Garbage Disposal Mounting Ring Is Stuck? (We Have a Fix!)

Hannah DeMoss
by Hannah DeMoss

If you have a garbage disposal in your home, then you know that there is maintenance that comes along with it. If you want it to work properly, you have to take certain precautions. However, sometimes something like a mounting ring being stuck will still happen.

The garbage disposal mounting ring can be stuck because of accumulated rust and grime. This accumulation occurs because of leaks and improper cleaning. To remove a stuck mounting ring, you need a screwdriver. The screwdriver is inserted underneath the mounting ring. It will pry the mounting ring loose and release it. Additionally, a deep cleaning of the mounting ring may help release it.

Understanding why your garbage disposal’s mounting ring may be stuck, and how to fix it, is important. A garbage disposal mounting ring can get stuck easily. Read on to discover all you need to know about when your garbage disposal mounting ring is stuck.

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The Garbage Disposal Mounting Ring is Stuck

A garbage disposal is a great tool to have in your house. It has been around for quite a while, and it is a common appliance to see in kitchens around the world. It can crush and shred food waste down into little pieces that can be easily washed away with water.

However, a garbage disposal, when not handled properly, can be prone to certain issues. For example, if you are considering replacing your garbage disposal, you will have to take it apart. There is a part of the garbage disposal called the mounting ring. The mounting ring can oftentimes get stuck making the removal of the garbage disposal frustratingly difficult.

If you have a garbage disposal, and its mounting ring is stuck, there are a few reasons this may have happened.

  • Rust. Oftentimes, water can leak from the top of the garbage disposal. When this happens, the water can get trapped around the mounting ring. The result? Rust.
  • Design. The design of the mounting ring can make it naturally more difficult to remove. Many people who try to remove the mounting ring usually find it is stuck. 
  • Improper installation. Sometimes a garbage disposal is improperly installed, which can lead to the mounting ring getting stuck. You want to make sure, if you are replacing the garbage disposal, to properly install all the required parts. 

For many, the mounting ring could be stuck but they will not know it. Unless you are going under your sink for a repair or to replace the entire unit, you may not know the mounting ring will be stuck and hard to remove.

So, what are some reasons why you would want to remove the mounting ring?

Why You Would Want to Remove the Mounting Ring

There are a few reasons you would want to remove the mounting ring. However, when you go to remove it, you find it stuck.

Some reasons why you would want to remove the mounting ring include:

  • The garbage disposal is leaking. When the garbage disposal is leaking, it normally has to do with a loose connection near where the mounting ring is. When you notice that it is leaking, you will need to remove the mounting ring to facilitate the repair. 
  • The garbage disposal needs to be replaced. Sometimes a garbage disposal needs to be replaced. Either it is broken or you just want a newer model. In either case, when replacing the garbage disposal, you may come across a mounting ring that is stuck. 
  • The garbage disposal is rusty. As mentioned earlier, rust can form around the mounting ring, which can make it incredibly difficult to remove. 
  • The garbage disposal is dirty. If proper care has not been given to the garbage disposal, it can get dirty. Dirt and grime can build up and get into the mounting ring, which can then become stuck. 
  • The garbage disposal is being removed. Sometimes you do not want a garbage disposal anymore and are removing it entirely. When this happens, you will also have to remove the mounting ring. 

So, regardless of the reason you have to get at the mounting ring, you may come across one that is stuck.

Removing Your Garbage Disposal

Now, if you have decided you need to remove your garbage disposal, there are a few things to consider.

  • The electrical component. Some garbage disposals are plugged directly into an outlet. This is the most straightforward electrical component. If your garbage disposal does not have a plug, then it is hard-wired and must be disconnected from the circuit breaker. 
  • The replacement garbage disposal. You have two options when you remove your garbage disposal. The first option is to replace it with a new unit. You should make sure you have the replacement before you begin removing the old one.  
  • The sink strainer (if no replacement). The second option is to permanently remove the garbage disposal. If you do this, you must replace it with a new sink strainer. 

Luckily, removing your garbage disposal is something you can do yourself. However, as mentioned, you come across the mounting ring being stuck.

Before you try to remove the stuck mounting ring, it is important to first understand both what tools you will need to remove the garbage disposal and what the components of the garbage disposal are.

Take note of everything you will need so that the process runs more smoothly.

The Tools You Need

Before you begin, you must collect the tools you will need to remove the garbage disposal. Many of these tools and supplies you will probably already have around the house. If you do not, they can easily be picked up at your local hardware store.

The tools you will need include:

  • Channel-type pliers
  • A bucket
  • A hacksaw (for sawing a new pipe)
  • Screwdrivers
  • Plumber’s putty
  • A rag

Of course, you will also need the new appliances that will be replacing the old garbage disposal. This could either be a new garbage disposal or a strainer to take its place.

Moreover, when you replace a garbage disposal, you may also need new piping, so it is best to check any extra components you need based on what you are installing.

The Components of a Garbage Disposal

Now that you have your tools, it is time to familiarize yourself with the various components of the garbage disposal that you will be working on.

When you have a stuck mounting ring, you will want to focus on the components that make up the garbage disposal’s mounting assembly. This will be located at the top of the unit that connects with the sink.

The components, in order from top to bottom, include:

  • Sink flange
  • Fiber gasket
  • Backup flange
  • Upper mounting ring
  • Snap ring
  • Lower mounting ring

Below these components is where the main garbage disposal unit begins. These components listed here form the upper connection of the disposal unit.

Now, there are two mounting rings. Either of them–or both of them–could be stuck. It is important to know exactly where they are located so that you can attempt to loosen them. Remember, they could be covered in rust if there was a leaking issue.

Removing a Stuck Mounting Ring

When you are removing the garbage disposal (or attempting to fix a leaking issue), you will have to remove the mounting rings. They may be stuck, and if this is the case, you may begin to get frustrated.

A mounting ring of a garbage disposal getting stuck is fairly common, and there is a way to remove it if it will not move.

One of the reasons the mounting ring may be stuck is because of the snap ring being unable to pop out. In this situation, you will want to use a thin and flat screwdriver. The snap ring has a break you can insert the screwdriver under it. Now, run the screwdriver around the snap ring until it pops out.

Likewise, if the mounting ring is stuck because of rust or some other reason, you can also use a screwdriver to remove it. Once you have removed the screws that keep it in place, you can use the screwdriver to pry it loose.

If there is rust, you can also try removing some of the rust first with a solution of either vinegar or baking soda and water. While this will most likely not remove all the rust, it should remove a significant portion of it.

Once the rust is removed, the mounting ring should be easier to remove. If it is still stuck, you can use the screwdriver to help pry it loose from the unit.

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Removing the Garbage Disposal

Removing the garbage disposal is not an overly difficult process. Once you know how to remove a stuck mounting ring, you should be able to continue with the removal of the unit.

Consider the following steps to remove the garbage disposal:

  • Disconnect the electrical component. As mentioned, you may only need to unplug the unit or you may need to fully disconnect it from the circuit breaker. Once the electricity is cut from the unit, it will be safe to remove. 
  • Remove the continuous waste pipe. Next, you will need the bucket to catch any water that may leak when you remove the continuous waste pipe. Using the pliers, you will loosen and remove the slip nuts keeping it in place.
  • Remove the garbage disposal unit. Next, you will want to remove the actual disposal unit. You may need a second person to help support the weight of the unit as you remove it. You must remove the mounting rings and the snap ring.
  • Remove any grime and old putty. Once the unit is removed, there will undoubtedly be old grime and putty from the previous installation. Make sure to remove these entirely. 
  • Install the new unit. If you are not installing a new unit, you would now install the strainer. If there is a new disposal unit, you would install it now in the same way (in reverse) that you removed the old one. 

Remember to use the screwdriver to help remove the stuck mounting ring. It is necessary to remove the mounting ring if you want to remove the entire garbage disposal.

When it gets stuck, it can create headaches. Using a thin and flat screwdriver will ensure you save yourself from frustration.

Hannah DeMoss
Hannah DeMoss

Hannah DeMoss has been a writer for nearly a decade. Her passion for writing began years ago has continued to grow. Her expertise at home involves furniture restoration and other small DIY tasks. When not writing, Hannah enjoys the outdoors with her husband and pups, as well as traveling.

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