Quality & Safety Matter for Disposal Unit | PostIndependent.com

Quality & Safety Matter for Disposal Unit

On the HouseJames & Morris CareyGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

One of the most popular kitchen appliances to come along in the last several decades is the garbage disposal. In remodeling nowadays, who would think of putting in a sink and not including a disposal?With disposals you really do get what you pay for. They come in a multitude of product quality levels and the better the quality, the higher the cost. Although disposals are nothing more than grinders, there are cheap ones that won’t last very long, and better ones that will last longer, operate more quietly and do a better job of macerating the stuff you need ground up and liquefied.Note: Even the best, most powerful, most expensive garbage disposal is not meant to grind full heads of lettuce.A disposal is best thought of as a device to convert small amounts of solid waste into particles that can more easily be swept down the drain and out to the public sewer system – small bits of orange peel or carrot skin, say, that are too small to throw in the trash or compost pile.Keeping this in mind will add substantial life to your disposal.Other points:• Cheap disposals are noisy partly because they lack sufficient insulation. And some of the vibration that can radiate annoying sound may result from pairing any disposal, even the best one, with a cheap sink. • Cheap knife blades in a cheap disposal will dull more quickly.• The grinding chamber will last longer if it is made from stainless steel.• The larger the motor, the more power the disposal will have and the better equipped it will be to grind up anything and everything. If we had a choice, among 1/3 horsepower, 12 horsepower or 1 horsepower we would always opt for the largest, the 1-horsepower unit.Having chosen a good disposal, there are important installation facts to remember.First, the National Electric Code requires that a disposal be on its own “dedicated” circuit. If you are sharing your disposal with other appliances you may overheat the circuit and even cause a fire. Although disposal circuits vary, a disposal circuit should be rated at 20 amps.There are two dangers to using a disposal: Reaching in with your hand to clean it out without first unplugging it; and using the on/off switch with wet hands. Although you might intend to dry your hands before reaching for the control switch, it’s all too easy to go for it drippy fingers and all.We suggest – especially if you have children – that you consider the installation of an air switch. An air switch is a simple electric control device that is placed between the disposal receptacle and the disposal plug. Plug the device into the receptacle and plug the disposal into it.The device switches on and off by way of an air tube and plunger. The plunger appears as a push button that can be mounted in the sink, or on the cabinet, counter or wall. No electricity is used for the plunger button, and the danger of wet hands and electricity is removed from the mix.For more information, go to your favorite Web search engine and type in “Garbage Disposal Air Switch.” Keep in mind that you will see some expensive commercial models, some over $300. The one we like sells for under $100.More home improvement tips and information are available on the Web at http://www.onthehouse.com or by calling 1-800-737-2474, ext. 59.

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