How to Replace a Stinky and Damaged Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal unit under the sink provides a convenient way to eliminate food scraps and reduce garbage odor. However, garbage disposals are not indestructible and will eventually burn out with extended wear and tear. If your garbage disposal no longer works properly, you can save money by replacing it yourself.

The following guide provides step-by-step instructions for installing a new sink garbage disposal unit.

Turn Off the Electricity

It is important to make sure the power is off before performing any electrical work. To do this, locate the circuit breaker panel for your main power supply. Flip the breaker that controls the power to your existing garbage disposal into the off position. Make sure the power is off by trying to turn on your garbage disposal.

Remove the Old Unit

Unplug the old garbage disposal. Using a pipe wrench, unscrew the drainpipe connected to the disposal. Be sure to have a bucket and a big rag on hand to catch water trapped in the pipe. Disconnect the old garbage disposal from its mounting ring. Including the flange inside the sink’s drain hole, remove the old mounting assembly and strip residual putty from around the drain hole.

Install the New Sink Flange

From the new mounting assembly separate the new flange. The flange fits over the drain hole, and the mounting assembly fits under it. To form a putty snake and run it around the rim of the flange, roll plumber’s putty between your hands. Set the flange into the drain hole, and press it down evenly and firmly.

Attach the New Gasket

From under the sink, slip the gasket over the bottom of the flange. Place the mounting ring over the gasket, and secure it with the mounting screws that come with your new under sink garbage disposal. While holding the flange in place, snap the retaining ring over the ridge on the mounting ring. Tighten all screws until nearly all of the plumber’s putty squeezes out from between the sink and the flange. Trim excess putty, and wipe the sink clean.

Attach the New Disposal

Fit the new unit in place over the mounting assembly, and turn the mounting ring until the unit is securely engaged. Tighten the mounting lugs or bolts. Reconnect the disposal’s discharge tube to the drainpipe.

Check for Correct Installation

Before you plug in your new disposal and turn the power back on, make sure that the new disposal doesn’t leak. Run your water for a few minutes, and monitor the disposal unit and drainpipe for moisture. If everything remains dry, turn the power back on, plug in your new disposal and give it a test run.