Expert Electrical

Garbage Disposal Units

Sep 16, 2015 | Residential Electricity

Garbage disposal units are essential appliances in modern kitchens, offering a convenient way to dispose of food waste. Proper installation, understanding the electrical requirements, and knowing when to seek repair are crucial for their optimal functioning. At Expert Electric, our licensed electricians are ready to assist you with all your garbage disposal needs. Whether you’re installing a new unit or repairing an existing one, call us at 604-681-8338.

What is a Garbage Disposal Unit?

A garbage disposal unit, also known as a waste disposal unit, is a device installed under the kitchen sink between the drain and the trap. It shreds food waste into small pieces, allowing it to pass through plumbing without clogging. This reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and keeps your kitchen clean and odor-free.

Benefits of a Garbage Disposal

  • Environmental Impact: Reduces food waste in landfills.
  • Convenience: Simplifies kitchen cleanup.
  • Hygiene: Minimizes kitchen odors and pest attraction.
  • Plumbing Protection: Prevents large food scraps from clogging drains.

Garbage Disposal Installation

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

1. Prepare the Sink and Area

Ensure your kitchen sink is clean and free from debris. Turn off the power at the circuit breaker to avoid electrical hazards.

2. Remove the Old Disposal (if applicable)

If you’re replacing an old unit, disconnect it by unplugging it from the electrical outlet and removing the drain trap. Loosen the mounting assembly and remove the unit.

3. Install the New Mounting Assembly

Apply plumber’s putty around the sink flange and press it firmly into the sink’s drain hole. Attach the mounting ring and snap ring to secure the flange. Tighten the screws evenly to ensure a watertight seal.

4. Connect the Disposal Unit

Lift the new garbage disposal unit and align it with the mounting assembly. Turn it until it locks into place. Use the wrench to tighten the locking ring.

5. Electrical Connection

Ensure the unit is properly grounded. Connect the wires according to the manufacturer’s instructions, typically by matching the wire colors (black to black, white to white, and green to ground). Use wire connectors to secure the connections.

6. Plumbing Connection

Attach the discharge tube to the disposal’s outlet. Connect the tube to the drain pipe, ensuring all connections are tight and leak-free.

7. Testing the Unit

Restore power at the circuit breaker and test the unit. Run cold water and turn on the disposal to ensure it operates correctly without leaks.

Garbage Disposal Units

Electrical Requirements for Garbage Disposal Units

Power Source

Garbage disposals typically require a dedicated 120-volt, 20-amp circuit. This ensures that the unit has sufficient power without overloading the kitchen circuit.


Use 12-gauge wire for the circuit. If you are unsure about handling electrical work, contact Expert Electric at 604-681-8338 for professional installation services.

GFCI Protection

Though not always required, installing a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) can enhance safety by cutting off power in case of electrical faults.

Common Garbage Disposal Issues and Repair Tips

The Unit Won’t Turn On

Check if the unit is plugged in and the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. If the reset button on the bottom of the unit is popped out, press it back in.

Humming Noise

A humming noise indicates a jam. Turn off the power and use an Allen wrench to turn the disposal manually from the bottom, freeing any obstructions.


Leaks can occur at various points:

  • Sink Flange: Tighten the mounting bolts.
  • Dishwasher Connection: Ensure the hose clamp is secure.
  • Discharge Drainpipe: Tighten or replace the gasket.

Poor Performance

If the unit isn’t grinding properly, ensure you’re not overloading it and use cold water during operation. Sharpen the blades by grinding ice cubes occasionally.

Garbage Disposal Units

When to Call a Professional

While many minor issues can be fixed with DIY solutions, some situations require professional help:

  • Persistent electrical issues
  • Water damage around the unit
  • Complex installations requiring modifications to plumbing or electrical systems

Why Choose Expert Electric?

Licensed and Experienced

Expert Electric is a licensed electrician company with years of experience in handling garbage disposal installations and repairs.

Customer-Centric Approach

We prioritize customer satisfaction, offering prompt, reliable services tailored to your needs.

Safety and Compliance

Our electricians adhere to all safety standards and electrical codes, ensuring your installation is both safe and compliant.


A well-installed and maintained garbage disposal unit can significantly enhance your kitchen’s functionality and hygiene. By understanding the installation process, electrical requirements, and common repair tips, you can ensure your disposal unit runs smoothly for years. For professional assistance, trust Expert Electric. Contact us today at 604-681-8338 for all your garbage disposal needs.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Expert Electric at 604-681-8338. Let our licensed electricians handle all your garbage disposal installations and repairs with expertise and care.