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Is It Hard To Install A Garbage Disposal?

By Lianne Jones April 02, 2022 0 comments

Are you looking to install a garbage disposal but don’t know where to start?

Maybe you need to replace your garbage disposal and aren’t sure how?

Or are you curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you!

Is It Hard To Install A Garbage Disposal

We know how difficult it can be to install a garbage disposal, especially if you have never done one before.

Quickly, you can become overwhelmed, and find yourself unsure what to do, or where to turn.

You panic and worry that you could damage the disposal, leaving yourself without a disposal.

Well, worry no more. Today we are here with a guide that will walk you through how to install a garbage disposal with ease.

Keep reading to find out how hard it is and everything else you need to know.

How To Install A Garbage Disposal

Once your garbage disposal has finally packed up and broken down you will need to replace it.

You may need a few tools to install a replacement unit yet you should already have them at hand.

These include a disposer wrench, a hacksaw, a screwdriver, pliers for your water pump, electrical cord, a bucket, and plumber’s putty.

Ensure you have some safety supplies to do the job properly too which will include goggles and a dust mask.

When you are considering replacing your garbage disposal unit, make sure it is broken first.

That should mean checking that the plug is in place and that the unit fails to turn on, even when the circuit is reset.

The blades may even be jammed which could mean a blockage and it may be a case of removing it.

Check that the new garbage disposal unit is at the right price point and can effectively do the job you want it to.

If it is, you can save yourself money by installing the new unit yourself should you have a few spare hours and some tools.

Removing The Old Garbage Disposal Unit

Your first step should be ensuring that the power is turned off and that you have informed the rest of the household not to turn it on as you are replacing the garbage disposal unit.

When you are removing the old unit, you may need to detach the dishwasher hose with the screwdriver.

Next up is the waste line which runs from the disposal unit which should require the wrench as you would need to unscrew the slip-nut that connects the trap to the disposal unit itself.

Here is where your bucket comes in to catch any nasty wastewater and, once empty, you can remove the unit by unscrewing the mounting ring lug then turning counterclockwise so it becomes loose.

Preparing The Sink

Once the old garbage disposal unit has been removed, you can clean up the rest of the mounting assembly including the previous plumber’s putty, the sink sleeve ring, and the sink sleeve itself as well as the fiber gasket, and the flange.

You will want to clean the sleeve, sink opening, and flange before installing the new garbage disposal unit.

Installing Your New Garbage Disposal Unit

With the area prepared, you can get started on preparing your new garbage disposal unit.

Is It Hard To Install A Garbage Disposal

That may mean some basic wiring as your new unit could come with appliance wires where you simply attach black to black wires and white to white wires.

If there are no wires to be attached, find the cover plate underneath the disposal unit and remove it to attach the wires as the instructions recommend that you do.

Grab some plumber’s putty and roll it into a snake that measures 10 inches (25 centimeters) and is around half an inch thick.

Press this into the underside of your drain flange which will be under the sink.

Then you can insert the flange into your drain hole, press it down to make sure it is attached.

Now you can attach the backup ring, mounting ring, and fiber gasket.

You will need the screwdriver to attach the mounting ring against the sink and ensure it is a tight fit by working beneath the sink.

Try alternating sides to make sure that each screw is evenly tight and the mounting ring is not lop-sided.

If there is any excess putty around the flange, use a regular knife to trim some of it away.

Connecting The New Garbage Disposal Unit

Your final few steps will connect the new garbage disposal unit to your plumbing.

With the mounting ring in place, put the unit inside the ring so that the outlet faces the drain pipe connection.

Once it is in, tighten it up until the unit is reassuringly firm and does not wobble.

Grab a ruler and measure your discharge pipe as you will need your hacksaw to make sure it is the right size to attach to your unit’s outlet.

Consult the manufacturer’s instructions so you can be confident of connecting it securely.

Now you can attach the discharge tube for all your dishwater too. The last step is to check if it all works.

Connect the unit to the mains outlet, pour some water into the sink, then turn on your new garbage disposal unit.

You should hear it working and then you can check for any leaks underneath.

If there are none, that is a sure sign that you have all the parts connected securely though you should try it for disposing of food waste too.

If there is an effective grinding sound then you can be confident that your new garbage disposal unit has been installed properly.

Tips When Considering A Garbage Disposal

One straightforward tip for installing your garbage disposal is to ensure that you have the right type of disposal unit which is compatible with your plumbing.

If it is not, you will soon encounter problems whenever you try to use it.

You need to consider who would use the disposal unit too, what food waste they would be disposing of, the existing plumbing in your home, and how noisy the new unit can be.

The noise factor is particularly important if you have young children or babies that go to bed a few hours before you.

By simply turning on the garbage disposal unit at night before you go to bed, you would be creating a noise that may wake up other members of your household.

Also, think about how dangerous a garbage disposal unit could be around children.

Look into a batch feed disposal unit, it may be more expensive but the required use of a stopper can be safer and less noisy.

That is as opposed to a continuous feed disposal unit which runs after you have flipped a switch and only stops when you manually stop it.

Any accidentally dropped metal implements or containers, such as utensils or small cans, can get stuck and if a child tries to retrieve them that may prove incredibly dangerous.

The garbage disposal unit should also match how you intend to use it.

Smaller households would require models with comparably less horsepower than the more formidable models.

However, the noise factor can also be a factor in the price as quieter models made from stainless steel or a unit that connects directly to your dishwasher can be more expensive.

Then there is the septic tank to consider as, if your plumbing connects to one, you need to take that into account for your garbage disposal unit.

How Hard Is It To Install A Garbage Disposal?

As long as you have some DIY know-how along with the right materials and tools, it should not prove too difficult to install a garbage disposal unit.

You may need a basic understanding of electrics but the instructions from the manufacturer should suffice.

As long as you read and follow the instructions, it should not take too long to install your new garbage disposal unit.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right garbage disposal unit is crucial to ensure that it works for your household and you do not find yourself replacing it again.

Once you have decided on the most efficient unit and the right level of acceptable noise, it should be relatively straightforward to install your new garbage disposal unit.

Even if you do find it too difficult to do yourself, you can always recruit a plumber to do it for you.


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