NDI Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

How to Replace the Splash Guard on a Garbage Disposal

The splash guard is the flapper rubber gasket around your garbage disposal drain. They can last for years when cleaned and taken care of, but like all things over time, it can become cracked and brittle. Once this happens, there’s no excuse not to go ahead and replace it. New gaskets usually cost less than $10 at your local hardware store, and the job can be done in fifteen minutes or less.

You’ll Need…

  • Bucket

  • Replacement Splash Guard

  • Screwdriver (flathead or Philips depends on the screws used to connect the drain pipe and dishwasher line to the sides of the disposal).

  • A second set of hands to help reattach the disposal at the end of the process. One person can do this alone, but it’s a lot easier with two.

First, you’ll want to disconnect the disposal from its power source. Many disposals have a cord that plugs into an outlet under the sink—unplug it and it’s safe to work. If your disposal is hardwired, go to your breaker box and flip the breaker switch for the disposal. Test to ensure that the disposal is disconnected.

Next, you’ll need to disconnect the drainpipe, usually made of plastic or metal, that extends from your disposal to the wastewater line. This is usually connected with two or more screws. If you have a second line connecting the disposal to the dishwasher, remove that connection as well. But keep in mind that there may be water in these lines so position the bucket underneath and be prepared for splashdown when you initially disconnect them.

You’ll also need to loosen the locking ring that attaches the disposal to its mount. Slide your screwdriver into one of the tube-shaped fittings around the edges of the ring and use it as leverage to turn the ring counter-clockwise. Once it is loose enough to turn with one hand, move your other hand to support the bottom of the disposal. When you’ve fully loosened the ring, the disposal will drop straight down. Set it on the floor of the cabinet.

The splash guard fits snugly on top of the disposal. Just peel the old one off, wipe the top of the disposal clean, and snap the new one on.

Here comes the tricky part, holding the heavy disposal in place while you tighten the locking ring with the screwdriver. If someone is available to hold the disposal while you take care of tightening the ring, that’s ideal. If you lie on your back underneath the sink, it may make it easier to reconnect the disposal on your own. You can also stack books or other sturdy objects underneath the disposal to prop it into place.

And there you have it, a new splash guard for your disposal!

If you run into any issues along the way, give us a call to have or experienced technicians assist you!

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