Garbage disposal makes waste disposal so convenient. All you have to do is insert your pizza crusts, banana peels and other leftovers into the sink turn the tap and flip a switch and they all disappear.
They are also called garbage or waste disposal unit, sink garbage disposal or garbage disposer and garburator in Canada. While they are extensively used in United States, they are not so common elsewhere.
These units are electrically powered and installed under the kitchen sink, in between the sink’s drain and trap. Cooks consider garbage disposers their best friend as it grinds and washes away kitchen refuse at the flip of a switch.
It can shred food waste material into small pieces, to less than 2mm in size. The food shreds thus easily pass through plumbing and sewer system to be efficiently treated at the water plant. Food scraps are then reclaimed as clean water and fertiliser after recycling.
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick!
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The Best Garbage Disposal Unit In The Market That Money Can Buy!
Waste King Legend Series 1.0-Horsepower Continuous-Feed Garbage Disposal – (L-8000)
The Waste King Legend garbage disposal unit comes with an ultra-powerful motor, superb sound installation, stainless steel blades and a corrosion-proof body to provide you with continuous and no-fuss waste disposal. With insulated grinding components, you are assured the quietest grind possible.
Its high speed 2800rpm 1.0 horsepower motor gives a more powerful grind to grind practically everything. As it’s a continuous-feed disposal, you can keep adding waste as the unit runs. Whilst its stainless steel impellers reduce the chances of jamming, its removable splash guard makes cleaning easy.
- 1 hp high speed motor with 2800 rpm
- Easy to install with its fast-and-easy mount system
- Lifetime mechanical and corrosion warranties
- Reduced noise while working
- Comes with mounting hardware and power cord
- Rude customer support
- Its’ exposed chromium flange does not match any stainless steel sink.
InSinkErator Badger 5, 1/2 HP Food Waste Disposer
The InSinkErator Badger 5 garbage disposal unit has 26 ounce grind chamber with a ½ hp dura-drive induction motor and a galvanized steel grind system. It’s one of the most popular garbage disposal brands available famous for its quality, durability and superior sound and grinding features.
The Badger 5 runs on a one-stage grind technology including a GrindShear Ring which grinds even the toughest foods to liquid consistency so that it safely flows into the sewage system.
- Easy to install using its Quick Lock sink mount
- Has a 2-year in-home limited warranty
- Runs on a ½ hp dura-drive induction motor
- Galvanized steel grind system
- Liquefies even the toughest foods
- Comes with a Jam Buster wrench, tailpipe gasket, stopper, tailpipe, Quick Lock Sink Mount and installation instructions
- Does not come with a power cord
- Many complaints of the unit quickly developing cracks with minimal usage which leads to eventual leakage.
- Made mostly of plastic, and a comparatively lower quality garbage disposal unit.
InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Household Garbage Disposer
The 3/4 hp InSinkErator Evolution Compact household garbage disposer delivers exceptional performance making it the perfect solution for use in smaller houses and kitchens with limited cabinet space.
Not only does it have powerful induction motors, its’ cutting edge grind technology grinds practically any food to reduce the chances of clogs and jams. Its sound reducing technology reduces noise so much that you can easily carry out a conversation when it’s running.
- Comes with a 4-year in-home limited warranty
- Produces less noise than standard disposers with its superior insulation
- Runs on a ¾ hp motor which grinds even tough foods
- Comes with a sink baffle, anti-vibration tailpipe mount, jam-buster wrench, clamp, stopper, Quick Lock Sink mount and installation instructions.
- Two stage MultiGrind Technology quickly grinds even difficult food waste
- 6 oz. grind chamber with stainless steel grind components
- Easily installed using Quick Lock Sink mount
- The non-stainless steel piece under the chamber gradually rusts out.
- No provision for preventing water and particles from reaching and rusting upper bearing
- Rather expensive
- Slow and tight draining of food
Waste King Legend Series 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Operation Garbage Disposal – (L-2600)
The Waste King Legend Series disposer runs on a powerful ½ hp motor which can grind tough foods. As it’s a continuous-feed disposer, you can continuously add waste to it as long as it runs. While its stainless steel impellers help reduce jamming probabilities, its removable splash guard keeps things tidy.
Its grinding chamber is made of glass-filled nylon, ensuring you never have to worry about corrosion. And its stainless steel grinding components assure the quietest grind possible. It’s easy to install with its easy-mount system and is backed by a 5-year in-home service warranty.
- Runs on a ½ hp motor with 2600 rpm
- Insulated stainless steel blades reduce noise
- Comes with mounting hardware and36-inch power cord
- Made using corrosion proof stainless steel and rust-free grinding parts
- Backed by a 5-year in-home service warranty
- Removable splash guard with space saving design
- Outer shell is rather flimsy
- Unlike its jam-free claims, the Waste King can jam in 2 months’ time
- Difficult to unjam even with an un-jamming wrench
InSinkErator Evolution Excel 1.0 HP Household Garbage Disposer
The InkSinkErator Evolution Excel household garbage disposer comes with a 1hp motor which grinds food so quietly that you can comfortably speak as it works. This state-of-the-art technology comprises of an anti-vibration sink motor and tailpipe, sink baffle which prevents sound from escaping and insulation around the motor.
Its MultiGrind technology includes a GrindShear Ring, Undercutter Disk and Tri-Action Lug system which grinds food to practically a paste which safely flows into your sewage system. It also has a jam-sensor circuit which automatically increases its torque and break through jams.
- Easy to install with its Quick Lock sink mount
- Quick Lock can also replace garbage disposal units from Badger
- Minimal sounds while working because of SoundSeal Technology
- Grinds practically all food waste with its MultiGrind Technology
- Consists of a 40oz. stainless steel grind chamber and components and a 1 hp induction motor
- Has a 7-year in-home limited warranty
- Its stainless steel stopper prevents the loss of any fingers, forks and spoons!
- The unit hangs from a weak joint which shortens its lifetime
- Smaller holes in the rubber fingers of sink drain may help reduce noise but also reduces drainage speed
- The snap ring doesn’t have any install/uninstall tool
KitchenAid Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal
The KitchenAid continuous feed garbage disposal with its ¾ hp motor efficiently tackles your everyday disposing challenges. The 40-ounce garbage disposer rotates at 1725 rpm for optimal grinding and performance.
Its 2-stage grinding and sound insulation technology helps maintain a clean and quiet kitchen. A continuous feed disposer, it provides for quick cleaning up after meals. Just switch on the unit and water, and the disposer takes care of all the food waste poured into it!
- Runs on a ¾ hp motor
- Effectively grinds food with its motor rotating at 1725 rpm.
- 2-stage grinding and continuous feed technology offers quick cleanup after meals
- Sound seal insulation technology provides quieter grinding of food
- Easy installation
- Does not come with a power cord
- Some necessary parts like wire nuts and strain relief have to be bought at a hardware store
- Rather big in size which reduces the space under the sink
- The dishwasher inlet hole is sealed as an optional feature; its sealing has to be manually punched out while using
- Some complain of a loud buzzing noise while using the garbage disposal
Types Of Garbage Disposal
There are two types of garbage disposers; the continuous-feed or batch-feed types.
- In case of continuous-feed units, you have to first let water run through the sink for a while, turn on its switch and continuously throw in the waste food as long as the water runs.
Its convenience and handy nature is the advantage of this type of garbage disposal. Moreover as water flows down the drain with the food, there is a lower chance of any food jamming. This is why these units are more popular in households.
- In case of batch-feed types, you have to first load your food waste into the unit’s chamber and then insert and turn a special plug to start the disposal. Though it’s not so convenient to use, it’s safer and easier to install than the continuous feed types.
They are especially better for homes with small children around as it has a safety feature where it does not work without the stopper in place. There thus is no worry about children accidentally placing fingers into the drain.
Benefits Of Using Garbage Disposal Units
Garbage disposal units offer the following benefits:
- Environment friendly
It’s beneficial to the environment as it reduces the amount of your kitchen and house waste. The 20% of environmental waste comprising of food scraps disposed through these units instead of through trash is rerouted and used as a renewable energy source or fertilizer instead of ending up in a landfill. Moreover, it needs very little water to use, and costs about $0.50 for a year’s operation.
- Protects plumbing
No matter how careful you are, food scraps somehow manage to reach your kitchen sink and clog the plumbing without a garbage disposal unit. So installing a unit saves money which you may have had to pay plumbers to clear clogged drains and kitchen sinks. While there is always the chance of garbage disposers getting clogged, they are easily cleaned.
- Reduced pressure on pipes
Garbage disposal units reduce pressure on the pipes to prevent leaks and unnecessary additional expenses for plumbing repairs.
- More comfort
Garbage disposers make cleaning of utensils after meals a cinch as you just have to place your utensils into the sink.
Tips For Choosing Best Affordable Garbage Disposal Units
With so many garbage disposers in the market, you need to make sure you buy the right one for your specific requirements. The search is easier if you know what features you have to look out for in the units.
- Plumbing compatibility
Your plumbing system should be able to handle a garbage disposal unit. So check the fixtures to ensure which unit matches your plumbing and sewer system. There should also be an electrical point under the sink to plug the unit. If there’s no switch, you need to wire it to an existing circuit and connect a switch.
- Local laws
Find out if the local laws let you have a garbage disposal unit before buying one. While this is not important if you are replacing an existing unit, if it’s the first time you are using a garbage disposal unit you need to find out if your area permits its use. Some areas don’t permit the use of garbage disposals because of its increased strain on sewer lines.
- Size of motor
Most units have a 1/3 hp motor, which should suffice if you are alone in an apartment. The motor however is not very strong and reliable and may end up with waste clogging pipes. However if you are a family, you need a unit with a bigger motor like ½ hp which will be able to handle your family’s garbage.
You may even consider a unit with a 1hp motor if you live in a big house with many people. Though it’s a bit expensive, it is reliable and can handle large amounts of food waste and perform tough jobs like grinding bones and hard food scraps.
The larger motored garbage disposers have a longer life as it goes through less wear and tear from food when compared to a lower powered unit. So basically you have to choose the strength of your motor based on the number of family members and your daily usage.
- Blade material
Choose garbage disposal units with stainless steel blades as they are hard, sharp, last longer. They grind food more finely and faster so that there’s no worry of dealing with clogged pipes. Cheaper units may not have stainless steel blades and may thus wear out sooner.
- Attachment for dishwasher
Dishwasher owners need a dishwasher attachment with their garbage disposal unit. The attachment is a tube which flushes food remnants from the dishwasher into the garbage disposer to be ground and rinsed away.
- Anti-jamming capabilities
Some of the lower end disposals tend to jam in the grinding process which will take some time fixing using a jam wrench. There’s no point in buying a garbage disposal which ends up clogged every time you use it. Instead, look for a model with anti-jamming capabilities to prevent this unnecessary hassle and inconvenience.
Check the manufacturer’s warranty. While most garbage disposals have a warranty ranging from a year to 5 years, if you avoid clogging the unit with fibrous foods like celery, eggshells, coffee grounds and potato skins, it can last for many years or even a lifetime.
The low powered ones usually have a 1-2 year warranty and the more powerful ones, a five or more years warranty. This warranty may cover material defect, mechanical defect or in some brands and models, also provide protection against corrosion. It’s better if the unit has an in-home service warranty where the manufacturer replaces or repairs the faulty item at home for free within the warranty period.
- Price and performance
Depending on the brand or model, garbage disposers range from a hundred to a few hundred dollars. You need to emphasize on performance and not price while looking for the best unit for your home. Most buy disposals costing 1-2 hundred dollars which are popular and sufficient for use in most households.
While larger and heavier disposal units run the quietest, make sure they fit under your sink! Moreover, while manufacturers have tried their best to minimize the sound, even the best unit is not whisper-quiet. In fact they are rather noisy under some sinks like stainless steel ones because of the vibration it creates.
Things To Avoid Putting In A Garbage Disposal
While garbage disposal units help get rid of your waste, there are some limitations on what it can handle. It’s not equipped to process everything you put in it which may damage the unit and lead to a need for remove garbage disposal. Examples of things to avoid are:
- Grease is a no-no as it ends up cemented inside the unit to obstruct the channel funnel. Though it is a liquid, it solidifies on cooling to create a clog in the drain. It’s the same reason you shouldn’t pour any fats or oil into the unit.
- Don’t put potato peels into the garbage disposer as it contains starch which sticks to the unit’s sides and is difficult flushing out into the channel funnel.
- Do not put any plastic, metal or glass into the unit as it can stick or dull the unit’s sharp steel.
- Avoid putting any form of expandable nourishment as it has starch which ends up stuck to the unit.
- Avoid putting any fibrous foods like artichokes, lettuce, celery or onion skins into the garbage disposal unit as it can entangle in the blades and jam it.
- There is a chance of a fork or two ending up in the unit while putting all the waste into the disposer. So before you grind anything, it’s better first clearing out the plates in the sink to ensure nothing non-food hasn’t fallen inside.
- No coffee grounds as they get caught in the drain trap.
- Uncooked rice and pasta are a no-no as they expand on exposure to water, so you can imagine what will happen if it’s dumped into the garbage disposal unit!
- Fruit pits, seeds, apple cores and bones are too solid for the garbage disposer. They are best collected with trash.
- Don’t put eggshells into the unit as its inner membrane can wrap around the blades. They are best added to the compost pile.
What you CAN put into your garbage disposal unit is chopped waste, liquids and soft foods.
How To Install The Unit
If you are a DIY fan, you shouldn’t find it difficult installing a garbage disposal unit. All you need are a hammer, putty knife, plumber’s putty and a bucket. If you are doing a garbage disposal instalment for the first time, make sure if a permit is required and call an electrician to install a nearby outlet and switch. If you have a septic system, it’s better buying a septic-safe unit.
To install garbage disposal, you need to first turn off your kitchen’s circuit breaker and place the bucket under the P-trap. Disconnect the drainpipes, remove the sink strainer and remove any excess putty.
Now apply some plumber’s putty around the flange of the new drain and press into place. Place a towel in the sink and set the disposal on the flange to keep it stationery. Stack the fibre gasket, backup flange and mounting ring under the sink and slide under the flange. Pull the snap ring open and snap into place to install it. Evenly tighten all screws till they are against the backup flange and remove excess putty.
Next use a hammer to knock out and remove the drain plug from the disposal’s inlet and connect the dishwasher drain. Remove the wire cover plate, match the wire colours to connect the electrical cord and then reattach the flange by pushing the wires back in.
The gasket has to be inserted into the discharge outlet and the discharge tube attached using bolts and the flange to connect the drain. Align the three tabs with the mounting ring to hang the disposal and using the provided wrench, turn and lock the tabs over the ridges.
Next connect the dishwasher drain after making sure the discharge pipe is lined up properly and the drainpipes connected, using T-pipe before P-trap. Check connections and look for leaks by placing the stopper into the sink drain, filling the sink with water, and then plugging in and turning on the disposal.
Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and if you have any doubts or questions or if your home’s wiring isn’t compatible with the changes made, its better contacting a licensed electrician instead of attempting to install or how to replace a garbage disposal on your own!
How To Fix
There are some problems with the garbage disposal unit you can easily fix while others may need a professional’s help. While these are common garbage disposal troubleshooting cases you may encounter, never take any unnecessary risks if you can’t handle it.
If the garbage disposal unit doesn’t even hum when you switch it on it may have overheated due to overfilling, and thus tripped itself off. Look under the unit for the red reset button and push it. If nothing happens, locate the circuit box and check if the breaker has tripped.
If the unit hums but doesn’t work, it’s probably jammed. Though it’s obvious advice, putting your hand into the drain and the grinding chamber is everyone’s natural instinct to dislodge anything stuck there. Never do this!
Instead, switch off the unit’s circuit breakers and remove the bottom housing to remove the blockage from underneath. While this is easy to do, don’t do it if you don’t know how to do it. Call the professionals lest your fingers get chopped by the blades!
- Not running
Check the disposal’s circuit breaker as it may be a power problem. If it’s okay, check the power at the switch as if there’s power to the switch but doesn’t leave the switch it’s because the switch is bad. If this is the case, switch off the circuit and have the switch replaced.
- Poor drainage
The water has to be running full blast while using the disposal for better drainage. If the drainage is still slow, disconnect the drain’s ‘J’ bend and check for a clog.
If there is some garbage disposal leaking, try tightening the sink mounting ring’s screws using an offset screwdriver. If the leakage is from the drainpipe, try tightening the screws holding the drain gasket. If there is still some leakage, try replacing the drain gasket.
- Too noisy
Switch off the disposal and use a flashlight’s help to look down the drain to fix garbage disposal by checking if anything is causing the noise. The culprits are usually metal or plastic spoons mistakenly put into the drain.
If there’s nothing here, check the mounting screws as they may be so loose that they start vibrating to produce noise when turned on. There is also a chance that you have a damaged flywheel wherein it’s better thinking of how to remove a garbage disposal for a garbage disposal replacement instead of repairing it!
How To Avoid Garbage Disposal Repair
The best way to avoid garbage disposal repair is to avoid foods not meant for it like bones, fibrous foods and metal, and to never overfill it. There’s no point using any chemical drain cleaners to unclog any clogs as you’ll only end up with a sink of toxic liquids.
On the contrary, you have to always run cold water while using the disposal unit, and use a drain strainer to avoid blockages. If anything gets stuck in the unit for long, and you find your sink stinking, grinding a small lemon peel with ice cubes under running warm water helps make it smell better.
Don’t use hot water while disposing of waste as it softens the waste which in turn makes it stick to the sides. Cold water is a better choice as it solidifies any sustenance, making it easy for the garbage disposal unit to crush and pull it out the channel funnel.
Keep cold water running in the disposal for 20-30 seconds before and after all the waste is discarded to ensure everything is flushed out the channel funnel. Running some icy water and dish cleaner down the channel after crushing ice helps clean out the disposal while ensuring nothing remains behind or sticks to the sides.
Throwing a few ice cubes occasionally into the disposal knocks any built up residue on the unit’s blades. For better effects, use ice cubes made from lemon juice, vinegar and a biodegradable cleanser to freshen up the unit. Even throwing the peel of an orange, lemon or lime into the disposal helps clear squander in the unit and wipes off smelly odours.
Best Practice To Clean The Units
While the garbage disposal removes kitchen and food waste, some food particles get trapped in its nooks and crannies. This forms the perfect environment for mould and bacteria to grow and create unhealthy odours and spores.
This is why it’s good to maintain a habit of cleaning the unit at least once a week using one of the following methods.
- Baking soda and vinegar
First pour half a cup of baking soda down the kitchen drain and then carefully pour a cup of white vinegar on it, place the stopper and close the drain. Do this for both drains if you have a double sink. Both mix to create a fizz and noise. Let it work for a few minutes and then boil some water and pour down the drain.
- Bleach and water
Mix a gallon of water with a tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach in a clean container and slowly pour the solution into the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes and then flush the drain with water for a few minutes. The bleach kills germs and smells and also hardens the grease in drains. This is why you have to flush the drain with warm water and not cold water to loosen and not solidify the grease.
- Ice and citrus peels
Grinding ice-cubes in the garbage disposal helps clean the cutting blades. Adding citrus peels with the ice help give a bit of scent to the area.
- It’s better to use hot water and detergents which break up grease while cleaning dishes. Avoid putting much kitchen grease down the drain and always run water while using your garbage disposal to keep it clean and clear.
- Remember to disconnect the power to the garbage disposal before putting your hands in it.
Now you know how to choose a garbage disposal unit, as there are so many brands and types in the market, you may find these garbage disposal reviews helpful if you are looking for the best in the market!
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