Garbage disposals are an unsung hero of the home. Unfortunately, too many people don’t realize how crucial disposals are to a kitchen until they find themselves without working ones. The first thing you should do if your disposal has stopped working is to try troubleshooting. In most cases, this should do the trick. However, should troubleshooting fail, you will need to replace it. If you’re confident you can take on the job, we will walk you through the process. Here’s how to install a garbage disposal in 6 steps.

Step 1: Shut off the circuit and remove the old garbage disposal.

Before purchasing new disposal, take a look at your current one. Installing a similar model will make the replacement process much easier.

Do not perform any work on your garbage disposal until you have turned off the circuit breaker to your kitchen.

Under the sink, locate a thin metal ring with three lugs. This will be at the top of your disposal. Take hold of these lugs, twisting the ring counterclockwise roughly 1.5 inches. Once dislodged, take the disposal and place it on either a towel or some old paper to avoid a mess. The saying “looks can be deceiving” rings true for garbage disposals. They can actually be quite heavy, so be ready to catch it once it drops, or have someone assist you.

Step 2: Disconnect the disposal from its power supply.

Look for a round or square faceplate on the unit’s underside. Using your screwdriver, remove the faceplate and place the copper ground wire over the green screw. Disconnect the colored wires from the main power by simply pinching the wire connectors. If the connectors are too small for your hands, grab your handy-dandy needle-nosed pliers to help you get the job done.

Step 3: Remove and replace the hardware.
  • When installing your new garbage disposal, it’s a good idea to switch out the old hardware as well if it appears to be in bad shape. First, take off the rubber snap ring at the bottom of the hardware. This will allow the current mounting ring to slide right off.
  • Just under the sink flange is a piece of plastic that is circular; its appearance is very similar to the mounting ring. Place the tip of your screwdriver into one of the lugs and turn it counterclockwise. Depending on how old your hardware is, loosening the nut might require great force. Once you have the nut, set it aside in a safe place.
  • Looking down at your sink, locate the sink flange. It’s the round metal rim surrounding your drain and should be easy to locate. Remove and toss away. Scrap off any excess putty.
  • Before you install your new sink flange, press a good amount of putty firmly around the edges of the flange’s underside. Place the thinner end into the drain opening and press tightly.
  • Now it’s time to install the new mounting hardware. Slip a rubber gasket over the bottom of the sink flange and then place a second metal flange over it. Once you have the new mounting in its proper place, insert the screws and tighten them evenly. Before you move onto the next step, make sure the mounting hardware is secure.
Step 4: Install the new garbage disposal.
  • As we noted earlier, garbage disposals can be heavy. Consider asking for another set of hands to set your new disposal in place.
  • Align the upper edge of the disposal with the lower lip of the mounting ring. Once the disposal positioned correctly, twist it in place. Then, insert your screwdriver into one of the three lugs and rotate the mounting ring clockwise until the disposal is secured.
  • Take off the faceplate of the new disposal. At this point, the main power supply should still be off. Carefully reconnect the wires, ensuring they’re matched properly. Screw the faceplate back in place.
  • Reconnect the discharge tube.
Step 5: Test for leakage.
  • Allow your faucet to run for about 15-20 seconds. While it’s running, inspect the parts for any leaks. If you do come across an issue, address it right away.
Step 6: Test your new disposal.
  • Assuming the installation went smoothly, you can now test your handiwork. Switch the circuit breaker back to “on” and then flip the switch on your disposal. Listen for any strange sounds. If everything checks out, then consider the job done!
  • If you hear any strange sounds, like humming or grinding, re-check your work. Make sure no tools or hardware fell into the disposal. When in doubt, always call a licensed technician.

Need a visual aid? Watch this video on how to install garbage disposal!

Consider Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing your go-to expert for all things plumbing! We have the tools and experience required to restore comfort and peace of mind back to your home quickly. If you have questions about installing a garbage disposal or anything else related to plumbing, heating, or cooling, give us a call today.

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