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When to Replace the Garbage Disposal, and What to Look for in a New Unit

When to Replace the Garbage Disposal, and What to Look for in a New Unit

Homeowners think less about when to replace the garbage disposal unit than they do almost any other appliance in their home. In most cases, it’s not until the disposal finally breaks that replacing the unit becomes a priority. While you may believe that one garbage disposal system is the same as another, that’s not necessarily true. Here’s a buyer’s guide to walk you through the process to replace the garbage disposal.

Garbage Disposal Buyer’s Guide

  • Select a type of disposal. The most common type used in homes across the northern arc of Atlanta is the continuous feed garbage disposal. This system works in tandem with a switch on the wall. With the food in the drain and the water running, you turn on the switch. The disposal grinds the food before it goes down the drain. A batch feed garbage disposal is less common and requires a bit more elbow grease, but it’s safer. These systems use a special type of plug that inserts into the drain and must be turned on manually to activate the disposal. As a result, the grinder will never run when your hands are in the drain, which is always a risk with continuous feed systems. The emphasis on convenience or safety is the key choice when deciding between the two types of systems. Consider which attribute is more valuable to you when it’s time to replace the garbage disposal.
  • Select the power. For most households, a one-third or one-half horsepower motor will suffice to break up common foods used in residential cooking and food preparation. You may want to consider a motor with three-fourths or one horsepower if you have a large family or prepare food regularly for community groups or activities.
  • Select the features. A specification to consider when purchasing a new garbage disposal system is a second cutting blade. The two-blade unit increases the power of the disposal without having to acquire additional horsepower, and can easily handle items like fibrous foods and lemon peels. Make sure the model you select has an overload switch, which will stop the system from operating when it overheats. This feature also prevents wear on the motor that could cause it to burn out. Finally, look for a unit with auto-reverse, which will turn the blades in the other direction upon starting up. This action helps clear blockages and jams.

It’s not often that your garbage disposal unit will break down; most last about 12 years. When the time finally comes to replace your unit, it’s helpful to be prepared and know what to look for when comparison shopping. Need help choosing or installing a garbage disposal system? Call the experts at Casteel Heating, Cooling and Plumbing today to schedule service!

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