How Do I Choose the Best Kitchen Garbage Disposal?

Alex Tree
Alex Tree
A kitchen with a garbage disposal built into the sink.
A kitchen with a garbage disposal built into the sink.

Choosing the best kitchen garbage disposal generally involves picking the appropriate motor size and level of soundproofing and understanding the warranty. Motor size and soundproofing determine the power and noise level of the machine. The warranty can help a buyer judge the quality of parts used to build the machine, in addition to at least partially covering certain repairs months or years after the purchase. Actions that void the warranty, especially actions that can be accidental, should also be researched before the purchase. All of these factors play a role in the final cost of a kitchen garbage disposal.

The motor is a vital part of a kitchen garbage disposal, and the size of it can greatly affect the total cost of the machine. In addition, the motor determines the power of the disposal and how fast it grinds. Residential and commercial motors are often very different due to the quantity of food businesses can go through and their frequency of use. While a bigger motor is usually better, it is also usually louder than a smaller motor. Choose a kitchen garbage disposal with a motor that will likely meet the demands of your family size.

Soundproofing is usually offered for higher end residential kitchen disposals and most commercial ones. Even inexpensive garbage disposal models can have soundproofing, but the level of sound isolation might not be enough to make the noise bearable for sound-sensitive people. If having a loud garbage disposal does not bother you, skip this if you are on a tight budget because soundproofing increases the cost of a kitchen garbage disposal. Some home improvement stores have sound bites of various garbage disposals to let customers hear exactly how noisy the machine is and how it compares to other models.

Once you have narrowed down the motor size and the amount of soundproofing needed, look to the warranty of the machine. Generally, kitchen garbage disposals with longer warranties, such as 20 years instead of 10 years, are made with higher-quality parts. In addition to getting a better machine overall, a longer warranty means not being fully responsible for unexpected repairs. Take note of actions that void the warranty because they are not always obvious. Sometimes a warranty is immediately void if installed on a home with a septic tank or homeowners accidentally void the warranty by using certain chemicals in the sink, like drain unclogging solutions.

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    • A kitchen with a garbage disposal built into the sink.
      A kitchen with a garbage disposal built into the sink.