How do I select and replace a garbage disposal?


Even though a garbage disposal involves both water and electricity, it’s a project that you can easily undertake with the right tools and a little preparation. Let us walk you through everything you’ll need for the job and get you a few steps closer to having the new garbage disposal your kitchen needs.


Replacing a garbage disposal may seem like a big deal. After all, it’s an appliance that involves both your water lines and your home’s electricity. But with a little patience and preparation – not to mention keeping safety in mind – you can do it. When you purchase your garbage disposal, it will come with step-by-step installation instructions. Just follow along and you can have your new disposal installed and running in no time.Before you start on the project, check to see that you have everything you’re going to need. First, of course, is the garbage disposal itself. Disposers come in all different sizes with many different features. Motor size is a big consideration. They range from 1/3 horsepower to 1 horesepower. If you're grinding only soft foods like vegetables, then 1/3 to 1/2 horesepower may be fine. But going with a 3/4 to 1 HP motor may mean less jams, smoother operation and finer pulverization. And that can mean less clogged drain lines and less stress on the waste water system.Also look at things like whether or not you need a dishwasher connection or if it needs to be septic tank compatible. The grinding system, noise level and how rust resistant the unit is are other considerations.Once you’ve chosen your disposal, you’ll need to have a few other things on hand. Plumber’s putty is a must. You’ll use it to get a good initial seal between the disposal and the sink. Have both slotted and Phillips head screwdrivers on hand, as well as a pipe wrench, a slip nut wrench and a pair of pliers. If your old garbage disposal was installed a long time ago, there’s a good chance that the electrical plug is just hanging loose and exposed under your sink. As a precaution against contact with any leaks, it might be a good idea to wrap that cord in flexible conduit. So if your old disposal isn’t protected, now’s a good time to upgrade.If you have any more questions about the process, be sure to ask someone at your local Westlake Hardware store when you’re picking up your disposal and tools. We’re always here to help.


Shopping List

  • Garbage Disposal
  • Scraper (To Remove Old Putty)
  • Plumber’s Putty
  • Flexible Conduit
  • Electrical Tape
  • Pipe Wrench
  • Slip Nut Wrench
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers (Philips And Slotted)
  • Wire Connectors (Usually Included With Disposal)
  • Safety Glasses
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