Choosing a New Garbage Disposer Unit

water running down sink into garbage disposalChoosing a new garbage disposal seems pretty straight forward, right? Whether you’re remodeling, doing a custom build, or simply replacing your garbage disposal, believe it or not there are some things to consider when choosing the right model to best suit your kitchen needs.

The two main factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a new garbage disposal is the size of your family, and or the intended daily usage. This is will help you determine the desired horsepower of a specific garbage disposal. For example, a family of four will likely generate a lot of kitchen activity and probably require a more robust garbage disposal unit with more horsepower. In contrast a working couple who aren’t home very much, or do much cooking, may not need a unit with much horsepower. However, if one really loves to cook and ends up spending a lot of time in the kitchen then a garbage disposal unit with more horsepower should be considered.

The standard horsepower (hp) motor is typically 1/3, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 – with 1 hp being the highest.

While lower models in the 1/3 – 1/2 range will typically suffice for a small apartment, one should keep in mine that the motor simply isn’t meant to handle much and can therefore make your plumbing more susceptible to kitchen waste clogs. This isn’t to say these units won’t do light jobs just fine, because they will. But to be on the safe side it’s a good idea to consider a 1/2 hp over a 1/3 hp.

A more robust model with a motor of 3/4 hp or 1 hp can handle a good amount of food and kitchen waste, and tend to be higher in price. However, you’re paying for reliability and strength in the event that small bones or hard food scraps get caught in the garbage disposal. These models tend to function longer and are less prone to wear and tear than lower horsepower unit models.

Some features to consider when choosing a new garbage disposal are:

The Blades
Choose a unit with stainless steel blades as these will provide superior grinding power, are less prone to jamming, and will absolutely last longer.

Batch Feed vs. Continuous Feed
Continuous Feed garbage disposals are what most of us here in the U.S are familiar with. These units require cool running water after which you can turn on with the flick of a switch to run the disposal and voila! – your kitchen waste is ground up and disposed of down the drain.

Batch Feed units are a little more complicated. These models require a special plug that is inserted and turned in the drain to activate the unit. Food waste is loaded into the units chamber, then the plug is inserted and turned to actually run the disposal. This model requires more steps and can be a bit  cumbersome, but batch-feed garbage disposals offer a certain amount of safety for those concerned about their children placing their hands down into the drain.

Lastly, consider a model with anti-jamming capabilities and a solid manufacturer’s warranty. In many cases your local plumber or hardware store specialist can offer some guidance when it comes to choosing a garbage disposal that’s right for your household. Many household stores also offer extended warranty options for an extra cost but may offer some benefit .

When it comes to installing your garbage disposal, you can choose the do-it-yourself route, but to make sure you get a secure fit it’s a good idea to hire your local plumbing expert to help you with the install.


North County Plumbing
 has been in the service business since 1970 providing quality plumbing services including leak detection and drain service in northern San Diego County. Our qualified technicians are available 24 hours a day to help with emergency plumbing repair services… with no overtime charges!

If you found this blog helpful, you may want to check out our post “Kitchen Plumbing: From Repairs to Remodeling”

Contact: 1330 N. Melrose Drive, Suite C, Vista, CA 92083 | (760) 735-4900 | (858) 484-4600

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