It's not uncommon to need to replace the garbage disposal splash guard that sits inside your sink drain. These rubber flaps take a beating and often tear or break apart. Fortunately, they are inexpensive and relatively easy to replace.
This article will cover what you need to know to replace your garbage disposal splash guard (sometimes called sink baffle). Of course, you can always hire a professional to do it for you, but if you don't mind rolling up your sleeves, it's not that difficult and you can save yourself a few dollars!
Your garbage disposal is tucked neatly under your sink and if you're like most people, you probably don't even think about it until you have something to grind.
But if you look in your sink you'll find a durable rubber flap that covers the opening to your garbage disposal.
This is the garbage disposal splash guard, and it's role is just like it sounds. It'll keep water and food that's being chewed up from splashing back into your sink. It's not a flashy role, but it's necessary and it helps keep your sink clean, and it can even reduce the noise from your disposal!
Over time these splash guards begin to crack and tear. They won't be able to perform their intended job, and they'll start looking pretty rough.
If your garbage disposal isn't performing as it should, then you may want to replace the entire set-up. But many times the problem is simply the splash guard itself, something you can replace yourself for just a few dollars.
Are garbage disposal splash guards universal? Not really since they come in several different sizes and styles. Some splash guards sit inside the mouth of the garbage disposal opening, and can easily be removed and cleaned.
And other splash guards that sit on top of the garbage disposal similar to a lid. These are generally the best way to go because they stay in place, although they're not as easy to clean. Once installed, you'll never need to worry about them again.
Below are a few examples of garbage disposal splash guards:
Many manufacturers make direct replacements for their disposals, but you can also purchase off-brand splash guards that are compatible with your specific brand and model.
It's always a good idea to check that your model is listed if you choose to purchase one that isn't a direct replacement.
You can replace the splash guard by yourself, but it is easier to have an extra pair of hands. When you're ready to begin, grab an empty bucket and a screwdriver, and of course, your new garbage disposal splash guard. You should be able to complete the project in under 30 minutes.
The first thing you need to do is disconnect the power to the disposal. If your garbage disposal is hard wired, you'll need to turn off the breaker; however, if it plugs into an electrical outlet, you can simply unplug the cord. Either way, before proceeding, test your disposal to double check that it's no longer working.
Step One: Remove the Garbage Disposal
Disconnect the Drainpipe. - This is the pipe that runs from your garbage disposal to the waste water line. In most cases, you'll need to remove a few screws.
Disconnect the Dishwasher Connection - If you have a dishwasher, you'll have a second line that connects the dishwasher to the garbage disposal. Since the line may have water inside, you'll want to position your bucket underneath to catch any water when you disconnect the line.
Loosen the Locking Ring - The locking ring connects the garbage disposal to the mount under the sink. Simply insert a screwdriver into one of loops on the locking ring and turn counter-clockwise.
It may take a little muscle to get it turning, but once it does, you can turn it by hand. Be sure to hold the garbage disposal with your other hand. Once the locking ring breaks free from the disposal there's nothing holding it in place.
Your garbage disposal WILL fall when the locking ring has been fully loosened.
Step Two: Install the Splash Guard
Remove the Old Splash Guard - With the garbage disposal sitting on a firm surface, remove the old splash guard from the mouth of the disposal.
Clean the Surface - Use a moist towel to clean the top of the garbage disposal.
Install the New Splash Guard - Place the new splash guard on top of the garbage disposal and press it in place. The splash guard should fit snugly like a Tupperware lid.
Step Three: Replace the Garbage Disposal
The next thing you need to do is reconnect the garbage disposal. Although you can do this yourself, it's a lot easier if you have someone to hold the disposal in place while you connect the locking ring.
Position the Garbage Disposal to the Locking Ring - If you don't have someone to hold it for you, you can place the disposal on a stack of books. Position it so that the top of the disposal is as close as possible to the locking ring.
Lock into Place - Insert your screwdriver into one of the locking ring loops and turn clockwise until the garbage disposal is securely in place.
Reconnect the Drain Line.
Reconnect the Dishwasher Line.
Restore Power - Either plug in your garbage disposal, or flip the circuit breaker on. Then check the disposal to ensure it's working properly.