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How to Change a Garbage Disposal

Man under sink with tools

Garbage disposals are the pillars of your kitchen. They work tirelessly in your kitchen, but the time comes when they also give up. If your garbage disposal has started leaking, demanding repairing frequently, or smelling unpleasant all the time, then it is time to change your garbage disposal.

Changing garbage disposal is a pretty simple task and you do not need to call a plumber to do that. Doing to it yourself, you can save lots of money. You just need a few tools and 1-2 hours of your time.

Tools Needed to Change Garbage Disposal

tools scattered on a piece of wood
  • Flat-headed screwdriver
  • Philips-head screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Simple pliers
  • Flashlight
  • New Garbage Disposal

Steps to Change a Garbage Disposal

Let’s get started

Step 1 – First thing to do is to find the outlet where the garbage disposal is connected and unplug it. If it is hardwired, then switch off the garbage disposal connection from the main circuit-breaker box.

Just test it by running the garbage disposal, if there is no sound it means it is off and we are good to go.

Step 2 – Now we need to disconnect the drain pipe and dishwasher drain hose (if the dishwasher is installed). Get under the sink, and locate the drain pipe and dishwasher drain hose.

Loosen the drainpipe from both ends with the help of pliers and pull it straight down. Now, to remove the dishwasher drain hose, just loosen the clamps with the help of a screwdriver and pull away from the drain hose.

Step 3 – Now we are ready to remove the old Garbage Disposal. Garbage disposal is a heavy appliance and once loosen; it will fall straight away. You should consider putting a bucket or cardboard underneath, otherwise, it could injure you and damage the floor as well.

Now, take a screwdriver or a hex key, insert it in the lower mounting ring, and start turning it counterclockwise. The garbage disposal will break loose and come down.

Step 4 – Once you remove the old garbage disposal, keep both old and new garbage disposal side by side upside down. If your new garbage disposal comes with the wire attached, then you can move to step 6. If not, then keep on reading.

What you need to do is take off the cable from the old garbage disposal and connect with the new one. To do that, locate the access panel at the bottom of your garbage disposals and use the Philips screwdriver to remove the panel and expose the wiring.

You will find three wires in there, black wire, white wire, and green wire. Remove the wires from the wire nut and unscrew the screw that is holding the ground wire. Loosen the power cable clamp holding the cord and pull the cord-free. Remove the clamp as well.

Step 5 – Access the same panel in the new garbage disposal. You will find the same black and white wires and the green ground screw. The first thing you need to do is screw the power cable clamp and insert the power cable through it.

Now, attach the black wire with black, white wire with white and twist the wires with help of pliers and secure them with a wire nut. Loosen the ground screw just enough to insert the wire. Insert the ground wire in the ground screw with the help of needle-nose pliers and tighten the screw. Close the panel and tighten the screws. Also, tighten the clamp holding the power cord. You are done with the electrical part.

Step 6 – We will now install the new garbage disposal. Lift the disposal up, attach the collar with the mounting ring loops, and tighten the collar with the help of hex key.

Step 7 – We have changed our garbage disposal. Now we must fix the drain assembly. You can use the old system drain pipe or you can purchase the new set of pipes as per your preference.

Now we already know the length of the drainpipe required, so what we need to do is just cut the new pipe to the exact length and test fit it. If your garbage disposal has a threaded end for the pipe then you can directly connect it with the garbage disposal. If not, then you have to attach the drainpipe with the help of a drain gasket and metal ring.

Put the drain gasket on one end, insert the metal ring over the pipe and bolt the ring into the garbage disposal with a screwdriver. Connect the other end of the pipe with a drain outlet with the help of a nylon gasket and the connector. Use the pliers to tighten the connectors.

If you have the dishwasher installed, you have to connect the dishwasher drain hose with the garbage disposal. Put the clamp around the connection and tighten the screws with a screwdriver.

Step 8 – Now, we are at our last step. Plugin the garbage disposal and switch it on. Run some water and check for any leaks or any awkward noise.

If nothing is there, then you are good to go.

You have successfully changed your garbage disposal on your own.

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