How to install a garbage disposal step by step

how to install a garbage disposal step by stepFollowing these expert, step-by-step instructions on how to install a garbage disposal shouldn’t be a problem as long as you have the right tools and materials.

Plumbers are expensive and installing a garbage disposal can seem daunting especially if you don’t have any experience. But learning how to do it yourself can save you a ton of money. If you follow the instructions below, you won’t have any problems installing your garbage disposal unit even if you have little or no experience.

Electrical Requirements

Before you begin any work regarding installation, you will need a dedicated 20 Amp, 120 Volts outlet located under your sink in close proximity to the disposal. If this is not available already, you can simply ask your electrician to help you install one. Please note that batch-feed garbage disposals do not require a switch because they start when you insert and turn a special drain plug.

Choosing the Right Disposal

You need to figure out the type of disposal unit you will be needing by asking yourself questions like: who’ll be using it, will a noisy disposal be a serious issue in the house, what type of plumbing do you have in your home?

If you go for a replacement that is made by the same manufacturer as your old model, the job will be much simpler because you won’t need to replace the waste assembly mounting flange in the sink. It does not matter if it is a larger and more powerful unit, it only needs to have the same mounting flange. The more powerful and quieter the garbage disposal you buy, the more the price and the larger it will be.

Step 1: Prepare for the Project and Gather the Relevant Tools

Apart from choosing the right garbage disposal, ensure you have all the parts listed on the instruction sheet that comes with your purchase. You will need equipment like: a screwdriver, water pump pliers, a hacksaw, electrical cord, a disposer wrench, plumber’s putty, safety supplies – including a dust mask and goggles.

Once you have them ready, turn off the power to the disposal at the circuit-breaker box. Check the amperage of the circuit to ensure the disposal won’t overload it. This should be shown on the breaker switch.

Step 2: Remove the Old Disposal

Loose and detach the hose that attaches your dishwasher to the disposal by making use of a screwdriver. Detach the “P” trap waste line with a wrench then remove the disposal by using a screwdriver to turn the mounting ring counter clockwise until it comes loose. Prepare the sink for your new disposal unit by cleaning the flange, sleeve and sink opening.

Step 3: Prepare Your New Hardware

Place a rubber seal beneath the drain flange. If your new disposal does not include a rubber seal, you will need to use plumber’s putty. Put the drain flange in the drain hole then place another rubber seal on the drain flange under the sink and attach the metal backup ring, flat side up.

Step 4: Attach the Mounting Ring

Attach the mounting ring with screws then push it up and secure the mounting ring with the snap ring. Tighten the mounting screws – make sure the assembly is tight and even.

Step 5: Prepare Your New Disposal

Lift up your new disposal under the mounting ring then align it under the entry points in the mounting tracks. To engage the tabs, turn the ring so they lock onto the ridges. Tighten the connection by using a screwdriver. Align the discharge tailpiece with the drain trap by rotating the disposal unit. In order to accommodate your new disposal, you might need to replace some, if not all of the drain piping under the sink.

Step 6: Complete the Installation

Use a retaining spring or band clamp to connect the dishwasher drain hose to the disposer’s dishwasher connection nipple. Plug the power cord into the GFCI-protected electrical outlet that is connected to the switch.

Step 7: Test the New Garbage Disposer

Run water through the disposal for a few minutes to check for leaks. If there are no leaks, return to the electric panel then turn the power on. Finally, put everything back under the sink. That’s it. Now you know how to install a garbage disposal. Enjoy your new appliance!

How to Fix a Garbage Disposal

Whether the disposal unit is clogged, jammed or not working properly, this step-by-step guide offers expert advice on howHow to Fix a Garbage Disposal to fix a garbage disposal.

A disposal can last a decade or more with proper care and usage. However, it really shouldn’t be surprising when your garbage disposal breaks down, considering the use and abuse it endures. Unfortunately, many of us just give up when we come across certain problems that could be sorted out in no time at all. Before you rush out and buy a new unit, try troubleshooting and repairing it instead by following the simple guide below.

#1:: Disposal Will Not Turn On – Makes No Noise

If your disposal won’t turn on when you flip the switch and it is not making a humming sound, there is an electrical supply problem. Try the following:

  • Make sure it is plugged in. The plug can easily become unplugged since it is located underneath the sink where it goes into a socket.
  • If it’s plugged in, press the reset button. The small button (reset button) usually pop out if the unit jams, simply pushing it in may fix the problem. If it trips again, it means something is wrong, so do not keep resetting the unit.
  • Turn on the circuit breaker labeled disposal. This may trip at times and will turn off the power to your disposal in kitchen. If this continues to trip, it means there is a deeper problem. Do not continue to simply reset it.
  • If it is plugged in but the breaker hasn’t tripped and the reset button isn’t popped out, it is either a faulty garbage disposal, a bad electrical outlet or a faulty switch.
  • An electrician or someone who is knowledgeable can test both the switch and outlet by using a multimeter. If they test live, it means the disposal motor is bad therefore you may want to replace the garbage disposal.

#2:: Disposal Will Not Run – Makes a Humming Sound

If your garbage disposal would not turn on but makes a humming sound when you flip the switch, the solution is either a quick fix or a complete replacement. This problem is usually the result of a stuck flywheel or seized motor bearing.

Stuck Flywheel

  • Turn off the power to your garbage disposal unit at the electrical service panel and make sure it can’t turn on by unplugging it.
  • Insert the wrench that came with the unit into the flywheel turning hole then turn clockwise until you can feel it turn freely.
  • You can also make use of a wooden broom-handle to free the stuck flywheel and impeller from the top of the disposal unit via the drain. Once it dislodges, you will be able to feel it turn freely as soon as the problem is solved.
  • Turn the power back on and press the reset button if need be
  • While running enough water down the drain, turn the unit on and off, then on again, repeating several times. This will help rinse away the matter that caused the jam

Seized Motor Bearing

* If the flywheel wasn’t stuck but the disposal unit is still humming without anything in the grind chamber, it means the motor has seized or it has frozen bearings
* The garbage disposer unit needs replacement if a bearing is seized.

#3:: Disposal Grinds Poorly

If your garbage disposal is not grinding well even though it seems to be rotating fine, you may not be running enough water into it when it is turned on. Check to make sure that you are running enough water while operating the unit and that you are not grinding what you shouldn’t.

Water is important because it facilitates the grinding process, so be sure to keep it going at all times. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to have a professional come out and have a look at your disposal unit to find out what is wrong.

If you need more information about how to fix a garbage disposal that is clogged, leaking or not working, feel free to check out our post about that. Hopefully, you will be able to sort out some of the more common problems you can come across with your garbage disposal by following the steps highlighted above, and you wouldn’t need to rush out and get a new one.

How to maintain a garbage disposal

how to maintain a garbage disposalClogged drains are a major inconvenience and garbage disposal repair can be a costly proposition. That is why it is important to know how to maintain a garbage disposal.

Not only does regular maintenance and cleaning keep your garbage disposal in good shape, it also keeps your kitchen smelling fresh and clean. Below are some of the ways to effectively maintain a garbage disposal in order to keep it working smoothly for years and minimize the likelihood that you will need to call for drain cleaning or plumbing services.

#1:: Keep An Eye On What You Put in the Garbage Disposal

Avoid putting anything in the garbage disposal that is not biodegradable food. Non-food items can damage both the motor and the blades. Other things to avoid include:

  • Nails, glass, screws, children’s toys, utensils, hair, grease, plant or flower clippings
  • Gritty or fibrous items like coffee grounds (especially in large quantity), potatoes, corn husks, artichokes husks, etc. Also avoid onion skins and egg shells since the membranes can easily stick to the garbage disposal and wrap around the shredder ring.
  • Uncooked or liquid fat to prevent build-up on drain pipes. Throw bones, coffee grounds and eggshells into the trash instead of running them through the disposal to avoid clogged disposal.

#2:: Run Cold Water While the Disposal is on

In order to get the best out of your garbage disposal, you need to run the cold water tap for a few seconds before switching it on. This will ensure a good flow of water through the unit and it will help lubricate and cool it while it is operating. On the other hand, hot water may cause it to overheat and trip the cut-off switch which most disposals are fitted with.

Another reason not to use hot water while the unit is running is that it can melt fat and allow it to re-solidify as a blockage further down in the drain. Once you finish grinding, switch off the disposer but allow the water to run for about 5 to 10 seconds to make sure all the pulp has been washed down the drain.

#3:: Run Disposal Regularly

Even if there is nothing to grind up, you still need to turn on the water and run the disposal every few days to move the parts around. Frequent use ensures that all parts stay moving and prevents obstructions from accumulating. This is also similar to exercising your body to keep it in good shape. If you don’t, the disposal can rust, freeze up, or corrode and any leftover food inside can harden, leading to clogs and odors.

#4:: Run Your Disposal for Longer Whenever You Use It

This is another great tip on how to maintain a garbage disposal. But many people make the mistake of turning off the unit once the grinding noises stop. To remove small particles that have not been cleared away, it is important to leave the garbage disposer on (while water is running) for several seconds after the grinding noises subside. This will help clean out the unit and ensure nothing is left behind or clinging to the sides.

#5:: Clean Disposal Regularly

Food particles and other items can build up in the garbage disposal over time, causing it to smell and work less effectively. To get rid of this issue, you need to clean the unit thoroughly once a week or every 2 weeks. This will also help prevent blockages and jams.

Periodically, take orange or lemon and toss it into the disposal. The juice and oils from the fruits and peels naturally clean the walls inside the garbage disposal and create a fresh, long-lasting smell.

Even though they are normally self-cleaning, garbage disposals need a little love and attention from time to time. Just like any other machine, proper use, care and maintenance will extend the life of your garbage disposal. Be sure to follow the tips discussed above on how to maintain a garbage disposal so that you can get the best out of it.

About Garbage Disposal Horsepower and Grind Capacity

About Garbage Disposal Horsepower and Grind Capacity

About Garbage Disposal Horsepower and Grind CapacityGarbage disposal horsepower is what actually differentiates between the least expensive and most expensive garbage disposals.

In general, the size of the horsepower is greatly dependent on how much you intend to abuse the machine. Garbage disposals usually come in 1/2, 3/4, and 1 horsepower models. The lesser motors are fine for one person or perhaps couple who only generate small quantities of waste. It is recommended that you go for light use, 3/4 horsepower for normal home use, and one horsepower for heavy home use or light commercial.

1) 1/3 HP Garbage Disposal

Power, at 1/3 horsepower is at the lower end of the scale. Although they may seem like a great economical option, their utility level is quite limited. This is because they get easily jammed and are usually designed with cheaper internal components that will rust out within the shortest time frame. However, they should be considered for very limited use and if you want to use your garbage disposal on a temporary basis.

2) 1/2 HP Garbage Disposal

A 1/2 horsepower garbage disposal is a light-duty unit and is appropriate for small households of not more than two persons or for locations not subject to frequent use, such as vacation homes where it does not get too much use. However, you need to remember to feed the particles slowly and run plenty of cold water especially if you have a special occasion or a large dinner party where you may need to dispose of a lot of food particles at a time.

3) 3/4 Horse Power Garbage Disposal

This is a medium-duty unit and it is appropriate for most single-family dwellings where the unit is frequently used. Make sure you understand what you can and cannot put down the garbage disposal especially if you have children. This will help avoid problems in future if everyone understands how to use the disposal.

4) 1 HP Garbage Disposal

Though more expensive, a garbage disposal horsepower of 1HP can take in bigger amount of scrap food. It is reliable and has the capacity of executing difficult tasks consistently – mincing up bone fragments and challenging food items scraps. This is because the disposal is a lot more forgiving with more power. It is perfect for offices or other places where a more powerful garbage disposal might be required.

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Apart from the ones highlighted above, there are also commercial grade garbage disposals for hospitals, restaurants, schools and other places of business that require more powerful disposal.

Grinding Capacity

Actual capacities of disposers vary and compact models most often are adequate for families. They tend to provide an easier installation in especially restrictive or tight under-the-sink areas. The physical size of the disposal is an important factor to consider depending on the amount of room available.

For durability, look for multi-stage systems and stainless steel grinding parts for better performance. Also, the more grind stages your disposal has, the finer the waste will be when it is sent to your septic tank or sewage system. The type of waste you want to get rid of will determine your choice.

Each garbage disposal has its own capacity for hard objects. Even if the size of a grind chamber is large enough that does not mean you can throw a large amount of food waste in it all at once, but it gives a good indication of its intended capacity. The more expensive models of the same brand tend to have higher hardness capacities.

Whether you are looking to put one for a college food service kitchen or a large food producer, there is always a garbage disposal horsepower and capacity that is right for the task. Make sure you read our garbage disposal buying guide to know what to look for before buying one.