Push button for garbage disposal-good idea?

cheyenne51July 2, 2010

Was in the plumber's showroom today and my hubby saw a push-button air-pump device of some sort to use instead of a wall switch for a garbage disposal. Has anyone had any experience with one of these? We are just in the beginning phases of a complete remodel and could consider this if it's a good idea...Thanks for your input!

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mariel1951

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE mine. I installed it 2 years ago when I re-did my kitchen completely and just love it. It functions well and looks great. Visitors always ask me: what in the heck is that?!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 6:49PM
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macv

The best approach is to avoid all manual switches and use the kind where the disposer drain cover trips a magnetic switch.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 9:10PM
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HandyMac

That is called an air switch. It is used in many configurations in industry and is quite safe.

In the house we just bought, there is a double switch on the kitchen wall and a duplex receptacle under the sink.

One switch controls the over the sink light. The other controls the duplex receptacle. There is only one feed to the receptacle and it feeds both sides.

That meant to plug in a dishwasher, I could not use a disposer.

The answer was to install the disposer on an air switch. There is no electrical connection from the adapter to the air switch control. The only connection is a rubber air line, which is electrically insulating.

I simply leave the switch in the on position(for the dishwasher) and operate the air switch control for the disposer.

Much safer than the electrical switch as the air switch control cannot be accidentally engaged.

Actually, the air switch I bought cost more than the disposer. But it is worth it, safer and less expensive than rewiring.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 11:48PM
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brickeyee

The best approach is to avoid all manual switches and use the kind where the disposer drain cover trips a magnetic switch."

This turns the GD into a 'batch feed' model.

A continues feed type is far easier to use, and the danger is greatly over rated.

The grinding occurs between the slingers (movable pushers that force the food against the outside wall by centripetal force) and the side walls.

There are not actual 'blades' in a home GD that cut (it is NOT like a blender).

It is a real chore to reach into one to remove metal that becomes stuck in the grinding gap.

The rotating parts are around 6 inches (or more) from the top of the unit.

Air switches are a decent alternative to folks who do not want a switch in the back splash above the counter.

What I still find at least slightly amusing is the presence of an over the sink light switch in the same back splash.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 9:38AM
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bill_g_web

I'd get the air switch too. Located in the countertop at the sink's edge, I don't have to reach far to operate it and since my hands are often wet when I need to turn on the GD, there's no worry of shock.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 11:03AM
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weedyacres

We love our air switch. :-)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 2:10PM
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macv

The magnetic stopper switch prevents someone from turning on the disposer when you are retreiving something out of it. Running a disposer without a cover can allow a utensil to drop into it accidentally and be damaged.

Some recommend placing a wall switch out of reach so that a child couldn't turn it on while reaching into the disposer but that makes it more likely for for someone to think the switch is for something else and turn it on while someone's hand is in the disposer. I'm not going to put my hand into a disposer that has a switch whether it is electric or air operated regardless of how the blades are designed.

I agree that ganging a disposer switch with a light switch is not a good idea.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 5:16PM
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macv

This subject has come up at the GardenWeb before. In the thread linked below more people liked the batch feed type and so have my clients. I had never heard of putting a switch under the sink.

Here is a link that might be useful: batch vs continuous feed

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 5:30PM
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homebound

Hard to believe, but the previous owner of our house installed a button on the front of the base cabinet. Aside from keeping a toddler away once upon a time, it's very convenient. (But don't install it that location, of course.)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:41AM
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2ajsmama

I commented on my house plans that they couldn't stick the GD switch in b/t 2 light switches in a 4-gang box, suggested moving it to the end position so at least I wouldn't hit it trying to turn 2 lights on at once. They moved it to other side of window, along with a receptacle, in a 2-gang box right behind my dish drainer! When we replace the countertops and tile the b/s, I'm going to remove that box and put in a batch feed GD or an air switch, on the sink rim, where I can reach it and don't have to worry about wet hands.

We had an airswitch that came with whirlpool tub in old house, that was great, I didn't know til a couple of years ago that they sold them separately.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 3:07PM
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arizona_jan

I never liked the idea of wet hands and an electric wall switch for the disposal. When we put in granite, I insisted on an air switch--love it!!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 12:22PM
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arizona_jan

I never liked the idea of wet hands and an electric wall switch for the disposal. When we put in granite, I insisted on an air switch--love it!!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 1:24PM
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kompy

Are all brands the same? Insinkerator? Brasstech? I'm ready to go buy one now!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 7:10PM
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brickeyee

"I never liked the idea of wet hands and an electric wall switch for the disposal."

Switches are made of plastic for a reason.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 12:24PM
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