In this sequence I remove the old garbage disposal, mounting ring, sink drain flange and disconnect the electrical wiring. This project is continued from How to Replace a Garbage Disposal – Part 1.
Garbage Disposal Plumbing and Wiring Connections
The cabinet is emptied for easy access to the broken garbage disposer. The garbage disposer is removed by shutting off the circuit breaker then disconnecting the discharge elbow, dishwasher drain hose (if present), 3-bolt mount and hardwired electrical connection.
My dishwasher drain hose is connected directly to the drain pipe, your dishwasher drain hose may be connected to the dishwasher discharge inlet on the disposal unit.
Shut Off the Electricity
A properly installed garbage disposer will be on a dedicated circuit breaker in the main electrical panel. Turn off the circuit breaker to avoid electrical shock.
Disconnect the Discharge Elbow
Unscrew the two plastic nuts on the garbage disposer discharge elbow and wiggle it off. Have a paper towel ready to catch any drips and stuff the paper towel in the disposal outlet. Remember not to chew on your finger nails from this point on.
Wipe the threads and inside lip of the white elbow joint clean with a paper towel as indicated in the above photo. You’ll also need to clean and reuse the slip nut and slip washer. The slip washer can be reused, however, I recommend buying a new 1-1/2″ washer for about 50 cents at the hardware store as these can be crushed if the nut was over tightened.
Garbage Disposal Mounting Ring
Support the garbage disposer and insert a wrench or large screw driver into the lug of the mounting ring and turn as shown. Be ready, the garbage disposer will fall free after 1/4 turn. I’m using the original InSinkErator® Jam-Buster™ wrench saved from a disposer installed in my former home. If your mount ring is jammed, tap the lug with a hammer.
Garbage disposal dropped from the 3-bolt sink mount:
Disconnect the Hardwired Electrical Cable
Lay the disposer on a towel with the discharge outlet facing up. Remove the electrical plate with a screwdriver.
Verify the electricity is off with a voltage detector before touching the wires. I like the Greenlee Non-Contact Voltage Detector because it doesn’t require direct contact with the wires to sense voltage. If power is present, it beeps and flashes a bright red.
If you’re unfamiliar with a non-contact voltage detector, it’s a user-friendly device. Just hold it near a power source and it will alarm if voltage is present. You can never be too cautious around electricity.
To disconnect the electrical wiring from the disposer:
- Pull out the wires and remove the wire nuts from the black and white wires.
- Unscrew the ground screw and remove the bare ground wire.
- Loosen the clamp screw on the strain relief fitting on the flexible electrical conduit.
- Loosen the spur nut on strain relief fitting.
- Unscrew the strain relief threaded fitting from the bottom of the disposer.
- Gently pull/wiggle the wires free from the disposer.
Remove the Disposal 3-Bolt Sink Mount
Dried and Brittle Plumber’s Putty: Hey! Why would I want to remove the 3-bolt mount when there’s an adapter kit available for the Waste King garbage disposer? Because the plumber’s putty on my sink flange was mostly dried and brittle – this is asking for a leak. The sink flange and mount are easy to install so why not do the job right with fresh putty? An extra 10 minutes of effort now may avoid water damage and fixing a leak later.
Loosen the mount screws by several turns. This relieves the pressure on the snap ring just beneath the mount.
Pry off the snap ring with the tip of the screwdriver, allowing the snap ring and mount ring to drop free from the sink flange.
Pull off the backup flange and fiber gasket. My backup flange and gasket were lightly stuck in place by plumber’s putty after so many years. The plumber’s putty was cracked and brittle.
The various parts of the 3-bolt mount after removal:
Scrape Off the Old Plumber’s Putty
Reach in and pull out the sink flange. Mine came out with minimal effort. As you can see, the plumber’s putty had become dry and brittle after 10+ years, loosing its effectiveness as a water seal.
Scrape off the old putty with a small putty knife, taking care not to scratch or gouge the sink.
A plastic scouring pad will safely polish the drain hole without damaging the sink to remove every last bit of putty. A clean sink surface is required for a water tight seal against the sink flange.
Take care to clean the plumber’s putty off the bottom of the drain, too.
This project is continued in How to Replace a Garbage Disposal – Part 3.
Thanks for reading,
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