Garbage disposals might be one of the most underrated conveniences in modern kitchens — and it’s usually not until something goes wrong that we realize how truly valuable the appliance is. When it comes to garbage disposals, one of the most common problems homeowners report is a leak. But while a leaky garbage disposal is an annoyance, the issue is typically easy to fix. This no-frills guide will help you find the source of a leak and detail how you can remedy the issue with a little knowledge and DIY magic.
Kitchen waste disposal units increase the load of organic carbon that reaches the water treatment plant, which in turn increases the consumption of oxygen. Metcalf and Eddy quantified this impact as 0.04 pound of biochemical oxygen demand per person per day where disposers are used. An Australian study that compared in-sink food processing to composting alternatives via a life cycle assessment found that while the in-sink disposer performed well with respect to climate change, acidification, and energy usage, it did contribute to eutrophication and toxicity potentials.
Flush with water. Simply flushing out the garbage disposal with water will help to remove any loose dirt or grime. Stopper the garbage disposal, add a squirt of dish soap and run the hot water until there is 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm) sitting in the sink. Pull out the plug and turn on the garbage disposal, allowing the water to flush through.
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In the event that you do not have a grounded outlet to power the garbage disposal, you will need to install one. Adding a grounded outlet may cost as little as $5 when existing electrical wiring is placed a short distance away, plus an additional $75 for the electrician's labor. If a new grounded outlet needs to be added and electrical wiring does not yet exist, it will likely cost around $90, depending on labor and parts. If your project requires the addition of a new switch and wire, plan to spend an average of $5 to $10 on materials, plus about 30 minutes of labor at an average cost of $75 an hour.
Hot water, a good degreasing soap and a terrycloth rag. Try 409 degreaser and let it sit a few minutes, then run hot water on the cloth, add soap and rub the flange on top and underneath. There are commercial brushes available, but brushes don't always de-grease well. They are, however, very useful for cleaning crevices. Regular cleaning makes this job much easier.
Some folks knocked the instructions. Take heart. It appears that the Waste King guys have heard the criticisms from the negative reviewers. I am guessing that they have been re-written to better explain the installation because they are really easy to follow. My best advice is this: don't be afraid of a difficult or confounding set of installation instructions. It is really easy. Here's what you do. Go to youtube.com and search for a video on How To Remove Your Existing Garbage Disposal because this is the hardest part. You will find one that matches yours. Watch it. I started removing the Badger incorrectly, stopped, watched a video, and then it was a piece of cake. In my case, I shouldn't have removed the three long screws before removing the body of the old one. You do it after it is disconnected. READ the instruction manual carefully. Then go ahead and youtube the Waste King installation video. It is very easy once you see it done. No filing or grinding gaskets, and Good Lord, no car jacks under your sink please. If it is hard then you are doing something wrong. STOP!!! Review the procedure. Start again. The directions are actually very explicit. The parts are well labeled. The diagrams show you what to do. The videos show you what to do. If you prepare yourself (15 minutes of reading and watching videos, tops) you will fly though the installation and be a happy person.