Garbage Disposer Tips

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Can you tell me how to install my garbage disposal unit?

How To Install A Garbage Disposer

You should only install your own garbage disposal if you have experience working with electrical wiring and have some knowledge working with local building codes. Otherwise, it's important that you call in a professional for help to avoid more damage. If you have the know-how to do this do-it-yourself project, follow our instructions on how to install a garbage disposal:

1. Remove the drain lines to both sinks if you have a dual bowl sink. Next, remove the strainer from the bowl that you'll be using for the garbage disposal. Then, remove the strainer body. You should now have a simple hole at the base of your sink bowl.
2. Take plumber's putty, roll it between your hands, and form a length to run along the flange of your disposal unit.
3. Place the flange onto the drain hole. Then, attach the gasket to the flange, followed by the upper and lower mounting rings.
4. Snap the retaining ring into place next, tightening the three screws into the mounting ring until the flange assembly is secure.
5. Since the plumber's putty should have squeezed out, you can trim the excess and clear out the debris from the sink.
6. Review your manufacturer's instructions to attach the garbage disposal to the flange. You'll either attach the unit via a mounting ring or bolts.
7. Take the washer or gasket, which should come with your disposal unit, and attach the discharge tube to the discharge opening on the side of the disposal.
8. If you will be using a dishwasher in conjunction with your garbage disposal, remove the plug inside the dishwasher nipple. Then, attach the discharge tube to the dishwasher nipple.
9. This is the last step in how to install a garbage disposal. You can put in the drain lines. For a dual bowl sink, you can run the discharge tube perpendicular to the drain line. (You can use a single P-trap.) The discharge to can connect just above the trap.

   
What safety tips should I keep in mind before I install a garbage disposer?

Safety Tips For Garbage Disposer Installation

Installing a garbage disposer is a project for someone who feels comfortable working with electricity and has an intermediate level of experience with do-it-yourself projects around the house. If you plan on installing the garbage disposer yourself, keep these safety tips in mind.

  • Disconnect the power to your garbage disposer and lock the main panel box so no one accidentally turns the power on while you're working on the project.
  • As added insurance, do a test of the wires to make sure the power is indeed off.
  • Check with your local building and safety department to find out if permits are necessary for the project.
  • Consult with an electrician to avoid overloading the circuits.
  • Wear eye goggles and a dust mask to protect your face during the garbage disposer installation.
  • When you've completed the garbage disposer installation, ask an inspector to check your work.

   
Garbage disposer circuit safety, voltage tester, garbage disposer

Garbage Disposer Circuit Safety – Use A Voltage Tester

If you're getting ready to handle the wiring for your garbage disposer, practice garbage disposer circuit safety. Make sure the wiring is safe to handle by using a voltage tester. The best thing to do is avoid touching the wiring or allowing the wires to touch until you've used a voltage tester. This is how you conduct the test:

  • Touch one probe of the electrical tester to each wire in the connection at the same time. If your voltage tester lights up, you have electrical power running.
  • Don't touch the wires, but instead get a friend to help you determine which wire has the electricity running. Your buddy can go to the circuit box and cut the power for each wire until you've figured out which one links to your garbage disposer.
  • Turn off the power to your garbage disposer and test for electricity again. If your voltage tester doesn't light up, you can safely touch the wires.
Garbage disposer circuit safety might take a little extra time, but you'll avoid any unnecessary injuries and hazards from electricity.

   
What tools will I need to install a garbage disposer?

Tools You'll Need To Install A Garbage Disposer

If you want to tackle installation of a new garbage disposer, you have to have the tools to do the job. To make sure you're not stuck in the middle of the project without the one tool you need, take a look at our garbage disposer installation tool list.

  • You'll need a wrench if your new garbage disposer attaches with bolts.
  • Get a Philips screwdriver and a flat screwdriver for the removal of the old unit, assembly of the new unit, and accessing electrical circuits.
  • Have a hose clamp handy for attaching the dishwasher discharging tube.
  • You'll need plumber's putty for the base of the disposer flange.
  • Have wire nuts on hand for managing the electrical circuits for the project.
  • Have goggles available for safety reasons.

   
Do I need to do anything differently if I have a septic tank and a garbage disposer?

Garbage Disposer, Septic Tank Maintenance

People who have septic tanks need to take some additional measures if they also have a garbage disposer in their home. Remember these tidbits garnered from plumbing professionals if you want to use a garbage disposer with your septic tank.

  • Because of the increased amount of water people use with garbage disposers, you should clean your septic tank twice as often as you normally would if you want to use a garbage disposer on a regular basis.
  • Do not grind cigar stubs, cigarette stubs, lobster shells, or similar items into your garbage disposer. Tobacco impedes the bacterial action in your septic tank. Items like seafood shells will not decompose and will contribute to the sludge at the bottom of your septic tank.

   
Can I call a Seattle plumber in order to install my garbage disposer?

Call Your Seattle Plumber For Garbage Disposer Installation

Contact your local Seattle plumber to install a garbage disposer and save yourself the trouble and hazards of doing it yourself. You won't have to deal with figuring out circuitry and building codes – your Seattle plumber will do it for you. Your Seattle plumber can also facilitate repairs of an existing garbage
disposer if you want to try and keep the one you have. However, you can also try these solutions for minor problems before you contact your Seattle plumber:

  • If your garbage disposer suddenly shuts off during operation, it may be due to the overload protector triggering when the unit overheats.
  • After shutting off power, try the reset button and then turn your garbage disposer back on.

   
How do I wire the electrical circuits for my garbage disposal unit?

Wiring The Electrical Circuits For Your Garbage Disposal Unit

If your garbage disposal unit doesn't have its own electrical circuits, you can still try another route. Tie your garbage disposal unit into the electrical circuits for the dishwasher.

1. You'll need a single pole switch to operate your garbage disposal unit.

2. Tie neutral white wires together with a wire nut.

3. Tie bare ground wires together with a wire nut.

4. Each of the two black wires attaches to a terminal on the single pole switch. Attach the incoming wire to the bottom terminal. Attach the outgoing wire to the top terminal.

   
Do I need to do any prep work before I tackle replacing my garbage disposer?

Before Replacing Your Garbage Disposer

Before you tackle the project of replacing your garbage disposer, make sure you take these steps to get the task off on the right foot. This is our list of four steps to take before replacing your garbage disposer:

1. Turn the electrical power to your garbage disposer off.
2. Place electrical tape over the shutoff switch under the sink if there is one. You don't want to accidentally turn the switch back on while working on the project.
3. If you can't find the shutoff switch, turn the power off via the circuit breaker or fuse to the garbage disposer.
4. Shut down the water supply running to your garbage disposer.

   
How do I use an existing electrical circuit for my new garbage disposer unit?

Using Existing Electrical Circuit For Your Garbage Disposer Unit

Maybe you had an electrician handle the installation of the electrical circuit for your garbage disposal. Or perhaps you're using one that is already in place. Now you're just trying to figure out how to connect the electrical circuit to your new garbage disposal. Read on to find out.

1. Remove the electrical connections plate on your new garbage disposer unit.

2. Use a wire nut to connect the white wire from the garbage disposer unit to the white wire from the switch.

3. Use a wire nut to connect the black wire from the garbage disposer unit to the black wire from the switch.

4. Use a wire nut to connect the bare ground wire from the garbage disposer unit to the bare ground wire from the switch.

5. Replace the cover plate to the electrical connections on your garbage disposer unit.

   
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