Fed up of a stinking bin because of all the unrecyclable food waste sitting in it? Do you have to empty this bin into your outside bin an awful lot? While it may be annoying to have to always do this, there is also a bigger impact outside your home to consider. Fuller bin bags means more rubbish ending up in a landfill, which obviously has an environmental impact. So what can we do to reduce the level of waste coming from our kitchens? We can put some waste into compost, but not all kitchen waste is recyclable.
The answer is a food waste disposal unit. These little marvels can take care of all that waste you can’t recycle into compost. They sit hidden under kitchen sinks and tirelessly grind down things like kitchen scraps, chicken bones, crusts, peelings and more into a fine powder that is then disposed of down your drain flushed away by the water from your kitchen taps. They are a very effective way to reduce your kitchen waste output over the course of a year.
Waste disposal units are made for fitting underneath kitchen sinks and attach to the standard drain outlet. Make sure you have enough room under your sink to run such a unit before you buy one.
Read on to find out everything you need to know when deciding on which kitchen waste disposer you want to buy.
Type of waste disposal unit.
The type of food waste disposal unit you’ll want to buy depends on how you’ll be using it and how safe you want it to be. The two types on offer are continuous feed units and batch feed units.
1. Continuous feed: This is the most effective type of waste disposal unit. They are operated via an air switch that’s mounted on the top of the sink, or an electric wall switch. When switched on it will run continuously so that you can put food waste into the open kitchen sink drain throughout its operation. Once all the waste has been ground down, you simply switch the unit off.
It’s the most common type of unit as it’s fast, effective and efficient.
2. Batch feed: As the name implies, food waste can be put down the drain in batches. You put the waste you want to grind into a chamber. One the chamber is full you need to cover it with a plug that can be turned to start the operation.
This is a good choice for families with small children as it’s the safest option. The waste disposer can’t be operated without the cover on and turned.
In some cases, a continuous feed unit can be converted into a batch feed unit if you prefer this mode of operation. InSinkErator, one of the most popular brands of food waste disposer units, offers a cover control accessory that will convert some of the continuous feed models they offer (the Evolution 100 and 200 models).
You should also look at the type of switch that the unit operates by. While it’s common to have an electrical switch on the backsplash near the sink, an air switch is a better choice as the electrics are isolated away from the kitchen sink. They’re also easier to install as wires don’t have to be run behind walls. In the diagram above you can see how an InSinkErator Air Switch is connected to the waste disposer and a power source.
Be aware that batch feed models do not require a switch as you operate it via the turning plug.
When it comes to the grinding stage, disposal units with stainless steel impellers are the best. These are more robust, less prone to corrosion and give your disposer a far longer life. It should be able to handle hard food waste such as bones with ease, but this also depends on the next thing in this guide.
The higher the horsepower, the more powerful the unit will be. It will be capable of grinding down tougher foods, ensuring the food is finely ground down with ease and cause blockages. Those with a low horsepower may struggle to grind some things, such as bones or particularly hard food scraps, which can lead to drains clogging up. So it’s definitely worth getting a high horsepower model as it grind almost anything and will last a lot longer. Although you should be aware that the more powerful a model, the more it will normally cost.
The size of the waste disposer generally affects the level of noise produced, as larger disposers will tend to be quieter. However, manufacturers have largely solved the problem of the incredibly noisy disposers of old, but it’s worth noting that your disposer will never be as quiet as a mouse as the vibration will cause some noise. Look for models that highlight how quiet they operate as a benefit, with some InSinkErator models, for example, operating up to 60% quieter than standard models.
When you’re doing your research make sure you find a waste disposer that mentions an anti-reverse or anti-jamming feature. In the event of a jam, the unit will be able to quickly clear it without the need to look at it yourself.
While a decent waste disposal unit should last for years and years of trouble-free operation, it’s a good idea to purchase one that comes with a lengthy guarantee for peace of mind. Guarantees can be anything between 1 and 6 years and beyond. Some manufacturers include parts and labour in their guarantees too, offering a repair service direct to your home.
For a range of high-quality and highly effective food waste disposers, check out the range of Insinkerator kitchen waste disposers available at Plumbworld.
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