HOM BRIEFS Might as well buy a new disposer

Q:My garbage disposer just started leaking. It's leaking from the bottom, and I have to keep a pan underneath it when I run the water in the sink. Can it be fixed? Should it be replaced? It's about eight years old.

A:My first reaction is that it probably will be about the same cost to replace it as it is to have it repaired. I called a couple of plumbing shops, and the service departments agreed that installing a new one probably would be a better deal and about the same cost. If it is leaking from the bottom, a seal needs replacing. A leak elsewhere might be fixed by simply tightening the part.

Q:Quite some time ago, you had an article dealing with "water heater woes" -- particularly hydrogen sulfide in the hot water. I installed a new water heater and soon had that same problem (I too have a well -- not city water). A good dose of bleach seems to have eliminated the problem. I hope my problem is gone, but, it seems that in some cases it can be persistent. You said you had a report from the health department that you could send or e-mail. If that is still available I would like a copy just in case my problem turns out to be a bit more persistent than I would like.

A:I have trashed the copies that Rich Peter from Olmsted Public Health sent me. However, he would be happy to help you out. Send him an e-mail at, and he'll be happy to send the information along. Glad you solved your problem, and I hope it stays fixed.

If you have a question or comment, send to About the House, 18 First Ave. S.E., Rochester MN 55904. Or e-mail questions to Jerry Reising at You also may call 285-7739.

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