GARBAGE DISPOSAL INSTALLATION IS EASY
The Incredible Garbage Disposal
The garbage disposal unit is a useful and popular device in American kitchens. It is estimated that half of all US homes have a garbage disposal unit installed in the kitchen.
The first garbage disposal unit was invented in 1927 and patented in 1933. The inventor, John Hammes, had to fight General Electric for the patent, but he won, and he formed the InSinkErator Company, which is still in existence today as a subsidiary of Emerson Electric Company.
And it took years and much lobbying before Mr. Hammes’ invention was able to receive wide acceptance by municipalities. Many cities thought that flushing ground-up kitchen waste into the sewer system would pollute the drinking water. In New York, it only became legal to install a garbage disposal unit in the 1990’s.
Issues to Consider When Choosing A Garbage Disposal
You can pay anything from $60 for a GE GFC520V up to $860 for an InSinkErator Excel.
Size: A rule of thumb is “the bigger the better”. A big family needs a big disposal. But also remember that bigger means it takes up more space under your sink. Make sure you have the room for a big unit.
Type of Waste: If you have a large family or you host dinner parties frequently, you need a big, powerful unit.
Noise: Larger units tend to make more noise. Especially if you have sinks made of thin metal, you may want a smaller disposal so it makes less noise.
Type of feed: Most garbage disposal units on the market today are continuous-feed units. But if safety is a consideration for you, consider a batch-feed type of garbage disposal unit which grinds up waste in stages and is considered to be more safe.
Grind Stages: The more stages your disposal takes to grind waste, the finer will be the residue that goes into your pipes. This will make things easier on your plumbing system and sewer.
Septic Tanks: Some garbage disposal units are designed specifically for use with septic systems: others cannot be used with septic systems.
The Leading brands of Garbage Disposal Units
There are several major brands of garbage disposal units. Here are the top ones (in alphabetical order):
- General Electric
- InSinkErator (a subsidiary of Emerson Electric)
- Kenmore (made by InSinkerator specially for Sears)
- Kitchen Aid (manufactured by Whirlpool)
- Waste King
(Waste King and Whirlaway are made by the same company.)
The Best Five Garbage Disposal Models
Now you need to find the right model at the right price. Here are five excellent garbage disposal units that give great value:
- InSinkErator Evolution Excel: For its power, size and efficiency.
Waste King A1SPC Knight: Durable, powerful, and that great Waste King extended warranty.
- Waste King L-2600: A great unit for under $75.00
- Waste King L-3300: ¾ horsepower, costs around $100.00, and a great extended warranty.
- General Electric GFC520V: ½ horsepower, a small unit with great features.
Garbage Disposal Installation
If you decide to install your new garbage disposal unit yourself, follow these steps. But before you begin, make sure you follow these safety guidelines:
- Always wear protective goggles and a dust mask.
Turn off the electric power to the kitchen. Test the wires to make sure the power is off.
- Be sure to lock the electricity panel box, so that someone doesn’t turn the power back on while you’re working.
- Have your work checked by an inspector.
- Consult a licensed electrician to avoid overloading the circuit.
- Check with local authorities – you may need permits and your work may need to comply with local building codes.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE DOING, CONSULT WITH AN ELECTRICIAN AND A PLUMBER.
Steps to safely install your new garage disposal unit:
1. Remove the Existing Strainer
Remove the strainer and the strainer body from the bowl. You now have a simple hole in the bottom of the sink bowl.
2. Seal the Flange
with plumber’s putty, make a seal and run it around the base of the flange that comes with the unit, and place the flange in the drain hole, seating it firmly.
3. Seat and Secure the Flange
Install the gasket and upper- and lower-mounting rings on the flange. Snap the retaining ring in place. Tighten the three screws on the lower-mounting ring until the flange is firmly seated. If some plumber’s putty has been squeezed from around the top of the flange, trim the putty and then clean the sink
4. Install the garbage disposal discharge tube
Attach the discharge tube to the discharge opening in the side of the unit, using the included washer or gasket. If you wish to attach a dishwasher to the unit, use a screwdriver and knock out the plug inside the dishwasher nipple, and clamp the dishwasher discharge tube in place on the nipple.
5. Connect the Garbage Disposal to the Electricity
In an ideal situation your garbage disposal unit should run on a dedicated electric circuit. If you can’t do this, and if you already have a dishwasher installed, it should be possible to tie in to the dishwasher circuit.
Remove the plate covering the electrical connections for the disposal unit. Then connect the white wire from the disposal unit to the white wire from the switch. Do the same with the black wires, and then connect the bare ground wire from the switch to the ground connector on the disposer. Replace the cover plate. Your garbage disposal should now be powered up and ready to go to work for you.
A Final Word – Maintenance:
The main reason why kitchen garbage disposal units fail is because people do not use them correctly. If you follow these steps, and regularly maintain your system, it should function well for a long time and not give you any trouble.
- Never run a garbage disposal unit without water running;
- Only use cold water: hot water may melt the grease but it can harden further down the pipes and cause a stoppage;
- Avoid putting fibrous food material into your garbage disposal – throw them in the trash instead;
- To eliminate odors, take a lemon, cut it into pieces, put it in the disposal, turn on the water, and grind up the lemon;
- Ice or even broken glass cleans out a garbage disposal unit like nothing else: it sharpens the blades, cleans out the unit and scours the pipes;
- Always run your garbage disposal before you run your dishwasher – the two are usually connected, and a full garbage disposal can cause the dishwasher to back up;
- Always remember to continue flushing with cold running water for half a minute after running unit the unit. This flushes the debris away.
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