How to Remove a Garbage Disposal

a family removing a garbage disposal unit
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  • 01 of 08

    How to Remove a Garbage Disposal

    Replace garbage disposal with a basket strainer
    Aaron Stickley

    There are various reasons to remove a garbage disposal from your kitchen sink permanently. Problems with old drain lines are perhaps among the most common reasons to remove a garbage disposal and use a basket strainer instead.

    With old drain lines, even small pieces of food can build up in the pipes and cause kitchen stoppages. If you are good at remembering to throw away kitchen scraps and are tired of frequent kitchen sink stoppages, you may choose to remove your garbage disposal.

    Tools and Materials You Will Need

    • Channel-type pliers
    • Flat screwdriver
    • Plumber's putty
    • Basket strainer
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  • 02 of 08

    Disconnect the Garbage Disposal

    Disconnecting pipes for garbage disposal
    Aaron Stickley

    To remove a garbage disposal begin by unplugging and disconnecting the disposal. First, unplug the garbage disposal from the wall.

    Next, you will have to remove the drain trap that connects the garbage disposal to the drain pipe. Place a container under the trap, so you can catch any water that drains from the pipes.

    Using pliers, remove the two trap nuts, and pull the trap pipe straight down. Remove the continuous waste by removing the nuts with pliers and pulling the pipe out.

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  • 03 of 08

    Disconnect the Dishwasher

    Disconnecting a dishwasher drain line
    Aaron Stickley

    If you have a dishwasher, it is most likely connected to the garbage disposal. Before you remove a garbage disposal, you will need to disconnect the dishwasher drain line.

    Using pliers, remove the dishwasher tube from garbage disposer.

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  • 04 of 08

    Remove the Garbage Disposal

    Using a screwdriver to dismount a garbage disposal
    Aaron Stickley

    Insert a flat screwdriver into the lower mounting ring, and turn it 1/4 turn counterclockwise to unlock it. The disposal will come straight down so be ready to catch it.

    What is left is the mounting assembly. To remove it, loosen the three screws first, then use a flat screwdriver to pop the snap ring out of position. The rest of the mounting assembly will come off easily, and you can pull the top piece out from the top side of the sink.

    You can install a garbage disposal or continue to follow these instructions for installing a basket strainer.

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  • 05 of 08

    Install the Basket Strainer

    Installing a basket strainer
    Aaron Stickley

    There are many types of basket strainers to choose from. Each basket strainer will have installation instructions, so follow the directions of your strainers.

    Make sure to put a ring of putty around the sink strainer before inserting it into the sink opening. Place the rubber washer first then the bottom mounting cup before placing the mounting nut. Tighten the mounting nut until it is firm. Remove the excess putty from the top of the sink.

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  • 06 of 08

    Attach the Drain Pipe and the Dishwasher

    A flanged branch tailpiece pipe
    Aaron Stickley

    The basket strainer is connected to the drain with a flanged tailpiece. If you have a dishwasher, you will need to use a flanged branch tailpiece which has an additional inlet for the dishwasher drain line.

    The flanged tailpiece screws directly onto the basket strainer. Make sure to use the tailpiece washer that should have come with the basket strainer. Also, it is recommended that you put a pinch of putty on the nut between the tailpiece washer and basket strainer.

    Re-install the dishwasher tube onto the branch tailpiece using pliers.

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  • 07 of 08

    Install the Continuous Waste

    Kitchen continous waste pipe
    Aaron Stickley

    Install the continuous waste pipe. The pipe will likely need to be cut to size. To get the measurement, put one end of the pipe in place and make a mark where the cut needs to be made.

    The continuous waste pipe should have a mid downward slope from the trap to the drain. Keep that in mind when you measure and cut the pipe.

    Once your continuous waste fits right, you must tighten both nuts making sure the slip joint washers are on facing the right direction. The washers should be tapered down toward the threads.

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  • 08 of 08

    Install the Trap

    A kitchen drain trap
    Aaron Stickley

    Finally, install the trap and trap arm. You may have to lengthen the pipe with an extension tailpiece to get it to line up correctly.

    Cut your pipe to suit and tighten all the nuts, making sure the slip joint washers are facing the right direction. The only part where you do not need a slip joint washer is where the trap and trap arm come together.

    Tighten all the nuts by hand, and check both sides of the sink for leaks by filling the sinks up and draining them. If one nut leaks, then tighten it just a little extra with pliers.