How To Plumb A Single Bowl Kitchen Sink With Disposal

Are you tired of scooping food scraps out of your sink’s drainer? Does your family make a mess trying to scrape dishes into the garbage can? And what about trying to get that over-cooked gunk off the bottom of your pots and pans—without clogging your sink’s drain?

You’ve probably been dreaming of a garbage disposal for a while, hoping it might make cleaning your dishes and cooking pans so much easier. And yes, it will! Here, we discuss the many benefits of a disposal system, plus information about costs and installation.

Benefits of Installing a Disposal System

Every modern kitchen should have a disposal in their sink. Don’t think you need one? These advantages of installing a unit should change your mind:

  • A disposals break up food that goes down the drain, preventing clogging and speeding up doing the dishes.
  • With a disposal, more of your food waste can go down the drain, reducing the amount of trash you produce for the landfill—so it’s environmentally friendlier.
  • Throwing out less food also means fewer incidents of rodents and other wildlife rummaging through your garbage. Less waste in the trash means fewer worries about kitchen odor from rotting garbage.
  • Ground-up food waste does less damage to your drain plumbing, resulting in fewer incidents that might require emergency plumbing repairs.
  • Attaching a disposal unit to your sink speeds up doing the dishes and getting rid of waste.

Here is everything to know about adding a disposal system to your single bowl kitchen sink.

Can I Install a Garbage Disposal in a Single Bowl Sink?

Yes, you can install a garbage disposal yourself, and a single-bowl sink with a disposal is definitely possible. Adding a disposal system to a single or double bowl sink is even easier than adding one to a double sink.

Before fitting the system, confirm that you have enough room under the sink for the unit to fit and that the pipes under the basin align properly.

Electrical wiring must be available under the sink for connecting the disposal unit. The switch for turning the device on and off might be an easily accessible wall switch over the sink.

However, not every single or double bowl sink is compatible with disposals. For example, farmhouse sinks have thick bodies that standard flanges can’t fit. You will need an extended flange to attach a disposal unit to such a sink.

Average Cost of Installing a Garbage Disposal on Single Bowl Sink

A disposal unit’s price depends on its brand and model. Some models cost as little as $85, while others are over $200. Installing the system yourself is cheaper since labor costs between $80 and $200, depending on who you hire. On average, the total cost of buying a unit and hiring someone to install it is about $266.

Since the installation of a disposal in a single-bowl sink is simpler, installation costs less. Below, we provide some considerations about how you can do it yourself. If this is too formidable for you, then don’t hesitate to call a professional for your installation.

Let’s now look at how you can plumb a single-bowl kitchen sink with a disposal system.

How to Install a Garbage Disposal on a Single-Bowl Sink

For the installation process, you will need the following tools and materials:

  • A disposal unit that you’ve purchased
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire nuts
  • Non-contact electrical tester
  • Large slip-joint pliers
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
  • A cloth or rag

You can install a disposal system on a single or double bowl sink within two hours if you have the above materials. The installation steps include:

  1. Clear out the cupboard beneath your sink so you will have enough room to work.
  2. Switch off the circuit breaker for the disposal unit’s wiring.
  3. Use the non-contact electrical tester to verify that electricity isn’t running through the wires for the disposal under the sink. If the tester lights up after switching off the breaker, turn off every other breaker until the tester shows no power.
  4. Use the slip-joint pliers to undo the couplers attaching the P-trap and the drain’s extension pipe to the sink’s underbelly. Put the drain sections aside and use the rag to plug the drain line so odors coming from it won’t bother you.
  5. Use the pliers to unscrew the nut under the drain coupling. Once it is loose, push the coupling upwards to separate the drain flange from the sink’s bottom.
  6. Use the plastic putty knife to scrape the old plumber putty off the drain hole. Otherwise, you might have trouble fitting it back.
  7. Rub some putty around the garbage disposal unit’s sink flange. Insert the flange into the sink’s bottom hole, then move the backup ring and gasket to the flange’s open sleeve under the sink.
  8. Attach the mounting ring and snap it on. Tighten all the screws until the unit fits firmly against the sink drain.
  9. Wipe away any excess plumber’s putty.
  10. If you have a dishwasher, use the screwdriver and hammer to push out the dishwasher knockout plug located on the disposal unit’s side. Otherwise, leave the plug in place.
  11. Remove the disposal unit’s wiring compartment cover and take six inches of electrical cable from the wall switch. Insert the cable into the wire clamp inside the wiring compartment, then use the screwdriver to tighten the clamp.
  12. Use a utility knife to unsheathe the six inches of cable already inside the wiring compartment. Use the wire strippers to remove about half an inch of insulation from the black and white wires.
  13. Use the wire nuts to attach the white cable wire to the white wire from the disposal unit—and the black cable wire to the unit’s black wire. Wrap the bare wire’s end around the green grounding screw in the unit, and then tighten it with your screwdriver. Tuck all the wires into the wiring compartment and close it.
  14. Place the disposal system on the mounting ring and turn the unit until its outlet faces the drain pipe. Rotate the mounting ring to keep the disposal unit firmly in place.
  15. Place the disposal discharge tube inside the disposal’s outlet before tightening the coupler.
  16. Take the rag out of the drain line before returning the P-trap and extension pipe. Tighten the couplers with the slip-joint pliers.
  17. If you have a dishwasher, connect its drain line to the dishwasher knockout and tighten the coupler.
  18. Turn the circuit breakers back on and open the faucet over your sink. Switch on the disposal unit to see if you did a good job. If there are no unexpected sounds or water leakages, your disposal unit is ready for use.

Please note that each disposal model is different and may require a slightly different fitting process. For perfect installation, also consult the disposal’s manual before mounting the unit.

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Backing Up Into My Dishwasher?

If you have a single-drain sink with disposal and dishwasher, you may experience waste from the disposal going into the dishwasher. The waste enters the dishwasher through the drain hose that links the dishwasher to the disposal unit. It happens when a clog occurs in the disposal, leading to waste backing up into the dishwasher.

You can prevent such problems by pouring hot water down your drain once a week to loosen and wash away clogged debris.

Contact a local plumber to discuss your options for a disposal system and find the right one for your home or business kitchen sink.

Find the Best Disposal-Ready Sink For Your Kitchen

To find the ideal single-basin sink for your small kitchen, be sure to visit Mr. Kitchen Faucets. You can also explore our other helpful blog articles.

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