next comment totally blew my mind because I was talking to the sales representative at the company that manufacturers these units. His job was to sell, sell, sell, wasn’t it?

He provided me with all the information I needed to either buy a replacement and or upgrade the current unit, but he asked me to try something before I went out and purchased a new unit. He told me to take a ¼’ Allen Wrench and insert the short side in the hole in the middle of the bottom of the unit, turn it clockwise one time completely around, then turn it counter-clockwise one time completely around, then twist it back and forth to make sure it turned easily. When I was finished I was to turn on the water and turn on the disposal.

After I found an Allen wrench and dropped it more times than I care to admit, I finally got it turned completely around in both directions, turning easily and I turned on the water and the disposal.


Guess what folks; some of the manufacturers out there really do want to provide excellent service.  Needless to say I am thrilled that I don’t have to go through the hassle of replacing the current unit, and so was my husband until I handed him my repair bill for services rendered.

© 2014 Patricia L Johnson

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One Response to A Wing, a Prayer and a ¼” Allen Wrench

  1. roberthenryfischat says:

    Reblogged this on robert's space and commented:

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