Traditionally garbage disposal switches are wall-mounted. But they pose a risk of electric shock as most people operate them while their hands are wet.
That’s why many companies came up with the idea of an air switch.
An air switch has no direct electrical connections. A remote switch is operated by it with the help of a puff of air.
Then came wireless switches. As you guessed, these switches operate wirelessly.
And the latest in the market is ‘Toe Kick’ switches.
So there are three kinds of switches for garbage disposal units;
- Air switch
- Wireless switch
- Toe kick switch
What’s the difference between these three? Which would be a better switch for your garbage disposal?
Let’s see in detail:
The air switch kit has mainly three components;
- Air switch
- airtight hose
- power control unit
The air switch is basically a push button that can be mounted on the countertop or the sink. It is connected to an airtight hose. The other end of the hose is connected to the power control unit which in turn is connected to the power supply on one end and the garbage disposal on the other.
When the air switch button is pushed, a pulse of air travels to the power control unit which turns on a switch. As a result, the power control unit activates the garbage disposal.
As the switch doesn’t come in direct contact with any electrical circuits the chances of getting an electric shock is zero.
Pros of using an air switch
- Complete safety from electrical shocks
- Available in different shades that complement countertop designs
- Installation costs
- Have to drill the countertop for installation
- The air switch may corrode due to its proximity with chemicals used to clean the countertop
Best air switch for garbage disposals
- Three switch cover options to match any countertop designs. The options include chrome, red oil bronze or satin brushed nickel.
- 6 ft power cord & air hose.
- A secondary outlet for an alternate appliance
- An affordable and most popular choice
If you want more options, check my list of the best air switches for garbage disposals.
Wireless switch kits are now available for garbage disposals. It consists of two parts;
- Push button
- Wireless power module
In the case of a garbage disposal wireless switch, the power module is simply plugged into the power supply socket just like you connect an adapter plug. And like an adapter, this module also has a socket to which the garbage disposal cord is connected.
Once you push the button it activates the power module which in turn activates the disposer. Simple, huh?
This is much easier to install than an air switch and can be operated from a distance though no one will practically do that.
You can keep the push button anywhere, like in a drawer or just mount it on the wall using a 3M tape.
- Simple installation
- Zero chance of electric hazards
- Zero wires
- Affordable pricing
- No chances of corrosion
- Not as good looking as an air switch
Best wireless switch
- Easy to install
- range up to 15 meters
- can be used to operate any switches
- Best for disposals <1.5HP
Here is a longer list of wireless garbage disposal switches for your reference.
Toe Kick switch
This is actually a foot switch that is designed uniquely for garbage disposals. TOEKICKswitch is actually a trademarked name, and as far as I know, this product is made only by that company.
As the name indicated you just kick the switch with your tow to turn on the disposer.
This is how it works;
The toe kick switch is very similar to an air switch minus the air. This switch is directly connected with the electric circuit so theoretically, this has more chance of causing an electric shock.
On the good side, I should say the design is neat, and is pretty good at preventing accidental operations.
- No Extra holes needed
- Easy to install – Read installation guidelines here.
- Hidden from view installation
- A product yet to be proven in the market
Air switch vs wireless switch vs TOEKICK – which is better
Personally, I will go with the wireless one. It is more affordable, easy to install, easy to operate and without any major cons.