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Garbage Disposals


Garbage Disposals can be a nice, convenient addition to your kitchen sink. They're designed to chop up larger bits of food(like a blender) and other substances that would normally end up in a sink. This prevents clogs and helps keep the drain pipes in your home cleaner.

You'll notice if you check around, that many homes don't have a garbage disposal. This is because in many cases, a disposal is not necessary. There are, however, advantanges to having and using one. There are also many homeowners who simply love them and wouldn't go without one. The choice is yours whether you feel one to be a good addition to your home. We will go over some basics about them here.

There are many different companies that make a variety of garbage disposals. Most of them have basic installation techniques in common. The basic disposal has it's own type of basket strainer(see the kitchen sink section) which the disposal itself gets attached to. You can see the two different types in the picture above.

The disposal also takes the place of the tailpiece, coming off of the basket strainer. You can see the removable black elbow coming from the disposal. This is longer than is seen in the photo, it gets cut to fit if necessary.

Most garbage disposals also come with a dishwasher connection(also seen in this picture). It is generally molded shut so that it won't leak if it's not being used. If it is being used, the thin blocking piece can be tapped out with a screwdriver.

A disposal will also need a 110V electrical outlet. Some electrical work will probably be required. The outlet is normally turned on and off with a switch at the counter top, most likely by the sink. Sometimes this switch is under the sink.

WARNING! While it is almost always necessary to do some repiping under the sink in order to install a new disposal, sometimes, given the existing piping, it may not be possible to fit one under the sink(without severe repiping). In the picture above, the horizontal pipe going to old basket strainer needed to be shortened. It is just about at it's shortest possible length. Any further and the drains would have to have been repiped. This is one of those jobs that seem simple enough, but could easily turn into a much bigger project than anticipated.

Free Online Plumber does not warrant any of the information on this page, in regards to the accuracy or effectiveness of these procedures or this information. Always check and follow all applicable local plumbing codes.
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