Tips for Buying a Garbage Disposal

Buying a garbage disposal isn’t something most people think about doing every day. But there are many good reasons to consider buying a garbage disposal. They cut down on the amount of garbage you send to the landfill each week. There’s less old food left sitting in your trash can to stink up your kitchen. And a garbage disposal can help prevent your sink from getting clogged up by any food that finds its way down the drain.

Whether you’re buying a garbage disposal for the very first time, or you’re replacing an older model, here are some things to consider.

Types of Garbage Disposals

With the traditional, switch-operated garbage disposal, you push the waste down into the disposal, flip a switch, and the waste is ground up. These units are relatively safe, especially if you’ve made sure children can’t reach the switch.

With a continuous feed garbage disposal, there’s no switch-flipping required. These units will start working as soon as you push waste, and sometimes other things, down into them. While this might seem very convenient, it can be dangerous, especially if you have children in your household.

A batch feed garbage disposal will only work if there is waste in the disposal. And the motor won’t start until you insert a turn a special drain plug. A batch feed model would seem to be the safest choice for those who have children.

Check Local Laws

Before buying a garbage disposal, check local laws and plumbing regulations, especially if you have a septic tank. In many areas, there are strict codes regarding the types of garbage disposal you allowed to have, and how they must be installed. And, in some areas, garbage disposals aren’t allowed at all.

Make Sure You Have Enough Horsepower

A garbage disposal should have at least ½ horsepower. That’s enough for most household garbage disposal jobs. But if you expect your garbage disposal to handle tough jobs on a regular basis, like grinding up bones, you might want to spring for a 1 horsepower unit.

Getting Out of Sticky Situations

Sometimes, a garbage disposal will get stuck. And, most of the time, you won’t want to have to stick your hand down there. Get a garbage disposal with an auto-reverse feature, which will help keep the blades from getting stuck.


Installing a garbage disposal is not an easy home improvement project, especially if you don’t have plumbing or electrical experience. So it might be best to have your garbage disposal installed by a professional.

Keep the Noise Down

Some garbage disposal units are quieter than others. So, when buying a garbage disposal, make sure to ask about the noise-level of each model.

Buying the right garbage disposal will not only help you work in the kitchen more easily and efficiently. It will also help to keep your kitchen cleaner.

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