Garbage Disposals: Pros, Cons, & Should You Get One?
Looking to deal with the nasty odors coming from your kitchen?
Then you may want to think about getting a garbage disposal.
A garbage disposal is a helpful device that can quickly eliminate food waste, reducing the amount of food you put in your garbage can. However, they’re can also be expensive, prone to getting jammed, and a pain to install.
So what are the pros and cons, and should you get a garbage disposal? We’ve weighed up the decision cases in this article, so read to find out whether you (probably) need a garbage disposal or not.
A garbage disposal can help you save time, reduce odors, and cut down on the amount of garbage you put in your garbage can. At the same time, a garbage disposal does require maintenance and can be a significant injury risk. If you think you can handle a garbage disposal safely, then it may be right for you.
What do you need to know about a garbage disposal? You need to compare the benefits and drawbacks before you decide if this is right for you. Learn more below, and see if this can make a positive difference in the way you operate your kitchen.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Garbage Disposal?
First, it’s important to take a closer look at a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy if you decide to install a garbage disposal. A few of the top benefits include:
A Garbage Disposal Is Easy to Use
First, it is very easy to use a garbage disposal. Even though it sounds like a complicated piece of machinery, all you have to do is flip a switch. While you do need to think carefully about what you put down the garbage disposal, it can handle just about anything you throw at it. This is one of the easiest kitchen appliances out there to learn how to use.
You Can Save Time on Clean Up
Using a garbage disposal means you save a ton of time when you’re cleaning up in the kitchen. If your sink is equipped with a garbage disposal, you don’t have to worry about carrying dirty plates to the garbage can. You can simply push everything down the garbage disposal. Again, you don’t want to overwork the garbage disposal, but this can cut down on your cleaning time significantly.
You Can Guard Your Pipes
If you decide to install a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you can also protect your pipes. When you have a bunch of dishes with leftover food stuck on them, and could be tempting to try to force everything down the sink. You can only carry so many plates to the garbage can, and you may think it is easier to force the scraps down the sink. Unfortunately, these food scraps can soak up liquid and clog your pipes. As a result, you may have to call a plumber to help you. Or, you may pour a dangerous chemical down the sink, which is only going to damage your pipes even more. A garbage disposal is going to cry in the food into small debris. That way, they don’t get stuck in the pipes.
They Don’t Cost as Much as You Think
Another major benefit of having a garbage disposal is that it does not cost nearly as much as you think. It is possible to find a garbage disposal that costs less than $100. If you have a decent understanding of basic plumbing, you might be able to install one on your own. If not, this is a routine job for an experienced plumber. Furthermore, this is not something you will have to replace very often. As long as you take care of your garbage disposal, it could last for 10 years or more. Therefore, this is not an expensive kitchen appliance.
They Can Be Installed Almost Everywhere
Finally, the average garbage disposal can be installed just about anywhere. They will work well with just about every type of sewer system, including septic tanks and municipal sewers. If you have a septic tank, you do need to make sure your garbage disposal is compatible with your septic tank; however, this is probably going to be just fine. Because garbage disposals are relatively small appliances, you can install them almost anywhere. If you want to install a garbage disposal, you may want to talk to a plumber about where it should go in your sink.
These are just a few of the many benefits you will enjoy if you decide to get a garbage disposal. Of course, there are some drawbacks you need to understand as well. What do you need to know?
What Are the Drawbacks of Having a Garbage Disposal?
If you decide to install a garbage disposal in your home, there are a few drawbacks you need to understand. These include:
You Cannot Put Everything Down the Garbage Disposal
Once you get a garbage disposal put in, it’s tempting to throw just about everything down it. Even though it can eat just about everything, this does not mean you should put all of your food scraps down the garbage disposal. This is not necessarily a trash can for food, so you need to make sure you keep certain food out of the disposal. These include:
- You need to avoid putting fatty foods down the garbage disposal.
- You should also avoid putting any starchy foods down the garbage disposal including beans, rice, and pasta.
- Do not put any foods with a lot of fiber in them down the garbage disposal, including banana filled or potato peels.
- You should try to avoid putting hardwood cereals down the garbage disposal including fruit pits and bones.
You need to avoid putting these foods down the garbage disposal for two reasons. First, some of these foods could clog your pipes even if they go through the garbage disposal. For example, a lot of these foods will still absorb water, create an obstruction. Second, you need to avoid putting foods down the garbage disposal that could damage it. When you get in a rhythm, it’s easy to forget these rules, and you could make mistakes.
It’s Very Noisy
Of course, another issue you need to understand is that a garbage disposal is very noisy. Even though it’s only going to run for a few seconds at a time, it’s nearly impossible to have a conversation when the garbage disposal is running. This is a loud, distracting appliance that a lot of people don’t like to deal with. You must think about your overall level of noise tolerance before you decide if this is an appliance you should have in your kitchen.
You Must Invest in Routine Maintenance
If you want your garbage disposal to last as long as possible, you must take care of it. Even if your garbage disposal is used correctly, there are some food particles that are going to end up lingering behind. Eventually, these particles will start to decay. When this happens, they start to smell.
Fortunately, this does not necessarily take a long time to clean. When you clean your garbage disposal, you should turn off the power. Then, wipe down the inside of the rubber ring. You also need to use a bottle brush to scrub the inside of the garbage disposal. In between cleanings, you can freshen up your garbage disposal with some lemon chunks and ice cubes. This will keep the garbage disposal smelling nice while the ice cubes will knock any gunk off the inside the blades.
There’s a Significant Injury Risk
Finally, you also need to remember that there is a significant injury risk if you use a garbage disposal. It should go without saying that nobody should ever put a body part down the garbage disposal, no matter what might be in there. If you dropped a valuable item in the garbage disposal, you need to disconnect the power before you go looking for it. Never put any of your body parts in the garbage disposal. This can lead to serious injuries and this can be a problem if there are kids in the home.
If you keep these benefits and drawbacks in mind, you should be able to decide if a garbage disposal is right for your home. So, do you need to get one?
Should You Get a Garbage Disposal in Your House?
There are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you decide if a garbage disposal is right for your home. These include:
- Are you tired of having to dump a bunch of food into the garbage can?
- Do you feel like you have to take the garbage out all the time because it is constantly filled up and food scraps?
- Are you looking for a way to cut back on clogs that take place in your pipes?
- Do you feel comfortable performing the routine maintenance that is going to be required to take care of a garbage disposal?
- Are you able to deal with the amount of noise that a garbage disposal is going to create?
- Do you feel comfortable that people are going to remember not to put any of their body parts down the garbage disposal?
- Can you remember what you should and should not put down a garbage disposal?
If you can answer these questions, then you should be able to decide if a garbage disposal is right for you. Remember that this might be something you can install on your own if you have a lot of plumbing experience. If not, you may want to reach out to a professional.
Consider Installing a Garbage Disposal in Your Kitchen
Ultimately, a garbage disposal can be a very valuable addition to your kitchen. It is a great way for you to protect your pipes, cut down on the amount of food you put in your garbage can, and save time during the cleaning process.
At the same time, a garbage disposal is very noisy and it creates a lot of injury risks. You cannot put everything down a garbage disposal. If you are interested in putting a garbage disposal in your home, you may want to take a look at a few options. Then, consider talking to a professional who can help you.