Garbage disposal units have solidified their position as one of the top appliances in a modern, sustainable, eco-friendly household. Praised for their many practical and money saving benefits, they are, without a doubt, one of the best investments that a wise homeowner could make. Below is a list of considerations for any person seeking to buy a garbage disposal.

Horse power

The first thing that you should look at before buying a garbage disposal is the horse power. Just like cars, garbage disposals have a motor – although much, much smaller. The horse power indicates how powerful the motor is and how much it can grind. At present, you can find units with 1/3, 1/2, 3/4 and 1 horse power. We cannot say that one option is superior, because it all depends on your particular requirements. Start by determining the amount of food wastes you and your family typically produces. If you live alone and don’t produce a lot of kitchen waste, you can use a low-power 1/3 HP garbage disposal. These are ideal for light, limited usage (usually just fruits and vegetables). However, you have a large family of 4 or more and you need an appliance that can withstand heavy use, then go for a garbage disposal of 3/4 HP or, better yet, of 1 HP. These are very resistant to daily wear and tear and are powerful enough to grind tough waste such as bones and other hard food scraps.

Grinding stages

The second factor you should keep in mind when purchasing a garbage disposal is the number of grinding stages. In other words, how well the waste is broken down into small particles of liquefied before it passes through your sewage system. You can choose from the following:

  • Single stage grind disposal – before being passed through the sewage system, the waste only goes through one grinding stage. Single stage garbage disposal units are the most inexpensive ones, but they can only handle soft food scraps. Harder scraps such as bones and fruit peels will not be ground, so there is a higher risk of clogging.
  • 2 stage grind disposal – before being passed through the sewage system, the waste goes through two grinding stages. An initial one and then a second one, which turns the waste into very small particles. 2 stage garbage disposal units are usually mid-range priced and they get rid of harder fruit and vegetable peels and even chicken bones.
  • 3 stage garbage disposal – before being passed through the sewage system, the waste goes through three grinding stages. After the first two stages, the food is reduced in particle size, but then is goes through an additional third stage, which grinds it even more into a liquefied state. These appliances are the priciest, but also the most effective, because they grind hard bones, thick fibers, even fruit seeds and rice grains. Therefore they virtually never experience any clogging issues.

Noise level

Garbage disposal noise level can sometimes be an annoyance. Sure, everyone wants a powerful and effective unit, but it comes at the cost of waking up your sleeping baby, maybe it’s not such a good idea. The reason why garbage disposal tend to be quite noisy is that they vibrate when turned on and these vibrations are transmitted to the kitchen counter and the objects on it. The key to reducing vibrations is insulation and anti vibration mounts. Modern appliances employ advanced noise-reduction technologies, so you can use them even your kids are sleeping or when you’re watching TV. To make sure your new garbage disposal is as silent as possible, we recommend reading the garbage disposal reviews on this site.

Batch feed vs continuous feed

Garbage disposal can have a batch feed or a continuous feed. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks:

  • Batch feed units grind waste in batches, not continuously. Models with batch feed come with a stopper, so they are very practical and safe. However, they are only suitable for small amounts of waste, households of one, maximum two people.
  • Continuous feed units grind waste continuously from the moment you press the power button. Not only are they cheaper than batch feed garbage disposals, but they are also heavy duty and they can grind a larger amount of waste.

Warranty

Each manufacturer offers different types of warranties for their products and the length of the warranty is the hallmark of a professional provider. Before investing in a garbage disposal, make sure it has a reasonable warranty that allows you to repair or replace the unit in case it gets damaged. A top of the line product should come with a lifetime warranty for corrosion.

Installation

If you are the DIY type and don’t mind a bit of handy work, then installing a garbage disposal will not scare you. However, if you don’t have the time for this and want the installation to be as stress-free and hassle-free as possible, then we advise you to invest in a garbage disposal that comes with an easy mount system. This includes all the components required to install the garbage disposal at home, using just the instructions in the manual.  If you have no desire to install or replace your garbage disposal we recommend a professional installation.

Cost

Fortunately, the market offers garbage disposal units for all budgets and this appliance is no longer a luxury.  Lower end basic no thrills models can be purchased for under $100 dollars.  Mid-tier and Upper-tier models depending on technology and horsepower can range from around $150 dollars to several hundred dollars.