How to Install a Garbage Disposer—Part 7

Part 7: Testing Disposer & Plumbing and Cleanup

Included in this video: Testing the new garbage disposer, testing the plumbing lines for leaks, checking proximate plumbing and cleanup..  

Video Transcript—Part 7: Testing & Cleanup

1.  Plug in disposer if using optional plug-in cord.
Note: Now your disposer should be completely connected–plumbing and electrical.
2.  Remove extra plumbers putty from around disposer throat.
DIY Tech TipTech Tip: When your throat is nice and tight like it should be, the putty will lift right off leaving very little still stuck to the sink around the seam.
DIY Tech TipTech Tip: Excess putty (if clean) can be put back into your container and used again.

3.  Turn on water and run for about a minute. While it is running, give all the joints underneath, including the disposer throat,  a quick check for water. If you are getting some, tighten as needed. See below: Step 5: Checking for leaks for full information.

4.  Put in drain stopper and fill sink at least ⅔ full. Then pull stopper and check drain at all joints as it drains. When this much water goes in at once, the entire drain will be filled and you can insure there are no leaks even on the tops of the joints.  

5.  Checking for leaks:
     a. Start with dry, bare hands.
     b. Feel the bottom of the P-Trap first.  If anything above it is leaking, that is where the water will end up.
     c.  Now run your finger around each joint, starting low and moving up. Run your finger along the bottom of the joint beneath the compression ring, and then along the top of the ring where the pipe goes into it.  
     d.  After checking all the P-trap parts, start checking the disposer itself.  Again, start by feeling the bottom of the disposer as this is where any water leaking will run. Then move up, checking where the tailpiece meets the disposer, and finally up around the disposer throat, both where the disposer connects to it, and where it clamps to the sink.
     e.  If you feel any water, first trace exactly where it is coming from.  
           (1)  Dry your hands and feel above the spot you found water. Continue going up until you are confident it is dry at that point. Obviously water runs downhill, so many times you will notice the water significantly lower than where the leak actually is.
          (2)  Your leak is will be at the highest joint where there is water.
f.  Tighten as needed.    
DIY Tech TipTech Tip: When tightening joints in plastic trap, go about ⅛ turn at a time, dry joint, and check for water again.  This will help prevent overtightening and splitting the plastic.
g.  Now dry the trap and your hands thoroughly, fill the sink again, and check again as above. Continue this process until you get no water and are certain there are no leaks.
DIY Tech TipTech Tip  To double check yourself, when you are done, place a piece of paper (newspaper is perfect) underneath the disposer and piping in cabinet. Leave it there for a while. After using the sink and disposer each time, check the paper.  Any water droplets will be obvious. To find the leak, start at the lowest point directly above the droplet and go up as outlined above.

6.  Now turn on disposer with water running.  If it does not turn on, you have wired in incorrectly. You will need to turn off electric (or unplug), open up electrical access panel, and fix it. Assuming it does,  just a take one more look at the joints underneath as the vibration can have an effect.

7.  Now test the OTHER SIDE of the sink, even if you didn’t do anything to it.  Use the same procedure as above.
DIY Tech TipTech Tip: Murphy’s Plumbing Law states that when you touch existing plumbing, it can make plumbing pipes attached to it leak, both water and drainage. Don’t know why, but it is true. So always check everything you can that touches whatever you changed.

8.  Clean up: Simply pick up the contractor bag you have underneath the sink, put your garbage in it, and put away your tools.

Put a DONE stamp on that!  Good job!

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