I'm not what you'd call a handyman, although I've been working to get better at that. I will now at least try a home project before passing on it. So, when our 15-year garbage disposal died I had another opportunity. I determined our old unit to be a Badger 5 1/2 HP (this exact item). I didn't have time to wait for the item to arrive from Amazon so I went to Home Depot and coughed up an extra $20 for the Badger 500 - Home Depot's branded version of this item. They are identical except for the name & sticker.
Our Minneapolis – St. Paul plumbers assist customers with garbage disposal installation by helping them choose between a continuous feed garbage disposal or a batch feed utility. Our plumbers will discuss the best options for your home and lifestyle. Some of the benefits of our garbage disposals include anti-jamming technology, plastic or metal blades, connectors to the dishwasher, system quietness, and more.
IMPORTANT: Whenever you are working on your garbage disposal, inserting items, and/or inserting body parts into your garbage disposal unit, it should be UNPLUGGED and the POWER TO THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL UNIT SHOULD BE OFF!  Failing to do so will put you at risk of SERIOUS INJURY.  Also, if possible avoid placing your hands directly near the blades at the disposal.  If you can, instead use a tool to wedge out items or check the blades for blockage.
So I know next to nothing about buying a garbage disposal, for the past ten years I’ve lived in huge cities and haven’t had any room (or necessity for that matter) to purchase one. Having recently bought a house, all that has changed. From dishwasher to washer to dryer to garbage disposal, I’m having to educate myself about them and purchase them with informed decision making skills. Yikes.

Some types of food remains are not easy to grind in a disposer. Do not put fibrous food items into your disposal. Help grind these items by putting in a few small bones or large ice cubes to the disposal. If the disposer won’t grind it up then turn off the disposer and remove the item with a pair of tongs. When using your disposer, make sure that the disposal is running with good water flow. Good water flow carries the waste down the drain line. Using too little water can create a clogged drain.
Most plumbing problems associated with holiday parties are caused by improper plumbing maintenance and overestimations of your plumbing system’s abilities. Although it’s best if you have a professional plumber inspect your system before any large gathering, many plumbing problems can be prevented with a little knowledge and preparation before the big day. Remember, the best offense is a good defense. Schedule annual plumbing maintenance to keep your entire plumbing system healthy and efficient. Current problems will be addressed and future problems will be detected.
Wrap plumbing tape around the threads of the sink drain where the disposal crews to the sink and the drain threads on the side of the disposal for the drain pipe. Screw the disposal back in under the sink. Screw the drain pipe back to the disposal. Tighten with the pipe wrench. Turn on the water to check for leaks and plug the disposal back in. Turn on the power switch to make sure disposal is running properly.
If you can hear your disposal’s motor humming, but the disposal won’t grind, sounds loud, or starts and stops, it’s probably because something jammed it. Disposals jam when something gets lodged in the “flywheel,” which is what the disposal’s rotating plate is called. You can fix it yourself, but remember: NEVER stick your hand down the garbage disposal. Ever. Seriously.
Rotate the disposer to align the disposer with the drain or the discharge tube, slide the flange over drain pipe or discharge tube and insert the gasket into the discharge outlet. Then screw in the bolts that secure the flange to the disposer. Reconnect all the plumbing connections as well as the dishwasher inlet hose. Then turn the power back on at the electrical supply panel and test the unit for leaks, making sure to run cold water while the unit is running.
But to dislodge whatever’s causing it to be in a bind you can use the hex wrench that came with the garbage disposal. I know most people lose them, that’s okay. Grab your set of Allen wrenches, get the right size, insert it into the recess hole right in the bottom of the disposal, and turn it left and right until you dislodge whatever caused it to get into a bind.
Most garbage disposals are sealed using plumber’s putty. You’ll need to detach the garbage disposal, clean off the old putty and reseal. Other types of disposals use only a flange that is tightened and compressed with screws. This may need to be replaced. Either way, this can be a big job if you don’t know what you’re doing (requires removing and replacing drain pipes, as well).
However, if your garbage disposal is fairly new, having the reset button repaired is a better choice, especially if your unit is still under warranty. If your unit is under warranty, the company will probably send out a repair man to fix the job. On the other hand, if your unit isn’t under warranty, it’s best to have a skilled technician complete the job unless you have experience doing this.

2. Can my septic tank handle the load? Septic tanks are essential in the general installation and use of garbage disposals. If your home is hooked up to a septic tank, then the municipality that you live in may require you to upgrade your septic tank system if you decide to install a garbage disposal. A local building inspector will be able to tell you if you’ll need too. Also, you must take into account that you will be required to empty your septic tank more often.


We have an annoying habit of letting the sink fill with dishes (I know *I* surely don't contribute to such, so it must be everyone else). Occasionally, the disposal backs up if you don't run it, so the sink begins to fill with water. When that happens, you can't see if there is any flatware in the bottom of the sink to get sucked down and chewed up. By sitting down in the drain, the Disposal Genie keeps that from happening, while letting you still run most of your scraps into the disposal.
You’ll need to measure the new discharge tube to make sure it fits into the existing drain assembly. In our installation, the garbage disposer doesn’t use the discharge tube, but connects directly to the drain. If this isn’t a replacement project, you’ll need to tie in a drain assembly to the existing sink drain, which might take reconfiguring the drain. Be sure to reach the manufacturer’s instructions, and check out our Frequently Asked Questions section on this site for more information on how to do this, or visit your local independent home improvement retailer for the products and advice you’ll need for this step of the project.
Chartered by entrepreneur Lowell Harrelson and Long Island mob boss Salvatore Avellino, it set sail on March 22 from Islip, New York,[2] escorted by the tugboat Break of Dawn and carrying 3,168 tons of trash headed for a pilot program in Morehead City, North Carolina, to be turned into methane. The barge was docked at Morehead City, until a WRAL-TV news crew, acting on a tip, flew by helicopter to the coast to investigate. Action News 5 Reporter Susan Brozek broke the story on the 6 p.m. news on April 1, 1987, and North Carolina officials began their own investigation, which resulted in an order for the Mobro to move on.
Hang the disposal by aligning the three mounting tabs with the slide-up ramps on the mounting ring. Holding the disposal in place, turn the lower mounting ring until all three tabs are locked into the mounting assembly. The disposal will now hang by itself. Tighten the three mounting screws, ultimately tightening each screw a few turns at a time until the mounting assembly is evenly and tightly seated against the bottom of the sink.
A foul or foreign odor emanating from the garbage disposal that won’t go away no matter how thoroughly you have rinsed it, may also be a sign that it’s time to replace it. As the components in the grinding chamber wear out and the blades get duller and duller, food can easily get trapped inside and start to decompose. You may never have noticed the smell or have chosen to adapt and wait it out, but it may be a sign of a deeper problem. Visiting family members and dinner guests probably wouldn’t appreciate it very much, either.
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.

We won’t sugar-coat it. This one is the doozy. If the leak is located at the bottom of the unit that means at least one internal seal has slipped, chipped, or flat-out deteriorated. The catch is, there are lots of these seals inside the disposal, and if one has failed it means the others are on their way. You can replace these seals with expensive, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts – or you can just get a new garbage disposal.
Most plumbing problems associated with holiday parties are caused by improper plumbing maintenance and overestimations of your plumbing system’s abilities. Although it’s best if you have a professional plumber inspect your system before any large gathering, many plumbing problems can be prevented with a little knowledge and preparation before the big day. Remember, the best offense is a good defense. Schedule annual plumbing maintenance to keep your entire plumbing system healthy and efficient. Current problems will be addressed and future problems will be detected.
Safety and vigilance are paramount with these disposals. If you have small children in your home, then you must be on your guard to ensure that they do not stick their hands or other small objects down the disposal. You must also be careful to ensure that you do not accidentally drop any foreign objects down the disposal. For example, if a spoon were to fall into the disposal, and the disposal was turned on, it could cause quite a bit of damage to the unit before you are able to fish it out.
She knew about the service call fee. The 4 On Your Side Investigation found that’s a common fee. Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks called around to try to get an estimate from private plumbers for a garbage disposal replacement. None of the businesses we called would give an estimate over the phone. All of them wanted to look at the situation before committing to a price, and all wanted to charge a service fee to come out. Brooks found only one plumber who would come out without charging.
A high-torque, insulated electric motor, usually rated at 250–750 W (1⁄3–1 hp)[22] for a domestic unit, spins a circular turntable mounted horizontally above it. Induction motors rotate at 1,400–1,800 rpm and have a range of starting torques, depending on the method of starting used. The added weight and size of induction motors may be of concern, depending on the available installation space and construction of the sink bowl. Universal motors, also known as series-wound motors, rotate at higher speeds, have high starting torque, and are usually lighter, but are noisier than induction motors, partially due to the higher speeds and partially because the commutator brushes rub on the slotted commutator.[23][24] Inside the grinding chamber there is a rotating metal turntable onto which the food waste drops. Two swiveling metal impellers mounted on top of the plate near the edge then fling the food waste against the grind ring repeatedly. Sharp cutting edges in the grind ring break down the waste until it is small enough to pass through openings in the ring, whereupon it is flushed down the drain.
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