How to Replace Your Garbage Disposal on Your Own

List: Posted: 09/12/11

Replacing a failed garbage disposal can seem like a daunting task, but you can breath a sigh of relief because it's pretty simple.  No need to call in a pricy plumber

 

For this home repair, your first step should be to purchase your new unit at the hardware store and then make sure you have the tools you'll need, including a flat-head screwdriver and a wrench.  Have a shallow tub or basin at hand to catch any water spills.

 

Most important step: don't forget to turn off the power at the breaker box!  Never do this repair while the electricity is on.

 

Next, you need to disconnect and remove the drain arm and tube from the disposal unit.  Once you have the drain tube and arm disconnected, you should just have to twist off the unit from the mounting nut.  Dump out any water and debris remaining in the unit before you start disconnecting the power – the connections are located under the plate on the bottom in most cases.

 

If you purchased the same unit as the one you're replacing, there will be no need to remove the mounting hardware – just install it after connecting the power.  If not, you need to remove the mounting hardware, such as the mounting assembly, drain, drain flange, etc.  Replace these with the supplied mounting hardware for your new unit.

 

Connecting your new unit should not be a serious home repair problem, though you will need to connect the power cables, and the knockout plug to attach it to the drain.  Make sure that all of your connections are tight and secure before you mount the unit in place.

 

Also, make sure that you shake the new unit upside down to remove anything that might be inside of it.  It's not uncommon for the manufacturers to stuff the unit with plastic tabs to keep everything in place until its first use.

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