Are Garbage Disposals Universal? Differences That Matter

Are Garbage Disposals Universal? Common Differences That May Matter

Garbage disposals have been around for awhile, but many people still lack one in their homes. They’re a great feature to have so you can safely dispose of food waste instead of having to throw it in a bag and let it rot. It can be tough having to dispose of food properly and with a garbage disposal, you can make it so much easier.

Garbage disposals are built to grind up food in your drain, then it will eventually end up in the sewers. Of course this can sound ideal if you’re struggling with disposing of food waste, but you don’t want to just buy a garbage disposal without having any knowledge, so that typically poses the question of, “Are garbage disposals universal?”.

Are Garbage Disposals Universal? Differences That Matter

Are Garbage Disposals Universal? Common Differences That May Matter

We’ll take a look at a few things regarding garbage disposals and answer the question above, instead of you just going out and buying a garbage disposal without any knowledge of them.

Different Types

Generally, you have 2 types of garbage disposals, they’re both unique in their own way and both provide different benefits. The first type is a continuous type of grinding and the second is for batches of food. We’ll go over each of their benefits below.

Continuous Type

This type of garbage disposal is certainly the most common amongst the other type. This type is easy to use and it’s also less expensive than the batch type. The benefits of this type is that you can continuously dispose of food waste.

Batch Type

This type of garbage disposal is the less commonly used one, mostly because it’s unable to grind up food waste until it’s filled up. This type is more expensive and can seem less appealing than being able to continuously grind up food, however this type of garbage disposal is way more safer than the other.

So, Are Garbage Disposals Universal?

Unfortunately, no, garbage disposals are not universal. This means you won’t be able to just simply buy one and install it to your sink without any problems involved.

It isn’t as bad as it seems though, garbage disposals are quite simple in terms of installation. If you’re the type that is good with plumbing work, then installation should be a breeze for you, however if you’re not familiar with plumbing work and such then you may want to leave the installation up to a professional instead.

One other thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that not all garbage disposals will properly work with your sink, so you’ll want to firstly find a garbage disposal that will work with your sink before continuing to install one.

This does unfortunately mean that not all sinks will work, so there is a chance your sink won’t be able to have a garbage disposal installed on it, ultimately leaving you with either not having a garbage disposal or replacing your sink with a compatible one.

When choosing the right type of garbage disposal for your sink, you’ll want to find out a few things about your sink first. Firstly, figure out the attachment that your sink uses and make sure it’s compatible with the garbage disposal that you end up purchasing.

How To Choose The Right Garbage Disposal

How To Choose The Right Garbage Disposal

Whenever you decide to pick out a garbage disposal, there’s some things you’ll need to consider before making the purchase. It’s not a tough challenge when it comes to purchasing a new garbage disposal, but there are definitely some things you’ll need to find out first.

Garbage disposals come in different types, meaning you’ll have to figure out which type is best for your home’s sink. After figuring that out, you can move on to some other things you’ll have to keep in mind.

  • HP

Garbage disposals have different types of motor speeds and power, meaning the HP you choose will give you less or more power for grinding up food waste. This is typically something you’ll want to figure out by how much food is wasted in your household.

  • Loud Noises

Many garbage disposals are quite loud, meaning you’ll hear a lot of noise whenever you grind up wasted food. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t cope well with loud noises, then you could opt for a quieter garbage disposal, as they do make those as well.

  • Price

Garbage disposals come in various amounts of prices and quality, so be sure to find a garbage disposal that can best satisfy your budget. Even if your budget is small, there will be a garbage disposal out there for you and your sink.

Removing Your Old Garbage Disposal

Removing Your Old Garbage Disposal

If you’re considering doing the job of replacing your old garbage disposal, then you want to be certain of the skills you have. It’s best to prepare yourself with the task you’ll be taking on, removing your old garbage disposal is relatively easy but it can be a bit challenging for people with no plumbing skills.

Firstly, you’ll have to get prepared for what you’re about to do. Grab some towels and lay them down around the area to avoid any water from gathering everywhere. Removing your cabinets will usually give you more room to work with, but that’s completely optional. You’ll then want to disconnect the power running to your old garbage disposal, this way you won’t short anything out during the removal of it. You’ll then want to remove your dishwashers hose.

Then you’ll be able to release your garbage disposal and level it down slowly, it should come loose from the coupling.

Preparation For Your New Garbage Disposal

You’ll want to prepare the wiring that comes from your garbage disposal so it can easily be plugged in afterwards. If you’ve got a dishwasher installed in your kitchen, you’ll want to remove the plug that’s installed in your garbage disposal. Install your discharging tube on your garbage disposal and then you should be done with the preparation of your new garbage disposal.

Also Check Out: How to Choose a Contractor for Kitchen Remodel Project

Installing Your New Garbage Disposal

Installing your new garbage disposal isn’t too much work, if you’re familiar with plumbing, then it should only take you about an hour to do the whole thing.

First you’ll want to drop your discharging tube inside of your drainage pipe. Rotate your garbage disposal until it’s properly lined up with your coupling and then you’ll want to put the garbage disposal in your coupling, ensuring that it’s tightly secured.

You can then tighten up your dishwashers hose after attaching it back. Turn on the power and verify that your garbage disposal is properly functioning. It’s also a good idea to run some water in your sink to ensure no leaks are present.

Common Garbage Disposal FAQs

Common Garbage Disposal FAQs

  • Does The Size Of The Motor Matter?

Yes, the size of the motor matters when picking out the right garbage disposal for your home. Small motor sizes won’t grind up lots of harder foods and are typically built for home’s that don’t waste much food, however if you live in a household with lots of people, you’ll want to opt for a higher HP.

  • Is Installing A Garbage Disposal Worth It?

This can go two ways, many people believe garbage disposals are a waste and don’t do much, while others believe it’s a great addition to their kitchen. Really, we believe garbage disposals are worth it considering how much food waste everyone goes through and with a garbage disposal, you’ll be able to get rid of that food waste easily so that it can go through your plumbing.

  • Is A Garbage Disposal Required To Have A Dishwasher?

No, many homeowners have dishwashers with no garbage disposals so you’ll be able to run your dishwasher easily.

  • Are Garbage Disposals Universal?

No, garbage disposals are not universal so you’ll have to find a garbage disposal that fits your sink. This means you won’t be able to just buy any type of garbage disposal and install it onto your sink without error.

  • Can I Install A Garbage Disposal Myself?

Installing a garbage disposal isn’t much work, so technically yes, you can install a new garbage disposal yourself. However, it’s much easier if you’re familiar with plumbing work. If you aren’t, then it may be more efficient to just have a professional install it instead of spending hours trying to.

  • How Long Will A New Garbage Disposal Last?

Garbage disposals typically last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, however this can be altered by different things. One thing that can lower your garbage disposal lifespan is by grinding up lots of hard foods constantly which may dull out the blades, leaving you having to replace your garbage disposal.

  • When Should I Replace My Garbage Disposal?

There’s warning signs that can tell you whether your garbage disposal needs to be replaced. Firstly, if you find your garbage disposal clogging up a lot then it could be due to dulling blades, meaning you’ll want to have it replaced.

If your garbage disposal has begun to leak, then it should be replaced. Having to press the reset button on your garbage disposal can also be a telltale sign that it’s failing. 


Garbage disposals are a great addition for keeping your wasted foods in a better area, by grinding them up and sending them to either the sewers or your septic tank, regardless it’s a great way to dispose of it properly instead of throwing it out and letting it rot. With all that there is to offer with garbage disposals, be sure to find the right one for your home as they’re not all universal, so you’ll need to find the best one that can properly function to keep your home’s sink pleased. If you’re also not comfortable with installing it yourself, consider hiring a professional to do it for you instead. Get a free quote by filling in the form below from local, reliable plumbers in your area.

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