Best Garbage Disposal Air Switches

Top Garbage Disposal Air SwitchesIf you have never heard of a garbage disposal air switch, your first question might be “What on earth is that?” Your second question might be “And why should I want one?”

An air switch allows you to push a button and send a puff of air to the actual electrical mechanism to activate the garbage disposal. This is primarily a safety feature that makes sure you can’t get shocked when operating an electrical device – the garbage disposal – with wet hands.

Since garbage disposals use running water, it’s challenging to make sure your hands are dry at all times while flipping the switch. Being shocked can be more than a minor annoyance. It can involve serious injury.

Secondarily, adding an air switch is a matter of convenience. It allows you to put the switch wherever you want it. Since it does not involve a shock hazard, you can put it in or near your sink.

In contrast, electric garbage disposal switches always need to be placed at least a small ways away from the sink for safety reasons. This can have you reaching uncomfortably far. For some people, this need to reach is a minor annoyance. For others, it is also a safety hazard and a serious burden.

Last, you can pick a finish you like and match it to custom decor. It’s a small thing compared to safety issues and convenience, but such details matter to some people.

1. Cleesink Air Activated Switch Button with Air Hose – Best Price


This easy to install switch works with most brands and models of garbage disposal. It comes in 11 finishes and two lengths.

This is a very basic model. It is the most affordable model on this list. If you just want an air switch and don’t care about any extras, this is a great option.

The air hose is just 5 feet long. It does not include an electrical outlet.

Recommended if budget is a major concern. Also works great as a replacement part if you already have a great set up but something has been damaged.

Pros

  • Compatible with most makes and models of disposal.
  • It comes in 11 different finishes.
  • Easy to install.
  • Best price.

Cons

  • It only has a standard 5-foot long air tube.
  • It doesn’t have an electrical outlet.

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2. Essential Values Garbage Disposal Air Switch – Best DIY-Friendly Air Switch With Dual Outlet


This DIY-friendly air switch comes in four finishes. It has a dual socket outlet and includes a 3-foot long power cord and a 6-foot long air tube.

The dual socket alternates power. They are never both on at the same time. If you switch the disposal on, it cuts power to the other socket. When the disposal goes off, power switches back on for the other socket.

This is a safety feature. It allows you to safely have a garbage disposal, dishwasher and hot water dispenser in the kitchen without risk of overloading the circuits.

Recommended if you want a mid-priced model with some of the extra features and plan to install it yourself.

Pros

  • Extremely DIY friendly.
  • Moderately priced.
  • Dual socket with alternating power.

Cons

  • Limited finish selection.
  • Some customers complain that it gets stuck either on or off.

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3. NORTHSTAR DÉCOR Single Outlet Garbage Disposal Turn On/Off Sink Top Air Switch Kit – Best Color Selection


This model is available in 24 colors and three different styles: Round, Square, and Raised. This makes it the ideal choice if you are trying to match an air switch to your kitchen decor.

It comes with a single outlet. Some customers have noted that the outlet box is unusually large. This may be an issue in some circumstances. If you are trying to fit it into a tight space, measure carefully.

Recommended if you are trying to get a particular look for your kitchen and all the little details matter.

Pros

  • Excellent color selection.
  • Three styles of the button to choose from.
  • Includes a single outlet.

Cons

  • The outlet box may be too large for a tight space.
  • If you have to drill, you may need to drill a larger hole than the instructions advise.

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4. CLEESINK Sink Top Air Switch Kit (SHORT BRUSHED STAINLESS STEEL BUTTON) – Best Standard Flat


This air switch comes in 10 different finishes and is 2 inches long. It’s very flat.

It has a single outlet power module and five feet of air hose. It’s fine if you don’t need extra length hose or an extra outlet.

Recommended if you just need a single outlet model at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Ten different finishes.

Cons

  • The hose length is just the standard five feet.
  • Includes a single outlet.

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5. CLEESINK Sink Top Air Switch Kit, Garbage Disposal Part Built-Out Adapter Switch (LONG BRUSHED STAINLESS STEEL BUTTON) – Best Long Flat


This model comes in 10 different finishes and is 2.5 inches long. It is a longer version of the one above and will fit a deeper countertop.

Like the one above it is a flat button, not a raised button. It also has 5 feet of air hose and a single outlet module attached.

Recommended if you have a deeper countertop.

Pros

  • Ten different finishes are available.

Cons

  • Includes a single outlet.
  • It only comes with the standard 5-foot long air hose.

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6. Etoolcity Garbage Disposal Air Switch Kit – Best Value Dual Outlet Model


This very affordably priced model comes with a dual outlet module. It comes in both stainless steel and brushed steel finishes.

It has one socket that is always on. The other socket is controlled by the air switch. Make sure this is not a safety issue for your kitchen. Alternating power availability is a safety feature on some models that prevents blown fuses.

Recommended if you really want a dual outlet model and price is a major concern. Not recommended if you need the power to alternate between the two outlets for safety reasons.

Pros

  • Very good price.
  • Comes with two outlets.

Cons

  • The always-on outlet may be a safety issue.
  • Limited choice of finishes.

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7. Etoolcity Garbage Disposal Air Switch Kit Sink Top Waste Disposal – Best Value Single Outlet Model


This very affordably priced model comes with a single outlet module. It is available in both stainless steel and brushed steel finishes.

It is the lowest priced single outlet model on our list. It comes with a standard 5 foot long air hose.

Recommended if you want a single outlet model and price is a major concern.

Pros

  • Very good price.

Cons

  • Comes with a single outlet.
  • Limited choice of finishes.

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8. InSinkErator STS-00 Dual Outlet SinkTop Switch – Best InSinkErator Air Switch (Chrome or White)


This high-end model works with all InSinkErator brand garbage disposals. It comes with both white and chrome finishes.

It has a dual outlet module. One socket is always on. The other is activated by the air switch.

Recommended if you have an InSinkErator and want a white or chrome finish button.

Pros

  • Fits all InSinkErator garbage disposals.
  • Comes with two outlets.

Cons

  • This is the most expensive air switch on this list.
  • Limited choice of finishes.

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Buyer’s Guide

Installing an air switch means you will never again accidentally turn on the disposal again when you are really trying to turn on the lights. It can simplify installation when you add a disposal to an older home.

Here are some things you should consider when shopping for the right air switch for your garbage disposal.

Quality of Materials

High-quality materials will impact how long the product lasts. All other things being equal, a higher quality that will keep on working after much use is better than a lower quality product.

If you aren’t the DIY type, you may end up hiring a plumber to install it. If so, you need to factor that extra expense in, on top of the price of the switch itself.

If you will be hiring a plumber, that may change your priorities for your buying decision. You may want to splurge on buying a better switch now to save on having to pay a plumber a second time at a later date to replace it if a cheap one lacks durability.

Hose Length

A long hose gives you more flexibility in where to place the switch. A short hose can limit where you can put it and this limitation cannot really be remedied.

In contrast, if you buy a switch with a long hose and don’t need the extra length, it can readily be trimmed down. The only possible downside to a longer hose is if it isn’t needed and you are trying to follow a Zero Waste philosophy for environmental reasons.

So think about where you want to place it and do some measuring. Ideally, you should know before you buy how much air hose you will need for the button placement.

An air switch is often installed in an existing empty hole intended for a soap dispenser. However, it can also be placed in any number of creative locations. Some people prefer to place it on the front panel of the cabinets or even hide it in a drawer.

Finish

Most switches come in at least a few different finishes. Some have more options than others.

If you have a high-end custom kitchen, the finish may be a high priority for you. Some finishes are more widely available than others. You will need to decide for yourself just how important this detail is to you.

Extras

Some switches are just the switch itself, plus the tubing through which the air passes. Others also come with an attached electrical outlet. When there is an outlet, some have just one socket, but others have two sockets.

If you are adding accessories to your kitchen, this may be your opportunity to add more capacity to plug in a few things. The primary use for the second socket is to add a hot water dispenser at the sink.

It can also be an added safety feature as some of these outlets only allow one socket to operate at a time. This feature can prevent you from overloading circuits and blowing fuses.

Our Best Choice

Our favorite is number 3. NORTHSTAR DÉCOR Single Outlet Garbage Disposal Turn On/Off Sink Top Air Switch Kit. It has 24 different colors and three different button styles.

This allows you to pick a color and style combination that best matches your kitchen decor. For many people, this will be the single biggest detail that sets apart one air switch from another.

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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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