broken garbage disposal Garbage disposal repair or replacement

Help For Buying The Right Garbage Disposal

Big B's Plumbing - Your Plumber for Life!

If you’re a homeowner, You have probably experienced some awkward situations. For instance, your dinner guests have just finished dinner, and you start tidying up. Unfortunately, it seems like you just stuffed a three-course meal down the garbage disposal, then turned it on, and nothing happened. Nothing could be worse than having guests over while dealing with a faulty garbage disposal. 

I Set Out To Find The Perfect Garbage Disposal

The following day, you’ve resolved not to make the same mistake twice. So instead, you decid to invest in a high-quality garbage disposal. You set out to find the perfect garbage disposal only to find you have no idea what you’re searching for. Furthermore, the person assisting you doesn’t seem to have the answers you want.

Garbage Disposal

Have Your Questions Ready For Your SalesPerson

As the homeowner, you look intently on the shelves to try and find the perfect disposal. Then you see one called the badger disposal. That doesn’t sound too appealing, nor does it look like a very nice appliance. You start to think you won’t see it because it’s under the cabinet, so who cares. You ask the salesperson, “How much horsepower does it produce for my household?” These are just a handful of the questions running through a homeowner’s mind when trying to find the right disposal for your home.

 Almost All Waste Disposals Have Reset Buttons

As a plumbing company, the first question is, “Are you certain your garbage disposal is broken?”  Nothing can embarrass a homeowner more than having a technician come to their home to service their garbage disposal only to discover the small red reset button is sticking out and it only needed to be reset.  In the event of an overload, there is a small red button on the underside of the disposal. Simply push it in, and it resets the motor. In some cases, it’s as easy as that. While the garbage disposal is off, reset it and try it again. Suppose it doesn’t work; don’t lose hope because there is a little octagon hole on the bottom for a specific wrench that will unjam the disposal. To free it up, insert the tool or the proper Allen wrench and move it back and forth. It should dislodge anything stuck in the impellers.

Red button on the bottom of the garbage disposal

InSinkErator Disposal Is In Most Homes Today

Let’s pretend for a moment that you’ve already tried everything to get your disposal back on track, and it’s time for a new disposal for your home. How will I know which one is right for my home? Most disposals are under the brand InSinkErator (ISE); however, other brands are creeping up on the competition. The ISE garbage disposal brand is found in about 70% of homes today. It’s best to select a disposal with a matching flange. This saves you from replacing the flange, which could be a little difficult if your doing-it-yourself.  Although if your old disposal has a plastic flange, it will need replacing altogether. 

When Buying A Disposal, Don’t Make Cost The Deciding Factor

The horsepower is the next item on your checklist. You can purchase your disposal starting at 1/3 horsepower (HP) up to 1 horsepower. According to Consumer Reports, the higher the horsepower, the better the grind. 1/3 HP is more suited for smaller families of 1 to 3 persons, while 3/4 and 1 HP are more suited for larger families. If you’re a larger family that entertains, spend the extra money and get a more powerful unit. Finally, you want a disposal that meets or exceeds your family’s expectations. Most disposals have a life expectancy of 8-12 years. Purchasing one that is too small for your household will perhaps reduce its life expectancy significantly. Your garbage disposal is one of those affordable appliances that could enhance your kitchen experience, so don’t make cost the deciding factor.

The 3/4 Horsepower Is Much Quieter

The most popular disposal purchase is the half-HP disposal. They’re available with either stainless or galvanized grinding components. Beyond that, the next consideration is noise levels. Most homeowners want a quiet disposal. The 3/4 HP disposal is much larger than the 1/2 HP because of the added insulation that makes it much quieter. 

Thoroughly Check Out All The Features

In terms of brands, InSinkErator and KitchenAid are the most well-known. If you have a septic tank, InSinkErator offers you a disposal that adds enzymes to each spin that will help maintain its balance. Another good idea is to purchase at stores known for backing the brands they sell. Better yet, ask your plumbing professional for ideas on the best models.  Finally, never buy a disposal with a plastic flange. Even though the flange will not rust,  it is unable to withstand the continual vibration.

Be Mindful Of What You’re Putting Down Your Drain

Another often asked question is, “Is it possible that my disposal gets clogged?” If your disposal gets clogged, it’s because you have put the wrong food scraps down the drain. Sometimes, a more powerful 3/4 to 1HP disposal can handle most food scraps. Be mindful that it’s not always because the disposal failed to complete its job. It all depends on what you put in them. Pasta, for example, is almost never a good choice. If you must put spaghetti down your disposal, go slowly and keep the water flowing. The food will have trouble going down without water to help it move.

Your Waste Disposal And Septic Tank Work Perfectly Together

Some customers have asked if they can have waste disposal and a septic tank. Your waste disposal works perfectly in conjunction with your septic tank. Most people assume it’s not good because it will disrupt the delicate balance of beneficial bacteria that keeps a tank running smoothly–––this is incorrect. Food ground by your waste disposal works perfectly with your septic tank.

PVC Sewer Lines Are The Preferred Sewer Lines Today

If your house was built in the 1960s or earlier, chances are, your drain line is most likely an old galvanized drainpipe. If this case, installing a disposal could cause complications, especially if the pipes are uneven due to corrosion or hard water deposits. Plastic PVC pipes are the preferred materials used in homes built in the 1980s and beyond, providing a smooth surface for food to slide down easily through the sewer line. 

We’ll Advise You On The Correct Disposal For Your Home

Don’t forget that you need to check for a built-in cord before purchasing your new disposal. The majority do not have one, which is strange considering that they cannot function without one. Have fun hunting. Also, seek the assistance of your Big B’s Plumbing professional they’ll advise you on the correct waste disposal for your home.

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

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