What Features Should I look for When Replacing My Garbage Disposal?
So you’re in the market for a new garbage disposal. Where do you start? To begin the process, let’s make sure you’re familiar with what you’re looking for! A garbage disposal is one of your handy kitchen friends, helping you by shredding food scraps into small enough pieces that can easily pass through your drain piping and into the municipal sewer system. Located under your kitchen sink between the drain and the p-trap, many homeowners rely on this device on a daily basis.
Strong enough to grind up food waste such as vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, small cooked meat scraps, and certain fruit rinds – and other biodegradable items – your disposal helps reduce stress on the local trash collection system, and also results in fewer plastic bags going right into the trash container. At the same time, it helps reduce the amount of decomposing food going into the trash, and the resulting nasty smells that can drive you from the kitchen!
Most of this is probably common knowledge, but did you know that when it comes to having a new disposal installed, there are options and advanced features available that you should be aware of? Let’s take a closer look.
Know Your Garbage Disposal Design Options
There are two main types of garbage disposals. The first type, referred to as continuous-feed models, are by far the more common product in residential use. The reason for this trend throughout the industry appears to be ease of operation. Continuous-feed disposals are the types of units that you see in virtually all homes that have a garbage disposal. These models use an on/off switch that is typically installed adjacent to or below the sink, and are designed to allow the user to keep the unit running (with cold water!) as food scraps are ground up and rinsed down the drain. Using this type of disposal requires that a definite level of safety be maintained at all times. Children should not be allowed to operate this type of unit.
The other, much less common type of disposal is the batch-feed design, which requires loading the disposal before it is turned on. This is the safest option, because operation of the disposal is contingent upon completing several steps, including securing a special cover over the loaded disposal before the unit can be turned on. Not nearly as convenient to operate as continuous-feed models, or as popular, but certainly the safest design.
Features To Consider
There’s a pretty wide variety of garbage disposals available, from basic, serviceable models, to units that offer the optimal combination of quiet, reliable, durable operation and enhanced performance features. Here’s some things to keep in mind when shopping for a new disposal:
- Grinding Chamber and Blades – Grinding chambers can be made of plastic, steel, or stainless steel; stainless steel is most durable and preferable. Stainless steel grinding blades are also preferable. In addition, there are different size grinding chambers available.
- Horsepower Rating – The motors used in home disposals typically range from 1/3 to 1 horsepower in size/power, and some types of motors are quieter than others. While ‘bigger is better’ insofar as grinding power, make sure that your new unit is properly matched to your needs.
- Noise Reduction – Some of the most popular units feature a number of design features that reduce operating noise. An insulated motor housing, and vibration isolators at the motor mounts, and disposal input and output connections, are design features found in the quietest units.
- Multiple Grinding Stages – For the most efficient grinding and smoothest operation, some units feature multiple grinding stages, allowing you to customize disposal operation for the size and type of waste being handled, delivering the most easily managed waste to your drain and waste system.
- Auto-Reverse – This feature allows the unit to automatically reverse blade direction when detecting a jam in the disposal, often removing the jam without need for further attention.
- Septic-Assist Disposals – For those of us who live ‘off the beaten path’ and have septic systems serving their home, as opposed to being connected to municipal sewer piping, there are garbage disposals designed for your home’s unique needs. Along with multiple grinding stages, these units feature a special injection system that releases beneficial microorganisms into your drain piping, and as a result, into your septic tank and leach field, The beneficial bacteria further assist in breaking down waste, while helping to keep your system happy and healthy.
Seek Professional Advice and Installation!
Save Home Heat Company has been expertly serving the needs of Boulder-Denver area homeowners since 1979. Please call us today for friendly, knowledgeable advice, and dependable, professional installation of a quality garbage disposal that suits the needs of you and your home. Please keep Save Home Heat Company in mind for all of your home heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing needs.