How to Remove a Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal is one of the hardest-working appliances in your kitchen, but eventually, it will be time to say goodbye. Sometimes, garbage disposals wear out after years of use. Other times, homeowners tire from maintaining their disposal and want rid of it altogether.

Whether you’re replacing your old garbage disposal with a new one, or switching to a disposal-free setup, our seven-step guide with walk you through how to remove your garbage disposal.

Items You’ll Need To Remove A Garbage Disposal


  • Pliers
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Basket strainer
  • Plumber’s Putty; sold at hardware stores for under $5

Garbage Disposal Removal Steps


Step 1. Disconnect the garbage disposal

Before you can install a new garbage disposal, you need to remove the old one. To remove the garbage disposal, start by unplugging the disposal from the wall.

Once the disposal is unplugged, remove the drain trap. This is the component that connects the disposal to the drain pipe. It’s a good idea to place a bowl or small bucket under the drain trap so you can catch any water that comes out from the pipes.

Next, take your pliers and remove the trap nuts. After removing the two trap nuts, pull the trap pipe down in a straight-down motion.

Step 2. Disconnect the dishwasher drain line

In many cases, the garbage disposal is connected to the dishwasher. If your disposal is connected to your dishwasher, disconnect this drain line in the dishwasher.

You do this by simply removing the dishwasher tube from the garbage disposal.

Step 3. Remove the garbage disposal

Once you’ve completed Steps 1 and 2, it’s time to remove the garbage disposal. Take your flat screwdriver and place it onto the lower mounting ring. Turn it ¼ turn counterclockwise, which will unlock the ring. The disposal will not be attached to anything once you do this, so be prepared to catch it.

One the disposal is unattached, the mounting assembly will be all that is left. Remove this by loosening the three screw, then use your flat screwdriver to pop the snap ring out of its position. From here, the remainder of the mounting assembly should come off with ease.

Step 4. Install the basket strainer

If you aren’t planning on installing a new garbage disposal, it’s important to install a basket strainer since this will help stop food waste from going down the drain.

Basket strainers will have different installation directions so be sure to read the specific instructions.

In any case, we recommend putting a ring of Plumber’s Putty around the sink strainer prior to inserting it into the sink opening. This is done by putting the rubber washer in first, followed by the bottom mounting cup, then the mounting nut. Tighten the mount until the nut is firmly in place and remove any excess putty.

Step 5. Reattach the drain pipe and the dishwasher

The basket strainer connects to the drain with a flanged tailpiece. It’s important to use a flanged branch tailpiece (which has an additional inlet) if you have a dishwasher.

Screw the flanged tailpiece directly onto the basket strainer. We recommend that you put a pinch of Plumber’s Putty on the nut located between the tailpiece washer and the basket strainer.

Once you have connected these, use your pliers to reinstall the dishwasher tube onto the branch tailpiece.

Step 6. Install the Continuous Waste Pipe

Next, install the continuous drain pipe. This step can be tricky depending on the size of the pipe you need and many homeowners will need to cut their drain pipe to size. If you need to cut your drain pipe, put one end of the pipe in place and mark where the cut needs to be made.

The continuous waste pipe needs to have a mid-downward slope, which runs from the trap in the drain.  Once your pipe fits correctly, simply tighten both nuts. Make sure that the washers are facing the correct direction, tapered down and toward the threads.

Step 7. Install the trap and trap arm

Congratulations, you can see the finish line! Once you’ve completed Steps 1 through 6, the final step is to install the trap and trap arm. This is simple, but you may need to lengthen the pipe with an extension piece to ensure it lines up correctly.

Once you’ve installed the trap and trap arm, ensure all of the nuts are tightened. Check for any leaks by filling and draining the sinks. If you do see a leak, tighten the nut with your pliers.

Need Help? Call Sansone for Quality Plumbing Services in South Florida

Whether you need assistance removing your old garbage disposal, want help installing a new one, or both, Sansone’s fast and reliable plumbing services are here to help. We offer repair and replacement services for garbage disposals to keep your kitchen functional and convenient.

Broward: (954) 800-2858
Palm Beach: (561) 701-8274
St. Lucie: (772) 879-5656

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