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Garbage Disposals Buying Guide

These handy kitchen appliances eliminate messy food scraps and discourage pests—plus, they help keep waste out of landfills. This guide can help you choose the best garbage disposal for you kitchen, whether you are replacing an old model or installing one for the first time.

Types of Garbage Disposals

Types of Garbage Disposals

There are two main types of garbage disposals: batch-feed models and continuous-feed models. To choose the type that's right for you, you'll want to consider both safety and convenience. Here are the key differences between the two types.

Batch-Feed

These models only operate when the disposal lid is in place, so they offer increased safety and can be a good choice for families with small children. However, because you need to dispose of food in batches, cleanup can take longer. Batch-feed models are often more expensive than continuous-feed units. Most simply plug into an electrical outlet.

shop Batch-Feed
GE
$219.00
at Amazon

Batch feed food waste disposers operate by loading them with a batch of waste and then using the stopper to activate the blades to... start grinding. These are ideal for someone who is remodeling a kitchen or wants to add a disposer, but isn't set up with a pre-existing wall switch. This model has a high RPM and high torque, to grind food finer and faster. Since select GE Disposal disposers can reach speeds of over 3500 RPM, while many brands can't reach over 2000 RPM, the Disposall disposers are less likely to jam. And, stainless-steel dual-swivel grinder blades means they're less likely to corrode, even after years of use. The Disposall offers a faster and finer grind right from the beginning. Now you can be free from the anti-jam key and able to power through food the first time, so you don't waste time. Installation made E-Z. E-Z Mount System makes installation a breeze for anyone. We have fewer parts and steps than most of our competitors' installation systems. The five-step installation starts by attaching a sink flange assembly. Then, the disposer snaps onto the sink flange under your sink, allowing water and waste to safely travel down the pipes. And, the Disposall easily attaches to your existing plumbing and wiring. After a quick installation, you can trust that your Disposall was made with stainless steel and corrosion-resistant materials for maximum lifespan and durability. Drain boost technology helps keep your drain free and clear of food waste to ensure your water runs smoothly in the right direction. The Disposall has an angled fin which pumps water and ground food through pipes with higher speed and pressure to keep drains purged and help reduce clogs. All our models operate quietly and some even offer sound reduction technology. The sound reduction package includes a fully insulated sound shell, so our disposers can handle your toughest challenges while minimizing noise. read more

GE
Waste King
$419.00
at Amazon

The Waste King 8000TC Legend Series 1-HP EZ-Mount Batch-Feed Garbage Disposer is one of the best food disposers on the market. Wit...h a high-speed 2800 r.p.m. permanent magnet motor, this disposer can efficiently get rid of your food waste. This disposer is also septic safe for properly sized septic tanks, making it environmentally friendly. The fast and easy mount system provides a no-hassle installation and it is dishwasher compatible.Package Content:garbage disposerpower cordmanualwarrantyStainless steel and Celcon sink flange3 position stopper/actuator and ABS waste elbowStainless steel grind ring, cast stainless steel swivel impellers and stainless steel turntablePermanently lubricated, sleeve-type bearingsManual reset overload protectorHeight 18.18Width 8.50Depth 8.50Weight 15.20ColorOperating SystemBatteries IncludedBatteries RequiredNumber of Batteries 0Battery Type No batteries requiredLanguage EnglishAssembly Required read more

Waste King
$375.00
at Amazon

The Waste King 9900-TC Legend Series 3/4-HP EZ-Mount Batch-Feed Garbage Disposer is one of the best food disposers on the market. ...With a high-speed 2700 r.p.m. permanent magnet motor, this disposer can efficiently get rid of your food waste. This disposer is also septic safe for properly sized septic tanks, making it environmentally friendly. The fast and easy mount system provides a no-hassle installation and it is dishwasher compatible.Package Content:garbage disposerpower cordmanualwarrantyStainless steel and Celcon sink flange3 position stopper/actuator and ABS waste elbowStainless steel grind ring, cast stainless steel swivel impellers and stainless steel turntablePermanently lubricated, sleeve-type bearingsManual reset overload protectorHeight 16.63Width 8.63Depth 10.25Weight 13.00ColorOperating SystemBatteries IncludedBatteries RequiredNumber of Batteries 0Battery Type No batteries requiredLanguage EnglishAssembly Required read more

Waste Maid

With the Waste Maid 678 Batch Feed Food Waste Disposer, you can replace that old, smelly, noisy disposer with the newest in dispos...er technology. Your Waste Maid disposer can handle coffee grounds, the toughest vegetable scraps, peelings and small bones. Powered by a very powerful 11/4 HP motor, the Waste Maid 678 Batch Feed uses the Torque Master balanced grinding system which is a combination of computer designed, balanced components working in unison to provide superior torque power and maximum grinding speed. The balanced components minimize noise and vibration. Food scraps are ground into very fine particles and sent down the drain making it safe to use with septic tanks and keeps rotting waste out of your garbage. The batch feed feature allows for easy on/off without the necessity of installing an outside wall switch, Also the control covers the opening during use, making for an even safer and quieter operation. read more

Continuous-Feed

Usually operated by a wall switch, continuous-feed models allow you to add new waste as other waste is being ground up and washed down the drain—speeding up the cleanup process. Because they have open necks, continuous-feed units are more dangerous and can allow bone fragments to fly out. An electrician usually installs this type of disposal.

shop Continuous-Feed
Waste King
$112.00
at Amazon

The Waste King 1001 Legend Series 1/2-HP EZ-Mount Garbage Disposer is one of the best food disposers on the market. With a high-sp...eed 2600 RPM permanent magnet motor, this disposer can efficiently get rid of your food waste. This disposer is also septic safe for properly sized septic tanks, making it environmentally friendly. The fast and easy mount system provides a no-hassle installation and it is dishwasher compatible.Package Content:garbage disposersplash guardmanualwarrantyStainless steel and Celcon sink flangePositive seal stopper, removable splash guard and ABS waste elbowHeavy gauge galvanized steel grind ring, stainless steel swivel impellers and galvanized turntablePermanently lubricated, sleeve-type bearingsManual reset overload protectorHeight 12.68Width 5.18Depth 5.18Weight 7.60ColorOperating SystemBatteries IncludedBatteries RequiredNumber of Batteries 0Battery Type No batteries requiredLanguage EnglishAssembly Required read more

Waste King
$176.00
at Amazon

Finish/Color Options: Silver Waste King Legend Series 9930 3/4 HP 3 Bolt Mounting System Stainless Steel Grinding Components Safe ...for Properly Sized Septic Tanks High Speed-Vortex Powered Motors. read more

Waste King
$303.00
at Amazon

9950 Features: -High speed 2700 RPM permanent magnet motor.-Continuous feed unit.-Sound insulated for quiet operation.-Stainless s...teel, rust free grinding components.-Can be mounted to competitor flanges.-Corrosion proof glass filled polyester grinding chamber.-Professional 3 bolt mount system.-Overload protector: Manual reset type.-Safe for properly sized septic tanks.-UL listed.-CSA certified. Includes: -Includes 36'' power cord. Specifications: -Power: 3/4 HP. Dimensions: -15.16'' H x 9.75'' W, 11 lbs. Warranty: -Waste King provides lifetime corrosion warranty.-Waste King provides 10 year in-home warranty. read more

Product Features

Product Features

All of the garbage disposals sold in the United States are made by only a handful of companies and operate pretty much the same way. However, there are a few important features to look for when comparing models. These features can help ensure reliable performance, as well as improve safety and convenience.

Anti-Jamming Features

Garbage disposals come with a variety of anti-jamming features. Some require you to push a button to reset the motor or use an accessory tool to unclog the unit. More advanced models include an auto-reverse mode that can reverse the motor direction or increase power to clear jams and help prevent them from occurring.

Dishwasher Connector

Most disposal models can be connected to your dishwasher with a hose. This allows you to grind up food particles from your dishes and eliminates the need for prerinsing dishes.

Safety Cover

This cover prevents the garbage disposal from being turned on accidentally. The unit won't operate unless the cover is in place.

Stainless-Steel Components

A stainless-steel grind chamber (which is less prone to corrosion) can increase durability.

Septic-Assist Cartridges

Some units specifically designed for use with septic tanks include special cartridges that release a microorganism into the drain every time food waste is ground up. These microorganisms help break down food waste faster and control odors.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

As you're selecting a garbage disposal, be sure to check for local ordinances that may discourage or limit the use of disposals, as well as evaluate your home's unique plumbing system. The horsepower of the garbage disposal motor has a big impact on performance—so think about what waste materials you'll be throwing in the disposal and how much you'll be using the appliance. Also make sure the model you choose will fit easily under your sink. Here are the key items to keep in mind as you're shopping.

Local Requirements

Before you install a garbage disposal, check with your local sewer authority to make sure your community allows the appliances. Some areas discourage garbage disposals because of inadequate sewer systems or a limited water supply. If you have a septic system, you may need to upgrade it before installing a garbage disposal—and you'll likely need to empty it more frequently once the disposal is in use. Check with your local building inspector or environmental health official about recommendations for your area.

Motor Size

Make sure you choose a garbage disposal with a motor powerful enough to suit your needs. Basic models with as little as 1/3 horsepower are sufficient for households of one or two people or families that don't do much cooking. If you prepare meals frequently, a disposer with a 3/4- or 1-horsepower motor would be a better choice. Models with greater horsepower can handle fibrous materials and bones.

Plumbing Issues

If plumbing clogs and backups are a regular occurrence in your home, be sure to fix these problems before installing a garbage disposal—which may just make the problems worse. If your home has a septic tank sized appropriately for multiple home appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers, it should be able to handle a garbage disposal as well. However, it's generally recommended that homeowners with septic tanks refrain from placing solid, mineralized items, such as eggshells and seafood shells, into the disposal, as these could cause accumulation of sludge and decrease the effectiveness of the septic system.

Warranty

Warranties vary from one year to the lifetime of the unit. Keep in mind that longer warranties will likely add to the price of the unit.

Noise Level

Higher-price models are more likely to have features that help reduce vibration and decrease noise—but even the best model won't be completely quiet. In general, though, larger and heavier models run more quietly.

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