Replacing Your Garbage Disposal
Your garbage disposal eats a lot of food and then one day it stops! The following are some helpful tips when it comes time to replace your Garbage Disposal.
It's broken.. or is it?
There are a few things you can do before you start heading to the local home improvement store or looking up plumbers. Important! Never put your hand down a garbage disposal while it's running!
- Could it be jammed?Sometimes a hard piece that doesn't grind can fall into the drain and jam the unit making it seem like it is dead. Turn off your power, unplug your unit and remove the rubber part in the drain. Shine a light and make sure there is nothing stuck, if there is use pliers to fish it out.
- Did you try the reset button?Garbage disposals work hard, sometimes too hard triggering their safety breaker. If you have been using your disposal before it shut off, wait ten minutes for it to cool down, and then press the reset button usually located on the bottom of the appliance.
- Try and manually move the motorUnder the garbage disposal is a place for you to insert a hex wrench and manually move the motor. Doing this can loosen any jam and could get it working. Make sure your unit is off when you do this. After manually turning the motor back and forth try to turn on the garbage disposal.
Horsepower Options, Which One?
The most common household horsepower (hp) options for garbage disposals are 1/3hp, 1/2hp, 3/4hp and 1hp. For limited household use (1 -2 people) and grinding of soft foods a 1/3hp or 1/2hp unit will work although they will jam easier than the more powerful appliances. If you cook more and have a larger family it is suggested to lean more towards the larger 1hp appliances.
Cost Factors of Replacing Your Garbage Disposal
Garbage Disposals come in different types (continuous feed vs batch feed) and motor sizes. Below are the main cost factors in the project of replacing your garbage disposal.
- Removal of the old garbage disposal
- Purchase and installation of the new garbage disposal
- Replacing drain lines (if applicable) and the material costs
Removing Your Garbage Disposal
Follow the steps below to remove your existing garbage disposal. It's a good idea to have a few bath towels on hand when disconnecting drain lines.
- Turn off your powerTurning off your power is a good idea although you can also unplug the unit if it is plugged into the wall socket. Make sure your water is turned off.
- Disconnect the drain linesYou will need to remove both the drain line from your dishwasher and the main drain tube from the garbage disposal.
- Remove the unit from the mounting ringTo unhook the unit, twist the mounting ring until it dislodges. Be careful, garbage disposals can be heavy and once they dislodge they can surprise you.
- Disconnect the electricalNow that your disposal is free, you can turn it over and remove the plate that holds the electrical wires. Disconnect the wires.
- Remove remaining assembly parts (if needed)If you have purchased the same model of garbage disposal as before you can re-use the mounting hardware. If not, remove the mounting hardware and follow the directions that come with the new unit.
Installing Your New Garbage Disposal
Follow the steps below to install your new garbage disposal. Always refer to your appliance's installation directions
- Install your new mounting hardware and mounting ring (if new)Clean where the old hardware was and refer to your appliance's instructions.
- Prepare the connection to the dishwasher (if needed)If your dishwasher drained into your old garbage disposal you will need to prepare your new one. You will need to pop out the knockout plug for that connection. This can be done with a hammer and a screwdriver. Make sure to retrieve the plug from the unit before use.
- Re-connect your electrical wiresSecurely re-connect your wires. Remove the electrical plate and take extra caution to connect the right wires to each other.
- Re-attach the new unitYour new unit should twist into the mounting ring. Make sure it is tight and secure.
- Re-connect drain linesRe-connect the drain lines from the dishwasher and the main line. If you purchased a different sized unit you might need new lines for a different configuration. Once finished, turn back on the water and power.
- Test the applianceRun your water first to check for leaks. Once there are no leaks, turn on your garbage disposal to make sure it is functioning properly.
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