Garbage Disposals DIY or Pro

Kitchen Sink with vegetables going into the Disposal

General Disposal Facts

When Replacing your Garbage Disposal Consider,

  • Noise
  • Warranty
  • Direct Replacement (same Brand & Model)
  • Grind Ability (will it Grind everything you put in, Except Metal, Glass)

Continuous Feed Disposals, will Run as long as the Switch is turned on.

Garbage Disposals Cost Range from just under $100.00 to above $400.00 plus Installation and any Replacement Plumbing Parts needed for the Install.

The Re-Set Button

If something STOPS your Disposal (example: Broken Glass, Silverware or anything the Disposal Can't Grind and has to be removed Manually.

UnPlug the Disposal before reaching inside. (Just Turning off the Switch is not Recommended)

If the Disposal Stops because something was wedged between the Shredder Plate and the Housing, the internal Protection will turn off the power to the Motor and must be Re-Set.

Once the Re-Set has been Tripped, Nothing Happens (No Hum, Nothing).

If you have removed the Debris that Stopped the Motor you will need to push the Re-Set lightly to return to Normal Operation.

Some may mistake a Screw Head or Bolt Head for the Re-Set Button. The Re-Set Button Normally is very Loose and very easy to Push. When Re-Setting the Disposal the Button will have a very slight Click when it Re-Sets, listen for it to be certain it has been Re-Set.

If you are certain that the Re-Set has been Properly Pushed, Plug in the Power Cord & Turn on the Switch. If for a second or two you hear a slight Hum and then the Hum stops, That could mean there is still something wedged and the Motor cannot Turn.

UnPlug the Disposal before reaching inside.

Look again for something that may still be wedged. You will need to RE-Set the Button again.

DIY or Call a Pro

Most Plumbing Companies will Install their own Selected Brand so find out what Brand they Sell before having them come out for an Installation. A Good Reliable Handyman should install a Disposal you have Purchased.

DIY Replacement - Disconnect the Power

Replacing your Disposal with the Same Model Is easy, if it was a Builder Model you should consider an Upgrade with a better the Warranty, Lower Noise Level and more HP. The Sink Flange is always the Same Diameter, but not all Disposal Manufactures attach to the Sink Flange the same way.

The 2nd most common Problem when DIY is Not Replacing the Sink Flange along with the Putty that Seals between the Sink and the Mounting Flange. You should Replace this Part, it is Normally Included with a New Disposal. Replacing the Sink Flange allows you to Upgrade a little easier

Replace the Sink flange to Match the New Disposal is not that Difficult. You may need a little Help from a Family Member to Keep the Flange Lined Up while tightening the Nut from below, it will want to move

You use Plumbers Putty between the Sink and the Flange to keep it from Leaking. Tight is when the flange no Longer turns or moves, a lot of Putty will squeeze out during the Tightening Process.

Now the next part may require a little Muscle to hold the Unit in Place while you turn the Locking Nut. the Locking nut should be tapped to keep it from Leaking, make all effort to not move the flange within the Sink Hole.

If that all goes well hooking up the Pipes should be easy. Remember to Knock out the Hole for the Dishwasher Drain, if you Don't have a Dishwasher Don't knock it out.

Noise When Working

Noise was one of the Biggest Complaint. Noise should be a Consideration when Replacing your Disposal. Manufactures are not required to Publish Decibel Levels of their Product.

To me the Skinny Units have less insulation so they make more Noise, Insulated Models are Fatter and they look Bigger. The Unit I have is Fat thus well insulated. I would say at least half as noisy as what the Builder Supplied.

How it Works

The Garbage Disposal uses a Rotating Shredder Plate (about 2000 RPM) that is Driven by an Electric Motor. The Motor is Sealed off from the Grinding Chamber Preventing Water and Food Damage.

Shredder Plate in the Garbage Disposal does most of the WorkThe Shredder Plate and Shredder Ring have holes to allow Water and Small Waste Particles to Pass through. The Shredder Plate typically has 2 Blunt Teeth that are loosely attached to allow movement on the Plate. Shredder Plate and the Shredder Ring work together with Water to Cut, Grind and Break Food Waste into small Pieces that pass through the Holes in the Plate and Ring then Down the Drain Pipe.

Horse Power (HP)

Garbage Disposals are Rated by HP 1/3, 1/2, 3/4 and 1. The HP Rating is the Size of the Motor. The 1/2 HP Garbage Disposal is the most common size and the Size in a Typical Household.

The 1/2 HP is able to Grind up Fruit Pits & Scrapes like Bananas, Apples and Oranges. Vegetables Scraps, Small Bones, Corn Cobs, Cooked Meat and Left Over's.

Brief History

The 1st Disposal was Invented by John Hammes in Wisconsin in 1927. the Patent was Applied for in 1933, Approved in 1935 and Hit the Market called the InSinkErator in 1940. This was Disputed by GE, claiming their Disposall was Introduced in 1935.

Methane Gas

This really surprised me. Methane (CH4) a Colorless, Odorless and Flammable Gas is a Large Contributor to Climate Change Greenhouse Gas. Municipal Landfills are the 3rd Largest contributor to Human Related Methane Emissions.

It turns out that your Garbage Disposal in most Kitchens is a Better Place for Food Waste than the Landfill. There are some Exceptions, like Areas experiencing Water Shortages. Disposals use approximately 1 Gallon of Water per Day per Person.

The Largest Landfill in the US and Possibly in the World is the Apex Regional Landfill in or near Las Vegas, Nevada covering some 2,200 Acres of Land.

What you Should Not Do

Putting Grease and Oils in Disposals and the entire Drain Pipe System is not Recommended. Even if it is Liquid it will Solidify in the Pipes at some point then eventually become a problem and cause a Backup. A Plumber once told me that Grease is the biggest cause of Drains getting Stopped Up. You can't Plunge Solidified Grease away to unplug the Pipes.


See our Article "Cleaning your Garbage Disposal" click here

Comparing InSinkErator® - Moen® - Everbuilt®


External Link to InSinkErator® General Warranty Terms and Conditions -click here-

InSinkErator® Warranty Info


"External Link to Moen® General Warranty Terms and Conditions -click here-

Moen® Warranty Info


EVERBILT™ Is a Trademark by Home Depot Product Authority, LLC

"External Link to EVERBILT™ General Warranty Terms and Conditions -click here-

Moen® Warranty Info

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