Easiest way to replace 3-bolt garbage disposal

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by fingermark, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. fingermark

    fingermark New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Florida
    My mom doesn't have a lot of money and is out of town. I recently learned her garbage disposal is leaking and would like to fix it for her before she gets back. She has a 3-bolt disposal now with a porcelain (or maybe ceramic) sink.

    1) Can I just buy another 3-bolt disposal and replace it? Or are they not universally sized? Or does removing the old one loosen the existing putty, where I'd have to replace it anyway.

    2) Should I just replace the whole thing with an easy install system, like the one waste king or GE has?

    3) The disposal's electrical wires seem to go behind the cabinet and I guess up into the switch above the sink. Not really sure how this is setup. Anything special I should concern myself with? Am I safe to just reuse the existing wires?

    Thanks,
    Bradford
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,759
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I think the easiest replacement would be with Insinkerator.

    Pick up some plumbers putty while you are at it.
    You will have to wire nut the new disposer. There is a panel on the underside of the unit.
    They come with pretty good instructions

    If you have a dishwasher and it connects to the disposer near the top, there is a plug that will need knocking out. Otherwise, no, you leave that.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    If the existing one is an Insinkerator, you don't need to even replace the piece attached to the sink. If you use some steel wool, and 30-seconds, you can get the old one to look new. You'd replace the rubber gasket with the new one since those tend to wear and look crappy. THe attachment method for those has remained the same for a long time, so swapping in a new one is super quick and easy. The height of the outlet may differ, and you may need to play with the drain line a little - it depends, they have many models.
  4. fingermark

    fingermark New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Florida
    The old one is a Maytag L20. If I get a 3-bolt replacement, like the Insinkerator, would it work? If not, I would have to take apart the piece attached to the sink and redo it, right? If that's the case would something with an easy install be preferred, such as the wast king or GE? I see you guys seem to prefer the Insinkerator.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2014
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    I think the Insinkerator Evolution series is quite good.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,245
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The Maytag IS made by ISE so all you have to do is rotate the bayonet mounting to the left, drop the disposer, remove the dishwasher plug from the new one, if the dishwasher is connected to the disposer, then hold it up in place and rotate the mount to the right. Make sure you have all three "lugs' engaged on the sink piece. Then reconnect the drain pipe an dishwasher drain, then turn on the water.
  7. fingermark

    fingermark New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Florida
    Sorry, one more question. She has a 1/3HP garbage disposal. Can I get a 1/2 HP and be fine? Or is the piping different (diameter wise) for each HP.
  8. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,140
    Location:
    South*East
    What's leaking? It may just be the piping and not requiring the replacement of the disposal to fix the leak.

    John
  9. fingermark

    fingermark New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Florida
    Seems to be dripping from the bottom of the garbage disposal when the dishwasher is on or water is going through the sink. Kind of hard to tell where it's coming from. Checked around the piping and it seems dry. Not there at the moment, though.
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,759
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    A disposer typically lasts eight years.
    Blades wear down, and they can rust through.
    I don't feel bad replacing them at 8 year intervals.
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    The outlet piping size of the things is the same, a bigger motor may be taller, and that MIGHT move where the outlet is, height-wise. Normally, there's enough adjustment in the tubular drain lines to accommodate it, but if it is TOO low, it COULD be a major problem...the outlet of the disposal MUST allow for downslope to the trap arm. IOW, that outlet must be higher than the arm going into the wall, since it must flow down and through the trap first.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,245
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The only difference between most disposer models is the diameter, so at the most, you may have to cut the outlet pipe off a bit. But, more than likely the new one you install will be EXACTLY the same size, even if it is 1/2 or 3/4 h.p.
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