Garbage Disposals Buying Guide
These handy kitchen appliances eliminate messy food scraps and discourage pestsplus, 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
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.
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.
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Evolution Cover Control Plus 3/4 HP Batch Feed Food Garbage Disposal
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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 drainspeeding 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.
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.
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.
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.
This cover prevents the garbage disposal from being turned on accidentally. The unit won't operate unless the cover is in place.
A stainless-steel grind chamber (which is less prone to corrosion) can increase durability.
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.
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 performanceso 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.
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 disposaland 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.
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.
If plumbing clogs and backups are a regular occurrence in your home, be sure to fix these problems before installing a garbage disposalwhich 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.
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.
Higher-price models are more likely to have features that help reduce vibration and decrease noisebut even the best model won't be completely quiet. In general, though, larger and heavier models run more quietly.
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