Handyman Tip:

How to Replace a Garbage Disposal

This article describes how to replace a garbage disposal that is beyond repair. If this handyman job seems beyond your reach, just call your Central Arizona handyman, Scott Smith.

    1. Disconnect power:  Pull out power cord from electrical outlet.  For disposals that are hardwired to and electrical sox.  Shut off breaker in main power panel, check to make sure power is off at electrical box connections, disconnect disposal wiring from house wiring. 
    2. Disconnect dishwasher drain line (if dishwasher drains through the disposal).
    3. Disconnect disposal drain from sink drain.
    4. Use alen wrench tool that came with the garbage disposal (check in the box of the replacement disposal), to release the locking ring at the sink drain – Disposal connection.  Be sure to support the garbage disposal as you release the locking ring, the disposal is heavy and will drop as soon as the lock ring is released. 
    5. Use a basin wrench to remove the sink drain mounting bracket.
    6. Clean the sink drain top and bottom to remove all the old plumbers putty.
    7. Take some new plumbers putty and create a 3/8” thick rope of putty that will be long enough to circle the sink drain with no gaps, and press putty to sink drain to set new disposal drain flange into.
    8. Drop disposal drain flange into sink drain.  On under side of the sink drain, install cardboard washer against underside of sink drain over flange.  Screw on large flange retaining nut.  Secure nut to flange with basin wrench tightly.  Plumbers putty will squeeze out around flange as it is secured.  Remove excess putty and return to putty container.
    9. Turn over old disposal so you can work on the bottom.  Remove the wiring plate to access the wiring.  Disconnect the black, white and green wires (the wiring colors may be different standard wiring – black is hot, white is neutral, green is ground).  Remove the cable strain relief connector and remove the wire cable from the old disposal.
    10. Reverse step 9 to install the wire cable onto the new disposal.  Secure wiring and replace cover. 
    11. VERY IMPORTANT:  Remove the dishwasher discharge drain plug from the new disposal if a dishwasher drain line is to be connected at the disposal.  NOTE:  If there is no connection to a dishwasher – Do Not Remove the discharge drain plug – leave intact.  When you knock out the drain plug, don’t forget to remove it from the inside grind chamber of the new disposal. 
    12. Support the new disposal from underneath.  Press the disposal into the sink flange and tighten the lock nut with the supplied alen wrench tool.  Make sure the locking nut is secured on all the flange threads, and tighten securely.  Double check your connection, the disposal should be firmly connected to the sink.
    13. Reinstall the dishwasher drain line. 
    14. Re-connect the sink drain plumbing to the disposal.
    15. Check all plumbing connections – Make sure they are tight.
    16. Reconnect the power – See Step 1.
    17. Run water and activate mew disposal – Check for leaks.