To garbage disposal or not garbage disposal

agk2003May 1, 2014

In the same vein as the trash compactor thread, please give me your opinions on garbage disposals. my parents have one and barely use it. i find it kind of smelly and try to scrub it when i'm doing dishes at their house. do you have one, do you like it and if you do have one is it in a dedicated sink or in your main sink? i only have one sink and wanted to do one large basin, so i'm not sure if that will work.

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Here's a discussion from last week that may help you.

I think that dumping the soupy stuff down the toilet, like someone mentioned, to be really gross. I use my GD lightly, but I would hate to do without it.

Here is a link that might be useful: GD discussion

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:53AM
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I have used a disposal for over 30 years and could never live without one. I can't even imagine putting smelly leftovers in the trash. In this kitchen everything that can't be composted goes down the drain. After every use I squirt a bit of dish detergent in the disposal and run it with water for a half minute and there is never any odor at all. I think the trick is using it often, any bits and pieces of food are going to sit there if it is not run. My SIL, a new disposal user, wasn't running hers unless she put something in it and she had fruit flies coming out of hers. I finally convinced her to run it every day and it is OK now.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:57AM
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We used to have one at our kitchen sink. Although we hardly used it, it smelled really bad. It started with whiffs of the odor and then it got worse. Even after we used lemons, vinegar and baking soda, the condition got better only for a few days and then it started to stink again. Our sink was often clogged up and there were leaks from the garbage disposal that cost us money to have them repaired. Even after the garbage disposal was removed, we continued to have problems with clogged drains. Trash is to be disposed in the trash not via the plumbing system, that is my opinion. It costs more to have the garbage disposal system than the convenience that it offers.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:19AM
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A disposal is almost as necessary to resale as a dishwasher is.

The house I grew up in and now live in again, has always had one. It was hard for me to adapt to not having one in the apartments I have lived in. If your parents rarely use theirs, that's why it's smelly. Just drop some bleach down the drain and it'll be fine.

By the way, mine is a single bowl sink and it works fine. My sister's is in a double bowl sink and she sometimes has issues with the drain backing up. Actually, I have one recommendation for you: do not have an appliance guy install this, especially if you have a dishwasher. Let a plumber do it and you will have years of blissful carefree service. A friend had an appliance guy install hers, and she had a problem with sink waste backing up into her dishwasher. Totally gross.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:27AM
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Kelly Ryan

I can't imagine living without one either. We use it daily and I've never had bad smells. When I put smelly food down there (any type of fish for ex), I just put a lemon wedge in there aftet and let it run a little longer to make sure all bits are gone.

I HATE having to scrape all food into the trash or clean up a sink drain when using a sink without disposal.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:27AM
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Every house I've ever lived in had garbage disposals. I can't say I've ever had a smell issue with one. I *have* had smell issues with sinks which lacked them (ie: at work).

I'm on the road most of the time, so getting rid of wet garbage is very important as trash days & my time home don't always line up. Garbage disposer to the rescue! Similarly, I've never had a kitchen sink drain back up with a disposer installed. Without, yes at work.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:36AM
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It depends upon how you are set up...and how your plumbing is set up. You want a two inch waste pipe for the disposal to do its thing at the best. I didn't put one in our new kitchen. We compost. If we have a lot of meat bones/fat, etc and we are a week or so away from the trash pick-up we freeze it and dispose of it at the appropriate time. I prefer to not have a disposal.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:46AM
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I have always had a garbage disposal and have never had an odor issue with it. I use it lightly. I empty the majority of food scraps into the trash or compost bin. Little bits of food or vegetable peels always seem to end up in the sink however, and this is when I use the garbage disposal. So while it doesn't get heavy use, it does get daily use, if only for a few seconds. I recommend including one.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:10PM
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We have always had one, except in a couple of rentals. I use it for things like the uneaten soggy cereal my kids don't finish off or the bad spot I pared out of an apple. I don't put bones or banana peels or big pieces of steak or the like down it. I don't scrape plates into it. But it is awfully nice for smaller food things that are in liquid (like the cereal or the last bits of soup).

I have never had one back up. Never. And I have lived in lots of houses, many of them old.

I also haven't had any big odor problems. Maybe once a year I'll think hmm, it smells bad in the kitchen, maybe it's the disaposal? I run it with some citrus peel in it and all is good.

I run mine every day and I always leave the water on for a bit after using it.

I had a plumber once tell me he had a client who insisted in putting the remnants of a whole chicken including bones down hers every week. He said he had to fix her disposal every couple of months. His advice was no bones and make sure to run water for a bit after using it.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:12PM
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thanks all for the replies. i am so used to just throwing food scraps out in the garbage. i think my parents' unit smells because like someone said, it doesn't get much use. i think the fact that it's in the second small bowl of a split sink has to do with it not getting much use. but i have poured bleach, clorox sprays, baking soda, vinegar, etc. and even if the smell goes away, you can still see the grime on the sides.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:20PM
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To clean a disposal, run it with a handful of ice cubes and a couple of lemon quarters.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 2:03PM
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I didn't realize at first that I can pull out the rubber gasket and have complete access the grinder (what ever to call it) to clean it. I wonder how many people don't realize this.

My mother had an issue once with a double sink. She always used to just use one side and odors started from the other. All sinks/drains need to be used regularly or they can start to allow odors in.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 2:48PM
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I take out the rubber stopper thing and use an old vegetable brush on it and the threads on the "hole" with some dish detergent. it does get a bit grimey, but i have never had an odor come from there. I think key to it is using it every day. i also don't throw whole meals down the drain, just like someone said, leftover cereal or soup, some rice maybe, etc...

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 2:53PM
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I have an Insinkerator and I love it. I put pretty much everything in it from soggy cereal to banana peels to the remnants of whole chickens including bones. In fact, my owner's manual specifically talks about putting bones, ice and fruit pits in it. I've never had a problem with mine. I think that some folk (my SIL comes to mind) do not leave the disposer on long enough and therefore the bits don't get washed away properly causing build up in the pipes? Also as per my instruction manual I always use cold water when grinding and always let it run for a few extra seconds after the grinding is fully completed. I also take the splash guard/baffle out on a regular basis to wash. I wouldn't want to live without one.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:29PM
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I did start to have the problem of nasty waste water backing up into the dishwasher after several years -- I think something was failing in the disposer because, when that stopped running and started to leak out the bottom, it was taken out, no more back-ups

However, I was happy to get a new one again after doing without for almost 2 years after the old one failed.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:29PM
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My last home had an insinkerator when I moved in... My first experience with a garbage disposal. Honestly, I don't get the hype. I don't think there is anything more convenient about it than there is about taking the little drain strainer out and emptying it into the trash. As for it not smelling if you use it all the time, that's only good if you are a family that will really use it all the time. We didn't, and I ended up having to do special things to get it smelling clean every once in a while. Also, the little ring around the drain started to rust/discolor, which looked terrible in our stainless sink. I couldnt get it to look clean no matter what I used. So it comes down to whether or not it will be useful for you. For us, we are removing the one that is in our new kitchen, and I don't plan on ever having one again.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 5:05PM
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I've always had an in-sinkerator brand disposal and double or triple basin sinks. Never had an issue with smells or backing up into the dishwasher. And like sherri said, the instructions do say to run things like bones, ice, and pit fruits down it on occasion to sharpen the blades. I'm guessing some of the issues people have noted are not from the disposal itself, but more likely from improper use and poor plumbing.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 5:41PM
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did not have one for 16years...

basically, ditto what other have said regarding food bits, smell etc....

would not do w/o one.....

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 6:28PM
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My husband and I were just discussing this the other day, if we had it to do over again, we wouldn't. I don't really cook the kind of meals that need a lot of "disposing" and my garbage is picked up twice a week. I don't think it is worth the sometimes smelly unpleasantness. It probably is more likely to smell if you hardly ever use it, as in our case. I only got it because I replaced the one that went on the fritz after 16 years. I should have just ditched it then and could have gotten a different kind of sink but that's a whole other story. I also don't like how much room it takes up under the sink.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:08PM
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We use our Insinkerator multiple times a day. No odor what-so-ever! The only thing we do special is when I change the Baking Soda box that we keep in the ice box I dumpthe old box down the sink drain and add some vinegar and let set for 15 minutes.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:16PM
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I think the decision to use a garbage disposal should first be based on whether one *should* be using one, if on septic. I recently checked with the DPW at a town where I was considering making an offer on a house and wanted to see the plans on the septic system being replaced. I was shocked that the one being installed is rated for NO disposer use; and clearly states it on the submitted plans. Apparently at least around here, ones rated for disposers require an additional ?trench? I believe was said. I had never heard of this before!!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:21PM
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I've had a disposal for most of my life. Definite necessity in my kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 10:55AM
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Have always had one.
If you get one, go for the 3/4 or 1HP version and it will never clog. It is kind of like a burr grinder for coffee beans vs a cheaper grinder.
I used to toss everything into it but now I compost some things but nice that anything that falls into the drain can be ground to nothing.
It is important to run water to make sure you don't plug up your pipes.
Also, never had smell issues

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 1:50PM
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I fear these things like some people fear evil clowns. Every time I have to stick my hand into one to retrieve some ungrindable material, I think of Stephen King's Christine.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 3:08PM
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40+ years of using one on a septic system. No smells, no problems. Hate fishing crap out of the strainer or bottom of the drain when I'm someplace without a disposal.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 5:13PM
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Pallet & Palette

I love this forum. So many knowledgable people! I was going to recommend the lemons and ice trick and it's already here!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 7:03PM
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