How to Replace a Garbage Disposal in a Sink

How to Replace a Garbage Disposal in a Sink

Garbage disposals are convenient yet indispensable appliances in our kitchens. Many signs, from garbage disposal not working to leakages, insist on garbage disposal replacement immediately. Fortunately, replacing a garbage disposal is a manageable DIY task that saves money and time. So, how do you replace a garbage disposal? 

This blog will discuss the step-by-step guide on how to replace garbage disposal.

How To Replace Garbage Disposal?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to change out a garbage disposal:

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials

Ensure that you have all the necessary tools and materials before you begin:

  • New garbage disposal unit
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver (both flathead and Phillips)
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Bucket
  • Towels or rags

Step 2: Turn Off the Power and Water Supply

Ensure to cut off the power supply to the garbage disposal unit by switching off the circuit breaker for the disposal. Moreover, the water supply to the sink should be shut off by turning the valve under the sink clockwise.

Step 3: Disconnect the Old Garbage Disposal

Using the adjustable wrench, loosen the clamp connecting the disposal unit to the sink drain. Once the clamp is loose, disconnect the drain pipe from the disposal unit. Then, disconnect the electrical wires from the disposal unit. Remember which wire connects to which terminal for easy reconnection later.

Step 4: Disconnect Garbage Disposal From Sink Including the Flange

Here’s how to remove the garbage disposal flange and the unit:

  • Disconnect the Drain Pipe: Use your adjustable wrench to loosen the clamp that connects the disposal unit to the sink drain. Once the clamp is loosened, detach the drain pipe from the disposal unit.
  • Remove Flange from Sink: The sink flange is the part of the garbage disposal unit that sits on top of the sink and connects it to the disposal. To remove it, locate the mounting ring that secures the sink flange to the sink. This ring is usually held in place by screws.
  • Loosen the Mounting Screws: Using your screwdriver (either flathead or Phillips, depending on the screw type), loosen the screws that hold the mounting ring in place. There are typically three or four screws evenly spaced around the ring.
  • Remove the Mounting Ring: Once the screws are loosened, carefully lift the mounting ring off the sink. You may need to gently pry it away if it’s stuck due to an old plumber’s putty or corrosion.
  • Garbage Disposal Flange Removal: With the mounting ring removed, you can now remove the flange from the sink. Be cautious as you do this to avoid damaging the sink or surrounding areas.
  • Clean the Sink Opening: Once the sink flange is removed, clean the sink opening thoroughly. Remove any old plumber’s putty or debris to ensure a clean surface for installing the new sink flange.

Step 5: Install the New Garbage Disposal

Before installing the new disposal unit:

  1. Apply a thin layer of plumber’s putty around the sink flange to create a watertight seal.
  2. Place the new disposal unit under the sink and align it with the mounting assembly.
  3. Use your screwdriver to secure the mounting assembly, ensuring the disposal unit is firmly in place.

Step 6: Connect the Plumbing and Wiring

Reconnect the drain pipe to the disposal unit and tighten the clamp securely with your adjustable wrench. Next, reconnect the electrical wires, matching the wires to their respective terminals, as noted earlier. Once all connections are secure, double-check to ensure everything is aligned correctly.

Step 7: Test the New Garbage Disposal

Turn the water supply back on with everything connected and check for any leaks around the connections. Once you’ve confirmed no leaks, restore power to the garbage disposal by switching the circuit breaker back on. Test the disposal by running water and turning it on to ensure it’s functioning correctly.


These steps will help you disconnect the garbage disposal from the sink easily. Though the process seems complicated initially, with the right tools and a clear guide, it’s a manageable DIY task.

Are you still trying to figure out how to replace a garbage disposal? Call Spot-On’s experts for professional garbage disposal services.