Replace That Noisy Ineffective Garbage Disposal Unit Yourself

Posted on: 14 April 2016

Your old garbage disposal can become so noisy that you don't bother to use it anymore. Thankfully, you can replace it easily yourself if you use the same make and model of garbage disposal unit. That way you'll be able to use the same mounting hardware on your sink. Here is how you can replace that old unit with a quieter, more efficient garbage disposal.

Supplies You'll Need

  • flat-blade screwdriver
  • channel lock pliers
  • wire cutters/strippers
  • small bucket
  • old rags for cleanup

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Unplug the garbage disposal unit from the electrical outlet under the sink.
  2. Loosen the large nut securing the angled drain pipe coming out of the side of the garage disposal to the drain pipe under the sink.
  3. Pull the two drain pipes apart.
  4. Remove the dishwasher drain hose from the unit, if present.
  5. Lift up on the garage disposal while turning it counterclockwise to free it from the mounting ring on the sink.  
  6. Turn the unit upside down over the bucket to drain any water from inside, then place the unit on the floor.
  7. Remove the metal access plate covering the wires on the bottom of the garbage disposal.
  8. Remove the green ground wire from the green or copper screw.
  9. Cut the black and white wires as close to the unit as you can.
  10. Save the electrical plug and wires to be used on the new unit.
  11. Move the old unit out of the way.
  12. Turn the new unit upside down to access the metal plate covering the wires.
  13. Remove the plate and pull out the black and white wires.
  14. Strip about a half inch of insulation from the ends of the black and white wires coming out of the new unit and the wires on the old electrical plug.
  15. Secure the green wire on the electrical plug to the green or copper colored screw on the new unit.
  16. Twist the ends of the two black wires together and secure with a wire nut included as part of the installation hardware.
  17. Twist the ends of the two white wires together and secure with a wire nut.
  18. Replace the metal plate covering the wires.
  19. Turn the new unit over and hold it up to the mounting ring on the bottom of the sink.
  20. Rest the mounting ring on the new unit into the mounting ring on the sink and turn the unit clockwise until you feel it click into place.
  21. Secure the dishwasher hose, if used, onto the drain coming straight out of the side of the new garbage disposal.
  22. Secure the drain pipe under the sink to the angled drain pipe coming out of the side of the new unit.
  23. Plug the electrical cord into the outlet under the sink.
  24. Run water into the sink and look for leaks.

Problems You May Encounter

  • If you have difficulty removing any of the drain hoses or pipes because of corrosion, you'll need one of the local plumbing companies to cut the drain hoses away and install new drain pipe.
  • If you wish to replace the unit with a different brand that uses another type of mounting hardware, have a plumber help you do the installation. The new hardware must be attached to the sink and, if you have a ceramic or porcelain sink, there is some risk of cracking it during the replacement of the hardware.

If you feel you cannot do this on your own, it is best to call in professional plumbing companies or services. 

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