When your garbage disposer becomes so noisy that you hate to turn it on, it's time to replace it with a new one. If you purchase the same model, you can use the same mounting kit and replace it yourself. (If you buy a different brand, you'll want a plumber to do the work because of the changes required to the kitchen sink.) If you're up to the DIY plumbing project, here are the steps to put in a new, quieter garbage disposal unit.
Tools You'll Need for This Project
- flat-blade screwdriver
- channel lock pliers
- small bucket
- old rags for cleanup
Removing Your Old Garbage Disposer
- Turn the electricity off to the garbage disposer at the circuit box for the house.
- Turn the water off using the shutoff valve under the sink.
- Remove the drain pipe from the side of the unit by loosening the spring clip or large nut.
- If there is a hose from the dishwasher connected to the side of the unit, remove that, too.
- Push up slightly on the garbage disposer as you turn it counterclockwise to remove it from the mounting ring.
- Turn the unit upside down over the bucket to drain any water out of it.
- Put the unit on the floor so you can access the wires going into the unit from the wall under the sink.
- Pull the metal plate off that covers the wires attached to the unit.
- Remove the green ground wire and the black and white electrical wires from the unit.
- Move the old garbage disposer out of your way.
- Loosen the screws on the mounting ring under the sink and remove the ring from the flange.
- Unscrew the flange connected to the bottom of the sink where the mounting ring was attached.
- Lift the flange up out of the sink and clean any sealer left around the drain hole.
Installing the New Garbage Disposal Unit
- Push the rubber ring onto the new flange and lower it down through the sink hole.
- Push the other rubber ring onto the flange from below the sink until it is snug with the bottom of the sink.
- Screw the metal ring onto the flange clockwise until it is secure against the rubber ring on the bottom of the sink. The two rubber rings create a watertight seal between the flange and the sink drain hole.
- Connect the new mounting ring to the flange with the screws provided.
- Put the new garbage disposer on the floor so you can access the electrical wires.
- Remove the cover plate over the wires.
- Screw the green ground wire coming out of the wall to the green or copper connector on the new unit.
- Using one of the wire nuts that came with the unit, twist together and connect the white wire coming out of the wall to the white wire on the new unit.
- Repeat with the black wires.
- Replace the cover plate.
- Turn the unit over and lift it up so its mounting ring fits into the flange ring.
- Turn the unit clockwise until you feel it lock into place.
- Attach the hose from the dishwasher (if you have one) to the side of the unit and secure with the clip or nut.
- Attach the drain hose to the unit.
- Turn the water back on under the sink.
- Turn the power back on to the unit.
Problems With Which You May Need Help
- If your old unit has been leaking, corrosion may make it difficult to remove it from the mounting flange. A plumber may have to cut the flange to get the unit off for you.
- If the wiring doesn't match the green/black/white standard, have a plumber from an establishment like Walt's Plumbing sort through the wiring to hook up the unit safely.