6 Best Garbage Disposals | February 2017
- removable rubber guard for drain hole
- automatic reversing capability
- grinds all types of food waste
- made in the united states
- very easy to install
- 7-year in-home limited warranty included
- full 1-horsepower motor
- three different grind stages
- much quieter than standard disposers
Responsibly Out Of Sight And Out Of Mind
When you have a big family, are busy in the kitchen cooking elaborate meals for everyday consumption or special occasions, or you have food that is no longer edible and requires tossing, kitchen waste is inevitable. For that reason, you'll need a reliable garbage disposal for your sink to grind food waste into pieces small enough for passing through your plumbing system without having to store it in a trash compactor until garbage night.
A garbage disposal unit is an electrically-powered device typically installed under a kitchen sink. It is usually located between the drain and sink trap and designed to chew up food scraps in combination with a heavy flow of cold water. In most circumstances, cold water is best to use when running the disposal, as it helps to congeal and solidify certain foods that would otherwise have a tendency to be slippery or sticky when in their hot forms. When food is kept cold and hard, it is less likely to cause a blockage in the sink's drain system as the disposal is running.
A disposal has several parts working together to grind up foods, including an upper hopper, shredder ring, a flywheel equipped with impellers, a lower hopper, electric motor, and a waste line connector. Let's use a piece of aged celery as our food guinea pig to describe the process of how the device works. When the disposal is turned on, its motor activates in order to power and spin the flywheel at nearly two thousand revolutions per minute (RPM). When the celery is placed into the drain, it falls through the disposal's upper hopper chamber and onto the spinning flywheel. The flywheel's impellers serve to fling the garbage against the disposal's shredder ring, which chops up the celery as it rotates around the flywheel.
Once the food has been chopped up, the cold water from the sink flushes the pulverized waste down into the lower hopper where it finally exits through the waste line connector and into the pipes. In order for this process to work as efficiently as possible, most garbage disposal units are rated to at least one-half horsepower (1/2 HP), but a range of three-quarters to one horsepower is strongly recommended for the best results.
Garbage disposals are available in either batch feed or continuous designs. Batch feed units are activated using specially-designed covers placed over their openings. They are designed to operate after food waste has been placed inside them. The covers for batch feed units are equipped with magnets and are twisted to align with additional magnets inside the disposal units themselves. By contrast, continuous feed disposals are more common than batch feed units and are activated with an electric switch before waste is placed inside them. They will continue to operate until the power has been cut.
Batch feed units tend to be quieter and a bit safer to use than continuous feed models due to the use of their covers, which serve to muffle the sound of their motors while also protecting a person's hands from venturing too far down into the disposal's opening. Continuous models also have a tendency to burn out if the power is left on for too long, whereas a batch feed unit only activates with the use of its magnetic cover. However, use of a cover can also be problematic, as it's another piece required for the disposal to function in the first place. Most modern garbage disposals feature built-in overload protection that is designed to cut power to the unit before its motor overheats and damages the device.
Disposal Units Of Choice
The best disposals have stainless steel components and powerful motors up to one horsepower. Power is one of the most important considerations to ensure that one's food is properly chopped up in order to prevent frequent drain clogs. Having the power to grind the food waste into pieces as small as possible is essential for one's drainage system and it's especially important if you live in a home that uses a septic system.
If you plan to invest in a continuous feed disposal, make sure the unit has sufficient overload protection. Disposals with this feature will have a reset button underneath their lower hopper chambers designed to pop out when the power is cut. This button can usually be pushed back in to restore power to the unit.
A disposal with auto-reverse functionality will also come in very handy should it become jammed, which you know is bound to happen at least once or twice during the unit's lifetime. Many modern units are also equipped with a flywheel turning wrench hole on their undersides, which can be accessed to manually clear a jam. Next, if you and your family are sensitive to noise, try to find a model with sound-reduction functionality to keep the motor operating as quietly as possible.
A Brief History Of The Garbage Disposal
The very first garbage disposal was invented by architect John W. Hammes of Racine, Wisconsin in 1927 out of a need to make cleaning up the kitchen easier for his wife. The patent for the device was filed in 1933 and later granted to Hammes in 1935. Shortly thereafter, Hammes founded the InSinkErator company in 1940 to manufacture and sell his design. This brand name is still well-known today.
Throughout many cities in the United States during the 1940s (New York City especially), the municipal sewage system maintained regulations against having food waste put into it, even labeling such devices as illegal. However, Hammes' company put forth a significant amount of effort to have these regulations rescinded.
Popularity of garbage disposals has remained at its strongest in the United States, as nearly 50% of homes were equipped with the units as of 2009, compared to only a small fraction of that percentage in the United Kingdom.