An easy way to cut down on the amount of food waste in your home is to install a garbage disposal. A disposal is able to quickly and efficiently eliminate things like fruit rinds, eggshells, potato peels and much more. The way a garbage disposal works is it grinds the foods into small, fine particles, which are then flushed out of the chamber into the septic system. Our buying guide is here to assist you in the process of purchasing a garbage disposal that will work best for your home.
Garbage disposal unit's function in two basic modes - batch feed and continuous feed.
Batch Feed models operate only when the disposal lid is engaged and the unit is activated. They are able to offer the reassurance of a covered operation, requiring the use of a stopper prior to activation. This makes them well-suited to households with children or those concerned with dropping unwanted items accidentally into the disposal unit during use. They are usually more expensive, but offer advanced grinding features and quieter operation.
A Continuous Feed disposer operates by a wall switch, which will continue to run from the minute you switch the power on, until you shut it off. If you have a large amount of waste to grind up, the continuous feed is probably your best option, due to the fact that you won't have to wait until the chamber is full before turning the power on.
Garbage Disposal Motor Size
Basic garbage disposers can come with as little as ⅓ horsepower, these are best suited for small households with infrequent meal preparation or those grinding only small amounts of basic food waste materials. ½ horsepower is usually the minimum horsepower recommended for typical home use. They are smaller and can fit into tighter spaces, a great option for those who also do not use their disposals all of the time, but still desire a decent amount of power.
¾ to 1 horsepower disposals fit the best for households with more frequent meal preparation and larger amounts of waste. The higher horsepower is recommended for those who want to handle the really difficult-to-grind food waste, such as course materials and bones. They usually offer an more improved sound insulation and may run quieter than basic units.
Garbage Disposal Features
Higher-end disposers feature enhancements that allow them to operate more quietly, such as an outer shell with insulation inside to reduce noise. Some models may even feature special rubber mounting designed to reduce vibration-related noise.
Garbage disposal models that include the "anti-jamming" options help to reduce the occurrence of simple jams, resulting in a more trouble-free operation. Certain models offer the buttons on the side, which must be pressed manually to reset the motor. Some advanced models feature anti-jam circuitry that automatically senses pending food jams and can reverse motor direction or increase power to defer them.
When it comes to lasting performance, disposers that feature a stainless steel grind chamber and components is less subjective to corrosion, while also providing much greater durability.
Many disposals can be connected directly to your dishwasher, allowing you to grind up solid food particles cleansed from your dishes. This eliminates the task of having to pre-rinse dishes before placing them in your dishwasher, saving you on time.
Garbage Disposal Do's & Don'ts
We've compiled a list of certain things to do, as well as avoid, when it comes to operating a garbage disposal. They can become crucial points in extending the life of your product.
Things to Do
- Running cold water before, during and after operation is best for the disposal
- Grind smaller bones to scour the grinding chamber
- Use disposal cleaner, deodorizer or citrus peels to freshen up the disposal and eliminate any lingering odors
- Remove silverware and other items from the sink before powering on the disposal
- Run the disposal each time you put food in it to reduce corrosion from food acid
Things to Avoid
- Running hot water while the disposal is in use
- Putting fats or grease into disposal
- Grinding tobacco products or shellfish if you have a septic tank
- Reaching into the disposal during use
- Putting fibrous materials such as celery or corn husks in a standard disposal, which handles normal amounts of food waste such as fruit and vegetable peels, soft food scraps and small bones. Premium disposals are able to handle the larger jobs.