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Garbage Disposal 101

Whether you are renovating your kitchen or just looking to upgrade your current set up, picking the right garbage disposal for your home is important. We’ve put together the ultimate guide for homeowners when it comes to picking the right garbage disposal for your kitchen!

Garbage Disposal Horsepower

Garbage disposals come in different sizes and models, with varying horsepower (HP) ratings. The horsepower rating indicates the power of the motor that drives the blades of the disposal. Garbage disposals generally range from 1/3 HP to 1 HP, with higher horsepower disposals being more powerful and able to handle tougher waste.

  • A 1/3 HP garbage disposal is typically suitable for small households with light usage, such as a single person or couple. This type of disposal is generally less expensive, but may struggle with tougher waste and can become easily clogged.
  • A 1/2 HP garbage disposal is a good choice for households with moderate usage, such as a family of three or four. It can handle tougher waste such as small bones and vegetable scraps, and is generally more reliable than a 1/3 HP disposal.
  • A 3/4 HP garbage disposal is more powerful and suitable for households with heavy usage, such as large families or those who frequently entertain guests. It can handle tougher waste such as large bones and fibrous vegetables, and is less likely to become clogged.
  • A 1 HP garbage disposal is the most powerful option, and is suitable for commercial settings or households with very heavy usage. It can handle tough waste such as corn cobs and meat bones, and is less likely to clog or jam.

While a higher horsepower garbage disposal can be beneficial for handling tough waste, it’s important to remember that it’s not a substitute for proper waste disposal practices. Grease, oil, and non-food items should still be avoided, as they can cause clogs and damage to the disposal and drainage system.

In general, the horsepower rating of a garbage disposal can impact the performance of your drainage system. A more powerful disposal can more efficiently break down waste and reduce the risk of clogs and backups in your pipes. However, it’s also important to consider other factors such as the size of your household and the amount and type of waste you generate before choosing a garbage disposal with a higher horsepower rating.

What You Need to Know About Your Garage Disposal

Garbage disposals are a convenient and useful addition to any kitchen, but they are not invincible. Knowing what can and cannot go down your garbage disposal is crucial for keeping it running smoothly and preventing costly repairs. Here are some guidelines for what should and should not be put down a garbage disposal:

What should be put down a garbage disposal:

  1. Soft foods: Soft foods such as cooked vegetables, fruit, and small amounts of leftover meat can be safely put down a garbage disposal.
  2. Small bones: Small bones such as those from fish or chicken can be put down a garbage disposal, but larger bones should be avoided.
  3. Ice: Putting a few ice cubes down the disposal can help clean the blades and keep them sharp.
  4. Citrus peels: Citrus peels can help freshen up the disposal and eliminate odors.
  5. Liquid dish soap: A small amount of liquid dish soap can help break up grease and oil in the disposal.

What should not be put down a garbage disposal:

  1. Grease, oil, and fat: These substances can solidify in the disposal and cause clogs, which can be difficult and expensive to remove.
  2. Fibrous foods: Fibrous foods such as celery, corn husks, and onion skins can wrap around the blades and cause the motor to overheat.
  3. Hard items: Hard items such as bones, pits, and fruit seeds can damage the blades and motor of the disposal.
  4. Non-food items: Non-food items such as plastic, glass, and metal can damage the blades and cause the motor to burn out.
  5. Pasta and rice: These foods can expand in the disposal and cause clogs.

Overall, it’s important to remember that garbage disposals are not trash cans. Only put food scraps down the disposal that are small enough to be easily broken down and don’t pose a risk of clogging or damaging the blades. If you do have a clog or issue with your garbage disposal, it’s best to call a professional plumber to address the issue and prevent further damage.

What to Consider When Purchasing and Installing a Garbage Disposal

When deciding on the best garbage disposal for your kitchen, there are several factors to consider:

  1. Horsepower: As mentioned in the previous response, the horsepower of a garbage disposal impacts its power and ability to handle different types of waste. Consider the size of your household and the amount and type of waste you generate to determine the appropriate horsepower for your needs.
  2. Noise: Garbage disposals can be noisy, so consider models that are designed to be quieter or have noise-reducing features.
  3. Size: Garbage disposals come in different sizes, so make sure to choose a model that fits under your sink and doesn’t take up too much space.
  4. Grinding stages: Some garbage disposals have multiple grinding stages, which can make them more efficient and effective at breaking down waste.
  5. Easy installation: Consider models that are easy to install or come with detailed instructions and necessary hardware.
  6. Brand reputation: Choose a reputable brand with good reviews to ensure you are getting a quality product that is reliable and durable.
  7. Price: Garbage disposals can range in price, so determine your budget and consider models that fit within your price range.

It’s important to remember that a garbage disposal is not a substitute for proper waste disposal practices. Grease, oil, and non-food items should still be avoided, and large amounts of waste should be properly disposed of in the trash or compost. By considering these factors, you can choose a garbage disposal that meets your needs and helps make your kitchen more efficient and convenient. If you need a new garbage disposal installed for your home located in the Greater Phoenix Region, contact Hansen Family Plumbing & Air today!

published on Friday, March 31st, 2023
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