Updated: June 8, 2015
Garbage disposal Reviews:A garbage disposal is attached to the bottom of your sink and is there to crush food and other waste into tiny pieces with a stainless steel blade. Stainless steel blades keep rust away compared to other models that don't have them which causes problems or rusting of the blades. Size of the motor is something to consider as well. Brands like Kitchen Aid come with a 1 HP motor which chops up food so that the drain won't get clogged. Most garbage disposals are about $150 or so at Home Depot or Lowes and are fairly easy to install yourself (takes about 2 hours). Actually I replaced my garbage disposal so I'm not sure how it would be if you just put one in fresh. In any event, I can't imagine it's much harder as long as you have some basic tools (plumbers putty, Philips head screw driver, flat head screw driver, etc). Make sure that the dimensions of the garbage disposal you select will fit in the area under your sink (ours is a modern house and it barely fit). Below we discuss the simple procedure for the installation of a garbage disposal.
Disposal Buying GuideThe most popular type of garbage disposal is the In-Sink-Erator and that is what we put in. You will need an electric outlet under the sink to plug the garbage disposal in to. You will then need to attach the disposal to the bottom of the sink opening using the "upper mounting assembly" piece. Then put the hoses from the dishwasher (if you have one) to the garbage disposal. Certainly we have glossed over the details, but the instructions with our disposal were really good. If you are not a DIY type of person, then perhaps having an electrician (for the outlet plug) and a plumber handle the project is the best bet. Our friends had the same model installed by a plumber and it cost about $120. Lowes has an excellent online tutorial on "how to install a garbage disposal or you can watch Youtube videos on the topic. Expect to spend at least an hour, have some towels ready in case water spills, and hope that your underside to your kitchen sink is somewhat standard so that you can have an easy install process.
Garbage Disposal Reviews - Want to see what professionals and homeowners have to say about food waste disposers? A recent article in Consumer Reports magazine did a great job of breaking down the top disposers. They tested 15 waste disposers feeding them with items like potatoes, celery, food scraps, and beef ribs. They rated both the continuous feed disposers and the batch-feed models on speed, grinding fineness, noise, and the ability to handle vegetable scraps. We found more feedback on Epinions.com and hundreds of owner posted comments on Amazon. You can browse their best selling garbage disposals online here.
Best Garbage Disposal:Depending on who you talk to, the best garbage disposal on the market is up for grabs. Plumbingsupply.com believes that Waste King disposers are the superior brand. They are called the Waste King Gourmet garbage disposals (used to be called the BoneCrushers from Sinkmaster). Plumbingsupply.com says "Their superior quality, easy maintenance and readily available repair parts make them your best choice". The Waste King L-8000 Legend Series is a top seller on several websites with near perfect reviews - owners say the stainless steel grinding components, superior insulation and 1HP motor make this the ideal waste disposer. The warranties on the Waste King models are the best in the industry - that's always comforting to know as a buyer. For smaller 1/3 horsepower motors on garbage disposals, the Whirlaway name comes to mind. Although less powerful, they can still do a great job. The best models are the Whirlaway 191 and Whirlaway 291. View the most popular Waste King garbage disposals here.
Batch-Feed Disposers - As we mentioned earlier, the Insinkerator brand is quite popular and performs very well (from my experience) with powerful motors and great warranties. In reviews we read online (over 50 listed at Amazon and 46 are 5 of 5 stars) and in Consumer Reports, the InSinkErator 74028 Compact Evolution Household Food Waste Disposer, Gray is the model to go with. The Evolution Series disposers are known for their superior grinding and for being quieter than the competition. The InSinkerator has a 3/4 HP motor, 2 grind stages, and a 4 year home warranty on parts and labor. Many owners describe it as "quiet and efficient" or "best disposal we've had". Many of their other models receive just as high marks from professional plumbers and homeowners alike. The only one that scored badly was the Insinkerator Badger - reviews across the board were less than impressive. You can view the most popular InSinkerator disposers online here.