Garbage Disposal Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals can be a clean and easy way to dispose of leftover food. They are simple to use and install as part of your home improvement efforts. Here are some guidelines to help you know which garbage disposal to buy.

>> Consider the two basic types of garbage disposals
The re are two basic types of garbage disposals based on the way they feed: continuous and batch. The continuous kind is the easiest to use and is the type installed in many homes. These disposals have an open mouth where you place the food that you want to dispose of. You simply turn on a switch and the food is taken care of. Batch feed garbage disposals have a chamber where you place the food. You must then close the lid before the disposal is activated. The garbage disposal advantage for batch feed is that it is safer because it will not turn on if you place your hands inside. It also prevents cutlery and other kitchen items from accidentally getting inside.

>> Consider the size of the motor for your home

Another thing you will want look at when deciding how to buy a garbage disposal is what size motor you need. There are a range of garbage disposal sizes, including 1/3, 1/2, 3/4 and 1 horsepower motors. For soft fruits and vegetables, a 1/3 horsepower motor should suffice. However, for larger homes or if you plan on using the disposal for extended periods of time, you might want to consider a higher horsepower motor for your disposal so that it has more power during operation. Do note the fact that motors with less horsepower generally take up less space, and vice versa. For most households, a garbage disposal that is either 1/2 or 3/4 horsepower is more than enough to meet everyday needs while at the same time being small enough to fit under the kitchen sink.

>> Decide if it should be hard-wired or plugged in

Another option you have in determining which garbage disposal to buy is if it comes with an electrical cord that can be plugged in or if it must be hard-wired. If you have an electrical outlet close to the sink, plugging in your garbage disposal will be more convenient. It also allows you to easily disconnect it if you need to work on it for safety. However, if this is not an option, the disposal will need to be hard-wired to your home and should be done by a qualified individual.

>> Look for special features

Many types of garbage disposals come with special features to make them more convenient.

One feature is the auto-reverse to clear jams. Most basic models allow you to use a hex wrench to manually turn the disposal if it gets stuck with food inside. Some models with more horsepower have an automatic feature that does it for you. This allows the jams to clear more easily.

When you are looking at which garbage disposal to buy, you may want to consider one that has a quiet operation, especially if the kitchen is close to other areas of the home.

Another consideration is buying a disposal with a stainless steel grind chamber. This feature will help extend the life of your garbage disposal and help with proper operation.

You might also want to make sure you can hook the disposal up to the dishwasher to allow food that is rinsed off dishes to be ground up in the disposal. This helps prevent your dishwasher from becoming clogged up and promotes a smooth operation of your fixtures and plumbing system.

>> Find out if you have a septic tank or sewer system

Homes with septic tanks can have a garbage disposal, but it requires special consideration. When choosing which garbage disposal to buy, you will want to know if your septic tank can handle a disposal's contents. You can often purchase a cartridge that is placed on the side of the disposal. This cartridge contains a natural microorganism that breaks down food quicker to keep your tank from getting backed up. It can last several months before needing to be replaced.

>> Caring for your garbage disposal

Garbage disposals require very little maintenance, but there are some things you can do to make them last longer and perform better. First, it is important to run plenty of water in the sink when you are using the garbage disposal to ensure all of the food gets washed down the drain. This also helps to prevent jamming in the future and protects your kitchen plumbing and fixtures.

Use a garbage disposal cleaner from time to time to keep your kitchen smelling fresh and clean. Citrus peels down the disposal can also help in this regard. Another option for cleaning your unit, such as popular badger disposals, is to freeze some vinegar in ice cube trays and put them down the disposal.

Lastly, when thinking about care for your garbage disposal, pay attention to what food items you should not put down the disposal. This will depend on the garbage disposal size, but fibrous foods such as celery are not recommended for any types of garbage disposal. Garbage disposals are also not to be used as waste disposers for items other than food.

When you are deciding which garbage disposal to buy, you'll need to think about how you plan to use it and what features you want to have. By caring for your disposal properly, it can last for many years and you can enjoy the garbage disposal benefits of easy disposal of food and a clean kitchen.

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