Handy Hubby - Replacing a Garbage Disposal

I must admit that I have been blessed with a very handy husband, Jon!  Over the past 10 years, he has saved us thousands of dollars by doing maintenance on his own.  It can be the simple oil change for the cars or designing and building an entertainment center for the playroom, Jon has done it.  Yes, you read it right, he designed and built an entertainment center for Michael's playroom!  I'm so glad that his father and grandfather taught him some basic skills growing up.  He still calls them when he's about to work on a project to get their advice on how to go about it.  If they don't know, off to the internet he goes.  So, since he finds how-to videos and blogs so helpful for projects he works on, he thought that he would start writing his own with all the different maintenance that comes with being a car owner and/or homeowner.  I hope you find this helpful and stay tuned for future posts from my handyman hubby!

Disposal of Despair

A common thing with most new appliances is how cheaply they are made these days. This problem is made worse with new homes, as they are cheaply built.  Recently our garbage disposal stopped working. It just made a humming sound and then nothing. We always ran water when running it, but this did not help. I had to flip the breaker on the house breaker box down stairs and reset the breaker on the disposal (a red button on the bottom of the disposal).  It started to hum again, but then stopped. I tried to look in the disposal for the problem, but the rubber drain guard covers it. This guard could not be removed unless I took the disposal out. To the Home Depot!!!! Load up the Toddler in the Mazda, wifey!

The disposal that we had was an InSinkErator Badger 5 (1/2 HP) and is one of the cheapest disposals you can get! We got lucky, as there are reports of this and other Badgers Cases leaking.  I went with the next series up, the Evolution Series, because it has a better casing than the Badger, has two stage cutting, and the reviews were very positive. It is also WAY quieter than a standard disposal. I could have spent more, but 5/8 HP was more than enough.

Legal part:  I will not be held responsible for miss installation, damage, or injury from following my journey for yourself.

Here are the tools I used to complete this install:
 - big plumber pipe wrench
- flat head screw driver with long shaft
- wire cutters/strippers
- needle nose pliers
- hammer
- smaller screw driver ( I used a ratcheting Stanley as it save lots of time and effort)
- Flash light (I used a ryobi lithium ion battery model)
- Plumbers putty  (it does not come with the disposal)
- SOS pad
- towel

Lets begin the install!

You are going to need to turn off the power to the disposal at the circuit breaker for the house.
Disconnect and remove the hose going to dishwasher.  Be careful as there is most likely still water in the line.
Unscrew the sewer pipe going from disposal from the white pvc sewer pipe.
Unscrew the two screws holding the sewer pipe to the disposal.
Use the supplied wrench that came with the disposal and put it in one of the three holes on the bottom sink collar right above the disposal.  Turn the disposal till it can come off.  It will be heavy so, support it with one hand or have a helper hold it while you unscrew the disposal.
Place a towel in the cabinet to sit the disposal on and turn disposal upside down.  Unscrew and remove electrical cover panel.
Unscrew the two screws holding the electrical cable holder together.  Then twist the electrical cable holder from the disposal and slide it up the electrical cable.
Unscrew the green screw and remove the bare copper wire.
Unscrew and remove the caps from the wires.  Pull the black and whites apart and pull out the electrical wire from the disposal.
The disposal can now be removed.  You could reuse the sink drain collar, but I figured why not replace it since it comes with the kit.  Unscrew the three screws almost all the way out.
There is a round wire, called a lock ring, holding the collar on.  Use a flat head screw driver and pry it off.
The bottom holding ring will come off with the lock ring and will allow you pull the sink drain collar out of the sink.
Look at that junk sealing my sink drain!  It's hard and crumbles if you touch it.
Clean up the sink drain hole with an new SOS pad on top and bottom.  Throw away the SOS pad afterwards.  The sink drain hole should be new looking, clean, and shiny.
Take some plumber's putty and roll it into a cylinder.  You will need to make it a bit thinner than the picture.  It should be half this size.
Line the underside of the new sink drain collar with the rolled putty.  As you can see, I put more putty on than needed.
Put the new sink drain collar in the sink drain hole and push it down.  Put the paper gasket on the new sink drain collar neck under the sink.
Put the new bottom collar on and push the new snap ring in to the groove on the new sink drain collar neck.   It will be really hard to put the ring in place, so be patient.  The new sink drain collar may pop out of the sink while you are trying to put it together with the snap ring.  Do not worry about this, as it will be secured when you screw the collars together.
Once you have the ring in place, you will want to align the new sink drain collar properly and push down.  Screw in all the screws which will pinch the new sink drain collar down and squish plumbers putty out on top and slightly out the bottom.  You will want to clean up any extra putty from the sink above.
Time to prepare the new disposal for installation.  Use a flat head screw driver and hammer tap out the drain plug for the dishwasher.  If you do not have a dishwasher, you can skip this step.  When you align the screw driver head in the drain plug there is a notch.
Once it pops out, pull it out of the disposal with needle nose pliers.
Put the new disposal upside down on the towel.  Take off the electrical panel cover.
Screw in the electrical wire holder into the disposal.  I cleaned up the excess wire cover that the contractor left with the wire stripper.  Feed the electrical wire into the disposal.  Unscrew the green screw and wrap the bare copper wire around it.  (It would be recommend to bend the wire in half a loop with needle nose pliers before hooking it on that screw.)  Screw the green screw down and it should secure the ground wire.  Make sure the ground wire can not come loose by pulling on it.
Match up the black wires and white wires together.  Twist the matching wires exposed copper parts together and twist the wire caps on the wires.  Try the pull the wires out of the caps to make sure they are not going to come loose.  If they do, try again.
Shove the capped wires into the disposal, replace the electrical cover plate, and screw it down.
Screw the electrical cable holder together with the two screws
The new disposal is heavy.  It will help to put the new disposal on the old disposal.
Lift it into position and put the new disposal hooks in the smallest portion of the metal ramps on the bottom sink collar.
Use the supplied wrench to twist the disposal and lock it into place.  When it is done the metal hooks will stop near the loops the wrench fits into.  The disposal is now secure, but you will be able to rotate the disposal as needed by simply twisting it. 
Put the supplied black sewer pipe in the new disposal and check for fitment.  I found that I needed to cut off some of the pipe going to the disposal since I had less clearance because the new disposal was wider.  Use a hack saw and cut off the amount needed.  It might be necessary to cut the other end of the pipe off from other peoples installs.
Put the silver sewer screw nut on the black sewer pipe.  Then put vinyl washer on the bottom of the black sewer pipe with it sloped away from the white PVC.  Using needle nose pliers squeeze the wire hose clamp on the end going to the disposal.  Put the black sewer pipe in the white PVC.
Rotate the disposal towards the black sewer pipe and rotate the black sewer pipe into the disposal.  Make sure the black sewer pipe is inside the rubber drain from the disposal.  Squeeze the wire hose clamp with the needle nose pliers and slide it over the rubber drain coming from the disposal.  Make sure the clamp is on the rubber drain and the black pipe or it will leak.
Using the pipe wrench tighten the silver sewer pipe nut.

Put the hose clamp back on the dishwasher hose and slide the hose on the disposal.  Screw the clamp down on the hose.  Make sure that it is screwing down both the dishwasher hose and the disposal.

Run some water and test for any leaks.  If there are leaks check over the sewer and dishwasher connection and make sure that the pipes are fitted correctly and secured with clamps.
This is what the new disposal looks like from the sink.  The beauty is you can easily remove the rubber drain cover for removal of  items that do not belong in the disposal or insert bigger food items.  Do not ever remove any items from the disposal without turning of the power at the breaker box.  Do not insert food items into the disposal without the cover and look into the disposal for safety reasons.
  Insert the rubber drain cover into the disposal drain.
Job done.  Turn the power back on, run cold water, and check the disposal for function.  Do you hear that?  Yep that is the sound of saving $120 not going down the drain. If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers