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Garbage Disposal Installation Guide

garbage disposal installation

Whether replacing an old one or putting one in for the first time, there are a few things worth knowing about garbage disposal installation. Our thorough guide on how to go about installing a garbage disposal is especially helpful if you are thinking it is time to replace the old system. Often the issues are minor and require garbage disposal repair. Food gets trapped or coats the mechanisms and regular cleaning will lengthen its lifespan. Addressing all problems in good time is beneficial. However, garbage disposals don’t live forever and when it comes time to replace, you will start to see the signs. Whether you are replacing an old garbage disposal or installing one for the first time, it is important to look into what the process of installing a garbage disposal entails. There are many home installations that are simple and easy to do, however this one does pose some risks and so you need to make sure you are taking the safest route which might mean bringing some professional help on board.

Signs it’s Time for a New Garbage Disposal to be Installed

As we said, a garbage disposal has a lifespan. Usually they will last between ten and twelve years. So, if you notice any of the following signs when you have had your disposal for about this amount of time, then you are right about ready for a new one.

  • Noises from the Garbage Disposal

    Noise is normal, but when you notice that the noises are all there but food is not being ground up it is likely that the motor has gone. Some noises indicate the need for repairs or a good clean out, and you can give the system a good check before starting to price new ones. But if your disposal is old enough, repairs will cost you money for very little future use.

  • Recurring Clogs

    All garbage disposals clog – we really do put them through the paces. You will probably know if you have put something down that may have created a clogged disposal but if this happens more and more often and seemingly for no reason then look into getting a new garbage disposal installed.

  • Leaking Garbage Disposal

    A garbage disposal should not leak. When this happens, it normally indicates wear and tear which is a fair sign that its time is up. If you think about what you put down the disposal, leaks can be unhygienic and will also eventually cause strain on other parts of your garbage disposal.

Choosing a New Garbage Disposal

Once you have assessed and confirmed that you need to install a new garbage disposal, or gotten a professional in to advise you, or if you are installing for the first time there are a few factors that will influence your decision.

  • Types of Garbage Disposals

    There are two main types of garbage disposal systems. The more popular one is a continuous disposal system. The other type is a batch disposal, suited to people who have a need of grinding up larger batches more periodically.

  • Motor Power

    Garbage disposals come with various horse power motors and the one you choose will depend on two things. More people in a household will require a more powerful motor because of a higher amount of waste being produced. You should consider at least 1 HP. Households that create the kind of waste that puts a lot of strain on garbage disposals should also install a more powerful disposal. Look into what substances are harder on a disposal.

  • Equipped for a Dishwasher

    If you have a dishwasher, or want to get one down the line, then make sure the garbage disposal you put in has an attachment for this. This is an ideal version as waste from the dishwasher can wash straight into the disposal system. Even if you don’t have need for a dishwasher, if your home ever changes hands, new owners might appreciate the option.

  • Durable Materials

    A disposal should have durable blades ideally made from stainless steel but if you want to spend a bit extra then check how many of the other wearable parts are also made from stainless steel. It will affect the lifespan and maintenance so if upfront cost is not your main concern this is a worthwhile investment.

  • Warranty

    A more expensive garbage disposal will usually come with a longer warranty. Whatever your budget is, a good benchmark is a one-year warranty.

Garbage Disposal Installation

The actual process of installing a disposal must be done with caution. There are risks involved because you are dealing with blades, electricity, and water. There are also quite a few tools and materials involved which you may not have. The process must be technically accurate, and it is advisable to avoid accidents by employing the services of a professional.

  • The Wiring

    The old disposal has to be disconnected first. Garbage disposals are usually connected at the base and so this is where the process starts. Some electrical knowledge is required to ensure the wires are disconnected correctly.

  • The Plumbing

    If you have a dishwasher that the system connects to, then this is the next part to detach. The only thing left after this is to detach it from the sink drain. This is done by supporting the base, loosening from the bottom up, and in the right direction. Clean the area of the waste that has inevitably built up over the years of use before putting in the new disposal.

  • Installing the New Garbage Disposal

    Replacing the old disposal with an identical new one is less complicated than replacing with a different model. So, if you are not looking specifically for a different disposal this may be something to consider. A completely different disposal, or for installing your first disposal, the sink connector has to be puttied into place. A secure seal is a must. Once connected at the sink drain, the dishwasher connector is attached. The last thing is to wire up the new disposal, taking care to connect wires accurately, and the base covered to protect the wiring from any water getting in.

  • Thorough Checks

    A professional will know that all washers are properly installed so that no leaks are present and will also know what checks need to be done at every point to make sure that no hidden issues pose a problem down the line.

Considering DIY?

Remember that a disposal is not like the many simple home improvement projects around the house. It involves blades, a mix of electric work, and plumbing which then means a mix of electricity and water. Accidents involving garbage disposals are too common to put yourself at risk. Considering the life span of a disposal, it would also be unnecessarily expensive to purchase all the tools and materials required for the job. The risk of an imperfect installation is that issues, like leaks or wiring, may not be obvious to an untrained eye during the checks. These are not just going to cause the disposal not to work properly but are hazardous.

Getting the job done by a professional from Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric will avoid additional expenses, risks and ill-advised purchases. We will be able to tell if a new disposal is needed, guide you on what will suit your needs best, and take care of the installation as well as follow up maintenance. Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric is equipped for all your garbage disposal and home plumbing needs.