Dead Disposal. Can I remove it?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by llmercll, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. llmercll

    llmercll New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Chester NY
    I've got a plumbing nightmare that has been going on for a few months. First the garbage disposal died, then the dishwasher. We've gotten by simply by using a little screen in the sink and dishwashing by hand, but now my disposal and dishwasher leak bad whenever I wash dishes. And the water coming smells HORRIBLE. Like rotten eggs.

    What I want to know is if it's possible to completely remove the garbage disposal and take the dishwasher out of the plumbing "loop". To simply have the sink drain out and the water to go straight to the faucet. I don't have the money to replace any non essential appliances right now.

    Is this possible? Would be it very difficult? I'd appreciate some information =)

    thank you!

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2011
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Certainly. You will need a sink strainer, and a lot of new piping under the sink. Not as imposing a job as it may seem. At a hardware store, a strainer can be had for under $10, and a plastic end outlet waste kit for another $10 will give you most of the parts you need.

    The dishwasher will have stale residual water in it causing an odor. I would pour a gallon of white vinegar into the machine, then take the drain hose and lay it down completely flat so all the water and vinegar will drain out into a shallow pan. If you feel like turning off the electricity to the DW, you could remove the lower panel and disconnect the drain hose right at the pump.

    Possibly spritz the entire inside of the machine with white vinegar. An abandoned DW tends to be a source of odors.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,298
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    FIW, it is not necessary to have a disposal to drain a dishwasher. There is a fitting that is placed in the sink drain just below the basket and ahead of the P trap that the DW drain hose fits on to. That doesn't do you much good if the DW is also broken, but if you don't feel the need for a disposal, and replace or repair the DW, this gives you an option. My wife and I decided long ago a disposal was not at all necessary and went this route. Doesn't mean that everyone should get rid of their disposals, but there is a choice.
  4. llmercll

    llmercll New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Chester NY
    Thanks for the replies =)

    We got a strainer, that was EASY, lol. Wish it were all that easy. The piping is what intimidates me. Ideally I would like to remove the disposal AND dishwasher. Just rip em out. I'm pretty sure both are broken.

    I'm going to take some pictures and upload them, What I really need is a guide or something. So much piping I don't even know how to deal with. I don't think you can just untwist pipe can you? Doesn't it need seals and such?
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,298
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Sink drains are assembled with slip joints. These are purchased as sets in hardware and plumbing shops, and come in either chromed brass or white PVC. You usually have to do some trimming to get everything sized correctly, but either material cuts easily with a hacksaw. A kitchen sink uses 1-1/2" piping, bathroom vanities use 1-1/4". There usually are diagrams and instructions on the packages, so assembly should not be too much problem. In addition, there are all sorts of DIY books available as well as coming back here if you get stuck or have questions. If you are going to forever eliminate the DW, then you do not need the fitting I described earlier, you would just use a straight pipe, but you could always add that DW connection later if you decided to reconnect the DW. Don't get in a tizzy, this is not a rocket science DIY task.
  6. llmercll

    llmercll New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Chester NY
    merc_1.jpg



    Those are some pictures of the disposal itself. I believe the white plug on the bottom is power, and the black L pipe coming out of it goes straight to the drain. I'm not sure what the hose w/clamp above the drain does, but I think it goes to the dishwasher.
    Behind the disposal unit is the water, one for hot and one for cold. The one for hot has an additional hose coming out of it going to the dishwasher.

    I'm guessing the hose going in to the top of the garbage disposal is the dishwasher drain? I'm probably completely off here, which is why I'm asking in the first place =)

    But Basically all I'd need to do is turn off the breaker. Then on the garbage disposal snip the power cord, unplug the drain and the dishwasher hose, and then find some way to remove the hose coming from my hot water source to the dishwasher. Once I've done that, I just need to unscrew the garbage disposal from the top, remove it, and replace it with the appropriate pipe?

    Thanks!

    and PS Gary, I very well may try what you said and keep the DW. I'm not positive if the dishwasher is broken, or just stopped working properly because the disposal was broken. The problem was that the water coming from the dishwasher was dirty and slimy, and had difficulty draining. nothing more.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2012
  7. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,236
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Hopefully you bought a complete strainer and not just a basket. Once the disposal is removed, you will need to remove the mount from the sink and replace it with a strainer.

    It is probable that the circuit breaker for the disposal is also providing electricity to other things in your kitchen. As a matter of saftey, you cannot leave the wiring for the disposal in place under the cabinet- it will need to be removed.

    Unless you really dislike having a disposal, I would just buy another one of the same type. It would likely install on the existing sink mount and you wouldn't have to do anything but swap out the unit.
  8. llmercll

    llmercll New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Chester NY
    That's an idea. It seems I can get a good disposal for about $60. I'd probably need to spend at least $20 on a strainer/piping anyway right? Though I'm not sure I can get a new version of the one I had, and the work in matching up a new disposal would be the same if not more as just getting some pipe.

    http://www.anaheimmfg.com/products/wasteking/disposers.html

    Here is an image to where the power plug goes. It's a little switch mounted on the cabinet, I don't know where it goes after that. But The switch stays off all the time and everything in my kitchen works fine. Don't know if that matters or not.

    http://i55.tinypic.com/1fzjg3.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2012
  9. maddog

    maddog Engineer

    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    near San Jose, CA.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2011
  10. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    If you want to keep your dishwasher without the disposal this is how it should be hooked up[​IMG]
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,298
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    That's a great diagram! It really shows the fitting I described earlier to DW connection, and it's a good illustration of the rest of the drain connection. Thanks.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,245
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Do NOT get that disposer. Get an ISE, Emerson, Kenmore, or similar with the "bayonet mount" like yours. Then you just have to unfasten the dishwasher hose, and drain tube. Then "rotate" the locking collar to the left, throw the disposer away, put the new one in place and rotate the collar to the right, then reattach the drain tube. DO NOT connect the dishwasher or remove the plug from the dishwasher connection until you have a dishwasher that works.
  13. llmercll

    llmercll New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Chester NY
    Thanks for the help so far, I'm really starting to understand how everything works!

    I've decided to go with the strainer and waste kit. After watching videos online I'm fairly certain I know all the parts I will be needing.

    Strainer
    plumbers putty
    dishwasher pvc pipe piece

    I just need to find the items now. Will most strainers work with any sink? should I get 1 1/2 inch pvc pipe? I was thinking of removing the black pipe and just rotating the p trap toward the sink strainer. then just using 1 straight piece of pvc to connect the two. Ideally one long piece with a dishwasher hole, then I could just cut it as needed.

    If I've missed anything on my checklist please let me know! (I also need to figure out what to do about the breaker box)

    thanks again I don't know what I would have been without you guys =)
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  14. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    >>> Ideally one long piece with a dishwasher hole, then I could just cut it as needed.<<<

    This is what you need, a dishwasher tailpiece

    [​IMG]
  15. llmercll

    llmercll New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Chester NY
    Wonderful! I see the grooves where it screws into the strainer. I'm pretty much good to go on the piping =)

    Now the only thing I need to figure out is what to do about the electric cord that goes into the disposal. With the disposal gone, I will have loose wires. And according to cacher_chic I can't just put electric tape and be done with it.


    I don't know where the other end of that cord goes either =/
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2012
  16. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,298
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    If you're lucky, the disposal is on its own circuit. If it is, you can disconnect the wires from the breaker box and just leave the wires. If in the future you want a disposal again, then all that is necessary is to reconnect the breaker. If the disposal shares the circuit, then you have problem. You will need to determine where the connection is. Probably it will be in an outlet box. Then you would have to break the connection at that point. Again, leave the wires, but put a wire nut on the wires to be sure they can not make contact with live wires in the box.
  17. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,759
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Frankly, It makes more sense to just replace the disposer.
    You can reuse the wire that is connected to the existing disposer, which is an ancient and old, rusting piece of junk now.
    That may be easier then figuring a way to keep the end of the wire safe.

    Or box out the wire with a cover, and use a new basket and tail piece.

    [​IMG]
  18. ilya

    ilya In the Trades

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Akron Ohio
    It does seem simplest to replace the disposer. If you don't want to do that Shacko's got your part pictured-also called a "branch tailpiece". In which case, that wire, which should be in flexible conduit,does need to be terminated in a box and capped with wirenuts. Leave at least 6" of wire in the box for future use. KILL THAT POWER FIRST!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  19. llmercll

    llmercll New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Chester NY
    I think I will "box out the wire". I don't know how to do that though and Google yields no results

    Is there another term for this I can search for?

    thanks!

    How does this sound?

    So basically I would be removing the cable going from the box to the disposal, and leave everything else alone. Would that be safe?
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  20. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,759
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If you pull the wire, and wire nut the ends of teh wire within an enclosed box you should be fine.
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