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  1. #1
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    Garbage disposal: repair or replace?

    Curious, when you have a disposal that needs bearings do you repair the unit by doing a bearing and seal job or do you sell the customer a new disposal?

    I've always given the customer the option of both. Overwhelmingly the response is to repair the unit even though I stress that the repair may not last very long and there's a chance that the unit needs more than the bearing and seal kit. I have descent luck with repairing them but I had a Hobart FD3-200 where I couldn't get the shredder ring off. I heated the side of the housing while tapping it with a hammer but it would not come free. I made a little jig to pry it up and out but it just wouldn't come.

    It was a great candidate for replacement anyway but the customer went the cheap route. I think I might be done giving the option to repair them.

  2. #2
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    I always replace them in residential. I likely would suggest replacement in commercial, too. Because they get a hell of a lot more heavy duty use.
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  4. #3
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    Replace and with a better brand. Or remove it like some city codes now call for. Your customer will be better off in the long run with a new one.

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  6. #4
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    How much are these things worth vs. how much does a typical repair cost?

    I'm guessing we aren't talking about the average $50 pos from the depot here?

    I don't really know much about the big commercial units, other than that they look HEAVY! Due to this, is it sometimes easier to rebuild them in place rather than having to replace them?

    Either way I'll bet it's not a fun job.
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  7. #5
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    Thread Starter
    These are commercial units ranging from .5 HP to 7 HP. Rebuilding is usually 10-20% the cost of replacement. Sometimes if it's a like for like model, replacement only takes 45 mins from the time you pull into the restaurant to the time you drive away. Other times I pull out one brand and put another one in and that can take some extra time. Re-plumbing drain lines, water lines and electrical and installing a new mounting assembly takes time.

    On the other hand the typical repair is a pita. You can't know what condition the bearing race is in until you take it apart and if it's worn or pitted (half the time it is) the new bearing won't seat nicely and it'll be trashed in a couple months. Replacing the bearing housing isn't economical.

    So you can see why customers repair more than replace. But it's a gamble.And I think I'm done gambling now.


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  9. #6
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    I'd rebuilt a few Salvajors and Insinkerators years ago, but never again. At some point we decided that a customer is much better off starting fresh with a new unit under a full warranty, so we stopped offering a rebuild as an option.

    Like you said, rebuilding them was a gamble. One that I did ended up taking an entire day, so labor and parts for that one would've easily exceeded 50% of the price of a new one - had I not already given an estimate for something much less.
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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECtofix View Post
    I'd rebuilt a few Salvajors and Insinkerators years ago, but never again. At some point we decided that a customer is much better off starting fresh with a new unit under a full warranty, so we stopped offering a rebuild as an option.

    Like you said, rebuilding them was a gamble. One that I did ended up taking an entire day, so labor and parts for that one would've easily exceeded 50% of the price of a new one - had I not already given an estimate for something much less.
    And often, when the unit proves un-rebuildable*, it is the contractor who has to eat his time spent attempting the less expensive repair. When the customer ultimately has to purchase the new unit, he/she is occasionally "fuzzy" on the details of the repair agreement.

    "You're going to charge me for the failed repair, too?!?!"

  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmdingler View Post
    And often, when the unit proves un-rebuildable*, it is the contractor who has to eat his time spent attempting the less expensive repair. When the customer ultimately has to purchase the new unit, he/she is occasionally "fuzzy" on the details of the repair agreement.

    "You're going to charge me for the failed repair, too?!?!"
    Lol so true.

    In this situation I put a few disclaimers in the quote to cover my butt. Still, the guy doesn't want to pay. I'm so glad I'm just the guy that turns the wrenches and I don't have to fight to get paid.


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  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanMan812 View Post
    Lol so true.

    In this situation I put a few disclaimers in the quote to cover my butt. Still, the guy doesn't want to pay. I'm so glad I'm just the guy that turns the wrenches and I don't have to fight to get paid.


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