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How To Remove A Garbage Disposal Flange? (InSinkErator)

The garbage disposal flange is one of the least glamorous parts of your plumbing system, but it’s important all the same because it keeps your sink from leaking and keeps your InSinkErator disposal attached to the sink. If you want to get rid of your garbage disposal and replace it with a different model, you’ll need to remove the flange first, and you’ll need to do this without damaging your sink!

removing of a garbage disposal flange

Removing a garbage disposal flange can be confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking at or how it works, but once you understand how the components work together, removing your flange becomes much easier. This article explains what a flange is and why it might need to be removed from your garbage disposal, along with tips on removing the flange yourself, which can save you a lot of money that would otherwise go into paying a professional.

What is a garbage disposal flange?

A garbage disposal flange is a collar that holds and connects the disposal to the drain underneath the sink. Typically, it holds onto the disposal with the help of three screws. In other words, a flange is like a mounting ring for the garbage disposal.

The metal flange is placed directly inside the sink drain and is sealed using the plumber’s putty. Also, it is a little sloped, which makes water run down the drain without any hindrance. Most disposal flanges are compatible with all disposal models, but some flanges can be incompatible with a few models. So, check the compatibility when buying a new garbage disposal flange.

When does a garbage disposal flange need to be removed?

Most of the time, homeowners will want to remove a rusty and stuck disposal flange to replace it with a new one, but there can be several reasons to remove a disposal flange.

If you notice water leaking around your InSinkErator garbage disposal’s topside, there’s a chance you have an issue with the flange, which means you need to remove it so you can replace it or try to tighten it up with some plumber’s putty.

In addition, if you have a problem with your disposal and you want to check the cause, you need to remove it from the flange so you can quickly examine it and make any repairs or, in some cases, replace the unit.

Is it worth removing a garbage disposal flange yourself?

It’s tempting to call a plumber when something goes wrong with your garbage disposal, but you’ll never guess how easy it is to fix it yourself. A professional will cost you a lot of money to do a task that you can do very easily. So, I think you can give it a try if you like to DIY!

How to remove a garbage disposal flange?

Many people have questions about removing InSinkErator garbage disposal flanges, so I have decided to provide an in-depth guide on how these removable parts of your garbage disposal work. Follow these simple instructions the next time you need to take one flange off or put another on!

Step 1: Turn off the water and power to the garbage disposal

Before you begin, turn off the power and water to your garbage disposal. Your disposal may be hardwired or connected to a removable switch that you can turn off in your home’s circuit breaker box. If it’s connected to a circuit, shut it off at that breaker first. Turning off the water will ensure that your kitchen doesn’t get flooded.

Proceed with the next step once you’ve turned off all of these things and are safe from harm.

Step 2: Take off the garbage disposal

The next step is to remove the garbage disposal. For this, you will have to disconnect the drain pipe and dishwasher connection if any, from the garbage disposal. Then using a screwdriver, twist the disposal in the counterclockwise direction to remove it from the mounting ring. Make sure to support the weight of the disposal so it won’t fall down.

Now, you can start working on removing the disposal mounting flange. It makes the work easier as there is no extra weight on the flange.

Here is a guide to removing a garbage disposal and replacing it with a straight pipe.

Step 3: Remove the three screws

The mounting assembly, aka the disposal flange of InSinkErator, uses three screws to connect it to the kitchen sink. Using a screwdriver, remove these three screws.

Slowly pull the flange down to see if it will detach. In most cases, it will, but if it is stuck, go to the next step below.

Step 4: Spray WD40 to unstuck the flange

The flange could be pretty rusty if it’s been there for some years. The flange will be stuck due to rust, so don’t try to force it open. Instead, find another way of doing things before you break something. Spraying penetrating lubricant is often very helpful for softening the rust. After leaving the oil on for a few minutes, use slip-joint pliers to turn the flange.

Step 5: Pry with a flat screwdriver

To pull off the top ring of the flange, pry it using a flat screwdriver. Use short motions with your screwdriver until you can get underneath it. Be very gentle while removing the flange, as you won’t be able to reuse it if it gets bent. Though, I don’t recommend using an old flange with new disposal. Reuse it only if you are tightening the flange or repairing the disposal.

Step 6: Scrap out old putty

After removing the old disposal flange, you will also need to clean the old putty remains. Any remains on the surface will not let the new flange sit properly, so use a flat scraper to scrap out any old putty still stuck to the sink. Also, clean up the flange too if you want to reuse it.

Removing the InSinkErator disposal flange is an easy task if you do it patiently. After successfully removing the flange, you can tighten a flange, put on a new flange, repair the disposal, or install a brand new one!

Replacing garbage disposal flange


The flange on your InSinkErator garbage disposal can wear down over time. It’s most likely that it will need to be replaced rather than repaired.  Moreover, it’s never a good idea to try and use new disposal with an old flange; it could lead to leaks and other significant problems. So when you install new disposal, get a new flange as well. That way, you won’t run into any issues down the road when it comes time for maintenance or repairs.

My name is Thomas Anderson, author of DisposalQA. I have 15 years experience working as a plumber in CA, and this is where I answer common questions about garbage disposals.