A garbage disposal is a convenient addition to any home. Instead of throwing yucky leftovers in the garbage where it’s just going to smell and attract bugs, dispose of them down the drain of your sink.
How to choose
Some are decidedly better than others at resisting jams and chewing up tougher stuff. Nearly all are noisy.
Consider all costs (available to subscribers) will help you determine whether a garbage disposer is right for your kitchen. If you decide that it is, here’s how to make choosing one easier:
Balance convenience with safety
Disposers fall into two basic groups. Continuous-feed models are easiest to use, since you can push new waste in as the old waste is ground up and washed down the drain. But their open filler necks pose a greater risk to small hands and can allow bone shards and other scraps to fly out. For those reasons, you’ll need to mount the power switch in a safe place and hold the supplied stopper at an angle over the drain as a shield.
Batch-feed models cost more and can take more time to use, since you must load them with waste before turning down the stopper to activate the blades. But because the stopper keeps food in and hands out, batch-feed models are safer, especially for families with kids.
Weigh warranty against price
Home garbage disposers typically last about 10 to 12 years, according to In-Sink-Erator, though not all last that long. A longer warranty adds peace of mind. But it does not guarantee longer life and can make some models cost more than otherwise-similar machines.
Consider your food waste.
Even models with the least powerful, ½-hp motor can handle bones and softer waste such as carrots and corn kernels. But if your kitchen waste typically includes tougher stuff, look for a more powerful, ¾-hp or 1-hp model. Those we tested ground bones fastest and finest, reducing the chance of clogged plumbing traps.
Get help putting it in
Most garbage disposers have a quick-mount neck that encourages do-it-yourself installation. But because most of the best-performing, ¾- and 1-hp models weigh from 16 to 30 pounds or so, putting one beneath your sink may be a two-person job