How to Select the Best Garbage Disposal Unit

Not all garbage disposals are the same and there are many factors you have to take into consideration before buying. Let’s look at a few tips on how to choose the best garbage disposal unit for you. We’ll also give you general guidelines to determine what you want and need and narrow down the potential options to what will work for you and your particular situation.

Research the Rules and Regulations

Yes, you may need to worry about rules and regulations before you install a garbage disposal. It may be a violation of your lease to put one in your apartment. Your jurisdiction may forbid garbage disposals because of the strain they put on the sewer system. Conversely, the rules may only limit the size of garbage disposal you’re allowed to put in. Or you may have to find a unit that stays within certain noise levels to be allowed to install it.

Consider Your Needs

Do you just want to wash a few vegetable bits down the garbage disposal? Or do you want to throw mashed potatoes, beef remains and other large pieces of food down the garbage disposal to avoid having food in the trash? Understand the volume of food you want the garbage disposal to handle before you pick an under-powered and/or undersized unit.

Another factor to consider is the hassle factor. Continuous feed garbage disposals let you throw everything in and the unit keeps processing until you turn it off. They are convenient. Batch feed garbage disposals require you to throw food waste in, close the lid and then run it. They are more expense and less convenient, but now there’s no risk of someone accidentally getting their fingers mangled. If you have young children, you may want a batch feed disposal to minimize the risk to them. If you are constantly washing dishes and keep dropping silverware into the disposal and are afraid to fish it out, you may want a batch feed disposal so it can never injure you.

Understand Your Plumbing Arrangement

Not all garbage disposals are the same. Most accept food waste from your dishwasher, but not all of them do. Some units sit under the sink and only accept food from the sink. Are you going to need a garbage disposal that can connect to your dishwasher? If so, how far is the dishwasher? You may need to buy an extra length hose to connect them.

Another factor to consider is the area under the sink. Garbage disposals have different capacities and differing motor power factors. You need to know how much space there is below the sink to put in the garbage disposal so you don’t buy something that literally doesn’t fit. You can find units like the Badger 1 that combine significant power in a compact design, though this takes some research.

Rank How Important Labor and Repair Tasks Are to You

Another consideration is whether or not you are concerned about the unit breaking. You may want to pay a little more for a unit with a better warranty, though you need to be careful about what the warranty does and doesn’t cover. For example, it may cover parts and labor but only if you go through their authorized repair service that takes forever to show up. Or it may cover parts and labor but only for a very short time after you buy it. You may be able to extend the service agreement if you pay someone to install it.

Before you decide on a particular disposal, learn about the rules and regulations that may limit your options. Consider your needs and concerns to shorten the list of potential garbage disposals. Know the space constraints before you buy. Then decide if you want to install it yourself or have a pro do it, and determine whether or not you want someone else to have responsibility for repairing it.

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