Emergency Services

How to Install a Garbage Disposal

garbage disposal under a kitchen sink

A garbage disposal is a handy appliance to have in your sink at home. Installing one is a fairly easy project to do yourself and can be a nice addition to your kitchen to dispose of food waste. Before installing a garbage disposal, make sure to understand any area specific code requirements surrounding sewer capacity. If you have a septic system, make sure to install a disposal designed for use with a septic tank since excessive food waste can interfere with septic waste decomposition.

The second thing you’ll need to consider before starting installation is how much horsepower you need out of the disposal. For households more than 2 people and tougher disposal jobs, you should consider a 1 horsepower disposal over a .05 horsepower model. Here are some DIY installation tips. If you can’t get the disposal to function properly after following these steps, call a quality plumbing service to complete the installation.

    • Wire the disposal. If the disposal does not come with an appliance cord attached, you will have to wire one. Remove the cover plate and examine the wires. Connect white to white, black to black, and green to the ground screw. Refer to the manufacturer instructions if the colors are different.

    • Add plumber’s putty. After removing the existing drain, apply a rope of plumber’s putty to the underside of the drain flange and insert the flange into the drain hole, pressing it down evenly. Then install the backup ring, fiber gasket, and mounting ring from beneath the sink.

    • Mount the disposal. Install the upper mounting ring, tightening the screws and aligning the ring. Then, mount the disposal, making sure the outlet of the disposal is facing the drain pipe connection. Rotate the lower ring clockwise until the disposal is supported by the mount.

    • Connect the outlet to the discharge pipe. You will need to measure and cut the discharge pipe to the proper length to attach it. Install the pipe to the outlet of the disposal and attach the drain line.

  • Tighten the mounting lug. Finally, you need to secure the apparatus and tighten the mounting lug on the lower mounting ring. Turn the lug clockwise with a screwdriver until the disposal is locked into place. Tighten all slip nuts and run some water into the sink. Turn the disposal on and check for leaks, re-tightening anything if necessary.

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