Kitchen Appliance Advice

Garbage Disposal Buying Advice

The garbage disposal is one kitchen appliance that we often use to take away our daily waste. There are two types of garbage disposals. One type is the continuous feed and is operated from a wall switch usually installed close to the sink or the switch is sometimes mounted under the sink inside the cabinet. The kids could operate this type of garbage disposer but if an additional switch is installed or a special switch with some kind of a safety guard or special way to turn it on would be installed it could be child proofed. The other type is what is called a batch feed garbage disposer. A stopper is installed into the unit and turning the switch on.

Garbage Disposal
When you drop a bunch of waste into the hole, it ends up sitting on top of the turntable. When the disposer is running, the stuff is slung outwards against the shredder ring. The shredder ring has a series of slots in it, the edges of which are sharp to cut all the waste. The lugs, which are loosely attached to the turntable so they can swivel around and jingle, help bash the stuff against the shredder ring. As the stuff is dragged along the shredder ring, small chips are shaved off and go through the slots and fall into the chamber below the turntable. With a good flow of water, all these chunks are stirred around under the turntable until they make their way out the outlet into the waste piping system.

Since the slots in the shredder ring are pretty small, the shavings that come through it should also be pretty small -- small enough that you wouldn't expect them to cause any problems down the pipes. However, it is possible for stringy stuff, like some types of beans, artichoke leaves, corn husks, things like that, to get in here and make a real mess of things. The stringy parts can get pulled through the slots in the shredder ring lengthwise, then get wrapped around the shaft of the motor, or head on down the pipe and congregate in a trap and plug the drain.

The building materials of the garbage disposer are also very important. It comes in several forms: stainless steel, plastic, galvanized steel and pot metal.

Stainless steel: stainless steel is very durable, and anything made of stainless steel is likely to outlast the motor bearings, which probably means many years.

Plastic: There are a couple of types of plastic used in disposers, but any one of them is actually a pretty good material. They won't corrode, and if properly designed should last a good, long time. Eventually plastic will dry out and crack, but without being subjected to sunlight this should take longer than we would be concerned about. One thing we might be concerned about is hot water; what comes out of the tap is not likely to be a problem (unless your water heater is set way too hot), but if you make a habit of pouring pots of boiling water down the drain you could stress plastic parts.

Galvanized steel: Galvanizing, as applied inside a waste disposer grind chamber, merely means the steel won't rust until you get the disposer home and install it. The first time you actually grind up something, that galvanized protection will be gone. Galvanized steel parts will be covered with rust in a matter of weeks after installation, and will fail completely due to rusting through within a few years. This material is crap, and any company that uses it in a waste disposer should be ashamed.

Pot metal: Pot metal is usually either plated or painted, since they will be quickly covered in white powdery corrosion if left bare. With a little age they start to corrode anyway, and the corrosion causes the plating or paint to blister up in unsightly bubbles. Such parts often look really shabby, but they can last a very long time.

Buying Tips:
For any future buyers of garbage disposer, please pay attention to the noise effect of the product you are going to select. Usually the stronger the horsepower, the bigger the noise will be. But if the horsepower is not strong enough, it reduces the possibility to shred the garbage fully. And the material should also be taken into consideration. When selecting a waste disposer, there are two reasons to be choosy about the materials in the grind chamber. The first, and most important to us engineers, is durability, and for this reason people would appreciate a machine in which every part that comes in contact with water is made of stainless steel or plastic. The second reason, and the one that many homeowners find important, is that people want the machine to look nice; when you peer down into the drain, you want to see nice, clean, shiny metal parts rather than a dark, dank hole full of rotting metal and germ-infested pits and crannies. For this second reason, it's nice to have the parts that are visible when looking down the drain to be stainless steel; everything that isn't visible is unimportant.



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