The garbage disposal, also known as waste disposer or garbage disposer, is common in North America but in most other parts of the world they are seldom used. But in some parts of Europe, garbage disposers are now being installed. They are used to limit the amount of food waste that ends up in landfill. Here is a short overview of how a garbage disposer works.
The garbage disposer is fairly old. It was invented back in 1927 in Wisconsin. Although, it would take a couple of years before the first waste disposers appeared on the market. In some places in the US it became compulsory to use a garbage disposer. But in some other locations it was prohibited to use garbage disposals. Even today, you have people who insist on that garbage disposals create more problems than they solve. But you also have locations, especially in Europe, that encourage the installation of waste disposers because it reduces the amount of food waste that ends up in landfill.
The garbage disposer is a relatively simple device. It sits underneath the kitchen sink and shreds the food waste that is feed to it into very small pieces so that they can pass through the plumbing. The disposer is typically electrically powered. It has a motor that spins a flywheel with impellers. The impellers and the flywheel grind the food waste and water from the tap flushes the shredded food waste into sewer system. The electric motor is either an induction motor or a commutator motor. The latter is more powerful but also nosier so good sound insulation is required. InSinkErator waste disposers generally use induction motors. Most Waste King garbage disposals on the other hand use commutator motors, although Waste King calls them permanent magnet motor.
Not all waste disposers are electronic, a couple of models are powered by water pressure. This type of garbage disposal doesn’t have a flywheel, instead they use a piston with cutting blades which chops the waste into small pieces. This type of disposal is better at handling fibrous food waste but it is slower than the electric models. Commercially, the water powered garbage disposal has had big difficulties competing with the electric models.
You have two types of garbage disposals, continuous feed and batch feed. The batch feed model is safer, it can only be operated when the lid to grinding chamber is closed. This makes it impossible to get fingers trapped in the grinding chamber. But the continuous feed type is more convenient to operate. Virtually all of the popular garbage disposals are continuous feed models.
Most garbage disposals have an inlet for dishwashers, allowing you to connect your dishwasher to your garbage disposers. Your dishwasher should have a back-flow preventer installed. By connecting the dishwasher to the garbage disposal, you don’t need to scrape or rinse your dishes before you put them into the dishwasher.
Most garbage disposals can be used with a septic tank. But a garbage disposer will put some extra strain on your septic tank so make sure that your tank is properly sized.
A garbage disposal can jam, so most models have some kind of anti-jamming features. Most garbage disposers come with a wrench and have a hole in the bottom so that you can manually turn the flywheel if you need to clear a jam. Note that you must turn the unit off before you try to manually turn the flywheel.