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How Does a Garbage Disposal Work?

Just bought and installed a new modern garbage disposal? Good job. At least you care about the environment. Plus, you have a better solution for disposing of your garbage. But do you know how it works? Remember, knowing its working principle is the first step towards ensuring it serves you better. From maintenance to knowing the stuff to grind—knowing how your garbage disposal works are very important. So, if you want your garbage disposal to serve you for years to come, learn how it works. This article contains all the information you need as far as your garbage disposal is concerned.

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Garbage Disposal Installation Tips

Garbage disposal is easy and straightforward. You can install it by yourself. All you need is a few tools and follow simple installation processes. So, whether it’s new garbage disposal you are installing or replacing a new one—you need to know how to do it properly.

  • The outlet of your dishwasher should be attacked to your disposal. Ensure you follow the necessary instructions.
  • Usually, most disposals come with a horsepower of 1/3 to 1. It’s also important to note that you will need to acquire septic-safe disposal if your home has a septic tank/system. So, be sure to consult with your manufacturer before purchasing your garbage disposal.

Installing the Disposal: The Steps

If your home doesn’t have a garbage disposal already, you’ll have to install a nearby outlet plus a switch. Top brands like Badger 5 and Badger 500 have manuals that are simple and straightforward to follow.

So, the best thing to do is to hire a licensed electrician to install these two components.

Step One

Start by turning off your kitchen’s circuit breaker. Then proceed by setting up a bucket that is located beneath the P-trap. The next step involves disconnecting the drainpipes, removing the sink strainer, and doing away with the surplus putty.

Step Two

Locate the underneath of the sink. Then proceed by stacking the fiber gasket, its mounting ring, as well as backup flange onto the flange’s outside. The next step should involve installing the snap ring—pull it open and snap it perfectly into place. Tightening the screws and cleaning up any excess putty should immediately follow.

Step Three

Take a hammer and knock out the drain plus from the disposal’s inlet. This will help you remove the drain without many difficulties.

Step Four

Step 5 involves removing the disposal’s wire plate and then connecting it to its electrical cord. Be sure to match it the color wires. Then, before re-attaching it to the plate, consider pushing these wires back. Some brands sell the electrical cords separately. So, confirm with your supplier first.

Step Five

The last step involves connecting the drain by inserting the discharge outlet’s gasket. Use the bolts as well as a flange to connect the discharge tube.

When hanging the disposal, ensure it aligns perfectly with the 3 tabs. With the included wrench, carefully turn, lock, and fasten the disposal’s tabs on the ridges. Finally, connect it (i.e. the dishwasher drain). Be sure to properly line the discharge pipe when connecting the drain pipes.

Test the Garbage Disposal

Don’t forget to drain your garbage disposal. Here is how to do it:

  • Place a stopper into your sink
  • Fill it with enough water
  • Check to see if there are leaks
  • Plug in your garbage disposal
  • Power your unit on.

Looking for the best garbage disposal? Get it from the best brands. Know all about Badger 5 vs Badger 500 and get the best unit for your kitchen

Things not to put in a Garbage Disposal

Don’t reduce your garbage disposal’s lifespan. Don’t clog it. Here are things not to put into your garbage disposal:

Potato Peels

Don’t put potato peels into your garbage disposal. When potato peels come into contact with water, they tend to form a starchy paste –which can end up clogging and blocking the pipes.

Banana Peels

Banana peels can harm your garbage disposal. Like potato peels, banana peels tend to form a starchy paste that can clog or block your unit’s pipes. Plus, banana peels can add stringy fibers and block the pipes of your unit.

Coffee Husks and Egg Shells

Ground coffee husks should not find their way into the garbage disposal. They tend to form a tiny granular waste—which can stick to the walls of your garbage disposal and clog the pipes. The same applies to egg shells. They can stick to the walls and create clogs


Glass is another enemy of the garbage disposal. It doesn’t drain easily. Thus, don’t include it in your garbage disposal.

Garbage Disposal Care

Whether it’s your first time with the garbage disposal or you already have one in your kitchen, taking good care of can help make it more effective and last longer. Remember, your unit is a valuable household tool. Therefore, taking good care of it can go a long way in prolonging its life. Don’t let your garbage disposal stick. Use the following tips and say no to a bad odor.

Grind Thoroughly

Don’t switch off your garbage disposal immediately the grinding is over. Allow about two minutes. This ensures that everything has been ground as well as flushed away by water. Remember, garbage disposal with leftovers can stink badly. So, eliminate the odor by allowing enough grinding time.

Clean Regularly

Your garbage disposal should be cleaned at least two times a week. Use a brush to scrub the inside of your disposal. This makes the unit fresh and odorless.

Grab Citrus

Use fresh orange, limes, and lemon to minimize the odor.

Vinegar is good

Put vinegar ice cubes. Then walk it into your garbage disposal.

The Bottom-Line

Garbage disposals are becoming increasingly common in modern homes. They help dispose of waste food safely and conveniently. Plus, they help conserve the environment. Therefore, if you care about the cleanliness of your home, think in terms of garbage disposal. However, if you want your disposal to function properly for years, knowing how it works is important. From how to operate it to installation procedures—knowing how your garbage disposal works plays a big role when it comes to its durability. The above is all you need to know concerning how a garbage disposal works. Master then and see it serve you for years.


This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other Amazon websites.

Written by Nathaniel Fried

Co-founder of Fupping. Busy churning out content and building an empire.

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