If you must remove a garbage disposal and return to the original sink drain, take heart. The job is moderately easy. However, preparation and organization are keys to making the work go quickly, safely and efficiently. You can finish in two to three hours. The most important thing is to gain a thorough understanding of what’s involved. Review the materials needed list, and inspect the garbage disposal, drain plumbing and all connections before starting. Waste disposal Northern Beaches inspect all your bins before leaving the area.
1. Unplug the garbage disposal from the wall socket. If your unit is hardwired to your house, you’ll need the additional instructions in Step 2. If not, skip to Step 3. Do not begin working with the disposal until you are certain there is no power reaching the unit.
2. If your unit is hard wired into your home, turn off the circuit breaker to the garbage disposal. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the plate covering the wire connections on the disposal, and disconnect the exposed wires. Remove the plate covering the junction box, untwist the wire caps securing the disposal wires to your home and set the disposal’s wires aside. Twist the wire caps over the exposed wires in the junction box, push the wires back inside the box and reattach the junction box plate. Use a noncontact voltage tester to ensure no electricity is leaking from the wires inside the box. Adjust the sensitivity of the voltage tester to respond only when it touches or nearly touches the junction box. Hold the tip of the pen against the junction box. A beep or LED light indicates there’s voltage. No beep or no light means there’s no voltage coming from the box.
3. There will be a drain pipe extending from the side of the garbage disposal to the drain on the adjacent sink. It will be secured with slotted screws. Use a flat-head screwdriver to remove it from the disposal. If you have a dishwasher, you will need to detach a dishwasher hose from the disposal.
4. A snap ring secures the garbage disposal to the mounting bracket. Slide a flat-head screwdriver under the snap ring to pry it open and off the flange. Since there is a chance the screwdriver will slip as you’re working, you may want to wear work gloves for this step.
5. Use caution as the garbage disposal comes loose. It will be heavy. You might want to place clean rags or towels below the dishwasher to protect the floor.
6. Once the disposal is out of the way, remove the mounting bracket. It will be attached by three Phillips-head screws. Unscrew it from the bottom of the sink.
Replacing Sink Drain
1. Use a pipe wrench to carefully loosen then remove the nut securing the drain flange. You will then be able to push the sink drain portion up through the sink for removal.
2. Use a putty knife to clean up the plumbers putty from around the drain hole. You may need to use a razor blade for stubborn bits. Then rub down the area with a scrubbing pad and water. If any putty remains, you may need to scrub the area with rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits.
3. Roll out a 1/8-inch rope of plumber’s putty, long enough to go around the circumference of the new drain. Place the rope around the underside lip of the drain. Set the drain into the sink opening, and press down firmly. Wipe away any excess plumber’s putty.
4. Your new sink drain will come with a flat washer. From underneath the sink, place the washer over the drain’s threads, and press it up against the bottom of the sink. Use the large retaining nut that came with your new sink drain to secure the drain. You’ll be able to hand-tighten it to a point, but you must secure it firmly with channel-lock pliers. At this point you may want to ask a helper to hold the sink drain down tightly against the sink. Or you can place enough weight (bags of sand, flour, sugar, anything heavy) on top of the drain. Wipe away any excess plumber’s putty.
Install New Drain Pipes
1. Locate the PVC drain tail piece. Measure it to ensure that it drops the correct height for installing the elbow and connector pipe to the T-fitting under the adjacent sink. If necessary, trim with a fine-tooth hacksaw. Once you’ve achieved a good fit, hand-tighten the tail piece to the sink drain. You can use plumber’s tape to ensure a watertight seal, but it’s not a requirement.
2. Attach the elbow fitting to the tail pipe. Measure the distance between the end of the elbow and the T-fitting under the adjacent sink. Cut the connector pipe, if necessary, to the proper length. Connect the pipe to the elbow and T-fitting using the nuts and washers provided with your PVC pipe kit and the existing nut and washer on the T-fitting. The plastic nuts should be hand-tightened. Using channel-lock pliers or a pipe wrench is not recommended.
3. For a dishwasher drain, you must replace the drain pipe that runs from the P-trap to the wall with a pipe made for dishwasher drains. Disconnect the old pipe, and measure it to get the length for the new pipe that has a connector for the dishwasher drain.
Things You Will Need
- New sink drain with basket
- New sink drain pipe kit (PVC, single or double, depending on your sink)
- Hacksaw with fine-tooth blade
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Channel-lock pliers
- Pipe wrench
- Plumber’s putty
- Plumber’s tape (optional)
- Small putty knife
- Razor blade
- Scrubbing pad
- Rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits
- Tape measure
- Rags or towels
- Firm-grip work gloves
- Small tub or bucket
- Always keep your flashlight handy. You’ll be working in a dark space.
- Assess how your disposal and drain pipes are attached before starting.