American Standard 1250 Waste Disposer Review

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The American Standard ASD-1250 Torque Master Kitchen, Garbage and Food Waste Disposer, 1.25 HP with Bio-Shield and Silver Guard combines high horsepower with sound dampening design at a good price point. It is unusual to see this combination of features for the money.

Strength And Speed

The motor is 1.25 HP and runs at 2800 RPM. These figures are on the high side for disposals. They are typically seen in premium models or even industrial models intended for professional kitchens.

It’s uncommon to find this much power in a unit that is so affordable. If you want a high power model without breaking the bank, you’ve found one.

Noise Control

The downside of so much power is that a strong motor plus high speed tends to generate a lot of noise. The company did not overlook this issue. They made sure to adequately insulate it to compensate for the fact that it will generate more noise than average.

So you shouldn’t be worried about the unit being too loud. For example, if you have a baby at home and are worried about waking the child up when you run the disposal, that shouldn’t be a particularly big concern with this unit.

Granted, some babies are fussier than others, so it may still be a problem. But this unit isn’t going to be noticeably louder than average because they made sure to add noise-dampening insulation to the design.

Size

On the downside, the sound-dampening design adds bulk because it’s basically insulated for purposes of reducing the noise. This means it may be too large for a tight space.

For most kitchens, this is probably not significant. Most standard kitchen designs should have adequate room under the sink for this model.

However, it’s worth mentioning because of the Tiny House movement which interests people for either lifestyle reasons or environmental reasons. If you are significantly downsizing to much smaller digs, you may be using space-saving features, such as smaller kitchen cabinets. If you are concerned about the bulk, you should take measurements of the cabinet in question to determine if this will be an issue.

Other Great Features

Unlike most continuous feed models, this unit comes with an electrical cord and plug. This is usually an extra expense for continuous models.

It’s also easy to install. When there is no cord, you need a higher degree of electrical expertise to install it yourself. The unit also has a 3-bolt mounting system that helps make it DIY friendly.

It’s more sanitary than standard designs and also easy to clean. The Splash Guard and Bio Shield inhibit the growth of micro-organisms, yet are easy to remove so you can readily clean the unit.

The grinding system is well balanced. This helps reduce vibration and keep the noise down.

It has a magnetic guard to catch metal utensils and reduce the risk of jams. Of course, it isn’t magic. It’s just magnetic. So don’t get fooled into thinking it will also keep out bamboo spoons or plastic utensils.

Pros

  • At 1.25 HP, it is a high power motor.
  • At 2800 RPM, it is a high-speed model.
  • It has noise-dampening insulation to keep it quiet.
  • Biofilm protection helps keep things sanitary.
  • Good price for strength and speed.
  • The magnetic guard helps keep utensils out of the unit.
  • Includes electrical cord and plug.
  • Continuous feed design.

Cons

  • This is not a batch feed model.
  • The noise-dampening design is bulky, so it may not fit in small spaces.

Buyer’s Guide

Garbage disposals are in a weird little niche of their own as far as kitchen appliances go. They don’t readily compare to either major appliances, nor to small countertop appliances.

Their upfront costs for the product itself is comparable to a lot of countertop appliances, like toasters or microwaves. But, unlike countertop appliances, they aren’t simply plug-and-play items that can be added or removed at will. Instead, they require permanent installation, similar to a built-in stove top or oven,

Installation

If you hire a professional to install your garbage disposal, you will need to factor in that cost when considering your budget. Here’s a tip: If budget is a consideration, find out the installation cost first. It may be more than the cost of the disposal.

Budget

Although budget always matters, this is a situation where you shouldn’t quibble too much about the cost of the actual product. Not only are disposals relatively low cost for an installed appliance, they typically last between eight and fifteen years.

So this is a decision you will live with for a number of years. The fact that it is permanently installed means you are unlikely to remove it and upgrade in a year or two if you get a promotion or find yourself annoyed with the product your chose.

Even if you install it yourself, the installation process itself is a logistically barrier to casually changing your mind. If you hate the toaster you bought and can readily afford to replace it, you can casually pick one up, take it out the box, plug it in and give away the old one. Not so with a disposal.

So you really should choose your disposal based primarily on features, not budget. If budget is a sore point, consider installing it yourself to save a few bucks rather than picking the cheaper model to save just a few bucks and then living with the consequences for years to come.

Here are some of the things you will want to think about when deciding which disposal to purchase:

Feed Type

There are two types of disposals: batch feed and continuous feed. If you did not know there are two, the odds are fairly good that you are only familiar with continuous feed models because they are far more common.

Continuous feed models are a little cheaper than batch feed. This helps make them popular in apartment complexes and other rentals.

This is the type where you turn on the water, flip a switch and start feeding materials through the opening. Batch feed disposals will only run after being stoppered. You first add materials to them, then stopper them and then run water and turn them on. You cannot add new material while they are running.

Continuous feed models are a little more convenient, but also noisier and less safe. If you have small children in the house or other safety concerns, a batch feed model is inherently safer. Batch feed models also tend to be quieter.

On the downside, sometimes people feel like they need to wait until a batch feed unit is full before running it. If it takes hours or days to really fill up, this can attract insects and other unwanted pests. It can also breed germs and begin to smell.

The solution is to just develop a habit of making sure you run it periodically, even if it isn’t actually full. Don’t let it sit so long that it begins to smell.

Continuous Feed

  • Generally cheaper.
  • More convenient.
  • Less safe.

Batch Feed

  • Not as familiar for most people.
  • Generally safer.
  • They use less water.

Noisiness

There are several factors that impact the noise level generated by a disposal. Some of these include the strength of the motor, sound insulation and type of disposal.

Generally speaking, batch feed disposals are quieter than continuous feed models because they cannot be turned on without first closing them with a stopper. This is a safety feature, but it also cuts down on the noise.

More powerful motors are going to tend to be louder than less powerful motors. More sound insulation will reduce how noisy the model is, but at the cost of taking up more space.

If you are working with a tight space, you may need to look for ways to cut down on noise other than sound-dampening insulation. In that case, going with a batch-feed unit or less powerful motor may help with noise in the space available.

Vibrations also impact noisiness. Newer models sometimes come with vibration-dampening features that can make a big difference on the noise level. If you are replacing an old model that has long aggravated you, you may find that just about any newer model will have a less noisy design without any need to specifically look for added noise-dampening features.

Horsepower

This is a measure of the strength of the motor. The higher the horsepower, the more ability it has to handle tough foods and keep going.

If you know you like to toss denser food scraps down the disposal, you will want to get a stronger motor. Otherwise, it’s just a disaster waiting to happen.

At a minimum, you need at least 0.5 horsepower. Disposals with a horsepower of 1.0 or higher are some of your strongest units.

As noted above, one downside of a more powerful motor is that they generate more noise. You may need to make some tradeoffs and decide what matters more to you.

Speed

For garbage disposals, speed gets measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). This refers to how rapidly the blades in the unit turn for the purpose of chopping up food.

Speed impacts that amount of food that you can run through it at one time. If you have a large family or entertain frequently, you will be happier with your disposal if it has a high RPM.

Generally speaking, you will be looking at a range of 1500 RPM to 3000 RPM for garbage disposals, with higher numbers being better. You probably don’t want to buy anything that runs below 1500 RPM. The closer you get to 3000 RPM, the more likely you are to be talking about a high end or even industrial-grade model.

Durability

Because disposals have to have water run through them to work at all, rust is one of the biggest threats to longevity for most disposals. Stainless steel resists rusting and helps the unit last. If you are purchasing a cheaper model, check if it is stainless steel. Sometimes they aren’t.

Smooth-Running Design

The single most common problem for a disposal is getting clogged or jammed. In most cases, this is fairly easy to fix yourself without calling a professional, but it’s a nuisance that can occur at the worst possible time. Who wants to stop in the middle of making a big dinner and deal with a jammed disposal?

A swivel impeller allows for lateral motion. This decreases build-up in the unit, thereby reducing the risk of it getting clogged and jammed.

You can also look for models that provide a two-step process. First, a pre-cutter mechanism preps the material to be ground, then it gets ground. This makes it possible to dispose of tougher items with little risk clogging.

Some models also have an auto-reverse feature that kicks in when a jam occurs. This can dislodge the jam and allow you to keep on trucking without having to stop what you are doing to handle the situation.

Summary

Now that you have a little more context, let’s talk again about the American Standard ASD-1250 Torque Master Kitchen, Garbage and Food Waste Disposer, 1.25 HP with Bio-Shield and Silver Guard. It compares well with most models because it combines a high horsepower, high-speed motor with multiple sound-dampening design features.

These sound dampening features include insulation and a well-balanced, vibration-reducing design. It’s also DIY friendly.

If you are on a tight budget, the low cost plus ease of installation adds up to a low total cost. Many people overlook the cost of professional installation when thinking about their budget. Given the cost of professional labor, this can be a real problem if things are tight.

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Peter Mattson
Peter Mattson / Senior Contributor
A professional plumber. Spent 11 years helping people with their problems. The only author on this blog who wants to share his experience with people and help find the best answers for any question about garbage disposals.
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