Experts and BHG readers answer.
How do I remove a garbage disposal?
I'm replacing my garbage disposal. How do I remove the old one and install the new one?
Disposers are small appliances that typically last about ten years. Your new disposer will come with a detailed instruction sheet, so follow the directions, especially the electrical safety instructions. Here are a few hints to help you avoid surprises.
-- Take everything out of the cabinet. Yes, everything.
-- Put a short water bucket or plastic dishpan under the disposer and have a bunch of rags handy to sop up water.
-- This is where you thoroughly read the instructions as you kneel in front of the open cabinet and put on your rubber gloves.
-- The instructions will have you unplug the old disposer, disconnect the dishwasher discharge tube (if you have one), then the plastic drain lines leading out of the disposer (Yuck. Lots of nasty wastewater.)
-- Here’s the hard part. The instructions will have you reach way up high under the sink and back off an odd-shaped lock nut that holds the disposer to the sink strainer. You’ll unscrew it only partially before the whole disposer can come crashing down, unless you put something sturdy up under it, like a milk crate. It’s heavy. Be careful.
-- If you bought the same brand/model, the instructions will have you install the new one in reverse order of what you just took apart.