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How to Select the Right Garbage Disposal for Your Home

How to Select the Right Garbage Disposal for Your Home

How to Select the Right Garbage Disposal for Your Home

If you are like most people, you have never really thought too much about your garbage disposal. You know it is there, deep down inside your kitchen sink, and as long as it does its job you probably just take it for granted. The truth, though, is that there is more to the selecting the right garbage disposal than you may think.

Size Matters

Yes, garbage disposals come in different sizes, and the size of your sink and the amount of use the unit is likely get will help to determine the size disposal that is right for you. Obviously, if you have a large sink and intend to use the unit a lot, you will want a heavy-duty disposal; for a smaller sink and limited use, a standard-size device will do.

How Much Horsepower Is Needed

Most builders use a basic, low-cost disposal with a 1/3 horsepower motor in new construction. These builder-grade devices work well, but they are certainly not built to last. Higher-end disposals have more power – sometimes as much as one horsepower. With stainless steel inner components, you never have to worry about rust. Some deluxe garbage disposals are even equipped with an auto-reverse feature that dislodges objects like silverware or bones before they can cause the armature to overheat, which may break the device.

You can find a wide range of disposals that fall between the basic entry level model and more sophisticated systems. If your home’s plumbing is connected to a septic tank, you can even purchase a specialty device that squirts an enzyme solution down the drain when you run the disposal so waste is broken down before it gets to the septic tank.

Proper Usage

No matter how powerful your garbage disposal is, if you use it improperly it is not going to last.

For most of us, the sound of the garbage disposal motor tells us when food has been ground up. We listen for that slight change in pitch, then shut off the disposal and turn off the water. This can actually be bad for your disposal and your plumbing; some of the waste the disposal has just created can get stuck in the drain line that leads to the drain trap under the sink, and if this builds up you may need to call a plumber to clear the blockage as most commercial drain cleaning products cannot be used with a garbage disposal.

Instead, let the water run for a few seconds after you turn off the disposal. This allows water to flow into the pipes and flush the disposal waste down the pipes and out to the sewer or septic tank. If you are washing a large load of dishes or pots and pans, you can also time the usage of the disposal so that it runs when the water drains from the sink after you have finished washing. The sudden rush of water acts like a flushing toilet, and food debris is pushed further down the pipes.

Taking some time to think about the size and features you need in a garbage disposal and ensuring it is always used properly will guarantee your disposal will keep working unnoticed for years to come.