The splash guard is the rubber gasket that surrounds the opening of the garbage disposal drain. This flappy piece of rubber can be used for years without any issues if it is regularly cleaned. If the guard exhibits cracks or becomes brittle, it’s time to replace it. This is the perfect DIY job for any homeowner, since it will only cost you about $10 and fifteen minutes of your time.
To start, you need a bucket, a screwdriver, and a replacement splash guard. You can pick up a fresh splash guard at your local hardware store for less than $10. Check what type of screws secure the drain pipe and dishwasher line to determine whether you need a Phillips head or flat head screwdriver. Now is a good time to clean out the cabinet under your sink so that you have ample room to work.
Find the power source for your garbage disposal. Frequently, the garbage disposal is connected by a cord to an outlet under your sink. Unplugging the cord will make it safe for you to work around the disposal. In some homes, the garbage disposal is hardwired directly to a power supply. If this is the case, go to your circuit breaker and disengage the switch that powers your disposal. After disconnecting the disposal from its power source, test your disposal by turning it on. If nothing happens, you are ready to begin replacing your splash guard.
Tip: If a friend or family member is available, request assistance to help reattach the disposal when you are done. While this job can be done alone, it is much easier to stabilize and attach the disposal with a partner.
Step 1: Disconnect the Garbage Disposal
Before you begin, it is important to note that there will likely be water in the lines, so position your bucket underneath appropriately to catch any falling water. First, disconnect the drain pipe. This is usually a metal or plastic pipe that connects the disposal to the wastewater line. Drain pipes are typically connected using two or more screws. If you see an additional line that connects the dishwasher to the disposal, disconnect that as well.
Next, you’ll have to loosen the ring that connects the disposal into its mount. Loosen the locking ring by sliding the screwdriver into one of the tubes around the edge of the ring and turning counter-clockwise. This takes some effort at first, so just twist until it feels like you can untwist it with your hand. At this point, use your other hand to support the bottom of the disposal. When the ring is completely loosened, the disposal will fall straight down. Carefully place the disposal on the bottom of the cabinet.
Step 2: Replace Your Splash Guard
This is the easiest step of the process. The new guard will fit tightly on top of the garbage disposal, similar to how a plastic lid fits on a can of peanuts. Simply peel the old splash guard off, clean the top of the disposal thoroughly, and pop the new splash guard into place. Dispose of the old splash guard.
Step 3: Reconnect Your Garbage Disposal
This is the most difficult step, so call for assistance at this time if you need help stabilizing the garbage disposal. For this step, hold the garbage disposal securely in place while tightening the locking ring you loosened in step one. If you have a helping hand, have one person support the garbage disposal while the other person tightens the ring. If you are working alone, consider lying on your back underneath your sink. This could make it easier to stabilize and tighten simultaneously.
Once the garbage disposal is firmly back in place, reconnect the dishwasher and drain lines. After all lines are securely connected, reconnect to power. Test your garbage disposal to ensure that everything is in working order.
That’s it! Congratulations on replacing your garbage disposal splash guard. Clean the new splash guard regularly to increase its useful life.