How to Replace a Garbage Disposal Stopper

What You'll Need
Adjustable pliers
Replacement stopper

If it is necessary to replace a garbage disposal stopper then the first thing that needs to be done is to turn off electricity at the fuse box or circuit breaker. Once this is done it is safe to remove the electrical cover plate. Make sure that the disposal unit is properly grounded and while replacing the stopper, be careful not to position your head or body under the unit as it can fall, causing injury.

Step 1 - Remove Stopper

Disconnect the drain trap from the disposal unit’s waste discharge tube. This is best done with the help of adjustable pliers. Remove the dishwasher drain connection, if necessary.

Step 2 - Free the Garbage Disposal Unit

Take the garbage disposal unit in one hand and with the other insert a screwdriver into the right end of the mounting lug that is located on the lower side of the mounting ring. Lift up the garbage disposal unit slightly so that the lower mounting ring can be loosened. Keep turning the screwdriver until the unit comes free of its mounting. Since the garbage disposal unit can be quite heavy be wary when freeing it from its mounting assembly.

Step 3 - Turn Garbage Disposal Unit Upside Down

Flip the unit over so that its electrical cover plate can be easily unscrewed. Loosen the green ground screws and remove the wire nuts. After this is done, disconnect any wires from the electrical supply, loosen the screws on the electric clamp connector and remove the wires from the unit.

Step 4 - Disassemble Mounting Assembly

Insert a screwdriver into one of the mounting lugs and hold the lower mounting ring as securely as possible with the other hand. Then, turn the assembly anti-clockwise so that the mounting assembly can be removed from its lower mounting ring. Turn this mounting assembly on its head and loosen 3 mounting screws till the snap ring is accessible. With a screwdriver, pry away the snap ring off the stopper. This will complete the disassembly.

Step 5 - Replace Stopper

Roll about 4 oz. of some plumber’s putty (non- hardening kind) and make a thick rope of 3/4 inches which will be used for sealing the sink stopper. Evenly spread the putty around the entire sink hole and then press the replacement stopper slowly but firmly into the sink drain hole to seal as evenly as possible on the putty. Scrape away putty from the edges of the sink hole.

Step 6 - Join Sink Stopper and Upper Mounting Assembly

With the help of a weighted item in the sink it is easy to keep the stopper in its place. Then, reaching beneath the sink, slip a fiber gasket and a metal backup ring over the stopper. Hold the fiber gasket and ring in their place and slip a mounting ring over the stopper to seal against the backup ring. Keep the fiber gasket and backup ring and mounting ring tight to the bottom of the sink and then slide a snap ring onto the stopper until it is placed on a groove in the stopper. Tighten the 3 mounting screws until the mounting assembly is tightly sealed and is lying evenly against the sink.

Step 7 - Cleaning Sink Drain Line

Unless the sink drain line is properly cleaned there is a risk of blocked drain lines. To clean, take out the P-trap and with the help of a drain auger clear any hard waste.

Step 8 - Reconnect Electric Supply

Attach the ground wire to the green ground screw that is located in the electrical cover plate. After that, be sure to reconnect the disposal unit to the electric supply.