Purchasing a Great Garbage Disposal

A convenient addition to the kitchen setting, garbage disposals grind up food before they go down your pipes after you rinse dirty plates and utensils in your sink. Reducing landfill waste and keeping your home smelling better between days where you take out the trash, there are loads of options available on the market–but which garbage disposal is right for you?

In this article, we’ll help you figure out how to pick the most suitable garbage disposal suited for your kitchen.

Is It Right For Your Kitchen?

First and foremost before you start looking into a garbage disposal, you need to consider if it’s right for your kitchen to begin with. You’ll want to check your local codes and be certain that garbage disposals are allowed in your area before you proceed, and make sure that your plumbing is in working order before installation. If you have a problem with clogs in your pipes, address it either before or during the installation of your new garbage disposal.

Additionally, if you have a septic system, you may be worried about them being safe. No worries; there exist disposals that are specifically designed for homes that have septic systems, spraying enzymes to help further break down food waste as it’s entering your septic system.

And, before committing to any model of garbage disposal, check your sink’s manufacturer specifications and compare them to your chosen model, as some sinks have drains that are too small and may not be compatible.

Types of Disposals and Horsepower

There are two primary feed types for garbage disposals: continuous feed, and batch feed. Continuous feed garbage disposals are more commonly installed in households, but batch feed disposals are better for locations where you can’t add a new electric switch. Let’s dive in a little deeper.

The continuous feed garbage disposal will operate as long as the power is on, so you can clean up as you go. These types of disposals usually have a form of wall switch, power outlet below the counter, or sink-top switch activator.

Conversely, batch feed garbage disposals can only be activated by putting a special magnetic stopper in place. These forms of disposals stop unwanted objects from accidentally falling into the disposal during use, and with this model, you’re able to put food waste into it in batches and run it all at one time.

When it comes to horsepower, different models have different HP (horsepower) ratings. Here’s a quick guide:

  • 1/3 or 1/2 HP – These basic models are perfect for any everyday food scraps.
  • 3/4 HP – A slightly better model that can handle small bones and more fibrous foods.
  • 1 HP or higher – The best choice for heavy use. The more you plan to use your disposal, the higher HP you’re going to want. Models of 1 HP or higher typically have added features for quieter operation and grinding food waste into finer particles.

Use and Maintenance for your Garbage Disposal

If this is your first time with a garbage disposal, for your added safety and benefit, we’ve included a small list of dos and don’ts so you can maintain your brand new disposal and its fittings for longer.

  • Never pour grease or fat into your disposal.
  • Run cold water down the disposal during operation.
  • Run it often, and run water for a few seconds afterwards to clear the components.
  • You can clear odors in your disposal by grinding citrus peels, and both sharpen the grinder and remove stuck-on food by grinding ice.

And finally, if you want more great information like this, feel free to search our reservoir of articles at Conyers Plumbing.