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Thread: Easiest way to replace 3-bolt garbage disposal

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member fingermark's Avatar
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    Default Easiest way to replace 3-bolt garbage disposal

    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. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    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. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    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.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member fingermark's Avatar
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    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 Terry; 02-16-2014 at 05:35 PM.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I think the Insinkerator Evolution series is quite good.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    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.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Junior Member fingermark's Avatar
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    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.

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    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    What's leaking? It may just be the piping and not requiring the replacement of the disposal to fix the leak.

    John

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    DIY Junior Member fingermark's Avatar
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    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. #10
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    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. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    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.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    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.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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