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How to Install a Garbage Disposal

Installing a garbage disposal is a relatively easy project for an experienced do-it-yourselfer. Grab a few basic tools and follow our how-to.

Tools & Materials

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Before You Get Started

install a garbage disposal system

The garbage disposal will attach to the sink and have a discharge that attaches to the drainpipe. Your dishwasher outlet hose attaches to the disposal. If you don’t already have a disposal, you’ll need a nearby outlet and switch. Call an electrician to install. Also check if a permit is required.

Disposals are typically available in 1/3 up to 1 horsepower. If you have a septic system, you'll need to purchase a septic-safe disposal. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your needs.

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Install the Disposal

Instructions

Step 1

Remove the drainpipe.

First turn off the circuit breaker to your kitchen.

Set a bucket under the P-trap and disconnect the drainpipes. Then remove the sink strainer. Remove any excess putty.

Step 2

Apply plumber's putty around the sink flange.

On the new drain, apply plumber’s putty around the flange, and press it into place.

Then lay a towel in the sink and set the disposal on the flange to keep it from moving.

Step 3

Stack the gasket, flange and mounting ring.

Underneath the sink, stack the fiber gasket, backup flange, and mounting ring, and slide onto the underside of the flange. Install the snap ring by pulling it open and snapping into place.

Then tighten the screws evenly so they’re firmly against the backup flange. Clean up any excess putty.

Step 4

Knock out the drain plug from the disposal.

To connect to the dishwasher drain, use a hammer to knock out and remove the drain plug from the inlet on the disposal.

Step 5

Connect the cord by matching wire colors.

Next, remove the wire cover plate and connect the electrical cord* by matching the wire colors. Push the wires back in and reattach the plate.

*Electrical cords may be sold separately.

Step 6

Connect the drain.

To connect the drain, insert the gasket in the discharge outlet. Then attach the discharge tube with the flange and bolts.

Now hang the disposal by aligning the three tabs with the mounting ring. Use the included wrench to turn and lock the tabs over the ridges. Then connect the dishwasher drain. Make sure the discharge pipe is lined up properly and connect your drainpipes -- use a T-pipe before your P-trap.

Test the Disposal

Place stopper into the sink.

Test your connections by placing the stopper into the sink drain and filling the sink with water. Check for leaks. Plug in the disposal, and turn on the power.

Lowe's Installation

Do you need help? Professional installation is available through Lowe's.

Caution

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation and safety. Check to see if you need a permit. Observe applicable building and electrical codes. Contact a licensed electrician if you have any doubts or questions about the connections, or if your home's wiring doesn't appear compatible with the changes you're making.