Prior to rushing out for Insinkerator parts, check out this old Plumber’s parts and installation guide – it could save you a lot of time, money and frustration…
The Insinkerator (ISE) brand is the largest, most experienced manufacturer of food waste disposals in the world: just ask any plumber which brand they use. For many years ISE was only available through plumbers via their wholesale supply houses. Due to their unmatched quality, design, manufacture and materials, they hold up exceptionally well.
As a result, Insinkerator parts in and of themselves are actually not a really big seller. As a former Master Plumbing Contractor in the state of Florida, I found that most garbage disposal “repairs” were actually due to misuse, misplacement or “misinstallation” (there’s a new word for you – kind of like “misspeaking”).
Follow along to learn about the most frequently used replacement parts for ISE disposals, how to use them and the best places to obtain them. I'll even include a couple of excellent schematics - a picture is worth a thousand words, right?
What was the most used part?
The most prevalent was not an actual part at all but an included accessory with every Insinkerator garbage disposal: the Jamb-buster® Wrench. This handy tool is actually a special, double-end, offset allen-key wrench and is used to unjam the disposal. This is accomplished by fitting it into the socket at the bottom of the disposal motor shaft and turning it back and forth until it turned freely again.
You would also typically need to press in the little red reset button located next to it as well. This is a safety switch to prevent motor burnout when jammed, similar in concept to blowing a fuse. See my Disposal Tips & Tricks page for more details and a diagram.
The "disposal jam” was by far the most common service call I ever made for an ISE garbage disposer and was typically caused by an item being dropped down the sink drain such as a piece of silverware. Rather than using the old “broomstick technique" as seen in cartoons, or the dismantling associated with competitive brands, I almost felt guilty solving the problem every time in less than a minute with this “ISE magic key!” Naturally I carried one in my toolbox because inevitably the customer either lost theirs or never even knew they had such a tool.
If such is the case with you, get one and save a service call. They're easily found online or in any big-box home improvement center or hardware store. =>
Other commonly used parts
The next most popular replacement part was simply the drain stopper. These were typically just lost and are available in chrome or plastic, depending on the model. Of course I was never called out on a service call for this, but it would often be brought to my attention while working on or about the kitchen sink. This is a common item and is usually a universal fit for most disposals so it doesn't necessarily have to be a factory part - and the plastic ones are very inexpensive and found virtually anywhere. =>
Third in the lineup was the rubber baffle that fits down inside the sink flange. They can wear out after a few years of use and are actually pretty important for a couple of reasons:
First, they prevent the “back-splashing” of water as you are grinding food and in some cases when your dishwasher is discharging into your disposal drain. If you have one that is torn or worn out you know how messy this can get.
Second, as the name implies, they act as a baffle to promote quieter operation. The better quality ones will be thicker, last longer and reduce sound better.
Although a part of the disposal mounting gasket system, you do not have to dismantle the disposal from your sink in order to replace it unless it’s also the source of a water leak under your sink. Instead, you can just buy an inexpensive insert baffle that simply fits down into the sink flange. So if the old worn one will not come out, you can just push the new one down on top of it until securely in place. Done!
These are also a fairly universal fit and can be found online or in any home improvement or hardware store. =>
The fourth most used part was the garbage disposal to dishwasher drain connecting kit. This is used when your dishwasher drain hose is plumbed to discharge into your disposal. The connector is simply a stepped-down rubber boot along with a couple of clamps to make the connection from your dishwasher drain hose to the disposal drain inlet nipple. In reality, this connecting kit doesn’t even come with the disposal (and is not warranted as such) because not everyone has a dishwasher, or else the dishwasher could be plumbed into its own separate drain.
Two "connector tips" to save future headaches:
- Insert a 4-6 inch piece of 5/8” OD copper or CPVC tubing between the connecting kit and the drain hose for a more secure connection. This allows the clamps to tighten down on something more solid than just the rubber hose.
- Make sure the drain hose loops up high and fasten it in some manner just underneath the counter top. This is to give it a high air-gap loop in order to prevent any waste water from your sink from running down and backing up into your dishwasher – not cool.
A connector kit is a common item and found in any plumbing department or online store. =>
Finally comes the 1 ½” discharge tube kit. This is the drain elbow that connects your disposal to the P-trap under the sink. It includes a flanged rubber gasket (the typical culprit) and a beveled, metal back-up washer.
Notice that it's shaped like an elbow for a reason: it's always better to plumb in a garbage disposal on its own, separate P-trap, rather than horizontally, across to a "T", then down to a shared P-trap (if on a double-compartment sink).
The "shared" method is always the easy-road to take, but is much more susceptible to drain stoppages in the horizontal section or inside the "T" fitting.
Discharge kits are common but not always a universal fit - ISEs use a flat, flanged connection to the unit rather than the threaded kind so you're better off staying with a factory part, or one that's clearly marked to fit. Another easy to find part online or in most plumbing departments.
Can you do it?
All of these common repairs can easily be performed by a moderately-skilled handy-person. Parts are readily available and best found online by visiting any of resource sites located just above the articles on any website page – explore and compare.
Meanwhile, if you need to dig deeper I’ve provided a couple of handy schematic downloads, courtesy of the Insinkerator company. The most basic parts are quite similar in name and function so I included schematics for the most popular models for you. You may grab you free downloads via the button at the bottom of page...
In addition, If you'd like the complete product manual, simply visit the appropriate Badger or Evolution page. This is also where you can compare models, features, warranties and pricing information. If you end up having to replace your disposal at some point, you’ll find them to be very helpful in guiding you to the right decision for your personal situation.
Thanks for visiting and I hope this ISE Parts information has been a blessing to you.
Important update for my visitors:
I've recently added a new Disposal Tips & Tricks page - a must for everyone who owns a disposal - no matter what brand - in order to keep it whistling and singing for years to come! You'll learn 7 little-known tips for avoiding service calls, drain stoppages and frustrations. This is a page worth sharing with others so check it out before you leave!
Between these tips, the resources above and the downloads, you should be well on your way to securing the correct Insinkerator Parts for your unit. (To see more related resources atop each page, simply hit your browser's "refresh page" key a time or two for a fresh batch.)
Take care and God bless.