How Do I Replace My Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposals save you time and money in the kitchen, breaking up old food and washing it safely away. These helpful appliances often last about 10 years before they need to be replaced. As long as you have the right tools and equipment, you can easily complete a garbage disposal installation within an hour.

Garbage Disposal Replacement

Before you start removing your old garbage disposal, you’ll need a screwdriver, pliers, a hacksaw, and some plumber’s putty or silicone for the new installation. Start the process by turning off the power to your kitchen. Garbage disposals require electricity, so they can be dangerous if they’re handled with an active current.

Disconnect the discharge tube from the garbage disposal. This tube should lead from the device to your ground plumbing and is responsible for carrying the food waste out of the system. If your system has a dishwasher water supply tube, you should also unscrew that at this time. Twist your unit counterclockwise off the mounting ring. As some garbage disposals can be quite heavy, feel free to stack up some cinder blocks or wood to act as a support platform.

Look for a faceplate on the disposal’s underside. Remove it and disconnect the wires from the main power supply. Pliers can come in handy here if the wires are too small to efficiently untangle by hand. If you bought a similar garbage disposal model, you may be able to use your existing mounting hardware.

If you do need to replace the mounting hardware, pull the rubber ring and mounting ring off. Loosen the mounting nut holding the rest of the unit in place. This may require significant force if you’ve had your garbage disposal for many years. You can then remove the sink flange from around your drain. Keep the area dry, and be sure to scrape away any remaining plumber’s putty.

It’s now time to begin the garbage disposal installation. Grab your new sink flange and apply the plumber’s putty or silicone to its underside. Fit it into the drain and hold it in place. It may be helpful to stack books or an otherwise heavy object on top to keep it still while you install the rest of the unit underneath.

Take a rubber gasket and slide it up onto the bottom of the sink flange. You’ll also need to place the second metal flange and then the new mounting ring. Screw it into place and jiggle it to make sure it’s secure. Take your new garbage disposal and lift it up into place. Thread it onto the mounting ring until it locks tight.

Remove the faceplate from your new garbage disposal. Connect the colored wires from your home’s power supply to the wires in the unit. It’s then time to reattach the unit’s discharge line. You may need to trim this pipe with a hacksaw if you bought a larger disposal model. Align the tube with the unit’s valve, tightening any screws or metal clamps as needed.

Turn your faucet on for about 30 seconds to test for any leaks. As long as your plumber’s putty was placed correctly and all screws are appropriately tightened, you shouldn’t have any issues. You can then turn your power back on and test your new unit.

Professional Guidance

If you’ve recently installed a new garbage disposal and are struggling with odd noises or vibrations, it’s likely time to call in a professional plumber. Garbage disposals can be easy to install, but issues can still occur with your plumbing or the unit itself. An expert plumber will easily spot what’s gone wrong and clear up the issue for a reasonable fee. You can even rely on your local plumbing company to install your new garbage disposal for you.

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