Garbage disposals are indispensable, helping keep kitchen pipes free from food waste chunks while preventing trash from being plagued by food scrap odors. With regular use, they see a lifespan of up to 10 years.

When installing or replacing one, it’s recommended to always seek out the help of a professional. A plumber will have all of the expertise and tools available on hand to get the job done properly.

Nevertheless, this blog post will go over how to install a garbage disposal.

Ensure your home meets all requirements

Before attempting to install a garbage disposal, it’s crucial to ensure compliance with local codes and regulations. Plumbing codes may prohibit the use of disposals in some communities due to limitations on sewer capacity. Moreover, if the disposal is used alongside a dishwasher, an air gap may be required.

Adhering to these regulations is essential to prevent potential issues or fines in the future. It’s highly recommended to conduct research beforehand and seek guidance from a professional plumber.

Note that you’ll also need access to a plug-in under your sink. Not all homes (especially older ones) have this, so you may need to hire a licensed electrician to wire an outlet.

Consider what type of garbage disposal you want

Before having your garbage disposal installed, consider the type that you want in your home.

One factor to keep in mind is the size of the unit you’d like. Some models can be quite sizable and might not fit neatly under your sink. 

Before delving into your search for different options, take the time to measure the available space beneath your sink and consider the placement of your pipes. This will guarantee that you choose a unit that fits.

When deciding on a unit, there are two types to choose between: batch-feed and continuous-feed disposals. Both options can be effective, but their performance may vary depending on how you use them.

A batch-feed garbage disposal functions when a stopper is positioned on top. This particular unit type is best for households with children, as it prioritizes safety and effectively prevents foreign objects from accidentally falling into and clogging the garbage disposal while it’s on.

Meanwhile, a continuous-feed garbage disposal, as its name suggests, is designed to continuously accept waste. However, it only works when the switch is turned on, and you’ll need to turn the switch off again when you’re done with it.

Tools needed to install a garbage disposal

Once you’ve decided on the type of unit you want and have contacted a professional plumber, they’ll gather the following tools to get started:

  • • Personal protective equipment (such as gloves, a mask, and goggles)
  • • A bucket and towels
  • • A screwdriver
  • • A hacksaw
  • • A wrench
  • • Water pump pliers
  • •Some plumber’s putty
  • • An electrical cord

How to install a new garbage disposal: a step-by-step

Without further ado, let’s get into how to install a garbage disposal.

Step 1: If you have one, remove your existing unit

To begin, if you have an already existing unit in place, you’ll need to first disconnect it.

Start by shutting off the water supply valve and turning off the connected circuit breaker.

Next, unplug the power source and remove the drain flange.

Use pliers to loosen and remove the hose clamp from the discharge pipe.

Step 2: Wire the disposal unit

With the circuit breaker still off, start by locating and removing the cover plate (usually located on the underside of the unit) to access the capped wires. If it doesn’t come with a power cord, connect one.

The majority of units will have the same standard colored wires. The rule of thumb is that you’ll need to connect the white wire to the white wire, the black wire to the black wire, and the green wire to the ground screw.

Step 3: Install the drain flange

To start installing the drain flange, take a piece of plumber’s putty and roll it into a thin rope. Then push the putty onto the underside of the flange. Above the sink, place the flange in the drain hole and press downwards.

Step 4: Attach the mounting ring

Position the backup ring (which should snap into place), the fiber gasket, and the mounting ring at the flange from beneath. Secure the upper mounting ring’s screws.

Step 5: Mount the disposal

Carefully lift the unit and align it with the mounting assembly on your sink, being careful to avoid any damage.

Once positioned, secure the disposal by turning it in place and connecting the snap ring. Tighten the fasteners accordingly to ensure a proper fit.

Step 6: Connect the p-trap and outlet

Measure the discharge tube and, if necessary, trim it to the desired length using a hacksaw.

When it’s fitted, securely connect the P-trap to the outlet using pipe connectors.

Step 7: Tighten the fasteners

Check that all fasteners and mount connections are secure.

Step 8: Test out the new unit

With everything in place, you can then turn on the circuit breaker, plug the unit into a power source, and test that it works as intended.

If you need a garbage disposal installed, contact J. Blanton

With all that said, the job of installing a garbage disposal can be laborious and requires a lot of technical expertise, which is why it’s best to have a professional plumber do it.

For this, consider J. Blanton. We’ve been operating in the Chicagoland area and have been serving homeowners for over 30 years.

Contact us by giving us a call or filling in our contact form!