How to Replace Garbage Disposal Blades

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Garbage disposals first appeared in households in the 1930's and 1940's. These appliances, which are installed under a kitchen sink, can make a cook's life easier by trapping and shredding food waste items, allowing it to pass through the plumbing system. Although these popular appliances make cooking and cleaning much more convenient, they do require regular maintenance to keep them running at optimal performance. When it is time to replace your garbage disposal's blades, you can save time and money by doing it yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Pipe wrench
  • Plumbing tape
  • Wrench or socket set
  • New garbage disposal blades
  • Bucket
  • Old rag or towel
  • Unplug the garbage disposal; most disposals will be plugged in under the sink. Once the disposal is unplugged, check the power switch to ensure that no power is running to the disposal.

  • Place the bucket under the disposal to catch any water that may drip while you are disconnecting it. Unscrew the drain pipe from the side the disposal using the pipe wrench.

  • Unscrew the disposal from the sink drain; use pipe wrench if needed. Be careful not to drop the disposal as injury may occur.

  • Using the wrench or socket set, unbolt the garbage disposal blades. Use a towel or cloth to assist in holding the disposal head while loosening the bolts. Place the new blades the same way as the old blades and bolt them back in place.

  • Wrap plumbing tape around the threads of the sink drain where the disposal crews to the sink and the drain threads on the side of the disposal for the drain pipe. Screw the disposal back in under the sink. Screw the drain pipe back to the disposal. Tighten with the pipe wrench. Turn on the water to check for leaks and plug the disposal back in. Turn on the power switch to make sure disposal is running properly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Replacement blades are carried at most hardware stores, and they can be purchased through the garbage disposal manufacturer as well. Do not replace with homemade blades or blades that are not recommended by the manufacturer.

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