Thread Number: 86549  /  Tag: Classified Ad Finds
Funky Disposal
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Post# 1111373   3/14/2021 at 14:48 (1,165 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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I always thought these were so cool looking, but never understood why GE felt that they had to invest time and money to give a disposal groovy looks.



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Post# 1111376 , Reply# 1   3/14/2021 at 16:32 (1,165 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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We had a boring version of this in faux brushed stainless back in the '70s.  It was marketed as a quietly operating unit and compared to the (I think) Hotpoint it replaced, it was indeed quieter.


What's missing from the subject disposer is the stopper, which was, I think, pot metal with a tapered sort of finial on it.  Those three tabs in the splash guard served to hold the stopper in a tilted position to allow for sink drainage.  In our situation, the disposer served as the only drain for a large single sink.  I've always had a thing about the appearance of  exposed splash guards and the potential for errant items to drop into the disposer, so stoppers are a must IMO.


Why anyone thought a disposer needed to coordinate with kitchen decor is a true mystery.  I suppose someone in GE's design department was hoping for a raise.

Post# 1111377 , Reply# 2   3/14/2021 at 16:52 (1,165 days old) by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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According to the serial number, this disposal was manufactured in July, 1976. At this time, the world was in transition from Brady Bunch Groovy to Saturday Night Fever Disco Cool. Both very colorful eras.

To most people, disposers are rather generic things. Nothing more than that friendly monster under the sink that gobbles up what they don't.

Why do you think GE made these so ostentatious? To stand out on the showroom floor, of course. Many people probably purchased disposals based on price. When they went to the Department store these disposals stood out. They were not generic looking, they begged for your attention.

I am sure these were the first units someone walked over to at the store display.

Once you get someone's attention, then 80% of the sales job is done. I am sure the wife thought it was pretty. She probably pointed to it and said to the husband, "Let's get that cute little disposal there!" The husband is probably thinking, "Hey that's pretty cool!"

Under the sink is a humbling and ugly setting... pipes, drains, valves, cleaning supplies. Just like colorful shelf paper under the sink, I am sure the GE Piranha was looked to by many homeowners as a chance to brighten and cheerify a dark and gloomy place.

General Electric didn't get to be one of the largest appliance manufacturer's in the world by being stupid. They knew what people liked, and their designers knew what attracted people's attention.

This post was last edited 03/14/2021 at 19:29
Post# 1111398 , Reply# 3   3/14/2021 at 20:56 (1,165 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Barry, that's so funny you mentioned the Brady Bunch, as I was thinking it would go perfectly in their house.

Post# 1111419 , Reply# 4   3/14/2021 at 22:13 (1,165 days old) by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        
Brady Disposal

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You're right, Tom! That would fit perfectly in the Brady kitchen, quite color coordinated with their Avocado green GE side by side and the orange countertops!

I can just see an episode where Alice is home alone and gets her hand caught in the disposal. She is yelling for help. Sam, the butcher, just happens to be coming to deliver some meat. He finds the door locked. In desperation, he breaks it open with a body slam. Once inside, he opens the cabinet, we see the GE Piranha in all its technicolor glory.

Sam tries to unmount it, but is unsuccessful. Just at that moment, Mr. Brady gets home and hears the commotion in the kitchen.

Immediately, with his usual wisdom, Mr. Brady knows just what to do. He takes a hunk of Sam's hamburger, that he was delivering, and packs it in between Alice's hand and the disposal opening. The hamburger grease lubricates Alice's hand, and Voila!, she pulls it out.

The day is saved due to Mr. Brady's quick wit and Sam's meat!

Add so it goes in the life of the Brady's.....

Post# 1111427 , Reply# 5   3/14/2021 at 22:51 (1,165 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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Anybody else hear a funky guitar riff with some wah wah action at first glance?

Post# 1111438 , Reply# 6   3/15/2021 at 01:08 (1,165 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I was thinking more Shirley Jones than Florence Henderson. 


No question at all that the strategy was to catch the eye of and appeal to the female shopper, although it still seems to me like something a wife would send the husband out to purchase, like a new trash can.

Post# 1111459 , Reply# 7   3/15/2021 at 08:37 (1,165 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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I spied a twin to this disposall a few years ago at a defunct dealer in Northern Iowa. I should have grabbed it to display, as it is eye-catching. :)


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Post# 1111472 , Reply# 8   3/15/2021 at 09:52 (1,165 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Damn, I'd like to get this...  Funny thing - shipping for this, to Canada, is coming up as around $19 USD!  That has to be wrong.  Shipping into Canada on eBay auctions these days is ridiculous (like $68 USD for a 4.99 45-RPM record....)


Post# 1111493 , Reply# 9   3/15/2021 at 11:56 (1,165 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Paul, I always inquire about shipping when it doesn't look right.  The last time I did, the seller replied with the advice that ebay, presumably due to some sort of hot shot millennial's sloppy algorithm, sets the shipping charges automatically.


I recently made a purchase that included a $75 shipping charge.  Since the seller's location wasn't far from my sister, I arranged for her to pick up the item instead because I knew it wouldn't cost $75 to ship.  She had her neighbor, who sells on ebay a lot, help her find the best rate.  That turned out to be a method called "FedEx Home Delivery" and it cost $20 and change.


Shipping for a 45 RPM record shouldn't even cost 1/10 of what ebay quoted in that particular instance.

Post# 1111496 , Reply# 10   3/15/2021 at 12:12 (1,165 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor, Maine)        

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I would think you could take any disposer and put funky contact paper on it.

Post# 1111497 , Reply# 11   3/15/2021 at 12:13 (1,165 days old) by steved (Guilderland, New York)        

if you want it, I can get it and have it shipped to me. Gives you a reason to come down when the border reopens

Post# 1111582 , Reply# 12   3/15/2021 at 20:11 (1,164 days old) by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

Post# 1111583 , Reply# 13   3/15/2021 at 20:16 (1,164 days old) by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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Hey Paul,

A caveat. The seller states: "We aren't sure if this unit has ever been installed." -- It has been.

First, the drain tailpipe is clogged tight with what looks like corn husks. (Enlarge the picture of the drain elbow.) Secondly, look at the end of the tailpipe and you can actually see how far it went down into the trap by the residue on it.

The seller, in the specs, has put down the specs, which he lifted from the internet, from the new GE "Green" disposal built in China by Anaheim Manufacturing. The dimensions are wrong and so are the rpm's.

This is one of General Electrics disposals with the series-wound motor. The rpms are actually 8000.

My scenario is that the homeowner crammed too many corn husks down at one time with too little water. The result is what you see packed into the tailpipe piece.

Corn husks are what Consumer Reports uses to test their disposers and its one of the things I use as well. The series wound GE can handle them, BUT only a few at a time, and with plenty of water. Otherwise you get what you see.

Corn husks are one of the few things I don't put down a dispose, unless testing it, as it just takes too long and too much effort. Put too many in and they ball up in the chamber and take a very long joyride on the turntable.

The owner probably had a stopped up sink, and the Piranha probably overheated and kicked out. My guess is they thought it had burned out and removed the disposal.

It is odd that the lower component of the unit body has been removed. That is not something you normally do when trying to sell an appliance. The homeowner probably took it off to see if there was anything they could do to fix it. They probably looked inside didn't have a clue what to do, and relegated the disposal to the barn.

On the bright side, the cutter is intact and the turntable and impellers look good. The discoloration of the turntable is only superficial and will disappear when it is used.

General Electric's series wound motors are exceptionally stout, and the thermal/overload cutout is set low so motor damage does not occur. Odds are if you take the tail pipe off, clean out the lower chamber of the disposal and pull the garbage out of the tailpipe it will work. (not forgetting to push in the "reset" button.)

But...there is no guarantee. I almost bought it myself. But, at that price I figured I would pass, since I already have a Piranha and also since it is used and stuffed with garbage.

If it were forty or fifty dollars I would say grab it. With shipping you are probably getting close to two hundred dollars. You might want to quiz the seller a little bit and see if he will come down on price, siting to him what I just did about it actually being used and stopped up.

At least ask him if he will hook it up to power and see if the motor turns (if you think he is competent enough to do so without getting electrocuted.)

I wish you well....

BTW, Ralph, my family had the Brushed Aluminum trimmed General Electric disposal which my dad purchased in 1971. I thought it was rather stately and rich looking, as opposed to the funky look of the newer Technicolor Piranha model.

It was the exact body of the Piranha, but instead of the psychedelic paint the top part was a satin brushed aluminum (it was actually metal) and the reset bottom was mounted onto the bottom on the unit instead of having the hole in outer body, which you put your finger into to reach the reset button, as you do in the Piranha pictured above.. I remember the words were written in script below the name General Electric, "Super Quiet Stainless Steel Disposall with Carbaloy Cutter."

This post was last edited 03/15/2021 at 20:39
Post# 1111594 , Reply# 14   3/15/2021 at 22:02 (1,164 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Barry, yes, that was the same GE disposer as we had with the script verbiage.  It was indeed rich looking as opposed to the mod Piranha.  It lasted until 1991 IIRC.  I don't remember what went wrong with it, as I was long gone from living with my parents.  I do recall that it always produced a muffled, low pitched sort of whine that would vary in pitch during feeding.  I assumed that was part of its "super quiet" technology. 

Post# 1111595 , Reply# 15   3/15/2021 at 22:06 (1,164 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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The title of this thread makes it sound like it permanently stinks from someone putting rotten fish down it.

I'm sure they were trying to upsell these, but there's really not a lot to sell, lets face it. I remember buying new ISE disposals from Menards in the 90s for $29. Now they're going for around $100.... in this market. whatever.

That 60s design could be found everywhere.

Post# 1111632 , Reply# 16   3/16/2021 at 07:46 (1,164 days old) by reactor (Oak Ridge, Tennessee-- )        

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You're right, Keith. Out title makes it sound like a stinky machine, ha. "The meaning of "funky" seems to have changed since the 1060's!

Paul, the series-wound motor is not designed to operate at a constant speed as do induction motors. You have a great memory, recalling that speed changed during operation.

In a series-wound motor torque is in inverse to speed. So, the more you load the hopper, the more power the motor applies to the load. As the load disappears down the drain the rps speed up and the torque, and current draw go down.

A series-wound motor can draw several times it's rated amps under load and they are very hard to jam because it willll fight the load until it destroys itself. So it is very necessary to have thermal or current overload protection.

If the load capabilities of an induction motor are exceeded it will stop. A series would motor will drop its speed and fight the load and would sacrifice itself if it weren't for the thermal/overload cutout.

An induction disposal under too much load stops, hums, overheats and then the protective device kicks it

A GE series wound will rarely stop, but the protective device kicks in while it's running to save the motor. Yes, it can jam, let's say you dropped a screw or nail in it it would jam between the cutter and impeller and stop it.

The achilleas heel of General Electric's series-wound units were the cutter, which was spot welded onto the hopper. I imagine that is what happened to your paren't disposal.

Ours lasted until about 1980, so we got about 9 years out of it then the Carboloy cutter came off. We didn't know it for a while. The rpms of the series motors are approaching that of a blender, and when my mom put in soft foods they were still liquified by the impellers, but we did notice it seemed a bit slower. I think it was a bone that revealed the problem, as it just bounced around. I looked inside and saw the cutter was gone (oddly enough it wasn't in the unit. I think it must have flown out and my mom had not clue what this little piece of metal was in the sink and must have thrown it away.

My dad got a Sears Kenmore (ISE) and hated it because of the slow speed. I don't think we had it in a week, he took it out and got another General Electric series wound (just in time as GE soon quit production of disposals).

Post# 1111643 , Reply# 17   3/16/2021 at 09:27 (1,164 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Think "groovy", "far out", psychedelic, pop art, Andy Warhol, "Laugh-In" (sock-it-to-me, verrrry interesting), "Scarborough Fair", "Are You Going To San Francisco",  "This Guy's In Love With You", The Summer of Love, Woodstock....


OMG - I've just described high school.





Post# 1111655 , Reply# 18   3/16/2021 at 10:42 (1,164 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        
oh my!

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Did you escape high school without scars?

Post# 1111660 , Reply# 19   3/16/2021 at 11:01 (1,164 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Ha!  Does anyone???



Post# 1111733 , Reply# 20   3/16/2021 at 21:27 (1,163 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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I was scarred the first year of middle school. By the time high school came along I was already road kill.

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