Has this ever happened to you? It’s the end of the day and you are dutifully washing your evening dishes. Your sink isn’t draining quickly, so you flip on the switch of your waste disposer expecting to hear the satisfying sound of your meal remnants being ground into a pulp. Instead – to your shock and dismay – the disposal only hums, or even worse, does nothing at all. Frustrating, right?
Garbage Disposal Repair
Since the mid-1990s, the Camorra has taken over the handling of refuse disposal in the region of Campania, with disastrous results for the environment and the health of the general population. Heavy metals, industrial waste, chemicals and household garbage are frequently mixed together, then dumped near roads and burnt to avoid detection, leading to severe soil and air pollution.
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.
If your garbage disposal has become clogged, you’re likely to hear a muted humming noise when you flip the switch. This is an indication that your garbage disposal is getting power, but the blades aren’t able to turn. Very often, this happens when something hard and non-crushable has become caught in the blades at the bottom of the unit. To solve this problem, do the following:
Flange: The flange is the uppermost portion of the garbage disposal, where the disposal and the sink drain meet. The flange can develop a leak for a variety of reasons. Check that all the mounting bolts, typically there are three, are tight enough. Snug the bolts up with a wrench if you see water dripping from any of the bolts, being careful not to overtighten the bolts.A second reason the flange may leak is if the seal, made of “plumber’s putty,” has failed. You will need to loosen the retaining bolts until you can see a gap around the flange. Force enough new putty in the gap, between the flange and the drain pipe, to fill in all the space. Tighten the retaining bolts.
First, is it loud or quiet? It really depends on which review you read, apparently. I believe it depends on more than that, such as what kind of sink is it being installed under - a stainless steel or a porcelain coated cast iron sink? One is very thin and flexible and will not block out as much noise or damp vibrations as effectively as a heavy cast iron sink. I have found the overall noise level to be a lot like the Badger 5 that I replaced. My wife thinks it sounds a bit different but neither louder nor quieter. It also depends on whether this is your first disposer (it is certainly louder than not having one) or a replacement. Bottom line, it's typically run for a few seconds, with the water running too, as you are cleaning up after meal (not in the middle of the night when everyone's trying to sleep) and it's no louder or quieter than the rest. I wouldn't let that be a deciding factor unless you have different criteria. If so, you can pay twice as much for that other "Elite" one by another manufacturer that is CR-rated as the quietest one. In my case I couldn't justify the added cost.
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.
A garbage disposal unit (also known as a garbage disposal, waste disposal unit, garbage disposer, or in Canadian English a garburator) is a device, usually electrically powered, installed under a kitchen sink between the sink's drain and the trap. The disposal unit shreds food waste into pieces small enough—generally less than 2 mm (0.079 in)—to pass through plumbing.
There are two main types of garbage disposers—continuous feed and batch feed. Continuous feed models are used by feeding in waste after being started and are more common. Batch feed units are used by placing waste inside the unit before being started. These types of units are started by placing a specially designed cover over the opening. Some covers manipulate a mechanical switch while others allow magnets in the cover to align with magnets in the unit. Small slits in the cover allow water to flow through. Batch feed models are considered safer, since the top of the disposal is covered during operation, preventing foreign objects from falling in.
An affordable option that offers outstanding value, the Waste King Legend Series comes backed by a solid five-year warranty. The stainless steel disposal is compact enough to install under most sinks. The continuous feed design means this disposal requires just a flip of a switch. It runs very quietly, but it is still powerful enough to grind food waste efficiently.
Some jams you can free and get the motor to spin and sound like it is working, but the blades are stuck in one position and can’t spin freely to do their job properly. This is very common problem – the motor works so we think everything is working. Not the case! This can lead to stoppages, food trapped in the disposal and a bad smell. These blades can’t be repaired. The disposal needs to be replaced.
The snap ring fits into a groove on the lower end of the sink flange. When you’re working under the sink, it prevents the upper mounting bracket from falling off. Removing an old snap ring can be frustrating-unless you know this trick: Starting at the break in the ring, insert a thin-blade screwdriver between the ring and the flange. Pull down on the ring with the screwdriver’s blade and walk the blade around the ring. The ring will pop right off.
Garbage disposals are considered nearly essential for modern kitchens. Installed underneath the sink, they grind up food into particles that will easily flush down a drain. A common problem with garbage disposals is that they will become jammed if too much food is pushed into them or a foreign object falls inside. When jammed, the circuit breaker may trip, cutting the power to the unit. When that happens, it will appear that the garbage disposal motor has burned out even though that may not be the case.
Modern food waste disposers are often connected to your dishwasher’s drain pipe. This connection enables your dishwasher to rid itself of any leftover food scraps or residue that it might accumulate while washing your dishes. Where the dishwasher hose and the garbage disposal connect is a common source for leaks. The leaks most often occur when hose’s clamp is not secure enough. Leaks also develop when the dishwasher hose cracks. In order to fix this type of leak, you should either replace the cracked section of hose or tighten the clamp down.
I think those are all the important items I wanted to share. The removal of the old one, cleaning the sink hole, and putting in the new box took about 35 minutes start to finish. I wasn't rushing but I was well prepared and had everything ready to go. Plumbers Putty was needed for install. Make sure you have that on hand. There was a thin rubber gasket that went under the flange (between the top flange and a stainless steel sink) that I didn't use because I didn't have a stainless steel sink. The one tricky thing I recall from the directions is that the same procedure is repeated twice in a couple of places - one for using the existing Badger mounting hardware and one for if you are using the EZ Mount system. If you are using the EZ Mount, make sure to SKIP the paragraph that is describing the work as it applies to the Badger mount. That's about it. I had to cut 3/4" off the black waste discharge pipe (90 degree elbow piece that screws into the new disposal) so that everything fit with my old plumbing. I loosened up all the slip joints on the old plumbing so I could wiggle things around as needed, aligned everything, and tightened the plumbing back up. New install was completed in well under 20 minutes after the removal and outlet installation.
If this sounds familiar, you'll be happy to know that replacing a disposer is really fairly simple. With today's plastic waste kits, leaks are seldom a problem and the electrical connections are similarly quick and easy. Finally, retail outlets sell good disposers for every household budget. Before you buy, though, it pays to check out your old unit to make sure it's not simply jammed.
My old built in guard got destroyed over the years. Rather than remove the whole disposal I ordered this, hoping it would solve the problem of the noise and the water and food particles that would fly out of the disposal onto my slightly hairy chest and face. This solved both problems. It is so quiet that it is like white noise. Such a calming sound that you can sleep to it.
While inspecting your unit, if you see leaking, you will need to equip yourself with a screwdriver and tighten up the clamp that’s holding the garbage disposal to the dishwasher. The smaller drain line is attached by screws. Tighten up these screws and if the gasket is worn, replace this too (Careful not to overtighten). You should be able to purchase gaskets at your local home improvement store for a fairly inexpensive price.
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.