Garbage disposal installation and maintenance

Installing a garbage disposal unit is not something to be feared of, because you only need basic plumbing and electrical skills in most cases. If you are able to follow instructions, you can save yourself some money because you don’t even need to hire a plumber to do the job for you. Most garbage disposals come with a manual with detailed installation instructions.

Do note that this is not a garbage disposal installation guide. It’s a simple guide on what you can expect if you decide to install a disposal unit by yourself.

Installing a garbage disposal

Before you begin with installation, there are some important prerequisites you should be aware of. First, there should be an appropriate power outlet under your sink (usually 120V). It should be located close to your disposal unit because you need to power it. It’s highly advisable to turn the electrical circuit off before you begin with the installation process. Remember, safety first!

Although most garbage disposals work on the same principle, the installation process always varies a little bit, depending on the brand and type of your unit. The types of garbage disposal units include continuous-feed disposals, batch-feed disposals, dishwasher garbage disposals, and septic tank garbage disposals.

Garbage disposal installation cost

plumbingIf you don’t want to deal with installation by yourself, you can always hire a local plumber and leave the job to the professional. Be aware that some disposal manufacturers require you to hire a licensed plumber for installation in order to keep the valid warranty. But hiring a licensed plumber usually costs more than hiring a local plumber without a license, so this is a decision you have to make on your own.

Hiring a professional plumber also means that it’s more likely that you won’t run into any problems soon. There are also several other factors that can affect your garbage disposal unit installation costs. For instance, installation of a disposal unit for double sink usually costs more than installation of a unit designed for a single sink.

Garbage disposal maintenance

Garbage disposals are designed to work for a long time if they are installed correctly and maintained properly. Of course they can get jammed occasionally, but you can avoid most of these problems by regular cleaning of the disposal.

Garbage disposal installation could be a pretty easy approach, but if you have a garbage disposal not working, you might probably need some professional help. You need to figure out what is exactly wrong with the unit, as some issues can be fixed on your own.

Here are a couple of the most common reasons for a garbage disposal that is not working:

Garbage disposal jam – Sometimes, high fiber vegetable matter or bones might cause your garbage disposal to jam. This kind of jams can be fixed using Allen wrench, which can be inserted in to a small socket hole under the unit and the masher plate can be moved.

Leaks – The very first thing you need to check in case of a leak in the disposal is the drain connection. In many cases, the leaks come from drain pipes and can be fixed by changing the rubber gasket.

Nothing happens when turned on – There could be something wrong with the fuse or the breakers. If the fuse and the circuit breakers seem to be working fine, you need to look for a reset button that is usually located near the bottom of the disposal unit. Up on pressing the reset button, you could hear some clicking sound and if you run the unit now, the motor should work or you might need some professional help.


Remember! Never put your hands and fingers inside of the unit. It’s always better to be safe than sorry and you definitely don’t want to lose a finger or two in your sink. Always use appropriate tools, even when you are doing a fresh garbage disposal installation.