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How To Install a New Garbage Disposal?

Answered by Brett ~ August 19, 2011 ~ No Comments

I would like install a new garbage disposal in my kitchen.

Jerome R. ~ Wichita, KS

Brett Kulina

Hello Jerome, although I can offer you some basic guidelines for installing a new garbage disposal, you'll need to follow the manufacturer's instructions that came with the specific brand and model that you purchased. It's also worth noting that this project involves water and electricity, a potentially dangerous combination, so if you have limited experience with electrical and plumbing issues, then you may need some help from a licensed plumber or electrician. That being said, installing a new garbage disposal can be a pretty straight forward DIY project-just work safely!

Some basic guidelines for installing a garbage disposal:

-The first thing that you need to do is turn off the power supply to your garbage disposal (or to the electrical outlet that your disposal plugs into). The safest way to accomplish this task is to manually trip the circuit breaker at your home's electrical panel, and then use a circuit tester to insure that the power is indeed off at the hot end/outlet.

-Separate the disposal unit from its mounting bracket. The mounting bracket is attached to the top of disposal unit. The mounting assembly on most units includes a couple of bolts and some other hardware, which is needed to connect the garbage disposal to the bottom of the sink.

-Install the mounting bracket onto the drain hole of the sink. This mounting assembly is what holds the disposal unit tight to the bottom of the sink and creates the drain for water and waste to enter the disposal unit. This connection needs to be water tight, so it's best to use plumber's putty to help create a lasting, tight seal.

-Attach the disposal unit to the mounting bracket on the bottom of the sink. If your specific disposal needs to be be hard wired (meaning that it does not have a standard plug for a wall outlet), then first make all of the needed electrical connections as instructed to do so by the manufacturers guidelines. If your disposal unit is the type that just plugs into a wall outlet then leave the unit unplugged for now.

-Connect the disposal unit to the home's PVC waste line. Although each situation is different, most waste connections will include a discharge tube, a P-trap, and some flex hose. It can be a time saver to have some extra PVC fittings on hand when making this waste line connection, so buy a few extra fittings when stocking up at the hardware store. Remember that the PVC nut connections only need to be hand tighten, as the pipe threads can be damaged if you over tighten them. Non-threaded connections should be glued together with a PVC cement that is compatible with the PVC pipe that you are using.

-Once your disposal unit is installed, double check that all the electrical wiring and the waste lines have been connected correctly. Turn on the power source and operate the garbage disposal while the water is running. Check for leaks under the sink.

If you are replacing an old garbage disposal, installing a similarly-sized model may help save you time during the installation, because you may be able to utilize the existing PVC waste line and/or mounting bracket.

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