How to Replace a Garbage Disposal

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Garbage disposals are quite useful and hardy and can last for many years when maintained well. However, sometimes, even with the best maintenance and care, these fixtures can break down. Replacing a garbage disposal is quite a straightforward task if you have the proper tools. Here is some information that will help you understand how it’s done.

Preparing for the Project

Buy a product that is compatible with your sink drain’s opening.
Ensure that you have all the components listed in the instruction sheet that comes with it.
Check the circuit’s amperage to ensure that the disposal will not overload it. You would be able to find this information on the breaker switch.

Step 1. Remove the Drain’s Tube and Arm

Disconnect the drain’s arm from the garbage disposal unit. Use strong pliers to loosen the spring clamp that holds the holding the drain tube in position and remove the tube from the unit.

Step 2. Remove the Disposal Unit 

Twist off the mounting nut and remove the disposal.
Dump out all the remaining debris and water. Turn the disposal upside down and remove the plate that covers the electrical connections. 
Remove the wire nuts and grounding screw and pull out the cable from the unit.
You might have to loosen the strain relief valve if there is one.
Remove the drain and the existing mounting assembly.
Unscrew the system’s mounting ring.
Push up the drain flange through the drain hole.
Scrape off all old plumber’s putty on the sink’s surface.

Note: If your replacement garbage disposal is of the same model as the older unit, you will not have to replace the mounting hardware.

Step 3. Install New Mounting Hardware

First place a rubber seal under the drain flange. If the new disposal does not have a rubber seal, you would have to use some plumber’s putty. 
Push out the drain flange into place inside the drain hole.
Place one more rubber seal on the drain’s flange under the sink. 
Attach the backup ring (it should be flat side up)
Most garbage disposal units use mounting hardware made of metal while other units use plastic.
Check the owner’s manual for the installation procedures.

Step 4. Attach the New Mounting Ring

Loosely attach the new mounting ring with the three screws. 
Push the ring up and use a snap ring to secure it.
Tighten all the mounting screws till the assembly is even and tight.
Prepare the Replacement Disposal
If the disposal is to be connected to your dishwasher’s drain, use a screwdriver and hammer to remove its knockout plug. 
Turn the garbage disposal upside-down, shake it, and remove anything stuck inside.
Remove the unit’s electrical plate and gently pull all the electrical wires away from the fixture.
Screw-in the strain relief sleeve into position
Push the electrical cable out through the sleeve into the garbage disposal and tighten the sleeve firmly.

Step 5. Complete the Unit Installation

Connect all the electrical wires, splice black to black and white to white.
Secure the connections using wire nuts.
Connect the ground wire onto the green screw on the unit.
Replace the cover plate.
Fix the disposal in place and align it correctly.
Turn the power back on.

If you aren’t too confident amount handling the replacement yourself, hire a skilled local plumber for the job. 

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