Loosen the nut securing the rest of the assembly. Just below the sink flange where the drain empties into the garbage disposal you’ll see a circular plastic piece similar in appearance to the mounting ring. Insert the tip of a screwdriver into one of the lugs on this piece and rotate it in a counterclockwise direction. Pull the nut away and set it aside.
Connect the new mounting assembly. Working in reverse order now, slide a rubber gasket over the bottom of the new sink flange, followed by a second metal flange. Position the new mounting ring last and insert screws into each of the open screw holes. Hold the assembly in place with one hand while you tighten the screws up against the lower flange with the other.
The size of the motor in the garbage disposal directly correlates to the units grinding ability. Garbage disposals typically have between 1/3-1 horsepower motors. Choose the correct horsepower based on the waste that you need to remove. 1/3 horsepower units will help tackle tasks like grinding vegetables easily, but more power is recommended if disposing a large quantity of food waste such as, vegetables and harder to grind meats.
Energy usage is not high; typically 500–1,500 W of power is used, comparable to an electric iron, but only for a very short time, totaling approximately 3–4 kWh of electricity per household per year. Daily water usage varies, but is typically 1 US gallon (3.8 l) of water per person per day, comparable to an additional toilet flush. One survey of these food processing units found a slight increase in household water use.
This may result in higher costs for energy needed to supply oxygen in secondary operations. However, if the waste water treatment is finely controlled, the organic carbon in the food may help to keep the bacterial decomposition running, as carbon may be deficient in that process. This increased carbon serves as an inexpensive and continuous source of carbon necessary for biologic nutrient removal.
Turn off the switch, unplug it, clear any debris inside the disposal, and rinse with warm water. Many times there is something stuck in the blades that they can't handle (citrus peels, meats, stringy vegetables, etc.). You may need to turn the blades manually to find a lodged object, and it may even be under the blade. Find the reset button (usually red) and hold it for 1 minute. Plug it in, try again. Some newer models do not have the reset button, there is an opening on the bottom of the disposal to insert an allen wrench. If not, look up your model by manufacturer or Google for further instructions.
If the disposal’s still leaking, loosen the mounting bolts and push the sink flange up until it’s slightly higher than the surface of the sink. Apply fresh plumber’s putty to the threshold between the flange and the sink. When you’ve applied enough, re-attach the unit by putting the bolts back and tightening. Wipe away excess putty that squeezed out. Finish re-installing by replacing the disposal unit on the mount. Turn the disposal back on and look for leaks.
STEP 5 – If you are one of those rebellious types that never listens to wise instruction, then take off any rings and make sure that your hand is lubricated with liquid dish soap or cooking oil to reduce the risk of it getting stuck in the drain opening. Also, have a phone nearby. If your hand does get stuck, you can then call someone (using your other hand, presumably) to call a friend or 911 for rescue. If at all possible, don’t call a friend with a video camera phone, because they’ll probably embarass you by broadcasting your plight on YouTube.
A continuous feed model features a switch that is generally mounted on the wall nearby. In rarer cases, an air pressure switch may be mounted on the countertop. These air pressure switches are considered safer than traditional flip switches because they guard against shock by isolating the electrical system away from the sink’s source of water. Batch feed garbage disposals do not require the installation or use of a switch. Safety codes in your community will dictate how far away from the sink the electrical switch must be located.
If there is nothing visible clogging your disposal unit, the flip switch on your garbage disposal unit may have turned the unit off. This little red switch is located underneath your unit and protects against overheating and arcing situations. You can try pushing the red switch to reset the garbage disposal unit. Test your unit by turning it on. If it still won't turn on or makes a humming noise, unplug the unit or turn it off at the breaker box, and move to step 4.
Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.