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Garbage Disposals


birder53
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However, I live in condo-world in southern California, and would probably be reported and fined by my condo association if I tried to compost. Don't have a yard anyway...so yeah, I love my garbage disposal.

Chicago condo-owner here. I wish I had a yard to plant veggies. I wish I wasn't throwing away all my food scraps. Even though you can't compost, would you be interested in a worm bin/vermiculture? I don't think I'll do it, but here is a link to a website with info: http://one-change.com/blog/2006/04/indoor-compost-bin/

I have a disposal, but I only use it once or twice a week. I'm a little afraid the thing and I don't know what will jam it up. If I've got food chunks or peels, I might toss them into the half of the sink without the disposal but with a mesh cup over the drain. When I clean the sink after handwashing the stuff that didn't fit into the dishwasher, I'll toss the chunks caught by the mesh into the garbage can. Only little bits of food get eaten by the garbage disposal.

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We are currently negotiating on a house that has an otherwise fabulous kitchen (including a 48" dual-fuel DCS range :biggrin: ) but no garbage disposal, because it is on a septic system. We investigated and found that we could install one as long as we didn't put fibrous things down it. I'm not sure what we'll end up doing if we get the house - it may be that we install it as a back-up system, but try to compost as much as possible. I did take note of the lack of garbage disposal, but it didn't affect our offer on the house because I know that it is a relatively minor thing to fix.

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I don't see how composting answers the question entirely, as Plk said up there. I compost only raw veg trimmings and similar, and coffee grounds and tea leaves.

Tea leaves, in fact, were the decisive article behind our installing a disposal under a new sink after years living without one. Getting the last few stragglers of the sink, even with a Chatsford infuser insert containing most of them, was a daily drag. Also a few grains of rice or pieces of pasta, having eluded the dutifully-inserted wire mesh strainer, can, as as been mentioned, cause plumbing trouble.

I have lived with and without disposals over the years, and prefer with. Where I live presently there is varying opinion among plumbers and residents whether disposals are compatible with septic systems. But then, like Onrushpam, I have never used a garbage disposal, when I have had one, for fibrous things, or large amounts of anything, only the last bits of this and that when cleaning the sink.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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I love garbage disposals! I live in an apartment, and because we don't have a composting program, a disposal is a godsend. I use mine daily, so it doesn't usually have funky smells lingering. I clean it out by tossing in a few citrus peels once a week or so and grinding those up.

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Sorry for not responding to the chicken question--I have the flu and I have not been keeping up with my internet surfing. :cool:

Yep, the chickens ARE my garbage disposal units. They eat everything, veggies, meat scraps, even :blink: eggs and cooked chicken.

The only things that go into the garbage are bones, because I don't want the dogs going under the chickenyard fence to retrieve them.

I don't have a compost pile--leaves, weeds and veggie trimmings go into the chickenyard where the girls work their magic. When I need a shovelful of compost, I just dig in a corner of their yard.

And, clever person that I am, I located the chickenyard at the top of my veggie garden, so, in the natural course of things, the rain washes thru and out onto the garden, leading to rampant growth of all things green. (Actually, I am not that clever, it just worked out that way. :wink: )

When I was a kid, my farmer uncle called our garbage disposal an "electric pig".

I do have a dishwasher, which, like all new dw's, has it's own internal disposal.

sparrowgrass
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  • 1 year later...

For those of you who DO like your garbage disposals, what are your brand preferences? Mine just gave up the ghost and I will be replacing it, and soon. For the record, it was a 1/2 hp Kitchenaid model: very quiet, and powerful enough for my needs. But apparently not very reliable!

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I run mine several times a day mostly to grind up and then flush away any bits that might have made it down there. The big stuff goes in the trash or the compost pile.

That said, I just crawled under the sink (no flashlight to be found) and I have an Insinkerator 5/8hp Badger. We installed it about 8 years ago. The label says it came with a 3 yr in home warranty. No problems so far.

The coolest thing though is the way my electrician did the power. No switch on the wall. There is a button that you push with the pad of your thumb in the back lip of the sink where the faucet, dishwasher bubbler thing etc are located. I've left him a message to give me the specs. No danger of shocking when your hands are wet, or turning the disposal instead of the lights on. I will post when I get more info.

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Actually, I think that garbauretors should be banned.

Yeah, yeah, I know, but before I put up the force-sheilds, let me explain a bit.

I've seen the damage done to drain lines from sinks with this device, and I've had some lengthy dicussions with plumbers and City public works guys about it.

Fact is, that food waste and especially F.o.g.s. (fats, oils, and greases) really clog up the drain lines and sewer lines. Not a good scene. And rotting vegetable matter produces foul odours and methane gas--again not good. Disposal sunits puts some serious strain on the home's drain lines, and subsequently, teh city's/municipality's sewer lines. The city works guys get kinda ticked off, and like to run a vidieo camera snake up clogged lines and get the home with clogged lines to pay for alot of the damage.

I've spent my entire working life in restaurants, and I've come to the conclusion that garbaurators should NOT be installed in commercial kitchens. They get abused--badly.

Bacon grease? Down the hatch. Half a roasting pan of beef tallow from the prime rib party? Down the hatch. Too lazy to scrape off rissotto from the plates? Down the hatch. Folks, this puts some serious strain on the grease trap (a.k.a. grease interceptor, a.k..a honey tank). At $200 a service call to muck out the grease trap, places with a disposal unit spend alot of money getting crud sucked out that should have gone in the garbage.

O.K. force sheilds up now, fire away....

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I'm impatient. And I really, really needed my kitchen sink back. So, went to the Home Depot last night and picked up a 3/4 hp Insinkerator "Compact." I actually wanted 1/2 hp because I don't use it very much, but I also wanted a quiet one, and 3/4 was the only option in the well-shielded baffled models. So far so good: I had never installed one before, but it only took about five minutes: pretty slick.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Reporting back on the power switch I love for my disposal- my electrician called me back and states it is an air powered like one would find in a hot tub. Generally supplied by the plumber and installed by the electrician. Worth checking into if you are installing a new one.

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Reporting back on the power switch I love for my disposal- my electrician called me back and states it is an air powered like one would find in a hot tub. Generally supplied by the plumber and installed by the electrician. Worth checking into if you are installing a new one.

Why do you think this type of switch is a big advantage? They're much more expensive and more prone to problems than a conventional wall switch. As long as the circuit is on a GFI there's really not a safety hazard so I don't see a big advantage. Am I missing something?

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Reporting back on the power switch I love for my disposal- my electrician called me back and states it is an air powered like one would find in a hot tub. Generally supplied by the plumber and installed by the electrician. Worth checking into if you are installing a new one.

Why do you think this type of switch is a big advantage? They're much more expensive and more prone to problems than a conventional wall switch. As long as the circuit is on a GFI there's really not a safety hazard so I don't see a big advantage. Am I missing something?

Could just be my take on things. In past situations I have often touched the switch with dripping hands - I realize it being GFI should keep me safe, but it bothered me. Have had no problems in 8 years, and it is just a more immediate zen-like thing for me- I see the goobers in the sink, I run the water and push. As to cost - there was no difference in my situation, perhaps I got lucky. Preferences are just that- preferences.

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Reporting back on the power switch I love for my disposal- my electrician called me back and states it is an air powered like one would find in a hot tub. Generally supplied by the plumber and installed by the electrician. Worth checking into if you are installing a new one.

We have this and LOVE IT!! Its called an air switch and its installed in our granite countertop. I bought it at Home Depot and the electrician did install it.

eta: We have an insikertator too, the cost of the airswitch was about 20 bucks.

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
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We also have an air switch. My rationale for getting it was so my dripping hands would be getting water all over the wall every time I flipped on the disposal. It just plugs into the outlet under the sink, though of course you need to have someone drill a hole into your countertop. Unlike Cali, we didn't get ours for $20---I think it was closer to $50.

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I have one that I had to replace because it broke, the next one started leaking so I had to yet put an other one in.

I basically never use them. Ever. I talked to my plumber once as I was concerned that all that ground up food stuff will eventually coat my drain pipes and his recommendation was to grab anything that you can grab by hand and throw it away or compost it. And that's just what I do.

I never quite got the idea of this machine (I grew up in Germany where this is unheard of. As in the rest of Europe and probably the world outside the US/Canada?). Why would I scrape left over food into the sink instead of the trash? Everything goes in the trash here, little to nothing down the drain.

New dishwashers also don't require rinsing, they have a grinder built in.

I'd rather have a larger sink though I like the little side sink for quickly thawing things too.

The disposal I could live without easily though as I never use it nor felt I had a possible use for it.

Oliver

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I included a dosposal in my recent kitchen reno after years of being without one, and I am glad to have one again. Living in an urban area without composting opportunities, it pained me to put food scraps in a plastic bag headed for the landfill. To some of the objections above: interesting point about water usage, I will try to be careful. As to the issues about grease, that is indeed a problem for city sewer systems but not related to disposals, people without disposals do that all the time. Unfortunately.

My disposal is an Insinkerator also, it's smooth and powerful, pretty quiet for a disposal.


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I have one and almost never use it anymore, since my husband once poured fat down it and it cost me a hefty plumber's bill to fix it. :rolleyes:

A year ago, they came out with Green Bins here. Basically all scraps, etc go into the green bin and get collected with your garbage every week, then the town composts it.

Works much better for me. And all my stock bones can go in there too, which they couldn't in the garburator. I thought I was going to hate the green bin program when it came out.

I have small bucket on the kitchen sink that serves as my scrap prep bowl now and the bag goes out to the green bin when full. I just peel carrots, potatoes etc into the small bin, and dump my cutting board scraps in there when I'm done. I love this program.

We also have an air switch and ours is a commercial insinkerator.

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Why do you think this type of switch is a big advantage? .  As long as the circuit is on a GFI there's really not a safety hazard so I don't see a big advantage.

I don't either; If you already have the wall switch. If not the Air/ Vac switch really is easier to use. While I am not a residential electrician [more industrial or Commercial], they should be, at least here on the NW coast, about $150 each, as a consumer, I opt for the more convenient. The GFCI will be there anyway if the kitchen is today's Electrical Code.

Robert

Seattle

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I have two sinks and two garbage grinders. We do not use them.

Seattle has a "clean green" program for our yard waste. We take all our lawn clippings, tree clippings-to a couple inches,pizza boxes even the paper napkins from casual table settings and actually a bunch more food stuff and the city has a contractor who recycles/composts it. We typically have more recycled food stuffs than 'garbage'.

If I would have to replace a garbage grinder, I would use the cheapest thing I could get to fill the hole and I would not exclude a P trap.

Robert

Seattle

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I have a garbage disposal but don't really use it to grind up anything. I toss all all major garbage (peeling, rinds, etc) into the trash can and use the garbage disposal to grind up any little bits rinsed off plates, pots and pans.

This has been said in previous discussions but never put oil/grease down your disposal/sink. Put it in a jar and dispose of it in your garbage can.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Most of the horror stories come from improper use or marginal, low powered units. A 1 hp Insinkerator will generally give good service for a long time.

If you do not exercise caution in what goes into them, sorrow ensues. The same applies to standard drains.

What grinders do best is get rid of moist stuff that will rot and leave a gooey mess in the trash compactor or wastebin. We do not use ours often, but are happy to have it when necessary.

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I use my ISE Evolution Excel 1 HP all the time. I've always had a disposal, even when I was a kid, so I take them for granted and can't imagine not having one (though obviously plenty of people live without them). The 2 houses I've owned both came with the ISE Badgers 1/2 hp -- the higher end Evolution Excel is very much worth changing it out for. You supposedly can even grind bones in it, but I haven't been ballsy enough to try that.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The GFCI will be there anyway if the kitchen is today's Electrical Code.

Actually, current NEC only requires countertop outlets in a residential kitchen to be GFCI protected. Commonly, the same circuit will service the dishwasher and garbage disposal, neither of which are countertop outlets, even if the control switch is countertop.

A disposal was one of the first things I added to our new home -- knowing that this means more attention to the septic system and perhaps more frequent pumpouts. I've lived in several homes with disposal and septic, and never had any issue. But we don't put meats, fats, or anything unchewable through it.

-jon-

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The GFCI will be there anyway if the kitchen is today's Electrical Code.

Actually, current NEC only requires countertop outlets in a residential kitchen to be GFCI protected. Commonly, the same circuit will service the dishwasher and garbage disposal, neither of which are countertop outlets, even if the control switch is countertop.

I think whether it is required or not boils down to the local authorities interpretation of the NEC code. I know of some places where they interpret the switch as a countertop appliance and mandate a GFCI. I'm actually surprised NEC isn't more specific in this area because I'm quite sure they feel it's necessary.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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