How to Change an Old Garbage Disposal or Disposer

 How to Change an Old Garbage Disposal or Disposer



Things You’ll Need:

A pair of channel locks/Slip joint pliers. A flat head screw driver A #2 Phillips head screw driver push disposables . Small adjustable wrench. A new disposal/disposer. Plumbers putty or caulking.

The first thing to do is make sure that your old one is not just jammed. Every disposal comes with a wrench, if you can’t find yours they are available at hardware stores like Home Depot. There is usually a circuit breaker on the bottom of the disposal. Don’t assume your disposal/disposer is broken simply because it stops working. You should check inside for anything that might be lodged in the openings of the drum.

Remove any obstruction with needle-nose pliers.If you can not see anything inside the disposal, insert the wrench into the bottom of the unit, and twist right and left. If the motor spins freely, make sure that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped by pushing the reset button, usually a small black or red button on the bottom of the unit. If these two things don’t work, and your warranty has expired, it’s time to replace it.

I recommend that you shop around before buying, disposals/disposers usually sell for between $50.00 and $300.00, they are all pretty good. When I do repairs on a rental I use the most inexpensive one I can get, usually a badger because the tenants don’t care what they put in it. Under normal use a 1/3 hp will usually last 10 – 15 years and most come with at least a 1 year warranty. Since they all have different hook ups I recommend taking the old one with you to make sure the new one will work for your particular application.

Lets start removing the old disposal/disposer. Clean everything from under the sink. Some installations have the power cord plugged into a wall outlet and some are direct wired. The next thing you need to do is disconnect the power. If the unit is plugged into the wall just unplug it from the wall. If it is direct wired you will need to shut off the power at the breaker box. When you have the power off, remove the panel from the bottom of the disposal/disposer, the single screw in the small panel next to where the wire goes in. Remove the ground screw and the 2 wire connectors (Note the wire colors and locations). Remove all the hoses and pipes from the disposal/disposer, there are normally 2 connections, one for the dishwasher, and 1 for the discharge.

Now that everything is disconnected, there is a large mounting ring at the top of the disposal/disposer with 3 tabs on it support the disposal/disposer from the bottom and turn this ring counter clockwise until the disposal/disposer comes loose from the sink. (Note: This ring my be pretty tight, you may have to tap it with a hammer or put a screw driver through one of the tabs and turn the ring counterclockwise). Be careful as some of these units are a little heavy when you are on your back under a sink. Dump any excess water out and take the unit to the store with you to get the new garbage disposal/disposer. Try to get one with similar drain placement to make it easier to install later.

Now that you have your new garbage disposal/disposer lets finish up. Lets remove the sink flange assemble, loosen the 3 mounting bolts, enough to get to the retaining ring under the lower mounting ring, slide the lower mounting ring up and pry off the retainer ring with a screw driver. Slide the lower mounting ring off and push the sink flange up through the sink. Clean off all of the putty and/or caulking from the sink.



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