How to Disassemble a Garbage Disposal

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Wrench

  • Large monkey wrench

  • WD-40

Most of the sections of a garbage disposal are disassembled using a large monkey wrench.

Garbage disposals are a homemaker's dream come true. The very first models from many decades ago streamlined kitchen duties, turning the disposing of food waste into a simple task. Now found in most homes, garbage disposals are taken for granted; however, when they cease to function, a quick fix becomes the agenda. The most common problem with garbage disposals is small items that fall into the sink and become trapped inside the disposal. Often a repair isn't needed, but disassembly is.

Step 1

Turn off the breaker for the garbage disposal in your fuse box. If you're not certain which breaker is the right one, do this by process of elimination. Switch a breaker and go into the main part of your house to see which electrical appliances or lights aren't working. When the garbage disposal and surrounding electric items won't switch on, you've found the proper breaker.

Step 2

Turn off the water valve that feeds the garbage disposal. This is frequently found underneath the kitchen sink in fairly close proximity to the disposal. Turn the valve clockwise until it is tightly closed.

Step 3

Garbage disposals were once considered a homemaker's dream come true.

Disconnect the water pipes from the garbage disposal. Use a wrench to turn the cuffs until the pipes slip away from the unit.

Step 4

Slip a screwdriver underneath the edge of the collar mounting ring, and gently pry it loose. This will drop the collar mounting ring away from the sink area.

Step 5

Twist the garbage disposal slowly with a large monkey wrench, while pushing upward firmly at the same time. This alleviates the pressure on the threads and will allow the disposal to come apart with less effort.

Step 6

Continue twisting each section, including the hopper, clamping ring, motor housing gasket, shredder, impeller, drain chamber and shredder housing, using the monkey wrench. Each piece will turn until it disconnects from the other pieces.

Step 7

Spray any stubborn connections with WD-40 to help with the loosening process.


Kimberly Ripley

Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, N.H. She has authored five books and hundreds of articles and short stories. Her work has appeared various publications, including "Parenting," "Writer’s Digest," "Vacations" and "Discovery Travel." She studied at the University of Maine and later pursued her writing studies through numerous classes and workshops.