Installing A Food Waste Disposal Unit

Installing A Food Waste Disposal Unit

Let’s face it, simply tossing away food into the bin can be a messy situation. Food scraps and other items of that nature can create an unsanitary environment even if you have the world’s cleanest kitchen. A more hygienic alternative to getting rid of food waste is to invest in a food waste disposal unit, a useful tool that can be easily installed into one’s sink. 

The Benefits 

Having a food waste disposal unit can prevent odours from permeating your kitchen. The waste disposal unit does this by grinding down food waste then flushing it out of the kitchen’s pipes. It also prevents rotten food from piling up in the bin, which is not only unpleasant but also means having to trot out to the big bin more frequently.

An additional benefit to having a waste disposal is that it can prevent bacteria build-up which can lead to illness. When folks let food waste pile up, it gives bacteria the chance to grow and fester. Having a waste disposal decreases the odds of foodborne illness. This is especially beneficial if the household has pets or young children. 

Finally, having a waste disposal can save the household money. Clogged kitchen sinks that don’t have a waste disposal, end up racking a hefty fee from plumbers due to developing bigger plumbing issues. Waste disposals need little maintenance and don’t consume much energy. 

How Do Waste disposals Work? 

This is an example of how waste disposals work. The brand in the video is called InSinkErator. Since all waste disposal units are different according to their manufacturers, it’s best to observe this educational piece more for information, as opposed to an example of all types of rubbish disposals on the market. 

How A Garbage Disposal Works–InkSinkErator

Waste Disposal Installation Tools 

For tools, it’s best to use the following items:

  • Bucket
  • Hammer
  • Putty Knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Safety Glasses

Recommended materials:

  • Waste Disposal Unit
  • Plumbers Putty
  • Caulk 

The materials and tools listed above can be found on websites such as Lowe’s and Plumbworld

Installing A Waste Disposal 

All waste disposals have unique instructions. Look over the package carefully to find them. Adapt when necessary.  Organize the contents that come with the disposal kit. The instructions below are standard. 

Before attempting to install a waste disposal unit you may wish to consult a plumber about whether or not a food waste disposal unit will fit.  You may also want to have an electrician come out and check that you have a water-safe power outlet available. Some people prefer to have electricians fit the waste disposal just to be on the safe side, but if you want to try it for yourself, feel free to continue. 

food waste disposal units
Credit: Roth Decor

General Installation Instructions

We have put together some general instructions on how to install a food waste disposal unit, however, if you are struggling do not hesitate to look into the specific requirements of the disposal unit you have.

  1. Clean Underneath The Sink – Before starting, ensure that the water is switched off, as well as any other power that may be coming to your sink. You’ll want to have towels and a bucket handy to catch any rogue water. You will then need to disconnect the pain pipe and water strainer from the sink. 
  2. Apply Plumbers Putty – You’ll want to take out the flange piece, and apply a ring of plumbers putty around it. Laying a towel down in the sink and setting the disposal on the flange can help To keep it from moving, 
  3. Apply The Snap Ring – Next, you’ll want to combine the fiber gasket, backup flange, and mounting ring by sliding them underneath the flange. The snap ring can easily be applied by opening it and snapping it into place. Use a screwdriver to make sure the screws are securely in place so that the backup flange has support. When that is done, remove any excess putty. 
  4. Connect To Dishwasher Drain – This part requires a dishwasher drain or dishwasher. If the household doesn’t have one of these, look over the waste disposal instructions for more detail. Use a hammer to remove the drain plug from the disposal inlet. 
  5. Reattach The Wire Cover Plate – Open up the cover plate that contains various colorful wires. Matching the wire colours will connect the electrical cord. When this is done, put the plate back on after putting the wires back into place. 
  6. Connect The Drain – Attach the gasket to the discharge outlet, and then apply the discharge tube using the flange and bolts. Use a mounting ring to align the three tabs to hang the disposal. Be sure to clamp the tabs over the ridges with a wrench or similar tool. When done, connect the dishwasher drain to this. The discharge pipe needs to be lined up perfectly to connect with the drain pipes. Double-check your work to make sure it’s all aligned. Be sure to use a tee pipe before the P-trap. 
  7. Check If It Works – Check it over for leaks, make sure everything is aligned, and test the connections. This is done by putting the plug into the sink drain, filling the sink with water, and checking for leaks. When the installation is safe, you may plug in the disposal and test it out. Always exercise caution whilst testing.

Waste Disposal Installation Video 

If there is a need for a better visual, please check out this video uploaded by How2Plumb on YouTube. The video provides step-by-step instructions on how to install a waste disposal with little effort. 

Additional Tips 

It’s best to follow protocols for your waste disposal according to the manufacturer’s instructions. These are some helpful tips to assist with standard rubbish disposals. 

  • Use cold water to help the waste disposal grind down material. Hot water can melt down certain scraps and cause clogging issues. 
  • Do not have long periods of intervals between using the waste disposal. Consistent usage will help it maintain its cleanliness and its effectiveness at breaking down the material. 
  • Cutting waste into smaller pieces will help prevent jamming. 
  • Running citrus peels and such will help the waste disposal keep clean and smelling good. Use sparingly, however. 

Waste Disposal Replacement 

Sometimes even the best of waste disposals break down. If the household disposal is facing any of the following issues, it’s probably time to find a replacement: 

  1. Easily jams or is easily obstructed. 
  2. The motor refuses to turn a full circle, even after using a wrench to correct it. 
  3. The motor is overheated and regardless of a cooldown, the temperature of the motor stays hot. 
  4. The reset button on the waste disposal doesn’t work. 

Can I Put Anything Into A Waste Disposal? 

Even though it would be awesome, it would be extremely unwise to put ALL food scraps and other organic material into the waste disposal. Here is the following list of things not to put into the waste disposal. 

  • Bones, or seeds. These can dull the blades in a waste disposal, making it hard for the machine to grind down material. 
  • Secondly, eggshells and grease. These can both solidify in the pipes and cause clogs. Like bones, eggshells can contribute to the blades dulling over time. 
  • Additionally, pasta and rice are expandable foods and should never be placed in a waste disposal. These can cause clogging, and build up grime in the machine. 

Where Can I Purchase A Waste Disposal Unit in the UK? 

You can purchase a waste disposal on the website Plumb World. The site has many appliances ranging from kitchenware to furniture. Another site is Amazon where there are over 50+ different types of rubbish disposals to fit your needs. 

Having a waste disposal may seem tedious at first, but its easy installation and the benefit it brings to a household is well worth the time and effort. Be sure to look for a waste disposal that will fit your lifestyle and the rest will follow suit. 

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