Garbage disposals are convenient ways to remove waste from your kitchen quickly and keep it clean throughout the cooking process. It may seem like a luxury but depending on where you live they may actually be compulsory. Waste that cannot be added to the compost heap can go straight down your garbage disposal unit and into a septic tank to be discarded instead of going to the landfill.
- Our Picks: Top 10 Best Garbage Disposals for Home 2019 - 2020
- Types Of Garbage Disposal Units
- Things To Consider Before Buying A New Garbage Disposal
- Basic Features of Home Garbage Disposals
- Our Top Garbage Disposal Unit Reviews
- Use and Care Tips
Our Picks: Top 10 Best Garbage Disposals for Home 2019 - 2020* our ratings are based on value, performance, and quality
Types Of Garbage Disposal Units
Today we’ll be looking at everything you need to consider when buying your first garbage disposal unit, not all units are built the same so it’s important to assess your needs to match with the best one. Depending on where you live disposal units may actually be compulsory therefore you need the best option that is also cost effective.
First of all there are two different types of disposal unit you should be aware of. The first is continuous feed which as the name would suggest operate from the moment you turn the switch on uninterrupted until you turn the switch off. So it’s easy to operate and gets rid of waste in the quickest possible time.
The other type of unit you need to be aware of is the batch feed. As the name suggests you feed the waste into the unit in batches, then insert the plug and turn it on. While it doesn’t work as quickly as the above unit the plug acts as added safety which can come in handy for families with young children.
NOTE: Under no circumstances should anyone insert their hands into the unit regardless of whether in operation or not. If you must, use tongs with the unit turned off by the power socket in order to remove waste or otherwise.
Things To Consider Before Buying A New Garbage Disposal
It’s tough to imagine life without the humble garbage disposer in the kitchen sink. The distinct whirring sound it makes, as it takes care of the rubbish going down the sink may not be pleasant, but it sure has made life a lot easier. If you’re preparing to buy one of these units for your kitchen, there are a few things that you need to consider before making that purchase. Here are some of the top questions to ask yourself:
- Can my plumbing handle it? If you have problems with your plumbing where the pipes backup or clog, then one of these units might not be a good idea for you.
- Can your septic tank handle it? Your existing septic tank might not be able to handle the increase in waste.
- Does my local sewer system allow it? Not all municipals permit households to have home garbage disposal units.
- Can I afford the extra water usage? Your water bill will increase at an average of 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
Buying one that fits your needs takes a little bit of knowledge. But before we get to the garbage disposers themselves, there are a few things that need to be discussed. The main thing is to make sure the plumbing and septic tank can handle it. If there are plumbing issues such as constant clogging, then it should be fixed before installing it. Some septic tanks are just too small to handle the extra water. A garbage disposal can add hundreds of gallons of water per year, to the plumbing system.
Moreover, some disposers can take continuous amounts of waste and others must be done in batches. Continuous feed disposers are the easiest to use. However, the opening on continuous feed is larger, which make them more dangerous. Other bells and whistles that come on certain models include auto reverse, safety cover and relatively long warranties. With a little research, you will know what to ask for when showing up at the store. The following are some quick things to know before getting one.
Garbage disposers basically come with two types of motors. Magnet and induction motors. Induction motors are the most common of the two. This is because it is the strongest and can take more punishment. A well-treated induction motor can last as long as 15 years. Not only that, they are also quieter of the two. If you do not need the power of an induction motor based garbage disposer, then going for a magnet motor should be fine. It is also usually the cheaper of the two.
This brings us to the next topic which would be horsepower. Garbage disposers come with anywhere from a third horsepower to one horsepower. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure the more powerful one can handle larger loads of waste. But there is more to it than that. Even if you don’t need a more powerful motor, it is a good idea to go for more power because they tend to last longer. There is also the question of stages. Disposals can come in one, two and three garbage disposing stages. Motors with only one stage will do the least amount of blending waste, and three stage motors can even handle hard materials such as bones.
Noise levels of garbage disposals are a concern for many. The sheer sound of it being turned on reminds us of something out of a horror movie. The good news is that modern disposals have good insulation to reduce noise levels. Some models are as much as half as noisy compared to older model ones. While looking for a quieter unit, it’s also a good idea to find one that uses stainless steel or thermoplastic grind chambers. These are the one that lasts the longest. Any other material just won’t have the long lifespan.
Another important consideration is size. Check the ‘HP’ (as in horse power) rating to get a good gauge of this. Ratings are: 1/3 HP, 1/2 HP, 3/4 HP and 1 HP. the higher HP rating the more powerful the motor. Assess how much waste you dispose of daily and how many people live in your household.
Lower ratings (1/3 and 1/2) are suitable for single person homes where there is a low amount of waste. Higher rating units (3/4 and 1) are suitable for large families where there is high levels of waste being disposed.
Another aspect to this is physical size, it’s important to check beforehand the physical dimensions of under your sink in order to assess whether the chosen unit will actually fit underneath their. This is important whether you are installing the unit yourself or getting someone professional in to do it.
Basic Features of Home Garbage Disposals
As you shop around, you will notice that most of the units tend to have some of the same basic features. Below are some of the top features that you can expect to see when comparing the different units on the market.
- Electric cord for power to the unit
- Auto-reverse mode for clearing disposal jams
- Horsepower ratings (see detail on this above)
- Quick-mount neck for easy DIY installation in your kitchen
- Stainless-steel grinding chamber for ultra durability
- Warranty that ranges from one year to 10 years
While these are the basic features that you will find among the units, keep in mind that the higher end models may offer additional features that would interest you.
Our Top Garbage Disposal Unit Reviews
If you’re looking for the best garbage disposal unit for your home then you’ve come to the right place as today we’ll be looking at the best garbage disposals for your specific needs. Before we begin there are two types of unit to look out for; continuous feed and batch feed. The names are self-explanatory with the continuous offering continuous disposal while the unit it turned on and batch feed has the added safety of a plug which is helpful for those with small children who have safety concerns.
InSinkErator Evolution Excel with 1.0 HP Review
The first on our list is the mighty InSinkErator Evolution Excel with 1.0 HP which means it packs a punch and is suitable for the largest of households. It comes with a three grind stage process to grind food effectively and a large storage unit to hold it all but does all of this quietly so you don’t hear a peep. We think it is the best quiet garbage disposal for the money right now.
A major consideration here is how you will install it, the machine is extremely heavy duty in order to last the long term so it’s best for more than one person to transport and install it.
Waste King L-2600 Legend Series 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Operation Garbage Disposal Review (best quiet garbage disposal)
On the other side of the spectrum there is the for single occupancy households, a smaller piece of kit that is also lighter on the wallet but also does the job you need of it. The Waste King L-2600 Legend Series 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Operation Garbage Disposal is a continuous use machine which means it starts from the moment you turn the switch on and stops when you switch off constantly, so beware of safety as there is no safety measure like batch process models.
This unit comes with 1/2 as opposed to 1.0 as shown above so is great for smaller households which get rid of less waste. As a result it is easier for one person to install and comes with a special space saving design to easily fit under most sinks.
And we find that the Waste King brand is the best choice when you’re looking for quiet garbage disposal options. Just remember that some sinks cause more vibration, and therefore more noise, than others. So, even a quiet unit like this one still might not be as silent as you hope.
GE GFC525V .5 Horsepower Continuous Feed Disposal Review
Last but by no means least is the GE GFC525V disposal unit with 0.5 horsepower, think of this model as the middle ground. A balance between power and cost with a unique galvanized steel design to grind your waste. With an anti-jamming mechanism that is necessary for disposal units like these.
The major pro to this unit is its size and design which means it can fit under pretty much any sink horizontally and takes up little space. This is why it’s important to always check the physical dimensions of the space underneath your sink so you know beforehand the unit will fit.
Use and Care Tips
If you have recently acquired a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you are well aware that it is an excellent kitchen appliance which will make the cleanup and other household duties much easier. Keeping the garbage disposal well maintained is essential to avoid drain blockages or breakdowns that would cost you a significant amount of money in plumbing and drain repairs.
Luckily, you can avoid all those unnecessary expenses. By keeping your garbage disposal in perfect condition, you will be sure that it will last longer. Here are a couple of maintenance tips you should consider for your garbage disposal to remain fresh and clean.
Removing Items from the Garbage Disposal
When clearing things from your garbage disposal, safety is paramount. You should ensure that the fuse that brings power to your garbage disposal is switched off before you commence any activity. When power is turned off, the system will not turn on in the midst of your removing items. Pliers are a helpful tool when removing any non-disposable material stuck in your garbage disposal. In a scenario that requires usage of hands, ensure that the power is always off.
Using Citrus Peels to Freshen your Garbage Disposal
Citrus peels, such as those from a lemon, can help to freshen up the sink. To accomplish this, you should put a sufficient amount of citrus peels into the garbage disposal, run some cold water and then turn on your garbage disposal. Citrus peels contain citric acid that will help to keep your kitchen smelling great. Failure to clean the garbage disposal invites odor-causing bacteria, which is disastrous for your kitchen.
Tidy the Drain Line
Washing your drain line is one of the primary care and maintenance requirements you should carry out for your garbage disposal. You should ensure to oust the line when you have removed the debris and the sludge because it allows for all the unclogged item to go down the drain as they should.
This process involves first plugging the drain, then filling your sink with about 4 inches of water. After this, you should now chuck the drain plug and turn on your garbage disposal. The water that you had filled the sink with is then pulled out through the drain. Moreover, after each disposal, you should ensure to ameliorate your drain especially if it is fibrous foods you were disposing of so that every particle goes down the drain.
Use Ice and Rock Salt to Cleanse the Grinding Elements
A mix of rock salt and ice cubes, in the ratio 1:1, is recommended as a way to clean a stinking garbage disposal. To go about it, you should first fill the disposal with the ice cubes and then pour the salt over them.
After this, you should let cold water to run and then turn on the garbage disposal for a few seconds. A cup if vinegar can also be used in place of the rock salt. This combination helps to clear off any debris or sludge stuck on the grinding elements so that they can go down the drain.
In maintaining your garbage disposal, there are a couple of do’s and don’ts.
Things to Do
- Run your garbage disposal often; this helps to minimize the risk of corrosion and rust
- Grind the food waste with cold water that has a strong flow. Cold water allows for the grease to solidify allowing you to chop it off.
- Ensure your garbage disposal is clean; this way, your system will not develop bad smells.
- Make sure that you cut the large items into smaller pieces and insert them into the garbage disposal one at a time. This will minimize the risk of blocking the system.
- Grind hard materials like eggshells. It helps to clean the garbage disposal walls.
Things to Avoid
- Do not put coffee grounds down the garbage disposal; their accumulation may cause blockages
- Avoid grinding large animal bones as they will cause blockages too.
- Do not use hard chemicals such as bleach because they can spoil the pipes or your disposal’s blades
- Avoid grinding cigarette butts
- Refrain from grinding metal, plastic, paper, and glass.
- Do not pour grease into your drain or garbage disposal; they can clog the drain.
- Refrain from grinding anything that is inflammable.
- Avoid the usage of hot water when you are grinding food waste; it may cause the grease to liquefy and its accumulation causes drain blockages.
- Do not turn off the water or garbage disposal motor before grinding is completed
- You should refrain from grinding fibrous waste because the fibers can block the drains and cause the garbage disposal motor to get stuck.
- Large amounts of food should not be put down the garbage disposal.