Garbage Disposal Buying Guide

Published On: March 1, 20230 Comments on Garbage Disposal Buying GuideLast Updated: January 29, 20245.5 min read

Garbage disposals are a convenient appliance that can make cleaning up after meals much easier. They are designed to grind up food waste so that it can be easily flushed down the drain. However, with so many different models and features available, it can be difficult to know which garbage disposal is right for you.

shredding in garbage disposal

In this article, we’ll cover the key factors you should consider when buying a garbage disposal to ensure you choose the right one for your needs.

1. Horsepower

The horsepower of a garbage disposal is an important factor to consider when purchasing one. The higher the horsepower, the more powerful the unit will be at grinding up food waste. Garbage disposals typically range from 1/3 to 1 horsepower. If you have a larger household or frequently generate a lot of waste, a higher horsepower unit will be necessary to handle the increased workload. However, if you live alone or generate less waste, a lower horsepower unit may suffice. This useful guide on picking the right disposal explains how much horsepower you will need.

2. Continuous Feed vs. Batch Feed

There are two main types of garbage disposals: continuous feed and batch feed. Continuous feed disposals are the most common type and allow you to add food waste to the unit while it is running. Batch feed disposals, on the other hand, require you to load the unit with food waste and then turn it on. Batch feed disposals are considered to be safer, as they prevent accidental injuries from occurring when hands or utensils are inserted into the unit while it’s running.

3. Material

Garbage disposals can be made from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, plastic, and galvanized steel. Stainless steel is the most durable and long-lasting material, making it a popular choice for homeowners. Plastic disposals are less expensive but not as durable, while galvanized steel disposals are prone to rusting and corrosion.

4. Anti-Jamming Features

Garbage disposals can sometimes jam when large pieces of food or foreign objects are introduced to the unit. Anti-jamming features are designed to prevent this from happening by automatically reversing the motor or shutting off the unit when a jam is detected. Look for a garbage disposal with anti-jamming features to avoid potential problems

5. Price

Garbage disposals come in a range of prices, from budget-friendly models to high-end options. The price you pay will depend on the features and horsepower of the unit. While it may be tempting to opt for a lower-priced model, keep in mind that a cheaper unit may not last as long or have the necessary features to handle your specific needs.

mounting garbage disposal

6. Brand and Warranty

When buying a garbage disposal, it’s important to consider the brand and warranty. Look for a reputable brand that has a good track record for quality and reliability. Additionally, choose a unit that comes with a warranty to protect your investment in case something goes wrong.

7. Choose the Right Size and Capacity

When choosing a garbage disposal, you need to consider the size and capacity of the unit. Garbage disposals come in different sizes, and the size you choose will depend on your needs. If you have a small household or don’t generate a lot of waste, you may not need a large unit. However, if you have a large family or generate a lot of waste, a larger unit with a higher horsepower will be necessary.

8. Noise Level

Another important factor to consider when buying a garbage disposal is the noise level. Garbage disposals can be noisy, which can be a problem in small apartments or homes where noise travels easily. If you’re concerned about noise, look for a model that has sound insulation or a sound-reducing feature.

Installation Considerations

After purchasing the right garbage disposal, you must install it properly to get the best performance. The installation process is typically straightforward, but there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are some tips for installing your garbage disposal:

  • Turn off the power: Before beginning the installation process, make sure to turn off the power to the area. This can usually be done by switching off the circuit breaker in your home’s electrical panel.
  • Assemble the mounting hardware: The mounting hardware comes with the garbage disposal and should be assembled according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Remove the old disposal (if applicable): If you are replacing an old disposal, remove it and disconnect the drain pipes.
  • Connect the disposal unit: Connect the disposal unit to the mounting assembly and attach the drain pipes.
  • Test the unit: Once the unit is installed, test it to make sure it is working correctly.


In conclusion, buying the right garbage disposal for your needs is essential. Factors such as horsepower, noise levels, and grinding components should all be considered when making your purchase. Remember to also consider the installation process and any necessary maintenance when selecting a unit. By following these tips, you can find the right garbage disposal for your household and enjoy a cleaner, more convenient kitchen experience.


1. Is it necessary to purchase a garbage disposal with a high horsepower rating?

It depends on your needs. If you have a large household and frequently dispose of food waste, a higher horsepower rating may be necessary to handle the volume. However, for smaller households, a lower horsepower rating may be sufficient.

2. How do I know if my sink is compatible with a garbage disposal?

Most sinks are compatible with garbage disposals, but it’s best to check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure compatibility. In some cases, you may need to purchase a mounting kit to install the unit.

3. Can I install a garbage disposal myself, or do I need a professional?

Garbage disposal installation is typically straightforward and can be done by a competent DIYer. However, if you are unsure or uncomfortable with the process, it’s best to hire a professional.

4. How often should I clean my garbage disposal?

It’s a good idea to clean your garbage disposal regularly to prevent odors and keep the unit functioning correctly. A quick cleaning once a week should be sufficient.

5. Can I dispose of any type of food waste in a garbage disposal?

While most food waste can be disposed of in a garbage disposal, there are some exceptions. Avoid putting fibrous foods, such as celery and corn husks, in the disposal, as they can cause clogs. Bones and grease should also be avoided, as they can damage the unit over time.

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