2. Can my septic tank handle the load? Septic tanks are essential in the general installation and use of garbage disposals. If your home is hooked up to a septic tank, then the municipality that you live in may require you to upgrade your septic tank system if you decide to install a garbage disposal. A local building inspector will be able to tell you if you’ll need too. Also, you must take into account that you will be required to empty your septic tank more often.
For over 75 years InSinkErator has been known for building the world's best food waste disposers. Badger, our standard disposer line, is basic, reliable, and functional. Available in various models and sizes for a range of applications, InSinkErator also manufactures a premier line of disposers, the Evolution Series. InSinkErator food waste disposers are the only disposers that are proudly made in the U.S.A. InSinkErator has grown into the largest food waste disposer manufacturer and best-selling garbage disposer brand in the world.

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.

The bulk of a food waste disposer system, which includes the seals and pipes, is located beneath the kitchen sink. Most homeowners use this space to store various items, and it is not uncommon for people to bump or jar the disposal’s pipes when reaching for an item that is in close proximity. If the pipes are struck hard enough, the pipes can shift so that they are no longer sitting properly. Retaining bolts can become loose. Pipes may move, and seals can shift into an awkward position.
IMPORTANT: Whenever you are working on your garbage disposal, inserting items, and/or inserting body parts into your garbage disposal unit, it should be UNPLUGGED and the POWER TO THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL UNIT SHOULD BE OFF!  Failing to do so will put you at risk of SERIOUS INJURY.  Also, if possible avoid placing your hands directly near the blades at the disposal.  If you can, instead use a tool to wedge out items or check the blades for blockage.
This thing is exactly as everyone else has described. I, like many others, replaced an old ISE Badger with this unit, and it's heads and shoulders above in quality, function, quietness, etc. It grinds everything in seconds (as opposed to batting it around in the chamber for multiple cycles like the Badger). The original plumbing from the Badger lined right up and worked the first time. I'm very pleased with this item... although, there is one thing that I want to note; I read somewhere that if you use the EZ mount system that comes with it, you won't need plumber's putty - one can just use the gasket. This is true ONLY if using a flat lipped SS sink, and even then the rubber seal is optional as opposed to the putty (you can use only one, the putty or the seal with a SS sink, but not both). It's better said that you WILL need plumber's putty, and if you have a stainless steel sink, you have the option to use the thin rubber gasket (I'd use plumber's putty). Other than that minor detail (which made me take an unexpected run to our local hardware store), this unit is great. The one last thing I will say is around quietness. I've read some reviews that talk about how quiet or not quiet it is. I don't understand the desire to have an ultra-quiet garbage disposal. I mean, one needs to run water while the run the disposal, and a full-blast of the faucet going into a spinning basket creates a notable level of sound anyway, plus I want to be able to hear the load of the disposal so I can know when it's clear. This unit is by no means noisy, but I just don't see the desire to go ultra-quiet. Again, this big-boy Waste King is awesome.
Hang the disposal by aligning the three mounting tabs with the slide-up ramps on the mounting ring. Holding the disposal in place, turn the lower mounting ring until all three tabs are locked into the mounting assembly. The disposal will now hang by itself. Tighten the three mounting screws, ultimately tightening each screw a few turns at a time until the mounting assembly is evenly and tightly seated against the bottom of the sink.
If the water is leaking at the mounting assembly, make sure it is mounted as designed and not cocked. If the water is leaking at the dishwasher inlet, tighten the hose connector. If the water is leaking through the wall of the container body, your disposer probably need to be replaced. If the water is leaking from adjacent plumbing, tighten the connections as necessary.
If the plumber’s putty has failed, you might be able to stop the leak by replacing the putty.  To do so without removing your garbage disposal, loosen the retaining bolts until a gap forms, force the new putty between the pipe and flange, and retighten the bolts to secure the putty into place.  If this does not work, then remove your disposal unit and reseal the flange.  To do this:
Locate the circuit breaker that controls power to the garbage disposal, and flip it to the "off" position before continuing. Fix or replace the main seal if it is leaking. Remove both the drain pipe and the dishwasher hose, if applicable. Insert a screwdriver into the tightening ring and turn it counterclockwise. This will release the garbage disposal unit. Inspect the main seal that sits on the top of the unit. The seal is a large, soft rubber fitting that covers the top edge of the garbage disposal. If dirt, grit or food particles have fouled the main seal, wipe it down with a damp rag and reinstall the disposal unit. If the main seal is cracked, pitted or broken, it needs to be replaced. Once a new main seal has been inserted into the garbage disposal, push it up against the mounting bracket, insert a screwdriver into the tightening ring, and turn it clockwise to lock the unit into place. Reinstall the drain pipe and dishwasher hose, if applicable.
If the leak occurred under the sink and at the top of the disposal before you unplugged the sink drain, your leak is in the sink flange. This indicates that an improper seal exists between the unit and the sink, which can occur from corrosion or the disposal being bumped hard and out of place. This fix requires you to move the disposal altogether. Then apply a generous amount of plumber’s putty to the flange. Finally, replace the disposal and retighten the flange.
Garbage disposals help us get rid of food waste, so it’s not surprising that the appliance may be susceptible to gross smells. A capful of bleach or grinding up citrus peels can help eliminate any foul odors coming from your garbage disposal. However, if nothing seems to help your appliance in the smell department, it may be catching food particles within its crevices. We recommend disassembling your garbage disposal to clean it, or replacing it if it’s old.
Installing a garbage disposal involves tapping into your home’s plumbing and electrical systems, and both systems need to be handled correctly to safely install your garbage disposal. Someone with a lot of experience can handle the job in 2 or 3 hours—or maybe even less. Attempting a garbage disposal installation without any training will likely take at least double the time required for a professional to install the garbage disposal.

There are two main types of garbage disposers—continuous feed and batch feed. Continuous feed models are used by feeding in waste after being started and are more common. Batch feed units are used by placing waste inside the unit before being started. These types of units are started by placing a specially designed cover over the opening. Some covers manipulate a mechanical switch while others allow magnets in the cover to align with magnets in the unit. Small slits in the cover allow water to flow through. Batch feed models are considered safer, since the top of the disposal is covered during operation, preventing foreign objects from falling in.
First drop the garbage disposal down like in step 3. Loosen the 3 bolts that tighten the flange in place. Then locate the clip that holds the bottom flange in place. Use a flat screwdriver to pop the clip out of its groove. Then pull the top flange out from the top of the sink. Clean the area around the sink opening before reinstalling the flange making sure to remove any old putty.

Disposers range between $45 and $250, and most hold up fairly well under normal use. It's common for a $50, 1/3-hp disposer with a 1-year warranty to last 10 to 12 years. So what does more money buy? Increased longevity, longer warranties, more power and less aggravation. The better units have stainless steel components, auto-reversing starts and bigger motors. Units that reverse direction with each start greatly reduce stoppages, while larger motors can chew through larger and more varied food loads.

If the water is leaking at the mounting assembly, make sure it is mounted as designed and not cocked. If the water is leaking at the dishwasher inlet, tighten the hose connector. If the water is leaking through the wall of the container body, your disposer probably need to be replaced. If the water is leaking from adjacent plumbing, tighten the connections as necessary.


Discharge Pipe: The discharge pipe that goes into the drain of the sink is attached to the bottom of the garbage disposal. Either of these parts can sometimes loosen from regular use or may fail altogether with enough wear and tear.Check to be sure the connection is tight and tighten with a plumber’s wrench if necessary. If the discharge pipe still leaks, the seal that is located between the retaining nut and the discharge pipe may need to be replaced.

Consumer Reports is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to helping consumers. We make it easy to buy the right product from a variety of retailers. Clicking a retailer link will take you to that retailer’s website to shop. When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission – 100% of the fees we collect are used to support our mission. Learn more. Our service is unbiased: retailers can’t influence placement. All prices are subject to change.
InSinkErator garbage disposals provide a convenient and environmentally-conscious alternative to sending leftovers to landfills. Capable wastewater treatment plants can even recycle food scraps into energy and fertilizer. Plus, using garbage disposals can significantly reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The premise behind the proper use of a disposer is to effectively regard food scraps as liquid (averaging 70% water, like human waste), and use existing infrastructure (underground sewers and wastewater treatment plants) for its management. Modern wastewater plants are effective at processing organic solids into fertilizer products (known as biosolids), with advanced facilities also capturing methane for energy production.[20][21]
×