Replacing a failed garbage disposer can seem daunting. There's the usual trepidation about electricity and water, the unfamiliar sink connection and enough drain fittings to make leaks a real possibility. Then there are the hassles of comparison shopping and the suspicion that the job could run into real money. And finally, failed disposers don't often leak, at least not in the beginning, so it's easy to put things off.
Garbage disposers address the often disparate demands of convenience and conservation by grinding up kitchen scraps, especially non-compostable leftovers like meat and poultry or fat, and sending them down the drain to a sewage-treatment plant or septic system for handling, rather than to the landfill for slow decomposition. Our tests show that some disposers grind more quickly and finely, and are better at resisting jams.