The Complete Guide on Garbage Disposal Installation
Before you ever think about repairing or replacing your garbage disposal, please observe the Garbage Disposal Golden Rule: NEVER put your hand down the drain into the disposal. Doing so means tremendous risk to your hand and fingers. With that simple safety rule in mind, here is information to aid you with installing and assembling your new garbage disposal. In this ‘Garbage Disposal Installation‘ article, we will also discuss on How to Replace Your Garbage Disposal.
If you need to replace your garbage disposal, rest at ease: doing so is easy. Any homeowner with some basic knowledge of home repair and the right toolkit can replace a garbage disposal. Having a new disposal in your kitchen will make kitchen cleanup a breeze, keep your kitchen smelling fresh, and could even reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your home.
Homeowners may be concerned about the risk of electricity and water or the complicated workings of a sink connection — but never fear. With a few simple steps and the right equipment, you can enjoy a new garbage disposal within just a few minutes. Modern sink connections are well-made and rarely experience leak problems, and plastic systems are easy to replace.
Replacing a disposal yourself will save you money that you would otherwise spend paying a plumber to do it for you. Here’s an easy guide about when to replace your disposal, and how to do it.
When to Replace Your Garbage Disposal
If you are facing any of the following problems, it may be time to replace your best garbage disposal:
- Problems with the motor
- If it’s an outdated model
- Not properly grinding or disposing
- Years of hard use, including having to grind stringy or hard substances like egg shells or soda can tabs
- Choosing a New Garbage Disposal
Retail outlets and home improvement stores sell a variety of garbage disposals that are perfect for any household budget. Garbage disposals can range in price from $45 to $240, and normally will hold up well under regular use. A good disposal with a one year warranty can last as long as a decade. A higher price may get you a longer replacement warranty, or a more powerful disposal.
To improve the life of your new garbage disposal, invest in a sink drain filter. Only dispose of soft or crisp foods. Try not to grind up eggshells, apple seeds, celery, or other substances that may be hard on the blades.
The Basics of Installing and Assembling Your Garbage Disposal
Installing a new garbage disposal is easy, and shouldn’t take more than an hour if you follow the steps below.
You’ll need a new disposal, two screwdrivers, plumber’s putty, a wrench, a hammer, and potentially two plastic wire nuts. Also make sure that you remove everything from beneath your sink, including plastic bags or cleaning supplies.
Removing the Old Disposal
First, you’ll want to shut off the electricity to the disposal that you’ll be replacing. Turn off the electricity to it at the main service panel. Then, remove the base of the disposal by loosening the ground screw and removing both wire connectors. You can do this manually without any tools.
Next, with a flathead screwdriver, loosen the hose clamp on the dishwasher discharge hose. Pull the hose from its fitting. Loosen the bolts on the drain crosspiece so that it’s no longer connected.
After this step, your disposal should only be connected to the bottom of the sink drain. Different disposals fasten to sink drains in a variety of ways. The most common variety of attachment is a metal mounting ramp, but some varieties of disposals use metal hose clamps, while others use threaded plastic nuts.
To remove the disposal, support it from below and rotate the mounting ring counterclockwise until the unit is free. Then the only step left in your disposal removal is loosening the three bolts that attach to the sink and pushing the drain out through the sink hole. At this stage, you’ll want to clean out any old gunk, caulk or putty that may be stuck to the sink.
Assembling the New Disposal
If your new disposal is the same as your old one, you may be able to skip the first step of replacing the connector ring on the sink.
If you need to replace it, take the plumber’s putty, and roll a piece that will fit the new drain assembly. It should be about a ½-inch thick and 10 inches long. Place this piece on the underside of the drain and press it firmly into place.
Then, slide the cardboard drain backup ring onto the drain “spud” that you’ve just created. Over this you’ll place the disposal mounting flange and metal mounting ring, snapping it into place. Tighten the ring with your screwdriver until it fits tightly, and a majority of the putty oozes out.
Now it’s time to wire your new disposal, as it’s easier to wire it before you place it onto the sink. Using a wrench, thread the old box connector to the base of the new garbage disposal.
Secure the circuit wires and conduit into the connector. You’ll want to join the black circuit wire and the black lead in one connector, and the white lead and circuit wire in another. Bind the wire under the green ground screw. Then replace the cover.
Now it’s time to lift the disposal up to the sink drain and attach it to the mounting ring, using a screwdriver to engage the ring’s tabs. You’ll want to rotate the ring clockwise.
Last, you’ll plumb the disposal’s drain outlet by fitting the rubber washer over the plastic cross piece on the side of the disposal. Make sure it fights tightly to prevent any leaks. As the last step, you’ll fit the disposal to your sink’s plastic cross piece.
After testing it out, your new disposal should be good to go! This simple process is possible with just a little know-how and time, but the money you saved from not having to pay a plumber will definitely be put to better use.