Residential plumbing is a complex mix of pipes, drains, vents, and fixtures. It's often difficult to do plumbing work on your own, and your local codes might even require all plumbing work to be done by a licensed plumber. If you're installing a garbage disposal for the first time, you might be able to do the work yourself if you have experience with home improvement projects, but you might need a plumber's help. Here's a look at what's involved with installing a garbage disposal for the first time.
Check For The Connections You Need
A garbage disposal plugs into an outlet under the kitchen sink, and the outlet is controlled by a wall switch. If you have an older home, there might not be an outlet under your sink. In that case, you need to call an electrician to install the outlet and wall switch.
An older home with an older sink might not have an opening for an air gap. Local codes might require an air gap if you want to connect your dishwasher to the garbage disposal. The purpose of the air gap is to prevent backflow. An air gap is usually installed in an opening in your sink or countertop.
If your sink doesn't have an extra hole, talk to a plumber about your options. You can install the garbage disposal without hooking it to your dishwasher, or the plumber might be able to work around the problem using an alternate method of creating an air gap.
Hang The Disposal From A Mounting Ring
All the parts for the garbage disposal should come in the package, including the drain flange. The old flange is pried out of the sink, and a new one is placed in and attached with putty. A ring and gasket are installed under the sink and attached to the gasket on top with screws. The garbage disposal is then connected to the mounting ring below the flange assembly to hold it in place.
Connect Wiring And Plumbing
The disposal wiring is connected inside the unit, and the disposal is connected to the existing drain pipe at the P-trap. If your home has old metal pipes, the pipes might be stuck together due to hard water scale. The plumber can probably loosen the connections with penetrating oil. It's also possible the pipes will need to be cut to fit the pipe connections on the disposal.
Once the disposal is connected to the drain under your sink, it's time to plug it in and test its operation. The plumber runs water down the sink to make sure the connections are tight and not dripping water. Then they test the disposal to make sure it responds when the switch flips on and that it operates properly.
For more information, reach out to a residential plumbing professional.