A garbage disposal really keeps things flowing in the kitchen, and installing one isn't a tough job for a do-it-yourselfer with moderate skills.
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You should have a licensed electrician do the wiring beforehand: you'll need a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet under the sink to plug the unit in and a separate switch placed far enough away to meet your building code.
A mounting assembly seals to the sink drain flange with plumber's putty, with rings and screws to support the disposal as it hangs below the sink. There's a knockout for connecting your dishwasher's drain tube and a connector for the waste line.
If you're shopping for a new disposer, you can spend between eighty and four hundred dollars for a unit warranteed for between one and ten years. Look for a model with a half- horsepower or more for the best durability and clog protection.
Generally speaking, the larger the unit's body and the finer the grinder, the quieter it will be.
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For more on installing a garbage disposal, consider:
How To: Install a Sink Disposal
Installing the Dishwasher, Sink, and Garbage Disposal (VIDEO)
Kitchen Plumbing Installed (VIDEO)