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I'm planning on buying a garbage disposal for a sink that does not currently have one. All of the installation instructions I have found assume that I would be replacing a garbage disposal rather than installing one in a sink that only has a drain.

Will installing in a sink without an old garbage disposal require any additional skills, equipment, or parts beyond an ordinary replacement? What installation steps, if any, will be different?

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Most installation kits will come with the replacement sink basket that the disposer will mount to. You'll need plumber's putty to seal the basket as you install it. Typically it is just a nut or snap ring.

Some of the drain pipes will need to be rearranged to connect to the offset outlet on the disposer. This is basic plumbing, and with patience an a few trips to a hardware store can generally be done. Do not permanently remove the waste trap. The work can difficult without experience, consult a good book on plumbing or hire a licensed plumber. You will also need electrical power and a switch for the unit, which may require a licensed electrician.

Also sewer districts have been making rulings about the use of disposers in their jurisdictions. Some encourage their use, most are starting to discourage or ban units.

  • Is it really true that most sewer districts are discouraging or banning garbage disposals? I'm surprised I wouldn't have heard about this. – amcnabb Jan 24 '14 at 1:08
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    Actually, some are going the other way. Disposals were illegal in NYC for decades but are now allowed. – bib Jan 24 '14 at 1:49

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