Home Kitchen gadgets and appliances reviews Garbage Disposals What You Should Know About Garbage Disposals

What You Should Know About Garbage Disposals

What You Should Know About Garbage DisposalsThe problem with most old-style kitchen sinks is that they often clog and suffer from blockages. No matter how you try to throw everything in the trash, food particles from dirty dishes and other household waste still fall into the drain pipe, leading to clogging. This problem is quite easily solved with a food waste disposer for a sink.

In this article we will try cover all aspects about garbage disposals. Starting from the history of its invention, how it works and how to maintain it, quick installation and fixing notes, and of course how to choose a best model to match your needs.

Related Post: Best Garbage Disposal Reviews

History of Garbage Disposal

Modern housewives in the USA and most European countries cannot imagine their life without a food waste disposer – installed in the drain hole of a kitchen sink. However, to convince them of the advantages of using this household appliance, it took a lot of time. The story of the Garbage Disposal began back in 1927.

The homeland of the garbage disposal is the United States, and it was invented by Wisconsin-based architect and caring husband John Hammes. In an effort to facilitate the work of his wife’s housework and save her from the regular removal of bulky bags of food waste, he came up with an alternative – grinding and removing it through the sewer. To do this, he constructed a disposer from improvised means, it turned out to be quite noisy and bulky. Nevertheless, he performed the task, and at the same time contributed to the elimination of unpleasant odors in the house.

One of the first garbage disposal advertisement
One of the first garbage disposal advertisement

The first success led the inventor about the possible commercial use of the device. It took years to improve the product, set up serial production and bring the product to market. Not without bureaucratic formalities. The US Health Agency first decided that the new waste disposal method is unsafe and will put an additional strain on the sewer system. However, Hammes went all the way and with the help of numerous examinations proved the right of disposers to exist. In 1935, he still received a patent for his device, in 1938 the company he created together with his sons Ever and Quinten produced and sold the first 52 disposers.

The beginning of the widespread use of garbage disposal was laid in the late 40s of the last century. At this point, not only housewives, but also industrialists realized their advantages. Mass orders from catering enterprises contributed to the development of the entire industry. By the beginning of the 80s, production volumes soared from hundreds of manufactured products per year to tens of thousands per day.

They are now popular in many countries around the globe. But it is worth nothing that in some countries, such as Finland and Germany, they are not popular, since the waste there is carefully sorted and then used to produce various fertilizers.

How does a Garbage Disposal operate?

The food waste disposer is a strong cylindrical metal housing, inside of which there is a crushing disk. The disk is rotated by an electric motor located in the lower part of the housing. Considering the environment in which the device has to work, the disk is made of stainless steel, which is characterized by increased resistance to corrosion. This means that the waste grinder for the sink is not afraid of any aggressive substances that can be found in the kitchen.

How does a Garbage Disposal operate?The process of grinding waste is very simple. It enters the chamber of the device through the drain hole of the sink, and then, under the action of the centrifugal force of the disk, they are pressed against the walls of the cylinder and are ground. A special fixed grater is used for grinding, mounted on the inside walls of the device. From the grinder chamber, waste through a drain pipe goes directly to the sewer.

Best way to use and maintain a Food waste disposer

Best way to use and maintain a Food waste disposerUsing the garbage disposal is very simple, but for the most efficient and long-term operation, it is recommended to perform the following procedure:

  • turn on the water
  • turn on the waste shredder
  • send waste to the sink drain
  • turn off the chopper after completion of its work, when the noise of the crushed waste subsides
  • turn off the water after a short period of time

There are also a number of things that you should not do with the device if you want it to last as long as possible. This mainly concerns items that cannot be thrown into the dispenser:

  • Metal, glass and plastic. It is simply impossible to grind them, so avoid getting into the drain hole.
  • Plastic bags and other packaging. Also included are rubber products and other plastic materials that are difficult to grind. They do not grind properly and can clog the drain pipe.
  • Threads, ropes and hair. These materials can easily wrap around the motor shaft and lead to premature failure.

How to choose a Garbage Disposal to suit your needs

The purchase and the choice of garbage disposal should be approached thoroughly, otherwise everything can turn out to be useless costs and disappointment. In this regard, the question has become relevant: how to choose a perfect device and what to look at.

So, there are 6 main points that you should pay special attention to:


The brand of household appliances no longer has its former importance to the consumer, as it often does not correlate directly with product quality. However, in the case of disposers, it is precisely on it that special attention should be paid. Today in the world there are only two companies specializing in the production of waste shredders – Anaheim Marketing International and Emerson. The first one has been producing dispensers under the BoneCrusher brand since 1958, and the second one has been producing InSinkErator shredders since 1937. It is the products of these two companies that have been considered the best for decades, and their reliability and quality are confirmed by long warranty periods for all products.


The parameter of the waste shredder, which determines its productivity and energy consumption. For models used in everyday life, the optimal power is 400-600 watts. More powerful instances create an increased load on the power grid and consume more energy, especially when starting up and loading, have impressive dimensions and weight, and also create strong vibrations during operation, which limits the possibility of installation on some types of sinks. Less powerful disposers will most likely not be able to handle solid waste.

Speed ​​of rotation (number of revolutions).

This characteristic directly affects the speed of the device. The higher the number of revolutions, the faster it processes the waste, which helps to reduce water consumption and the time during which the device makes a particularly loud noise. In this regard, the InSinkErator Disposers are the undisputed leaders, with an engine shaft of 2600 rpm. It should be noted that the speed depends not only on engine power, but also on its type.

Noise level.

This parameter determines the comfort of operation of the device and depends on the power of the engine used and the quality of sound insulation. The manufacturers of garbage disposals pay special attention to this, constantly improving the design of the case and actively using soundproof materials, therefore, when idling without products, they create a noise level of no more than 40 dB. Basically, the noise level depends on the property and density of the processed food waste. Budget models of little-known brands are characterized by the use of cheap materials and a simplified design, so they usually have a similar parameter of more than 70 dB.

Included components.

In addition to the device itself, the complete set of instruments of well-known brands includes additional accessories that increase the convenience of its use. Usually this is a magnetic ring that prevents cutlery and other metal products from entering the crushing chamber, a pusher lid, etc. As an additional option, you can buy a remote control, it will allow you not to mount the pneumatic button in an expensive countertop and will prevent uncontrolled use of the device by young children.

Convenience of installation.

The WasteKing and InSinkErator grinders are mounted on the sink using a patented universal fastening system, which is highly reliable and allows easy installation and dismantling of the device in the future or its quick replacement with another model. In the grinders of food waste of other brands, various types of fasteners are used, as a rule they are not distinguished by high reliability and convenience.

How to install a Garbage Disposal

Installing the disposal under the sink on your own, without calling the plumber is quite possible. As a rule, all the necessary spare parts are supplied with the device, and the engineering skills that are needed for installation are minimal. The main thing is to consider a number of important points.

Firstly, the food waste disposer for the sink is connected to the mains and mounted under the sink. And this means that high humidity cannot be avoided. The socket for connecting the device must be earthed and protected against moisture.

Secondly, most garbage disposals are designed to be installed on a drain hole of specific standard. If the drain hole of your sink does not meet the standard, then it must be increased.

And, thirdly, it is not necessary to connect a corrugated pipe for the withdrawal of food waste into the sewer. Waste may remain between its folds, and this leads to the appearance of an unpleasant odor and the growth of bacteria. Therefore, preference is best given to a pipe with smooth walls.

Our team of experts wrote an ultimate guide about garbage disposal installation, so you can get all the details and all answers to any questions.

How to Repair a Garbage Disposal

Cleaning and removing clogs. Garbage disposal fights the formation of clogs in the sewage system, but sometimes it itself needs to be cleaned from time to time. You can normalize his work with your own hands.

Before you start disassembling, you need to look at the scheme in the instructions of your disposal. If the installation was done with your own hands, then there will be no problems in disassembly.

From the tools you’ll need a hexagon, which comes in a complete set, it should be stored next to the disposer.

Work sequence:

— The disposal has to be switched off by an automatic switch.
First you need to look inside and consider what clogged the device.
— If possible, you can pull out the lid in the sink.
— A hex key or a wooden spoon is inserted into the chopper and this probe is used to search for blockage. If a bone or other solid object is detected, it must be pushed into the sewer.
— After that, testing is carried out, if the work is normalized, this means that the clog was eliminated.

Problems in the flywheel. Issue symptoms:

— Leaking from the bottom of the disposer. In this case, a replacement of the flywheel is necessary.
— The wheel does not spin. In this case, you cannot turn on the garbage disposal for longer than 10 seconds – this will lead to overheating of the motor.
— Disconnect the device, use the hexagon to loosen the flywheel and remove any debris. If the problem persists, you need to unscrew the wheel completely and get to the cutting mechanism. If there is a clog — remove it.

In most cases you can fix a garbage disposal by your own, see the more detailed instructions in this article.

Cost to Install a Garbage Disposal

In order to properly install a food waste disposer in the sink, the contractor will need from two to three hours. Hourly rate is from 20$ to 70$. If a handyman or a plumber charge a callout fee in addition to labor cost — then the total price will be higher.

Cost vary from a type of a disposer, brand, your kitchen conditions, wiring, sink etc.

Before installing a disposer, a plumber or a handyman (depends whom you will call) will turn off the water and electricity. Make sure there is a free outlet at a small distance from the sink, plumber will calculate the appropriate place to install the on / off button in a place inaccessible to children.

Read more about average costs to install or replace a garbage disposal in our review.Last Updated:

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