Several reasons may influence your desire to remove your garbage disposal from the kitchen sink, including a recurring clogged drain or a malfunctioning unit. Some people may not even need a garbage disposal anymore.
Regardless of the reason, knowing how to remove garbage disposal can save you time and money by avoiding the need to hire a plumber. Luckily, removing a garbage disposal is an easy task that takes only a few minutes.
Let’s take a look at how to replace a garbage disposal and how to remove one permanently.
In this article, we’ll take you step by step through the process of removing a garbage disposal correctly and safely, so be sure to stick around!
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools to remove the InSinkerator disposal
Gathering the tools you’ll need to disengage a garbage disposal ahead of time is essential to working quickly, efficiently, and safely.
Here’s what you’ll be using:
- A headlamp flashlight or a lantern
- A bucket
- A cardboard box
- An old rag or towel
- A disposal wrench
- A screwdriver
- A voltage detector
Step 2: Cut off Power From the InSinkErator Garbage Disposal
Safety should always come first, so you must cut off all power sources to the unit before you come anywhere near a garbage disposal. This step is crucial to preventing any accidents and ensuring safety.
You should unplug your garbage disposal if it’s connected to an electrical outlet. You can go a step further by turning off the power to the unit at the circuit breaker, which you would if you have a hard-wired garbage disposal.
To double-check that the power to the unit is truly disconnected, turn on the voltage detector and place it on the wire at the sink.
If the detector lights up, it means that the power is still turned on. You’ll need to locate the correct circuit breaker to turn it off.
Step 3: Detach the Drainpipe
First, place a bucket under the drainpipe to catch any water in case there’s still some in the drain pipe.
Next, using the pliers, turn the slip nut counterclockwise and push it upwards. If the slip nut is made from plastic, you want to be careful with the pliers because the nut can bend or crack. Then, pull the drain pipe down and out.
In case it’s dim under the sink, you can use a headlamp light or a lantern to navigate your way clearly around the unit and pipes.
Step 3.1: Disconnect the Dishwasher
If you have a dishwasher, it’s most likely connected to the garbage disposal with a drainage hose.
To remove the dishwasher hose, squeeze the hose clamp with a pair of pliers and turn it counterclockwise. Once the clamp is loose enough, slide it off the hose end and pull the hose away from the unit.
Some hose clamps are loosened and tightened with a screw. If that’s the case with your dishwasher’s hose, just unscrew the clamp with a screwdriver enough that you can pull the hose.
Step 4: Disconnect Garbage Disposal From Mounting Bracket
Before you disconnect the garbage disposal from the mounting bracket, place a cardboard box right underneath the unit.
A garbage disposal can be heavy, and the momentum from disengaging it may cause it to fall, so the box underneath should help you support the unit’s weight.
Typically, a garbage disposal is connected to the sink drain via a mounting bracket, which has metal loops or ears.
Insert a disposal wrench or a screwdriver into one of the loops and rotate the mounting bracket counterclockwise a quarter turn.
You may have to use some force to get it to move, but once it turns, the mounting bracket will slide down, detaching the disposal unit from the sink drain.
The disposal will fall right away so make sure to catch it with the help of the cardboard box.
Step 4.1: Disconnect Power Source
Disconnecting the garbage disposal is an additional step for disposal units that are hard-wired, not plugged, to a circuit wiring.
For safety precautions, place the voltage detector on the wire connected to the disposal once more. It’s always better to check for electrical currents as you go to prevent any mishaps.
On the bottom of the unit, remove the electrical cover plate with a screwdriver and pull out the wire nuts.
Unscrew each wire nut connector using your hands and disconnect the copper ground wire, which you may need to remove by unscrewing the screw attachment.
Lastly, loosen the screws on the strain relief enough that you can pull the wire out. Your disposal unit is now disconnected from power and is safe to remove completely.
Once you’re done, you can set the disposal unit aside on an old rag or towel to protect it as well as the floor.
Step 5: Remove Mounting Bracket (Optional)
After you remove the disposal unit, all that’s left is the mounting bracket, a cylindrical fastener that secures the garbage disposal to the sink drain. If you don’t intend to replace the garbage disposal, you should remove the bracket.
Using the screwdriver, loosen and remove the three screws connecting the mounting bracket to the sink drain.
Keep in mind that if you aren’t replacing the garbage disposal, you should install a sink strainer or a basket strainer. Either device will filter out food waste and solid debris to prevent clogging and damaging the plumbing system.
You might have to add a new p-trap if you don’t want to install a new InSinkerator garbage disposal. This connects the dishwasher and the sink to the drain directly. There are kits online that make this easy. You just have to turn plastic rings (or fittings) together and make sure that you don’t overtighten them. There is a special piece that makes it easy to connect the hose of the dishwasher.
If you want to install a new one, you just have to follow the steps that are outlined in the following video. This is quite straightforward as the connections are already made.
Garbage disposals, like all kitchen appliances, can wear out and need to be replaced over time. Sometimes they need to get replaced or removed.
Whether you’re getting rid of disposal units altogether or upgrading to a new one, you’ll need to remove the one you already have.
We get that this task can sound more like a professional’s task. However, disengaging and removing a garbage disposal is one of the easiest plumbing tasks.
With the above steps, you now know how to remove an InSinkErator garbage disposal. If necessary, you can also reverse those steps to install garbage disposal.
That said, it’s normal if you’re unsure about doing it yourself. Most plumbers are well-equipped with the know-how to remove and install garbage disposals quickly and efficiently.
InSinkErator offers great garbage disposals. In some instances, you might want to replace it. If you don’t use it often, you can remove it as well. In the previous article, we have provided some tips on how you can do this.
It is important that your drains don’t leak after this. Use enough glue or strong fittings to avoid this.
A plumber can help you with this if needed.
If you have a dishwasher, you have to make sure that the new connection between the dishwasher and the sink is strong enough to deal with the hot water.
We have outlined how you can glue a PVC drain here. You can also use PP pieces. These are quite easy to use as you can tighten a piece of plastic to connect the different parts.
Drains should last a long time. Therefore, it is important that you install them in the correct way.