How to Choose Your Garbage Disposal

Before You Begin

Unless you're a very experienced do-it-yourselfer, call a professional.

Make sure the model you choose is compatible with your plumbing, dishwasher setup, and sewage/septic system, as well as local codes.

Before choosing a disposal, call a professional. You want to make sure you choose one that is compaitable with your plumbing, dishwasher setup, and sewage/septic systems.

Before choosing a disposal, call a professional. You want to make sure you choose one that is compaitable with your plumbing, dishwasher setup, and sewage/septic systems.

How Big is Your Household?

This simple question's answer is going to help you choose the right garbage disposal. You need to purchase a unit that will be adequate for your household needs, but avoid expensive overkill.

Small households

Power: You may be fine with a ½ horsepower motor.

Model: You may also be content with a batch-feed model, which processes a certain amount of food at a time when the cover is in place, is operated by a simple twist handle, and may be easier to install than continuous-feed disposals.

Blade action: Standard spinning blades are usually fine for smaller volumes of food.

Large households

Power: If you regularly dispose of large volumes of food scraps, you may need a more powerful ¾- or one- horsepower motor.

Model: Your best choice is probably a continuous-feed model with an on/off switch installed near your sink. And you will most likely want to involve a plumber and electrician in this installation.

Blade action: Oscillating blades are more efficient than spinning blades and also help grind harder foods more quickly.

Be sure to consider the size of your household. You don’t want to purchase a disposal meant for a household of 6 when you only need one for a household of 2.

Be sure to consider the size of your household. You don’t want to purchase a disposal meant for a household of 6 when you only need one for a household of 2.

Odds and Ends

The noise factor is important to many families. You may have to spend a bit more to hear less. Check warranties–they vary.

If you want to go Cadillac, look for high-end features such as corrosion shields, splash and sound baffles, and overload resets.

You may hear that you should not install a garbage disposal with a septic tank. Many people consider this an old wives' tale (or perhaps "urban myth" is more appropriate). Size and maintain your disposal properly and you should be good to go. You may want to purchase a more powerful model so that the ground up food that goes into your system is finer-grained. Check codes!

Living Green

Larger units require more running water and energy. Use the smallest unit that will do the job.

Just because you have a disposal doesn't mean you can't compost. Even if you take your vegetable and fruit scraps out to your pile, you'll still have plenty of non-compostables to feed your beast. For example, meat and fish scraps are best tossed in the disposal because they'll attract varmints on your pile. And citrus rinds don't break down easily.

One Last Note

Opinions vary widely about what you should and should not put in your garbage disposal. Riverbend Home won't try to moderate this controversial topic, but in order to keep your unit working well, we recommend you research for yourself. Some experts say that while a powerful model with a high end mechanism can dispose of higher volumes more efficiently, you cannot necessarily grind substances in these units that you would not process in a lower end machine.

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Advice & Ideas Riverbend Home 2017 2017-05-03
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