One of the handiest appliances in your kitchen is probably something that you don’t think about very often, until it stops working. It’s your garbage disposer, and today I’m going to show you how to replace a garbage disposer under your kitchen sink. This project requires some moderate do-it-yourself skills, and it also requires turning off the electricity to the disposer at the electrical panel. But it’s really not that difficult, so let’s get started.
Hold a noncontact voltage detector against the wall switch with the switch in the on position. The presence of electricity at the switch causes the detector to beep and flash. Leave the switch in the on position and hold the detector against the outlet beneath the sink. If the detector does not sense the presence of electricity at the outlet, the switch may have failed and electricity can no longer reach the disposal motor. Have the wall switch replaced.
I thought that this might be underpowered (my last one almost had double the power, after all), but it has plenty of power to eat through whatever you throw at it. I don't dump EVERYTHING down the drain, but it takes what I give it with no problems. And the last garbage disposal was loud and raucous--yes, raucous. But this one is a pleasure. When you flip the switch, it makes a reassuring hum. It sounds more like a fine piece of machinery than a couple of animals fighting to the death inside my sink (like my old disposer).
Even though a leaking garbage disposal is a fairly simple fix, there can be a few factors that can complicate the process somewhat. For example, there are a few different places within the connection system that may spring a leak, so often the hardest part of fixing a leaking garbage disposal is trying to determine where the leak is coming from.Aside from the obvious connections, possible areas for leaks include water inlets and outlets as well as rings and seals.
You should first find out whether only the disposal is broken, or if the power has gone out completely in the areas near your kitchen sink. Try resetting the circuit breaker that leads to the kitchen, or replacing a fuse if you have an older electrical box. If the garbage disposal makes no noises at all when you flip the switch, you might also want to check under the sink to see that it’s plugged in.
Our testers found that differentiating features you'll typically see at the store may not deliver the durability they imply. We also found that some models with fewer features and a shorter warranty cost more than relatively similar competitors. Home garbage disposers typically last about 10 to 12 years, according to InSinkErator, though not all reach the decade mark. A longer warranty does not guarantee longer life and can also make some models cost more than otherwise-similar machines. Here are the garbage disposer features to consider:
Replacing a failed garbage disposer can seem daunting. There's the usual trepidation about electricity and water, the unfamiliar sink connection and enough drain fittings to make leaks a real possibility. Then there are the hassles of comparison shopping and the suspicion that the job could run into real money. And finally, failed disposers don't often leak, at least not in the beginning, so it's easy to put things off.
Save yourself a lot of hassle and go with the same brand & model. By doing so you'll avoid having to remount and mess with the drain & sink connections. Save the old power cord so you don't have to buy a new one. You'll need to do some very minimal wiring work to pull the wires from the terminals in the old disposal and attach them to the disposal. Make sure to attach the green grounding wire to avoid getting shocked when you switch on the disposal!
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What's up with that scary loud noise when you turn it on? There are some reviews that make this sound like it is eating a spoon (a LOUD, disturbing, and/or startling snap or click noise, etc.). I have to say that was one of my biggest reservations when I ordered this thing, having read the reviews. A fairly large slice of reviewers commented negatively on it. Here's my take... The motor is 3/4 HP compared to my little dinky 1/3 HP motor on my old one. That is a lot more horsepower and, consequently, a lot more torque. The little "teeth" that do the waste grinding that sit in the base of the chamber spin freely. When you turn it on, the little grinders snap into place like how your head gets whipped back on one of those crazy spinning carnival rides. It's just from centrifugal force setting the blades into place. The fine print in the directions tell you that it is part of the anti-jam mechanism. It's not startling or even disconcerting to me or my wife. We didn't blink an eye. I couldn't scare my children by turning it on. It just makes a bit of a click when you turn it on. No biggie. Full disclosure here - ours is mounted to the bottom of a heavy, porcelain coated cast iron sink. Our sink may be better at handling the torque and may dampen the sound and vibration more than a thin stainless steel sink. Our sink weighs probably 75 pounds. A stainless steel sink weighs 7 pounds. A heavier sink can probably handle a garbage disposal operating under full load better than a flexible, lightweight sink. That's not why we got the sink but I think it's probably a benefit to damping sounds and vibrations.

Garbage disposals aren’t exactly quiet, but the device shouldn’t make a terrible screeching noise either. If your appliance is guilty of shrill sounds, there are a few potential causes. The grates could have shifted causing the device to move incorrectly, or the motor could be worn out. In either case, this usually occurs when a garbage disposal is at the end of its life, so replacement is a good option.
The metal sink flange that sits directly inside the sink drain is typically sealed around the top with plumber’s putty (a clay-like sealant) and then secured from under the sink with bolts. If the plumber’s putty deteriorates, or the bolts loosen, the flange can no longer form a watertight seal between the sink drain and the disposal—which could cause a leak at the top of the unit.
This Frigidaire 1/3 HP Garbage Disposal is designed This Frigidaire 1/3 HP Garbage Disposal is designed with features that deliver great performance. The High-Torque GrindPro Magnet Motor can grind through waste. Continuous-feed operation uses a wall switch to activate the stainless steel grinding system that is resistant to jamming and corrosion. Our sound guard design reduces noise level ...  More + Product Details Close
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