Garbage disposal units provide a great way of reducing the amount of trash you produce. You can use them to throw most of the garbage you produce in the kitchen down the drain. But did you know that using a garbage disposal is also an efficient way of having a cleaner home?
In the following article, we present a short description of the best garbage disposal units currently available on the market, and how to use them to your advantage. Further, in the article, we explain why using a garbage disposal is better for both the environment and your family.
You might be wondering how an appliance that uses both water and electricity can be environmentally friendly. If that’s the case, don’t worry, you will find all the explanations in the article below.
We’re certain that after reading our comprehensive buying guides and the detailed garbage disposal reviews we prepared, you’ll have enough information to determine which model is better for your household.
Top 5 Garbage Disposals
Best Garbage Disposal Brands On The Market
Waste King food waste disposals are manufactured by a company headquartered in Southern California: Anaheim Manufacturing. The same company also makes Whirlaway and SinkMaster products. What makes Anaheim Manufacturing so exceptional is the company is constantly coming up with new designs and innovations, which leads them to make top notch garbage disposals in the industry. Even better, the company typically connects a lifetime warranty with in-home service to take care of any necessary, warranty-covered repairs.
The company creates disposers for home and commercial use. The disposers the company makes use less energy all while generating more than thirty percent additional torque to ensure sufficient grinding power. The units are designed to work with your septic system to dispose of pulverized food waste.
In the late 1920s, John W. Hammes, a Racine architect developed the garbage disposal idea. After making the idea into a flawless plan for its creation, Hammes patented the idea and then established InSinkErator. Eventually, the company became the biggest manufacturer of food waste disposals in the world. Kitchen dealers, homebuilders, and plumbers all find that today’s leading InSinkErator models are highly efficient, well-built, powerful, and dependable units.
The food disposal units that this company manufactures are energy efficient. Essentially, this breaks down to about one gallon of water use for every individual in the home. What’s more, the units will cost you 3 to 4 kWh per year, so you’ll spend about $0.50 per year on your electric bill to operate the units! Thus, these units are environmentally friendly because they dispose of waste in a biodegradable manner and they also let you limit the resources you need to use to operate the unit.
GE manufacturers an array of different food waste disposers, with some offering batch feed functions, while others come with continuous feed solutions. You’ll find that GE makes superior units, all of which are appropriately sized to work with a septic tank. The disposers come equipped with sound insulation to help in diminishing the noise that such products can produce when operating. The food disposers by GE host adequate grinding power so food is readily pulverized and goes down the drain with ease. The grinding action helps to minimize potential clogs.
You’ll still need to be careful when using GE food waste disposals, especially if you are grinding up hard, large animal bones, skin, or animal fat, as it will slow the grind and may increase the noise output temporarily. For instance, the GE GFC535V is a unit that is built with special technologies that allow for the water to push down the food waste into the drain for ease of grinding and for minimizing potential clogs, but it is best put in a mix of food waste you dispose of in order to get sufficient grind.
Kitchen Aid got its start in 1919 with the creation of the company’s now iconic Stand Mixer. Later, the company developed into one offering an entire line of outstanding kitchen appliances, including well-made garbage disposals and compactors. Take for example the Kitchen Aid KCDB250G fitted with a spectacular entry price and three-stage grinding technologies. With the special grind features, you’ll be able to grind up cornhusks, celery, and other fibrous foods with considerable ease. A special sensor is built into the unit to help prevent undesired jams.
The food waste disposal created by Premier are attractive appliance options since they are fitted with easy mount features as well as convenient pricing. Premier sells food waste disposal units that promise a solid performance, adequate grind, and ease of use. The installation of the unit is equally easy, and the company warranties its products. The Premier garbage disposals have insulated interiors to help in reducing the sounds the unit generates when in use. The compact style of the unit maximizes under sink space and you can have more space for the kitchen faucet.
Garbage Disposal Buying Guide
Follow these easy steps to make sure you buy the perfect garbage disposal for your needs:
- Consider this: Do you have a unit already and are you looking to replace it? If so, do you want a different brand or are you a brand loyal?
Before announcing your loyalty to a brand, be sure to take a look at some of the newer models on the market. Each year, the manufacturers of food waste disposers are going above and beyond in order to make their units better than ever before. You don’t want to miss out on getting the most suitable garbage disposal because you didn’t examine the possibilities due to current brand loyalty.
- Find out if your municipality allows for the use of food waste disposals.
Some municipalities have regulations that actually disallow the use of garbage disposers. It is your responsibility to find out the laws regarding such a matter in your area.
- Find out if you have a sewer system or septic tank that is adequate enough to handle food waste.
The food waste that gets ground up by a disposer goes into your septic tank. You may need extra room for the biodegradable waste, or you might have to empty the tank with greater frequency.
- If you are not using the disposer with your own septic system, you will have to contact those in your municipality to find out the rules and regulations regarding the use of garbage disposals. If you have to get a permit, get it before you shop for a new unit.
- Find out if there are regulations in regard to how large your septic tank must be before you are allowed to use a food waste disposer. Contact your environmental health authority or the building inspector in your area to find out more information.
- Find out if you use a food waste disposal unit if you will be required to empty the existing septic tank with more frequency.
- Look at the energy efficiency ratings of any units you are considering. Examine how much electricity and how much water the disposers use and choose a unit. Consider if the use of a disposer will increase how much you are expected to pay for your water bill.
- Are you capable of installing the unit yourself? If not, you’ll need to stash some funds away for a plumber.
- Familiarize yourself with some of the most common problems you will face with a garbage disposal. Doing so will help you shop for a unit that has special features for avoiding potential issues. It will also help you identify an issue more quickly should one occur.
- Compare features of the different disposers on the market. Consider all of the following:
- Ease of install
- Cord included or Hard Wired
- Grind power and stage
- Warranty coverage
Here is a video that shows how to install a garbage disposal!
What to Look For to Find The Best Garbage Disposal?
When you are ready to buy a new garbage disposal there’re a few things you’ll need to do in order to make sure you get the perfect disposal for your needs. For starters, you should measure your under sink area to determine what size unit you will require. After you have measurements in hand, you can begin addressing other buying concerns.
Budget – Deciding How Much You Want to Spend
- If you know your spending limits, you can narrow down your shopping options before you begin.
- Consider the following: Are you willing to sacrifice some upper-level features like additional noise reduction and more powerful grind for the choice of paying an entry or mid-level price for a unit?
Choosing the Type of Feed
- Batch Feed Disposal: Is a unit turns on differently than a continuous feed disposal. You will have to put a stopper in the opening of the food disposer and turn the stopper to start the unit up. The stopper that you turn will activate the garbage disposal. A batch feed unit is preloaded before you turn it on.
- Continuous feed: With this type of unit you can simply turn it on and feed the food waste into it while the unit is running. It’s an option that gives you a faster method for waste disposal.
Make A List Of Desired Features
By writing down the features you want out of a unit, you’ll make the entire shopping practice a breeze. There are a number of features you’ll want to take the time to examine, and it’s a good idea to compare several garbage disposers before you buy. Examine all of the following aspects of the disposers you are interested in considering:
- Does the unit come with an electric cord or do you have to hard wire it?
- What is the horsepower ratings? Knowing this will help you understand if the unit has a powerful grind.
- Warranty: What kind of product warranty are you getting with the unit? How long does the warranty cover the disposal?
- What kind of grind action does the unit offer you? There are units with different grind stages of grind: Stages I, II, and III:
Stage I: This type of disposer really limits you in terms of what you can grind up because it has the least amount of grinding action and power out of all disposals.
Stage II: With these units, the food waste is ground up in, not one, but two stages. This means fewer issues with jams and a more powerful grind.
Stage III: These units are by far the most powerful, pulverizing food waste into tiny bits so you won’t have to worry about clogs or jams.
Read product reviews to determine what the pros and cons are with every disposal you are considering.
You’ll also get an insider’s look at how the disposer operates. Product reviews can also introduce you the various features each unit has, as well as the pros and cons of each.
What Are The Features of a Good Garbage Disposal?
A garbage disposal is a food waste discarding unit, which is installed under the kitchen sink and electrically powered. Once it is fitted between the trap and drain, the user can shred waste materials into small particles that can pass down the drain without clogging the pipes. The waste is mixed with water, grinded, and then directed to the sewers and water treatment plants where the liquid waste can be managed efficiently.
If the waste is put into a landfill instead, it decomposes and produces harmful methane gas. The unit makes household waste management easier as well as protecting the environment in general. Having a garbage disposal not only makes your kitchen life easier but also allows effective processing of organic materials into biosolids.
Garbage disposals come in different models, from low end to top end. Lower power versions cost as low as $50 while high power models cost $600 or more. Types of disposals in the market are either continuous feed or batch feed. Continuous feed is common and easy-to-use, as they are operated using a wall switch that turns on/off. Batch feed is considered safer than continuous models because they have a sink drain cover stopper to prevent unwanted objects from falling into the unit. However, they cost more than the continuous feed models.
Everyone needs a perfect disposal, but your budget may be one of the limiting factors. You will find several models with disparate prices, but you need to consider the features prior to price.
- Stainless Steel Grinding Chamber
Grinding chamber is the pulverizing area where food waste is shredded before directed into the drain. Stainless steel chambers are ideal because they not only resist rusting but also offer ease of cleaning. In addition, the size of the chamber should be adequate to shred given an amount of waste depending on the volume level generated on daily basis. If the amount of waste is little, a smaller horsepower motor is enough to grind it all within a few minutes or so. However, larger horsepower motors are suitable for high waste volume.
Recommended minimum size is ¾ horsepower disposal because lower power models may not be reliable when it comes to the efficient grinding of hard food wastes. Such wastes like bones can clog the pipes if not well ground. Some top end models such as InsinkErator have several pulverizing stages that ensure perfect grinding of almost all food wastes, without producing too much noise.
- Electric Cord
Electric power cord kit includes a 3ft to 6ft UL-Listed cord, wire connectors, strain relief clamp, and installation guide. The cord is easy to install, and then the disposal plugs are connected to a wall outlet. The kit may be purchased separately, depending on the dealer. The electric power cords are used if a hard-wired disposal is not a suitable alternative. In other words, a disposal without the power cord must be hard-wired.
- Horsepower Ratings
The horsepower rating of a disposal implies its performance, but your choice may depend on budget. Low-end models such as 1/3 horsepower disposals are not bad, though it is advisable to go for a more improved unit. Remember, you get what you pay for! ½ horsepower unit is more efficient, that is, if buying a ¾ horsepower model is far much higher beyond your budget. Those looking for long lasting and higher performance machines, a 1 horsepower unit can be the best. Lower power versions don’t last longer and cannot be effective when pulverizing chicken bones and other hard materials. Therefore you are likely to clog the system if the waste is poorly ground. High-end units can liquefy hard materials such as corn cobs, coffee grounds, chicken bones, as well as celeries. However, they cost up to more than $600.
- Auto-Reverse Mode
The auto-reverse feature is also known as anti-jamming, and it helps minimize the incidences of jams within the blades in order to keep the machine running. Hard materials or sticky wastes are the major causes of jams in disposals, but this problem is corrected by the auto-reverse mode. Even though some disposal models have manual reverse feature, you can opt for the high-end versions such as InsinkErator which offer automatic operations. Some models have ‘jaminator’ feature, also referred to as blade oscillating, which facilitate waste clearing.
- Quick Mount Neck
The essence of quick mount neck is to facilitate easy installation. Lower end models such as 1/3 horsepower units are light-weight and can be installed by the owner without getting assistance from a family member or neighbor. Basically, the larger the horsepower motor, the higher the weight of the machine. If you want to invest in high-end disposals such as ¾ or 1 horsepower motors, bear in mind that you will require a second person to assist during installation. This is because such units weigh up to 30 pounds, and can be hectic to install solo.
- Safety Cover
Batch feed models are safer than continuous models, as they can only be activated once the drain is covered by a lid – the lid works magnetically. The risk of an accident is minimized because the machine cannot be turned on while a hand is still inside. This precaution is essential especially where there are small kids. Batch feed disposals are the best choice for young moms; however, they take a relatively longer time to shred waste since you must feed bit after bit. The good thing is that the unit can only turn on if the cover is in place, hence allowing safer operation even when small kids are around the kitchen.
The lifespan of a disposal is dependent on how it is used. Fibrous food waste and hard food materials can cause a clog in the pipes, hence reducing its lifetime. However, a number of disposals come with warranties from 1 year to 10 years, while others have lifetime in-home mechanical replacement and labor warranties. But warranty doesn’t actually reflect the performance or lifespan of a machine, as some brands may sell their models at higher prices simply because they offer the warranty.
How Much Power Do I Need in My Garbage Disposal?
Garbage disposals differ in terms of size, price, performance, durability, and quality. There are lower end and high-end models in the market, and therefore features are part of the things to consider before purchasing one. Expensive versions generally have more improved features, and probably you will get what you pay for. InSinkErator is one of the leading disposal models, but there are other effective types that can suit your needs.
Apart from making a selection based on brands, you should understand the appropriate size that can work well and suitably fit in the kitchen space. The size is directly proportional to the horsepower motor of every disposal. The amount of power needed may be determined by the number of members in the family, as well as the amount of food waste generated. Depending on how often you cook and the amount of waste to discard, you can decide wisely on which horsepower motor is best for your household.
Therefore, here are the four main types of horsepower motors that will dictate the size of disposal you require in your kitchen.
1/3 Horsepower Garbage disposal
This is a small and lower-end disposal model, suitable for a smaller family with about 1-2 people. If you don’t cook so often, this disposal can be efficient because you don’t have much food waste to dispose on a daily basis. Also, a small family of one or two will generate little amount of waste. This implies that the machine will not be used regularly, and therefore it can serve for a long time. 1/3 horsepower disposal cannot grind hard food waste because it jams easily and may clog the sewage system. The grinding chamber is not stainless steel, and they can rust if used too often.
½ Horsepower Garbage Disposal
½ horsepower disposal is also a lower-end machine, which is ideal for low usage. A small family of 3 can use this model, but ensuring that it grinds only soft waste materials such as fruits and vegetables. It is perfect for a standard home usage, as it is affordable to most households. The size is small and easy to install without hiring a plumber. Even where the space under the sink is strenuous to reach, this disposal can be installed by the user solo. The best ones come with stainless steel grinding chambers, as they last long and offer ease of cleaning.
¾ Horsepower Garbage Disposal
This model is a high-end with more power compared to the two versions above, and it is suitable for most households. It comes with additional features such as noise reduction feature, hence less noisy than the ½ horsepower disposal. Though it is bigger in size, you will be able to grind more food waste faster without experiencing jamming issues. Some machines weigh more than 16 pounds, making them difficult to install without additional assistance. Those with stainless steel grinding chambers are long-lasting and easy to clean.
1 Horsepower Disposal
These are high-end models that are ideal for heavy usage, making them perfect for large families. It can grind hard food waste such as chicken bones and coffee grounds without causing jams within the blades. Even though it is huge and weighty, it has several features for improved performance. If you have a large family, consider buying a 1 horsepower disposal. Some of them weigh up to 30 pounds.
The Proper Care and Use of a Garbage Disposal
A garbage disposal is a vital investment, and no one would want to lose such an essential kitchen asset. For those that understand the help they get from this waste devouring machine, taking good care of it becomes a must. However, most people tend to forget. You just switch on, add food waste, and get the job done right. It is imperative to know that these disposals can break down if not used appropriately, leading to inconveniences and costly repair and parts replacement.
Therefore, knowing the things to do and things to avoid will keep the machine in the tip-top state. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts to put in mind when it comes to disposal usage.
Things to Do While Using a Disposal
- Keep it clean
As much as you want to grind food waste and rinse down the drain, remember to keep the machine’s grinding chamber clean. The unit can begin generating awful odor over time due to wastes that have accumulated within the blades. Therefore, pour some dish soap and run the machine for about a minute while adding a little cold water. Some people may not find time to do this due to tight schedules, but you can clean the unit especially after washing dishes. It will take you less than 5 minutes to do the job, and maintain the good condition of your machine.
- Run the unit regularly
For the small families that don’t cook too often, a garbage disposal may corrode over time if it stays for a long time without being used. It is recommended to use it regularly to prevent rust since the moving parts will be kept active. Running the disposal regularly helps remove the stuck waste materials, hence preventing accumulation of materials within the blade. Even though stainless steel grinding chambers are rust resistant, keeping it for a long time without running may corrode the parts.
- Use cold water while grinding
When the machine is grinding waste, you should ensure a strong stream of cold water is flowing into it. Remember some food waste contain oils, and can cause a clog in the pipes during the process. Cold water makes the oils solidify so that they are chopped easily before entering the pipes.
- Grind some scouring materials
Not all food waste is ideal to put into a disposal, but some materials are essential to polish the blades. Small pieces of egg shells, soft chicken bones, and fruit peels are ideal for sharpening the blades. They also help in rubbing the walls of the grinding chamber, thus cleaning the unit further.
- Put small pieces of food waste
Putting large pieces of food waste can overwhelm the grinding blades, and probably cause a clog. You should cut the pieces into smaller bits, and then put into the machine one at a time. A large amount may cause the unit to jam, causing problems that may require entire unit replacement or repair work.
If you want to find out which is the best garbage disposal for your household, you have to be informed. All garbage disposals might work in the same way, but the way they’re built, their motor, and the additional features implemented in each model makes them unique.
We’re certain that after taking a look at our short garbage disposal reviews, you were able to shortlist the units that might fit best for your particular needs. You should also read our long reviews and the comprehensive buying guides we prepared to make sure you have enough information before choosing a model.
A garbage disposal is an appliance you can use for years on end, so you should make sure you get the best one for what you have in mind. Keep in mind that when it comes to garbage disposers, size is not the only thing that matters. The additional features might not look like much when you examine them individually, but finding the right mix in a unit might make a world of difference.