How to Replace a Garbage Disposal Air Switch

opening to garbage disposal
  • 1-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-200
What You'll Need
Garbage disposal air switch
Rubber gasket
Plastic nut

There are two types of garbage disposal air switches and these switches are very safe to use. The garbage disposal air switch uses air to control the unit and is thus very safe as there is no chance of any electrical shock. The air switch uses a plunger type button and it can be installed on the sink or the counter top and the garbage disposal switch can be very easily installed and replaced.

When this plunger is depressed it pushes air through tubing that goes to the base of the sink and then it turns on the garbage disposer. For various reasons this switch can get damaged, requiring replacement. The garbage disposal air switches are easily available in the market and come in various finishes.

Step 1 - Uninstall the Damaged Air Switch

Uninstall the damaged switch by using the screwdriver and pull it out from the base of the sink. Uninstalling it is very easy as you have to just unscrew it and pull it out. Now it is installed generally on the sink or the counter top and also many times on the wall nearby. If when replacing the air switch you also want to change its position on the wall, use the drill to make a ¼-inch hole to install the new switch.

Step 2 - Mount the New Switch

Once you have opened the old switch buy a new one matching the configuration of the old one and then mount the new switch in your chosen position.

For the air switch on the outside use a rubber gasket on the top of the counter top. Tighten plastic nuts from below the sink to fix the gasket and the part of the switch that goes on the top. The new switch can be installed in the same manner in which the old one was present.

Step 3 - Attach the Tube to the Bottom of the Sink

man repairing garbage disposal under a sink

Once the top portion of the switch is in place you need to install the rubber tubing that will go down into the bottom of the sink. You can use the old rubber tube, unless it is damaged. If it is, buy a new one or check if one comes in the air switch kit. Attach the bone end of the rubber tube to the switch and the other end to the converter at the base of the sink. It is unnecessary to have a long tube attached over there so use the cutter to have a tube of the desired length.

Step 4 - Check the Installation

Once the replacement is complete, check the system and see there is no leak present. If still there are leaks present, use plumbing putty to seal them. Make sure the base of the sink is dry while you are making the installation.