Installing A Garbage Disposal

4 Materials
$115
30 Minutes
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One of the things I was really looking forward to when we moved into our new fixer upper was being able to install a garbage disposal. You see, at our old house, we were on the septic system and so we weren’t able to have a garbage disposal. It’s one of those things you don’t really appreciate until it’s gone!


Disclaimer: Please be sure to follow your manufacturer’s specific instructions for installation and safety. Check to see if you need a permit for this installation. Be sure to observe any building and electrical codes. Lastly, be sure to contact a licensed electrician if you have doubts or questions about the electrical connections in your home.

STEP 1. CLEAN SINK.

Before you get started, be sure to clean the area under the sink and clear out the sink of any debris. Place a towel under the sink to catch any water that may fall down.


STEP 2. UNPLUG OLD GARBAGE DISPOSAL (IF NECESSARY).

If you are replacing an old garbage disposal, unplug the disposal before beginning. We did not have a garbage disposal.


If you don’t see a plug under your kitchen sink, be sure to turn off the electricity to the disposal on your power circuit box.


STEP 3. DISCONNECT TAILPIECE.

First, disconnect the tailpiece connected to the sink drain. The tailpiece is the plumbing pipe going horizontal between the two sides of the kitchen sink.


STEP 4. UNSCREW YOUR SINK DRAIN AND REMOVE.

Once everything is disconnected, you can simply unscrew your old sink drain and remove.


STEP 5. REMOVE OLD PLUMBER’S PUTTY FROM SINK.

Once the sink drain (also referred to as the flange) has been removed, you’ll probably notice old plumber’s putty. Thoroughly scrub out any plumber’s putty that may be remaining.

STEP 6. INSTALL NEW DRAIN IN SINK.

Take the new drain/flange off of the new garbage disposal. Roll out plumber’s putty into a rope and surround underside of drain where threads meet the rim. This will seal the drain to your sink.


Next, set your drain into the center of your sink drain hole. Make sure you pay attention to how the labels are facing on your drain. Firmly press down until you see putty start popping out around every edge of the new drain. Don’t worry about wiping off excess putty right now.


STEP 7. INSTALL MOUNTING PIECES TO BOTTOM OF DRAIN.

To give your new drain a little weight to stay in place while you work below the sink, consider placing your garbage disposal on top of the drain that you just pressed into place.


Finish assembling your garbage disposal drain underneath the sink. You should have a flange, mounting ring and snap ring. Be sure you screw in the screws evenly on the mounting ring to get an even seal. Tighten each screw a little bit at a time and do not favor one screw more than the others. Hold everything on the drain assembly in place while you put the snap ring on to the flange until you hear it click.

STEP 8. REMOVE EXCESS PUTTY FROM SINK.

You can now take the weight off of the drain, remove any excess putty and clean the area.


Now it’s time to install garbage disposal under your kitchen sink. Align the drain on the garbage disposal with drain assembly. Turn the little mounting tabs on clockwise until your new garbage disposal clicks into place on the mounting ring.


Our garbage disposal came with a cord ready to plug in. If yours doesn’t, you will need to remove the plate on the bottom of the disposal and hook up the wires. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions for this step if necessary.


STEP 10. ATTACH TAILPIECE.

You may be need to measure and cut a new flanged tailpiece to the proper length to attach to the rest of the plumbing under your sink. Be sure that the tailpiece you’re installing to the garbage disposal is at a slight down angle moving towards the other side of the sink.


We had to make some adjustments to the other side of the sink’s plumbing to ensure this slight down angle (which are the new white plumbing pipes you see).


STEP 11. INSTALL PLUG (OR DISHWASHER CONNECTION HOSE).

If you don’t have a dishwasher, you should buy a garbage disposal without the place for the dishwasher hose to go. Since we don’t have a dishwasher yet but we plan to install one soon, we added a plug where the dishwasher hose would go for now.


STEP 12. SECURE ALL FITTINGS.

Tighten all compression fittings. Do a quarter turn on all fittings once you hand tighten them. Do not over tighten or else you will create leaks.


STEP 13. PLUG IN AND TEST BADGER GARBAGE DISPOSAL.

Plug in your Badger garbage disposal and test with cold water. Ensure there are no leaks.

Simple as that! It took us less than 30 minutes to install this garbage disposal ourselves. Not to mention, we were able to save hundreds of dollars by DIYing it. Installing a new garbage disposal is a job that an experienced DIYer can definitely take on themselves.

Suggested materials:

  • Badger 5 garbage disposal
  • Dishwasher connection (if you're going to be connecting a dishwasher)
  • Plumber's Putty
See all materials

Chelsea @ Making Manzanita
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