Home Improvement 

How to Replace a Garbage Disposal in Five Steps

Garbage disposals are designed to grind the toughest kitchen wastes down to a pulp. But because they work so hard over time, the motors will wear out. Then it’s time to call in your local Colma plumber. Or if you don’t mind climbing under a sink you can replace the garbage disposal yourself and save some money. It’s not as hard as it looks. The worst part actually is laying on your back inside the kitchen sink cabinet.

This project should take about 15 minutes. Here are the five steps to get this done.

Step #1 – Clear out the dishwashing soap, household cleaners, scrubbies, and whatever else you have inside the kitchen sink cabinet. You’ll want room to move around. Get on your back and slide into the cabinet to where you are close to the garbage disposal. Disconnect the drain line from the sink and the drain line from the dishwasher that connect to the garbage disposal.

Step #2 – Now you’re ready to take out the garbage disposal. Twist the disposal off the mounting bracket. Once loose, set on the floor inside the cabinet. Garbage disposals run off electric power. Turn off the power to the kitchen, and then remove the silver plate on the old disposal that houses the wire connections. Unscrew the wire nuts and pull out the wire that connects to the switch above the countertop. Next, remove the mounting assembly by unscrewing the mounting ring. Then push the drain flange up into the sink. This will leave you with a hole in the bottom of the sink. Around the mouth of the hole remove any old plumber’s putty.

Step #3 – Unpack the new garbage disposal. Take the rubber seal and set on the underside of the drain flange. Then push the drain flange down into the drain hole. If you don’t have a rubber seal you need to use plumber’s putty in this area. Then place the other rubber seal on the drain flange on the underside of the sink. Next, attached the metal ring. (Check the installation guide for photos).

Step #4 – Now your ready to attach the mounting ring. This is what holds the garbage disposal in place. From under the cabinet set the mounting ring in place and then screw in the three screws that hold the mounting ring in place. But do not tighten. You need some play in the mounting ring to attach the garbage disposal.

Step #5 – Take the new disposal and lay it on its side. Take the wire bracket and slide the electric wires through and connect the black wire to the black wire, and the white wire to the white wire, and the ground to the screw. Then screw the metal plate to cover the wiring. Now lift the disposal in place and twist it into the mounting bracket. Rotate the disposal to align and attach to the drain. Then reattach the drain lines to the sink and dishwasher. Run water in the sink to check for leaks. Then turn the power back on at the breaker box and try out the new disposal.

There is some heavy lifting involved as garbage disposals are not light. But installing a new garbage disposal is not that difficult depending on your level of do-it-yourself skill. Or you can always call in your local Colma plumber.

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