Manufactured Home Garbage Disposals 2021 Shopping Guide For Families Of All Sizes

Garbage disposals—often referred to as garbage disposers—are any homeowner’s best friend, grinding and washing away all types of food-based kitchen wasters with a simple touch of a button.

Are you in need of one but you’re short of the important information you’d need to choose the best product for your needs?

This guide makes your journey shopping easier by identifying the important factors you need to consider before settling on one unit.

From an environmental perspective, garbage disposal units have pros and cons.

They help cut the amount of kitchen garbage destined for landfills hence reducing the production of methane, a greenhouse gas.

However, they demand a great deal of energy and water and can strain sewage treatment facilities and septic systems.

The benefits outweigh the setbacks nonetheless.

Seven Manufactured Home Garbage Disposal Shopping Factors

Here are the factors to bear in mind when shopping for the best garbage disposal unit for your home:

  • Noise Level
  • Horsepower v/s Size/amount of Food Wastes
  • Strength of the motor
  • Type
  • Accessories
  • Brand
  • Warranty

1. Noise Level

Garbage disposals can be noisy at times.

If you are sensitive to high noise levels, you should understand that every garbage disposal unit out there produces it, but some units are louder offenders compared to others.

For that reason, you will want to carefully put into account the noise levels produced by the product of your liking and determine if its noise level can work best for your household.

Product Noise Level (in Decibels – dB)
InsInkerator Evolution Excel 45 dB Low
Moen GSX75C-GX 65 dB Moderate
Insinkerator Evolution XTR 65 dB Moderate
Insinkerator Septic Assist 65 dB Moderate
Waste King L-8000 105 dB High
Insinkerator Badger 5 105 dB High
Waster King L1001 105 dB High

To make your choice process a little easier, we have prepared a not-so-detailed chart that compares a list of some of the best-rated models at peak volume.

Buyers with high sensitivity to loud noises might be great candidates for the mouse-quiet InSinkErator Evolution Excel – this model barely whispers!

Buyers with low sensitivity to loud noises might be happy to install InSinkErator’s slightly louder sibling, Evolution XTR, or, better yet, Badger 5 family of garbage disposals.

However, note that lower volume often demands a bigger budget.

Those units equipped with better sound insulation technologies are usually more advanced than the most basic unit you could buy.

The advanced sound insulation technology means more dollars—hence expensive.

If you choose Evolution Excel, for example, you are going to part with more money because it is one of the least noisy garbage disposals in its class.

If you are shopping on a budget, the cheaper but louder Badger or Waste King L-8000 can be appropriate for you.

It is worth mentioning that, other than the garbage disposal unit itself, a few other factors may have an influence on the noise level.

Buyers who value their peace and quiet may want to make sure their sinks are sound-insulated to prevent them from amplifying the noise generated by the attached disposal unit.

These days, virtually all the best kitchen sinks come with deadening pads and foam-coating.

If your sink doesn’t have any of these features, perhaps it is time to upgrade.

2. Horsepower v/s Size/amount of Food Wastes

What horsepower disposer do you need?

How much waste do you produce?

Garbage disposal units use motors with variable horsepower (HP) ratings, normally between 1/3 HP and 1 HP sometimes higher. If you have a large household now plan to use the machine often, go for a machine with more power.

The power of the garbage disposal should be directly proportional to the size of your kitchen waste.

A large amount of food wastes requires a larger unit with a powerful motor to break down the huge load.

So, before you commit to buying a disposer, determine the amount of horsepower (HP) that would be perfect for the daily load of wastes in your kitchen.

Here is what we mean (approximately):

  • 1/3 or 1/2 HP: sufficient for a small household with 1 – 3 people
  • 3/4 HP: enough for an averagely-sized family of 4 – 6 people
  • 1 HP: sufficient for a relatively large family of 7 – 9 people
  • 2 HP: powerful enough for a large family with more than 9 people. This horsepower size is normally used in commercial establishments.

From the look of it, 1/3 HP models are capable of supporting the average individual’s garbage disposal plans, so we’ve chosen to exclude that size of horsepower from our picks.

Conversely, 2 HP models offer more power than you could need in an average home.

However, from the date we have here, it looks like 1/2 to 1 HP garbage disposals are perfect for most families. The trick is to opt for the horsepower that matches your household’s size.

We have made the choice simpler by creating a table that compares pairs side by side with the suggested household size. This table assumes that every family takes three meals in a day and doesn’t receive guests so often.

Here is a table that suggests garbage disposals based on family size:

Product Family Size
Waste King L1001 2 People
Insinkerator 2 People
Moen GSX75C-GX 6 People
Insinkerator XTR 6 People
Insinkerator Septic Assist 6 People
Insinkerator Badger 58 People
Waste King L-8000 8 People

If you have a small but love to throw huge dinner parties that produce heaps of wastes, feel free to buy the most powerful unit you could find, something like InSinkErator Evolution Excel.

On the flip side, if you are seldom home or you don’t cook often, a lower-HP product like Badger 5 would be just fine for you. Just think about what fits your lifestyle.

Note that disposers with more horsepower usually operate more quietly. They also jam less often than basic or standard disposers with low horsepower.

3. Strength of the motor

While the strength of the motor has something to do with horsepower (something we’ve already talked about in the above section), it dictates two more important things:

  • the amount of wastes your disposal machine can tackle in a given period,
  • and how well the disposer can actually mash and break everything up.

This means that stronger motors are fit for tackling tougher garbage, breaking it up into fine components better than weaker motors.

So, the strength of the motor is a big deal because a finer grind is less likely to clog the drain compared to a less fine grind.

With that said, weaker units are a bit popular among some groups. Models with ⅓ HP are the weakest on the market and still sell relatively well.

The probable reason behind this might be the fact that this class of machines is more affordable than their more powerful counterparts.

There’s another possible reason – about 45% of the American adult population live as single, mostly in small homes or studios that don’t have enough space for larger models.

  • 1/2 HP garbage disposals are slightly stronger and, therefore, are a more appealing choice for small living spaces.
  • Both the 1/2 and 1/3 HP motors are strongly recommended for usual light use only. They should be run gently though.
  • If you are looking for a disposal machine that can handle garbage load that the 1/2 and 1/3 HP motors can’t tackle, go for a 3/4 or 1 – 2 HP model.
  • 3/4 HP motors come with the technology and strength needed to deal with tough bones and fibrous vegetables that would’ve stumped weaker models.
  • 1 – 2 HP motors are workhorses – they can withstand tougher food wastes and tolerate heavy use at the same time.

If you are curious how the above picks compare to each other regarding grinding capabilities, take a glance at this demonstrative chart:

Product Garbage Disposal Capability
Insinkerator Badger 5 Fibrous Vegetables
Waste King L1001 Fibrous Vegetables
Moen GSX75C-GX Burnt Meat
Insinkerator Evolution XTR Chicken Bone
Insinkerator Septic Assist Chicken Bones
Waste King L-8000 Fruit Leftovers
Insinkerator Evolution Excel Beef Bones

Weaker models such as the Waste King L1001 and InSinkErator Badger 5 can’t grind anything harder or tougher than fibrous veggies.

On the other hand, stronger models such as Evolution Excel are able to handle even the toughest wastes your household could produce, including meat bones.

Related: Can You Run the Dishwasher and Garbage Disposal at The Same Time?

4. Type

All garbage disposals aren’t the same. They can be placed into two groups:

  • batch feed disposers
  • continuous feed disposers.

Batch feed disposers


Batch feed machines come with a magnetic stopper that can be turned on to prevent wastes from falling in it when it is running.

Basically, it gets rid of your garbage in batches – one batch is broken down and passed down the plumbing before receiving the next batch.

This disposer is perfect for locations where it would be difficult or impractical to add an electrical switch.

Continuous Feed Disposers

Unless the power is cut off, continuous feed units will keep running so that you can dispose of the wastes as you go.

Typically, continuous feed disposers consist

  • of the main unit
  • a wall switch
  • and a sink-top switch activator/power outlet placed below the countertop.

Most homeowners prefer this setup and that’s why this type of garbage disposal unit is more popular than the former.

Note that most sinks are designed to be compatible with garbage disposal units at the start.

If you are adding a new disposer as part of your kitchen sink replacement or remodeling, check the specifications outlined by the manufacturer before purchasing. Some sinks are installed with small drains that may be incompatible with your favorite disposer.

5. Accessories

Different products from different manufacturers come with different accessories.

Before setting out for the store, make a list of must-have accessories that you want on the disposer.

Here are the disposer features and accessories to consider:

Sink-Top Switches

These are sold separately and they can be a better alternative to the regular wall switch.

It runs using air pressure.

If you are planning to install a continuous-feed disposer, then this is one of the best switches to accompany it.

It’s also an ideal switch option for kitchen islands as it removes the need to add hardwire to your wall switch.

Auto-Reverse

Some units feature an auto-reverse function that rotates the grinding table.

The spin normally occurs in the opposite direction, loosening and processing the lodged food. This helps prevent jams.

Quick-Mount Feature

You don’t want to fumble for some time trying to mount your disposer.

Go for a product with this feature. It is more of a mounting design than a unique feature.

It allows easy installation because the mounting structure implements the turn-and-lock mechanism to secure the machine to the sink.

Stainless Steel or Chrome Grind Chamber & Components

Disposers with stainless steel-made grind chambers and parts tend to last longer than those made from plastic and other materials.

Power Cord

Power cords are normally bought separately but you can be lucky to land a machine that is offered together with a power cord.

You will need this cord when plugging your machine into the outlet during installing.

Read the manufacturer’s guidance if you plan to hardwire the disposal unit but the model you are considering comes with an attached cord.

Baffle

One of the common annoyances with garbage disposal units is the tendency of particles and half mashed liquids to splatter out of the unit during operation.

That’s why you need to choose a unit with a baffle.

The baffle comes in form of a rubber guard often installed at the opening of the sink.

It ensures that water and food maintains one direction of flow into the grinding chamber without splashing around.

Multiple Grind Stages

Virtually all the basic models feature a single grind stage.

It would be prudent for you to go for models with several grind stages (preferably three, but the many the better) to ensure that the wastes are pulverized completely in the last stage before they are expelled down the plumbing.

Quiet Models

Some products come with design elements, like thick insulation around the unit, sound baffles on the sink’s opening, and springy flexible mounting connections, all aimed at reducing the noise and excess vibration.

6. Brand

Brands are as famous as their products.

More than most other appliances, garbage disposals are vastly dominated by a fistful of brands.

Just three – InSinkErator, Waste King, and Moen – account for over half of the popular models available on the market.

The most well-respected and popular brand is most likely to be InSinkErator (owned by the Emerson Electric brand).

InSinkErator has dozens of diverse models of different configurations and sizes in the market; their products are available at almost all online retailers, hardware stores, and home improvement chains.

Other recognizable brands include Sink Master and Waste King, all of which operate under the AMC (Anaheims Manufacturing Company) brand.

Another popular brand worth mentioning is Moen, a well-known producer of sinks, faucets, and an array of other plumbing fixtures.

Garbage disposals are simple straightforward equipment and you don’t need to pay a lot of attention to the brand behind the product of your liking.

7. Warranty

An average garbage disposal unit lasts for between 8 and 10 years, which is normally longer than the maker’s warranty, which often ranges from 1 to 10 years. Parting with more cash for a garbage disposal unit can mean that it features a longer warranty.

Note that there are very few mechanical differences between high-end and low-price disposals running on the same horsepower.

And because the average disposer outlives its long warranty anyway, you don’t have a good reason to splash extra cash on a product with a much longer warranty—more so since these products aren’t very expensive.

In a nutshell

You need a decent garbage disposal unit to help manage your kitchen’s food-based garbage output.

A garbage disposal unit grinds the wastes and releases them in your home’s septic system from where it gets transferred to your local sewage treatment plant.

Are you in need of one but you’re short of the important information you’d need to choose the best product for your needs?

You need to consider a few factors, including

  • the product’s noise level
  • horsepower v/s Size/amount of food wastes
  • the strength of the motor
  • accessories, brand
  • type
  • warranty.

Regarding noise production, note that other than the garbage disposal unit itself, a few other factors may have an influence on the noise level.

Buyers who value their peace and quiet may want to make sure their sinks are sound-insulated to prevent them from amplifying the noise generated by the attached disposal unit.

These days, virtually all the best kitchen sinks come with deadening pads and foam-coating. If your sink doesn’t have any of these features, perhaps it is time to upgrade.

Also, note that disposers with more horsepower usually operate more quietly. They also jam less often than basic or standard disposers with low horsepower.

Garbage disposals are simple straightforward equipment and you don’t need to pay a lot of attention to the brand behind the product of your liking.


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