Garbage Disposal Sizing Guide

Garbage disposals are great for the kitchen and getting rid of that unwanted waste.

Garbage disposals come with different sized motors, each equipped with the power to do the job required. The normal sizes are 1/3 HP motors, 1/2-3/4 HP motors, 3/4 HP, and 1 or 2 HP motors. Choosing the correct size is based on the needs of your home, and how often it will be used.

The first thing you should do when trying to decide which size of garbage disposal you need is to crack open the cabinet under the sink. How much room is available? The more horse power a garbage disposal has, the bigger it will be, and you will definitely need it to fit under your sink. You wouldn’t want to finally have one chosen to realize it doesn’t fit under the sink.

The Different Sizes of Motors

1/3 Horsepower Motor – This is the weakest of all the motors you are able to find in the stores, but they also are inexpensive and popular. They work great when there is not much of a load for them to carry. They are best when used in a small home or apartment when only a small number of people will have the opportunity to use them.

1/2 Horsepower Motor – This type of motor is great at grinding up the food waste you have. However, it still isn’t that powerful, and should be used with that in mind. It works great when used in condominiums, apartments, or small homes with fewer people. Light use is good for this motor, as to much will cause it to break.

3/4 Horsepower Motor – While the 1/3rd HP motor is popular for its price, the 3/4 HP motor is popular for its performance and size. It is the perfect size for most families and grinds up all sorts of foods, including those seen as hard and difficult to dispose of. They work great in average sized homes with an normal family size.

1 Horsepower Motor – This motor is optimal for large households and big kitchens. It can even be considered for a small business in need of a sink and disposal. They are designed to have the horsepower to help when there is a lot of use and a variety of waste. While not all things will be disposed of as you wish, it will definitely work for most of them.

2 Horsepower Motor – This motor has heaps of power and is best used in commercial kitchens and other places that will be using it consistently.

Two Different Types

Another aspect of garbage disposals that is important to consider is the two different types. The two types of garbage disposals are continuous feed and a batch feed. With a continuous feed disposal, as long as the switch is on, the disposal will run, allowing you to throw in things here and there without it turning off. A batch fed disposal only works when the drain cover is on, meaning you must clean out the sink, put all waste into the disposal, place the cover on and then grind up the wasted food. Both the continuous feed and batch fed disposals have their ups and downs which we will discuss below.

The Batch Fed Garbage Disposal

Batch fed disposals come with an extra safety feature. The vast majority of models won’t work unless the cover or lid is on. This means your fingers won’t accentally get ground up if you ever have a reason to stick your hand down there (which hopoefully you never do). It is also a plus that you can control the use of power, it is not sucking power all the time and making an awful noise , but is only working when you want it to be. You have complete control. It also does not depend so heavily upon a water source, unlike the continuous fed disposal. Water will occasionally make the process more smooth, but it doesn’t always have to be on.

There are also some common problems that come about when you install a batch fed disposals. They cost more money because of the need to have a bigger motor. They suggest you fill the chamber all the way up with food waste before you begin the grinding process, which obviously means the motor must be bigger in order to grind so much food at once. They also are more expensive because they had the additional feature of a noise-suppressive system that helps with the large amount of sound it produces.

Another common problem that comes as a result of the set up and operation of the batch feed disposal is the chance of bacteria. Once again, they suggest you fill the chamber full of food waste, but you only create small amounts each day. This may give you the desire to leave the food in the chamber over night, or for longer periods of time then normal. This gives bacteria more time to span, making your disposal dirty, and needing to be cleaned, smelly and a hazard to your overall health.

Continuous Fed Garbage Disposal

The continuous fed garbage disposal is much more popular than the other, but it also comes with its own sets of pro’s and cons.

For example, it works great with small loads, a potato chunk here or a couple of noodles there. It chops it up nice and fine so that your septic tank does not suffer so much. It also helps in keeping your kitchen looking clean, you can toss scraps or other debris in whenever ensuring that your countertops are spotless. It also comes in a variety of models and makes, allowing you to choose one that best fits your household and circumstance. There is a market, and so you can find them at better prices.

The negative aspects of a continuous fed disposal are also important to be considered. They are prone to hurt you or others if you stand in their way, and the drain is always opening allowing more room for the possibility. You have to watch to ensure random things do not fall into the grinder, leaving it ready to break or damage your disposal, or have the object be lost forever. They also use crazy amounts of water, they require the water to be left on the entire time that the machine is running, which can increase the water bill. Just as it is hard to keep an eye on water usage, it is the same for power usage. Overall, this is the most expensive option.

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