How to Remove and Replace a Garbage Disposal

If you don’t know how to replace a garbage disposal, chances are you would hire the services of a plumber but do note that this can be expensive. To save money, you can actually do it yourself and it’s certainly doable even if you’re a first timer.

Now, to replace a garbage disposal, you need to remove your old unit first before you can install and replace the new one. So we begin this article by discussing the steps on how to do remove a garbage disposal first before moving on to replacing it. Read on to know how to the steps on how do this task.

A. How to Remove a Garbage Disposal

1. Turn off your garbage disposal’s power supply.

Turn off the switch from your circuit breaker. To be sure that your power supply is really turned off, try turning on your garbage disposal before doing any more steps of the procedure.

2. Remove the Garbage Disposal.

Using the wrench that comes with the disposer or some tongue-in-groove pliers, remove the fittings on the P-trap, which is pipe in U-shape form that connects the garbage disposal. Release the P-trap’s contents into a bucket and then disconnect other pipes as well as clamps and hoses from the best garbage disposal.

With the use of a screwdriver, loosen the disposal from the mounting assembly. As you do this, make sure that you are holding on to the underside of the disposal with one hand. After which, do a counter clockwise turn of the mounting assembly in order to release the disposal.

3. Disconnect the Garbage Disposal’s Electric Wirings.

Take out the screws that surround the electrical cover plate located on the underside of the disposal’s underside. Then, detach the wire connectors using pliers. To know for certain if there’s no electrical voltage, use a voltage tester. If there’s no current, it’s safe to pull the wires apart. Loosen the clamp which holds the electrical cable and then pull it out of the disposal.

4. Detach the Mountain Ring and Sink Flange.

Take out the existing mounting assembly and drain. First, unscrew the mountain ring then push the drain flange up through the drain hole. Take out the remaining pieces of the mounting assembly if there are any. Remove the drain flange from the sink’s opening. Then, clean any remnants of plumber’s putty, debris and take out remaining gaskets from the opening of the sink.

B. How to Replace a Garbage Disposal

So now it’s out with the old and in with your new unit. The following steps are fairly easy to do even if you do it by yourself but if you find your garbage disposal to be heavy, you can always ask the assistance of another person.

1. Replace with the New Garbage Disposal

To replace a garbage disposal, begin by rolling a hill of plumber’s putty or rubber seal on the counter until you have about a half inches thick and to inches long piece. Paste this putty on the underside of the drain flange and then press it securely into place in the drain hole.

Place another plumber’s putty or rubber seal on the sink’s underside. Attach the metal backup ring with the flat side facing up. Note that most garbage disposals have metal mounting hardware but there are some which are made of plastic material. To be on the safe side, consult your manual for any specific instructions.

2. Attach the Mounting Ring

Next, attach the mountain ring loosely with three screws. Push it up and then secure it with the snap ring. Tighten the mounting screws once you feel that the assembly is already tight and even.

3. Prepare the New Garbage Disposal

Now, it’s time to prepare your new disposal unit. Turn it upside down and shake to remove any object left inside. Take out the electrical plate and pull out all electrical wires away from the disposal gently. Note that if your garbage disposal will be connected to the dishwasher drain, employ a hammer and screwdriver to dislodge the knockout plug. Screw the strain relief sleeve then push the electrical cable through it and finally, into the disposal. Tighten the sleeve firmly.

4. Complete the Installation Process

To complete the whole procedure, you need to connect the electrical wires taking note that black wires is to black wires and white wires is to white wires. Secure all connections with wire nuts. Connect the ground wire to the disposal’s green screw then replace the cover plate.

To hang the disposal, twist it into place on the mounting nut. Do rotations on the unit until it’s aligned properly then attach the drain arm and the dishwasher drainpipe. To make sure that there are no leaks, run water through the disposal. Once you’re certain, turn on the power again.


And that concludes this two-part series of how to remove and replace a garbage disposal. From the steps, you can see that you can actually do it on your own without the need for a plumber. If you’re an experienced DIY, this is undoubtedly going to be a cinch for you but if you’re a newbie, don’t fret because it can certainly serve as a pretty good first project initiation to the DIY world.