A disposer, often referred to as a garbage disposal, is a small appliance that is built into the drain outlet in the kitchen sink. It is used to dispose of organic waste such as vegetable peels, rinds, apple cores, eggshells, small bones, and other refuse generated during cooking. A disposer uses a small engine, typically �� to 1 horsepower in size, to grind the waste into fine particles that are mixed with water and flushed through the wastewater system of the kitchen sink.


Operations and Noise Levels of Garbage Disposers

Most disposal systems are hard wired into the home's electrical system and operate by switch or as part of the mechanism itself known as "batch feed." The latter works by turning the drain plug, which is part of the garbage disposal unit. A garbage disposal is somewhat noisy when in operation; however, the operating time is generally only a number of seconds and usually less than a minute long. Additionally, garbage disposer units are often insulated especially when fitted into stainless steel sinks.

Maintaining Disposers

A disposer is fairly maintenance-free and does not need to be cleaned as long as certain practices are followed. These include running the water when using the disposer to ensure waste flows through the drain line, using cold water as opposed to hot water, which may cause grease to accumulate in the drainage pipes, avoid fibrous refuse such as banana peels, peanut shells, corn husks, and celery, as well as very hard substances such as oyster shells. Non-biodegradable objects such as glass, metal (e.g. bottle caps or silverware), or plastic should never be put into a garbage disposal.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Garbage Disposer

Choosing the right garbage disposal depends on several factors including whether there is a preference for a "batch feed" control or wall switch, whether the home is connected to a septic system, how many people live in the home, how many meals are cooked, and how important a quiet operation is. Larger families who will by default cook more meals typically need a larger disposer, typically 1 horsepower versus �� horsepower for the smaller family. Another feature to look for if there is a dishwasher present is a dishwasher drain connection. This will ensure that food particles from dirty dishes enter the disposal system. Before purchasing a garbage disposal check with the municipality to see whether they are allowed. Some municipalities do not allow garbage disposers to be installed in a home.