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A garbage disposal can be either installed from scratch or instead of an older disposal.
First of all you need to shop for the disposal that best matches your needs.
For example you should consider whether a noisy disposal would be a problem in your household, what kind of plumbing you have, or if you have kids or not.
Here are some guidelines:
- Choose a motor suitable for your household. There are models with lower or higher horsepower, for smaller households with small amounts of food waste, or larger households with more food waste.
- Consider the features that you need. Like a quieter disposal, or one made of stainless steel, or one that connects to the dishwasher. There is a vast variety of options and prices.
- If you have kids you might want to consider getting a batch feed disposal rather than a continuous feed one. The batch feed disposal is a bit more expensive but it is also safer for kids, as it requires the use of a stopper prior operation. While the continuous feed disposal starts running when you flip the switch on and will continue running a bit also after you switch it off. This can be dangerous if someone drops utensils down the drain or sticks a hand inside the disposal.
- If your plumbing connects to a septic tank you need a disposal made for septic tanks.
After shopping for the right disposal, you need to get hold of these tools you'll be needing for the installation:
- Electrical cord
- Disposer wrench
- Water pump pliers
- Plumber's putty
- Safety supplies: goggles, dust mask, gloves
When you are ready, the first thing to do before installing the new disposal is to turn off power and make sure nobody turns it back on while you work.
Now you can proceed removing the old disposal.
If the old disposal is attached to a dishwasher, loosen and detach the dishwasher hose with a screwdriver.
Then with the wrench unscrew the slip-nut connecting the disposal to the "P" trap waste line, putting a bucket under the trap to catch any waste water sitting at the bottom of the trap.
Remove the old disposal with the screwdriver and take apart the rest of the mounting assembly, including the ring on the sink sleeve, the sink sleeve, the flange, the fiber gasket and the old plumber's putty. Make sure to clean well the sink, the sleeve, the flange and sink opening from old putty and grime before installing the new disposal.
You are now ready to wire your disposal, whether it came with appliance wires attached or if you need to attach them yourself following carefully the manufacturer's instructions (after unscrewing the cover plate beneath the disposal and then screwing it back in).
The next step is installing the drain flange and mounting ring by rolling some plumber's putty between your hands to form a snake about half inch thick and 10 inches long and applying it to the underside of the drain flange. Insert the flange into the drain hole and press down to attach it. You can then snap on the backup ring, fiber gasket and mounting ring.
Use a knife to cut away the extra plumber's putty that will have squeezed out around the flange.
At this point you can place the disposal into the mounting ring making sure that the disposal's outlet is facing the drain pipe connection, and tighten it until it stays in place.
Connect the P-trap, using the hacksaw to cut the discharge pipe to size if too long, and attach it to the outlet of the disposal. Make sure to connect it properly by reading carefully the manufacturer's instructions. If your disposal connects to the dishwasher attach the discharge tube to the disposal as well.
You can now turn the power back on and run cold water into the sink, turning on the disposal to make sure it's working and to check if there are any leaks, and running some food through the disposal to make sure it grinds and disposes properly.
Make sure to mantain your garbage disposal in good shape by avoiding grinding certain items like hard shells from shrimps, crabs or other shellfish, unpopped popcorn kernels and hard bones, by avoiding fibrous or starchy foods like banana peels, celery, potato peels, corn cobs, artichokes, fruit pits and hard seeds like avocados or peaches, onion skins and egg shells, as they create clogs and membranes that will ruin the disposal, and by cutting down big pieces of food into smaller pieces.
It is also best to run cold water while the disposal is on, keeping both water and disposer running for about a minute after the sink is cleared. Cold water helps push food down, avoid overheating of the system and unlike hot water, doesn't melt fat, that would re-solidify as a blockage further down the drain.
Garbage disposals can be a great feature in the kitchen if there are used correctly. If they are not used correctly they can be a real pain to get unjammed or to get them cleaned out. To keep a garbage disposal from smelling up the kitchen, proper use and care must be followed.
There are certain foods that a garbage disposal will handle well and there are some that do not do very well in a garbage disposal.
Some that do well and you can put into the garbage disposal are: 1.soft bones, like chicken or fish bones 2.ice cubes 3.coffee grounds 4.citrus fruit peels 5.store bought disposal deodorizers and cleaners
Some foods that do not do well are: 1.very fibrous vegetables, like onions, corn husks, celery, etc… 2.hard bones, like beef or pork 3.large pits, or seeds like peach seeds
Also, while it is good to run water while grinding food in a garbage disposal, it is not a good idea to run very hot water in the disposal. This can cause the motor to over heat.
Do not run the garbage disposal longer then a half minute after the food id ground up. Running an empty garbage disposal can cause excessive wear.
It is also a good idea to start a full stream of water and the garbage disposal motor before putting large quantities of food into the disposal. Staring the motor with a large amount of food inside the disposal is hard on the motor, and may cause a jam.
It is jammed the way to fix it is to use wooden broom stick and place the handle side in disposal and let it engage on the side pull stick back and forth till you free up the cutting blades. Then test it to see if it works. This happens a lot with disposals.
What can you do if your garbage disposal starts to stink up the kitchen? Because of the stuff that you put down the disposal and grind up the residue can sometimes start to create a foul odor that can be noticed in and around your kitchen. To combat this problem there are some general things that you can do and also some things that you and grind up in the disposal that will help to keep it smelling great.
One of the things that will make the disposal smell bad is if your dishwasher discharges through the garbage disposal. The food left after the water goes through will soon start to spoil and stink. Make sure that you run your disposal after the dishwasher runs to clean out the food and keep the disposal clean.
Some soft foods like meats and cooked vegetables will also tend to stick to the plate of the garbage disposal. These will cause a smell to develop after a time as they breakdown. To stop this from happening keep harder foods or foods that smell better for last to run down the disposal. This will help to clean the plate and keep the garbage disposal smelling better.
If you are going to be away for a long time, or you are having friends over and want your garbage disposal to smell good, you can use a lemon or lemons rinds. Cut up the lemon and grinds it up before you shut down the disposal. This will have your garbage disposal smelling great!!
There are also commercially produced garbage disposal cleaners, deodorizers, and degreasers, that you and buy at most grocery or hardware stores that are made specifically for this purpose.
The leak in an air gap is usually caused by a clogged sink discharge line. Most of the time this is connected to the garbage disposal and there is food particulate in the drain hole where the dishwasher drain from the air gap to the garbage disposal connects.
Pull the sink connection hose off and clean the hole thoroughly. You can try testing the dishwasher/ air gap by placing the disconnected hose into a bucket during the pump out period. It should not leak. After this test...reconnect the hose to the sink connection.
If it is NOT connected to the garbage disposal then remove the hose and clean out the hole where the connection is made. This is a common problem and easily resolved by the user.
I just paid $200 because I had the same problem and couldn't figure out what the issue was. My problem was the water in the bottom of the dishwasher couldn't be pumped out completely because the disharge line was clogged (only a little) from food that backflowed into it from my sink. The repair man cleared that out and now it works like new. The ultimate issue is that I have a garbage disposal and the dishwasher discharge line goes directly into the pipe above the garbage disposal, so if food/water is in the sink, it can flow back towards the dishwasher. I have since taped the discharge line to the top of the sink to minimize the chance for food to flow back towards the dishwasher.