No kitchen is complete without the convenience of a garbage disposal. This guide will focus on are “Waste King” and “InSinkErator” manufacturers. These brands are known for their quality and a long time exploitation period.
You probably have plenty of questions before plunking down a big chunk of money on one. How will you know if a model is known to break down? Are there any questions about what type of feed is better? Or maybe it is important to know which will make the least noise? By the end of this guide, you’ll feel comfortable buying the best garbage disposal for you.
Best Garbage Disposals – Comparison Table
What Does A Waste Disposer Do?
A garbage disposal, easily installed under your kitchen sink, grinds up scraps and other food waste for easy disposal down the drain. Almost half of all American homes are equipped with a garbage disposal and most consider it to be an indispensable convenience.
Whether you are buying a new unit for the first time or replacing a worn-out machine, we have over 10 years’ experience helping families purchase and maintain high-quality garbage disposals. Our goal is to make sure you know as much as possible about selecting, operating, and maintaining your new garbage disposal, so you can choose the best unit for your family.
Why Do People Buy Food Waste Disposals?
Once you have installed a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you will notice immediately how much time and effort you save in after-meal clean-up. If your unit has recently broken down, you are probably finding that scraping plates into the garbage pail and constantly having to clean food waste out of the sink drainer feels like a messy and unappealing chore. Less food waste in your trash can also cut down on odours, bugs and other pests.
How to Pick the Best Disposals on the Market?
The size of your family, and how much you cook and entertain, are important considerations when purchasing a new disposal. If you do lots of cooking, we recommend the purchase of more powerful model that can easily handle your family’s needs. Think about what kinds of foods you will be putting down the unit. Fibrous, raw vegetable matter, for example, and bones, require more power to grind up than cooked food scraps. You will definitely appreciate the convenience of having a disposal that can handle a wide variety of foods.
Before purchasing and installing a new garbage disposer, it’s important to check any county or municipal policies regulating home garbage disposals in your area. Some cities require new homes to be equipped with these units while others ban home garbage disposals due to insufficient water or sewage treatment systems.
Households that depend on a septic system will want to make sure their septic tank can handle the added refuse produced by a garbage disposal. You will need to check on the current storage capacity of your septic tank. Some experts discourage the use of garbage disposals with a septic system but as long as capacity is sufficient, you shouldn’t have a problem. Some units are designed to be used with septic systems, so be sure to investigate that option, if applicable.
You will also want to be sure you choose a model that is compatible with your kitchen plumbing, including drainage pipe configuration, and the size of your sink. If your kitchen sink tends to back-up frequently, a garbage disposal may cause you more problems if not addressed ahead of time. You will have a much better outcome if you take care of existing problems before installing a new disposal. More powerful models tend to have a bigger canister, so be sure to check the amount of space under your sink before you try to install a larger unit. Manufacturer ads will list canister dimensions, important information about drain and pipe connections, and details about electrical set up.
Garbage disposals have received some mixed reviews over the years in terms of environmental impact. While decreasing the burden on local landfills and cutting down on the production of methane gas, sending refuse down the drain uses more water and electricity, and puts additional strain on your septic system or your local sewage treatment plant. As grinding efficiency has improved, however, environmental concerns have been largely put aside.
Some families maintain a home composting system or your city may offer compost collection along with weekly garbage pick-up. Families that dispose of a significant percent of household food refuse through composting, may feel they can make do with a lower capacity unit. Even if you or your town has a compost system, some foods are not compostable, Food waste that is not composted will tend to consist of harder substances, like bones, so a machine with plenty of power is still the best choice.
If you have young children at home, safety will be your top priority when choosing a disposer. In this case, you will want to choose a batch feed garbage disposal, which is designed to prevent accidents. Since this unit type cannot be turned on until a rubber stopper is secured over the disposal opening, it eliminates the chance that a young child could reach down into the disposal while it’s running. With this model type, you will also not need to worry about utensils or other non-food items slipping down into your disposal while it’s running. You can find more details about the two types of garbage disposals, continuous feed or batch feed, below.
Quality and Cost
How much money you feel comfortable spending on a new unit will also help narrow your choice. The price can be from $50 to more than $600, and it comes at several levels of horsepower. Most experts warn that models with too little horsepower may not be powerful enough for most household use. An insufficiently powerful unit can even cause pipes to clog. Generally, more powerful units also come with a higher-capacity canister.
You can best gauge the horsepower you need by the number of people in your household, and how much cooking you do. For two to four people, in a household with average waste disposal demands, a 3/4 horsepower should work well. Once a household gets above six or seven people, a more powerful unit, of at least 1 horsepower, is a better choice. Manufacturers and dealers can help you make a final determination of the disposal capacity you need.
It is generally best to buy the best quality disposal you can afford. Better quality machines have a superior grinding capacity, tend to be quieter, and will last longer without experiencing problems. The two manufacturers in North America we recommend are Insinkerator and Waste King. Both offer a range of powerful models.
Maintenance Reviews and Warranties
Many smart shoppers take the time to check maintenance reviews before purchasing new home appliances. Additionally, it is also a good idea to look into the warranty that comes along with the model you are considering. Some machines come with 1-year warranties that include parts only, while other warranties may include parts and labor. Some companies offer extended warranties at a cost, which may or may not be worth it, depending on how much you paid for the disposal. It is probably not worth paying for extra warranty coverage if you purchase an inexpensive model.
In case of problems or defects with a model, you will want to make sure to keep your warranty information handy. Waste King’s warranty promises to replace or repair a defective unit within the warranty period. Insinkerator guarantees in-home servicing during the entire period of its limited warranty. Depending on the quality, units should last without trouble, from 5 years for cheaper models, to 12 years, for more expensive machines.
1. Waste King Legend Series 1 HP (L-8000) — Our Best Choice — $$$
The EZ mount system makes replacing an old disposer an easy task. Another plus is that the splash guard is easy to take off. This makes cleaning the unit much less complicated.
Please note, that it is a large unit. This helps for those who want to grind lots of waste at once. People with tiny kitchens should be careful to check if it fits well. Also, some people may dislike the way the decorative metal flange ring looks. The blades may also make a slight click when the machine first starts.
This is one of the most highly recommended units on the market if you are looking for durability, power, and a lifetime warranty. It costs less than similar models on the market. You also get the power cord unlike some of them. It is usually offered at great value.
2. InSinkErator Evolution Excel 1.0 HP – Best Heavy Duty Disposal — $$$
If you need a heav-duty disposal, this may be a good place to start. Food will easily be chopped up. The only thing in the kitchen it wouldn’t toss is your silverware. While it can easily slice through chicken bones, silverware or knives can shorten the life of your unit.
The food goes through three stages of grinding. Waste will go down through the pipes as a fine liquid that won’t clog your sewage system. You can load large amounts of waste into the big chamber at once.
To put it simply, high quality often comes with high price. Those who want something that is very powerful and works for a long time may desire to take a look here first.
3. InSinkErator Badger 5XP 3/4 HP — Best Cross-Functional Garbage Disposal — $$
Here’s a similar one to the last InSinkErator model. It simply has a little less horsepower. For most purposes, it will still be much stronger than a typical garbage disposal. Sacrificing a bit of extra horsepower makes it a bit more appealing for those who are seeking for a bargain.
Badger models also have a decent reputation for durability. When you run this device, it will sound more like a hum.
It is a solid piece of machinery offered at a reasonable value. It has a one year longer warranty than the regular Badger 5. You would be correct to see it as a turbo-charged Badger 5.
4. Waste King Legend Series 1/2 HP (L-1001) — Good Value Model — $
This device comes from a brand with a strong reputation. Waste Kings are arguably a bit more reliable if you have time to go deeper into researches via the internet. The strong motor that can take care of many common kitchen scraps. Just don’t throw any bones in this one even for a test. It is not prone to jamming either. Another good feature is that this is a continuous feed too.
It comes with only a two-year warranty. The ½ HP Legend Series makes up for it by having a reputation for lasting more than five years.
If you are looking for an easy to install the unit, this one may suite your needs. The directions are fairly clear. All you have to do is mount it and plug the cord into an outlet. Everything needed to install this food waste disposal comes with the box.
This unit also is offered at a very good value compared to how powerful it is. Space under the sink will be saved and it generously includes an easy to plug in power cord. It would be fair to call it a useful unit.
5. Waste King Legend Series 1/2 HP (L-2600) — Good for the Price — $
While it is pretty similar to the L-1001, it has a few important differences. First of all, it comes with a 5-year warranty instead of only two. This shows that Waste King isn’t worried about this model breaks down. The device is also a continuous feed, which is good for a customer. It uses the EZ Mount system for the installation.
When you turn it on, there will be a kind of a click. It runs fairly quietly for a smaller unit. Compared to many InSinkErators, it is generally a bit noisier.
There is one slight trade-off to note. The splash guard that prevents utensils from falling in also makes it hard for food to fall in. This might force you to use a dirty fork or something to push the flaps for the food to fall in. These flaps become less rigid over time.
To sum it up, it will handle most needs. If you are looking for something lower priced, straightforward to install, and doesn’t make tons of noise, considering buying this model is a good idea.
6. InSinkErator Badger 5, 1/2 HP — Best Budget Garbage Disposal — $
The chamber is normal sized, so there are no problems with over cramming it with food. Installing it is not very difficult either. The main challenge most people face is holding it up while they turn the metal ring. A possible solution is placing a stack of books or another solid object underneath.
Unfortunately, the power cord goes separately with this food disposal unit, so it is required to add it to the cart together with the disposal. Other than that, the installation is quite easy.
7. InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP — Best Garbage Disposal for Home — $
It is a bit larger than the 1/3 HP model, so you may want to check if it fits the sink. Like many other models, the ¾ Evolution Compact is a quick install model. All it generally requires is a bit of plumber’s putty for porcelain sinks. The rest is included.
It is not the most durable food waste disposer around. This may come from being a newer model. By the time you are reading this, the issues may be ironed out. InSinkErator is one of the leading garbage disposal brands, so it is surprising to hear of these problems. Luckily it comes with a four-year warranty.
A bit annoying factor is that the power cord doesn’t come with this food garbage disposal unit. Water in the sink may be slow to drain since this disposal doesn’t have as much suction power. Another slight drawback is that food might not always fall down through the rubber baffle’s flaps. Many people fix that issue by pouring water directly down or giving a careful nudge with some silverware.
To wrap it up, this unit offers higher than average power. The drawback is that it has a slight reputation for being unreliable. This is a good garbage disposal for home.
8. The 1/2 HP InSinkErator Badger 5 — Popular Pick Among People — $$
It is a simple install garbage disposal. The power cord comes with it too. If you are replacing a previous Badger, then the installation will be almost seamless. InSinkErator also offers an explanation video over here on its website. The page has both a video and written instructions.
Most items will be ground up fairly well by the Badger 5. However, fiber-rich and tough scraps may be a slight struggle to grind. You’d just have to continuously feed it in a bit more slowly. The 2-year warranty is not too much, so be careful.
This is a pretty popular model. Reliability shouldn’t be an issue. It offers a good bargain for those looking for modest power at an affordable price.
9. Waste King Legend Series 1/3 HP with Power Cord (L-111) — Okay Model — $
The unit is so compact it will fit nearly any sink. The installation process and maintenance are very easy. This waste disposal model goes with a power cord, so there is no need to spend extra money to buy it. The installation is even easier since this model is lighter than its competitors. Stainless steel sinks won’t even need plumber’s putty since the kit comes with rubber gaskets. Porcelain sinks simply will need a bit of plumber’s putty.
The main issue is that the warranty is not very long. But what to expect from a lower-tiered and less powerful model?
Overall, this is a cheap and easy to maintain garbage disposal. You can even remove the splash guard for easier cleaning. Just be warned that the warranty is only two years. That may not matter since it is so cheap anyhow. A landlord with kitchen sinks may find this a good pick. Or, if you have a smaller sink and don’t use your machine often, you could take a look at one of these (Cheap Garbage Disposals).
10. InSinkErator BADGER1CORD 1/3 HP — Good Disposal for the Money — $
Cheap garbage disposals like this can be both good and bad. Such a model will fit better under cramped sinks. But, it will be able to fit less food. Since it is lighter, it will be a bit louder.
It doesn’t require a skilled plumber for the installation. Everything you will need comes with it. If you are replacing an old model, it will slide right in.
If there is no need to use a machine often, this may be worth to look at.
11. InSinkErator PRO750 Pro Series 3/4 HP — 2nd People Choice — $
Installation might be more complicated than other units. This garbage disposal doesn’t come with a cord. Make sure to buy one with it. The other installation issue is that it is fairly heavy and may be difficult to hold. You can put a car jack or a wood block to hold it for you during the installation. As long as you follow the instructions that come with it, there is no chance to run into other issues. The instructions are pretty easy to follow.
Since it’s a top of the line model, it tends to last much longer for its users. This one will provide the best combination of power, little noise, and simple installation.
There are some issues we have to point out. You may have to push down on the splash guard to help it drain at times. The purpose of the guard is to keep forks and knives from falling in. Some good news is that this part will soften over time. That will help with drainage issues and any issues will go away.
The PRO750 series offers high-end value and performance. It is less expensive than the InSinkErator Evolution Excel and boasts similar grinding ability. Those hunting for a powerful and quiet unit should take a look at this model.
Here are the most important factors to keep in mind before buying any waste disposal:
Reliability – Saving From Plumbing Problems
Some garbage disposal models have been around longer than others. This affects their known track record of reliability. This guide will let you know if certain models have a poor build quality to save you a headache.
Experts say not to pour grease or spaghetti down to such units. These things may pass the food waste disposal while still clogging the pipes underneath. It is also best to avoid throwing bones down to such units. Even though it may handle chicken bones, it’s best to be careful.
Garbage Disposal Types
Making your purchase: Now that you know what your priorities are, it’s time to start searching for the garbage disposal that meets your needs. They come in two types, continuous feed and batch feed. It is important to understand the differences between the two types, and the pros and cons associated with each. There are also models designed to be compatible with households on a septic system. They use a combination of grinding waste and employing micro-organisms to break down refuse.
Continuous Feed Models
They are operated by turning on a switch near your sink. This type of disposal allows you to feed food refuse into the disposal while the unit is running.
- Convenience: Refuse can be fed down the sink and disposed of quickly, streamlining the process of meal prep and cleanup.
- Cost: Continuous feed units cost less than batch feed models. Their lower cost and ease of operation make continuous-feed the most popular type of disposal. Because of their popularity, there are lots of models to choose from.
- Safety: This type carries the risk of someone reaching down the drain while the unit is running, or of non-food items slipping in and getting ground up. Although equipped with a rubber shield at the opening, food particles and water may occasionally spray out while the disposal is running.
- Noise: The continuous feed disposal tends to be louder since the opening to the drain is not completely covered. The rubber shield, mounted into the drain opening offers limited noise reduction. The best way to counter noise is to purchase a high-quality machine.
- Utility Usage: Because continuous feed models use more electricity and water, people who live in drought areas or carefully track their water and electricity usage, may be concerned about the utility usage of the continuous feed machine.
Batch Feed Models
These machines require a rubber stopper to be inserted over the opening of the unit before it can be turned on. The stopper is equipped with a metal handle which you must turn to start the machine.
- Safety: The inherent safety feature that requires insertion of the rubber drain stopper over the disposal before turning the unit on, makes the batch feed model the safest choice in waste disposals. Many families, especially those with young children, will choose this type of disposal. The batch feed model also eliminates the chance that someone could drop a useful or valuable item into the machine while it’s running.
- Noise: Since the rubber stopper does a better job muffling noise than a rubber shield, the batch-feed model tends to be quieter.
- Cost: Batch feed units are more expensive than continuous-feed models.
- Convenience: Clearly the added steps required to turn on this type of disposal cuts down on convenience. There are also a few versions of such type to choose on the market
- Odors and sanitation: There is a tendency for owners of batch feed disposal to leave refuse in the disposal for later elimination. These disposals will sometime develop an odor while the growth of germs and bacteria can also be a concern.
Comments on type: While batch-feed disposals are more popular, both types can do a great job grinding up and disposing of food waste. If you have small children in the house, you will probably value safety over convenience. More expensive models, whether continuous feed or batch feed will often have noise quieting features built into the machine. Both types of disposals offer a similar range of models in terms of power and quality.
Follow the link to find more information about continuous feed vs batch feed garbage disposals.
Some will be noisier than others. A lot of people look for a quite garbage disposals. Some even come with special sound absorbing chambers. Bigger units also tend to make less noise since they shake less.
The thickness of a sink will make a big difference too. Stainless steel sinks tend to be thinner than porcelain sinks. If you have a thinner sink, it is recommended to look at units that are quieter. A heavy duty sink will be able to dampen more of the noise.
With more horsepower, the motor will spin faster. That means the food will be sliced much more quickly. It will be possible to get rid of tough peels much more easily. For the sake of your eyes, we’ll shorten horsepower to “HP.”
Here is the list of garbage disposals separated by HP:
A feature known as the auto reverse is great for preventing or handling jams in the system. This feature, which clears jams by reversing the rotation of the grinder, is automatic in some models but, in others, manual control is required.
Stainless Steel Grinding Chamber
Higher-end garbage disposals usually come with a stainless steel grinding chamber, which is superior to other materials, such as aluminum. Stainless steel is less likely to corrode over time.
Disposals come with 1, 2, or 3 grinding stages. The more stages your disposal employs, the more finely ground waste will be when it reaches the sewer treatment plant or your septic system.
Ease of Installation
Disposals that come equipped with an electric cord will be less complicated to install, especially if you are taking on the project yourself, and want to avoid the task of hand wiring. Models that come with a quick-mount neck will be much easier for someone working alone to install.
Some garbage disposals offer a dishwasher connection which sends food particles collected in the dishwasher through your sink disposal. Many dishwashers, however, are already equipped with a small disposal system, which eliminates the need for this feature.
Installation of Garbage disposal
Can I Install a Waste Disposal Myself? As mentioned above, different models have differing installation requirements. If you are handy, with the ability to do electrical and plumbing work, you may be able to install the unit yourself. Installing a food waste disposing machine in a single sink is easier than in a double sink, where you have to contend with an extra pipe connection. If you are not handy, it would be best to get professional help with installation.
There are a lot of questions about the installation of garbage disposals. We’ve made a complete guide for you with examples and step-by-step instruction about how to install a garbage disposal. Please, check it out.
Care and Maintenance of Your New Machine
How does a Disposal Work?
Your garbage disposal is a pretty simple machine, consisting of a metal or plastic canister, or housing, which holds a motor that connects to a metal grinding plates, or impellers, which use a set of blades to begin the process of cutting down food waste. As the food is broken up, the spinning action of the grinder, and the water flushing through the system, sends the refuse to the edges of the plate. There it is further mashed by passing through a textured grinding ring. Finally, the ground-up refuse is washed into the drain pipe through holes in the ring. Understanding the basics will help you anticipate problems and avoid them.
In order to get the best performance out of your new garbage disposal, and avoid jams in the unit or clogs in the drain pipe, it’s important to consult the manufacturer’s instructions. Models differ in their capacity to handle certain foods, such as fruit and olive pits. If you have purchased a powerful disposal, you should have no trouble grinding up most foods. More caution is needed with lower horsepower models that may baulk at attempts to grind up chicken bones, pits, and fibrous vegetables, like celery. There is a long list of foods that were once considered inappropriate for any garbage disposal, including eggshells, pasta, bones, mashed potatoes, and fibrous vegetables. Today’s disposals can handle most of these foods, so you can feel safe following the instructions that come with your model.
How to Clean and Maintain Garbage Disposals?
If some bad smell appeared in the kitchen, you should check the waste disposal first of all. It is probably not clean enough. We’ve created an interesting guide for you about how to clean a garbage disposal. Please, check it out, you may find a lot of useful information which can be used to clean the model.
Tips to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running Well.
- Follow manufacturer’s advice about what foods your model can handle. Do not put grease and fats, like hot bacon grease, down your disposing machine. Once grease cools and solidifies, it may clog your drain.
- Don’t stress the unit by tossing large pieces of food down the drain.
- Always run cold water while the unit is on. Cold water is recommended because it hardens food and makes it easier for the disposal to grind it up.
- Run the unit frequently, especially if you have a batch-feed model. This helps keep the disposal clean and avoids odour and bacteria buildup.
- To freshen the drain and the disposal unit, periodically grind up a lemon rind. You can also use a combination of vinegar and baking soda.
- It is generally advisable to run the garbage disposal before you start your dishwasher. In most kitchens, the dishwasher and sink share the same drainage system. Clearing out the machine first will prevent water and food from backing up into the sink during the dishwashing cycle.
Leaking Garbage Disposal
If your garbage disposal begins to leak, the location of the leak will determine how difficult the repair will be and whether you can do it yourself. A leak in the sink flange, for example, usually comes from a damaged gasket and is an easy replacement. Leaks can also come from seals or pipes under the sink, cracks in the body, or problems where the disposal and dishwasher connect to the drainpipe. Once you determine the source of the leak, you will know what kind of help you need.
Disposal is Not Turning on
If the disposal won’t turn on at all, it may have gotten unplugged or you may need to reset the unit. Your instruction manual will direct you to the reset button. If you have checked those two possibilities and the unit still won’t turn on, you need to seek professional assistance.
If the disposal makes a humming noise, but won’t grind up refuse, there is probably something, like a piece of bone, or a pit, probably jammed in the grinding plates.
Problems with drainage are usually caused by a clog in the drainage pipe itself. A drain cleaning product may clear the clog. Be sure to use a drainer cleaner that is safe to use with disposals. If that doesn’t work, the clog will need to be cleared by opening up the drain pipe. If you are handy, you can probably take care of this repair yourself.
Additional troubleshooting information should be included in your owner’s manual.
Summary – What to Keep in Mind?
Each item we have listed has many different features.
- The most important factor is horsepower. You don’t want the frustration of having to wait forever for something like a lemon peel to be shredded.
- After that, keep reliability in mind. Some models are cheaper, but they come with the catch of lasting a shorter amount of time.
- Warranties are also important since you want to be protected in case there is a factory defect with this unit.
- Don’t forget to keep in mind how much noise a unit makes. Some units are specifically designed to be nearly silent for those who like to hear themselves think.
- Others skimp on including important things such as power cords. This adds the hassle of having to order it separately or learning how to direct wire your disposal.
Final Words – Conclusion
If you are looking for the best blend of features, you may consider the Waste King Legend Series 1 HP (L-8000). It comes at a deal for being so long lasting, easy to install and powerful. A lifelong warranty can’t hurt either.
We hope this article has provided you with all the information you need to move forward with your food waste disposer purchase. Many people consider their disposal to be one of their most useful kitchen appliances. A disposal will help streamline kitchen clean-up and cut down on the garbage you throw in your trash can. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.