air switch:contractor says they jam

mrtulinSeptember 29, 2013

Do They? He says the two customers who have them say they jam. The wall switch you see below is 33 " from faucet, or two big steps for me. Can't be at faucet and reach switch
I don't grind big bones and most compostables are composted.
I think there's an air switch that insink. has. Not inclined to the fiber optic

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sjhockeyfan325

I have had 3 of them (two in previous home, current apartment). None of them has ever jammed.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 3:52PM
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karen.ohio

My dilemma. Do I want another hole in the granite? My old kitchen was given a switch under the sink. All I had to do was open the door and turn it on because it was attached to the upper portion of the cabinet.

Karen

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 4:22PM
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suzanne_sl

I've had my insinkerator air switch for almost 2 years now. It's never jammed. I consider it one of my favorite things in my new kitchen!

Question: how can it "jam"? All it is is a button that sends a puff of air to the disposal that turns it on and off. Does he mean the button itself turns sideways in its casing and sticks? I've never heard of that happening.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 4:28PM
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mrtulin

I think there is an entire gendre of cautionary tales told by General Contractors. They can be very creative.

Thanks, everyone. "That's what he said...."

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 4:31PM
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Circus Peanut

To be fair, I did have an air switch that jammed. After pushing it in the button would get stuck in the depressed position, making it hard to turn the thing off again (with these switches, you push once to start, push again to stop). I always attributed this to the fact that I used a different brand of trim kit for mine, since the copper I wanted wasn't available in the Insinkerator switch I bought. You just had to fiddle with it a sec to get it to un-jam. Not ideal, but it's a rare enough occurrence (I think I'm the only one on GW who's had this happen to her) that you really needn't worry about it.

It certainly wouldn't deter me from getting another air switch in the future. They're handy little devils.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 6:09PM
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heidihausfrau

Mine jammed the first 2 or 3 times it was used. The contractor was here and we were both checking it out--it was new to him too! He thought it might be from dust when they drilled the hole. We kept playing with it until it stopped jamming. It has never jammed since.
I also think it is one of the best things about my kitchen!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:30PM
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mrtulin

Thanks,
That's settled for me.
Is there one that "goes with" the Insinkerator?
ida.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:31PM
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pps7

We have 2 air switches that we've used for 3 years and they have never jammed.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:32PM
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sushipup1

I swear, these idiots just make things up on the spot, say whatever comes into their little minds. If they didn't work on it before, it's bad. (Doesn't that sound like a 2 year old? "NO!"

Just wait, after all this, he'll be selling future clients on air switches like they are best thing since sliced bread. But don't expect him to admit to you that he's wrong, that would be losing face.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:44PM
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mrtulin

If he were an idiot it would be easy to get mad and stay mad.
However he is pretty smart but, as I said, there's a default position called "let me tell you a story"
That is why...way too late in the game....I write to this forum and ask "Ummm what's the other side of the story?"
And you guys always have at least 5 other sides to the story.
And I love you for it.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 9:28PM
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heidihausfrau

Buy it on Amazon. I think it is about $42 or so. If I remember right, it is insinkerator brand.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 9:37PM
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aloha2009

Air switches get a lot of great reviews here but preferring to scrape things into the trash instead of down the garbage disposal, we find that we don't turn it on that often. I'd rather have the hand soap hole then an air switch hole for something I would only use a few times per week.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 10:03PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I had an air switch hole and a soap dispenser hole - what's one thing got to do with the other?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 10:15PM
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karen.ohio

Some people might not want several holes in the granite.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 10:28PM
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sushipup1

Sorry if I came on too strong, but I just snapped with memories of our experience 11 years ago. I thought I was over by now.

'-0

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 10:42PM
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nightowlrn

2 air switches in 2 different homes x 6 years. never a problem. i would demand on a future home. wet, messy fingers on a wall switch or opening a door under the sink and then on a switch = way to many things to clean IMO.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 11:13PM
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Circus Peanut

Ida, the air switches come with their own trim; in my case, Insinkerator brand, the finish choice in 2007 was either chrome or white and I wanted neither (I had copper countertops and wanted the button to blend in). So I purchased an aftermarket copper button with surrounding escutcheon ring ("trim kit") to use, instead of the chrome one that came with it. I think it was from WestBrass, but not entirely sure -- we've since moved from that house.

Clear as mud? :-)

I do see that Waterstone now makes some fine-looking air switches for around $275, which is terribly pricey, but they look fabulous and are made in the US.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 7:49AM
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mrtulin

Well, I'm converting the soap dispenser on the wrong side of faucet to the air switch. Then I'll either keep a bottle of dish detergent (horrors!!!!) or get another hole drilled for the soap.
my challenge is I have a limited range of reach with left hand and the less I have to stretch it forward, the better.
Marie

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 11:13AM
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cloud_swift

We put ours near the faucet handle - even a little bit under it which makes it so easy to use because I often turn off the disposal and then the water. The old switch on the wall at our main sink was a pain to reach - I have a short reach and the window meant that it wasn't right over the sink making the reach even longer.

At the island, we have the soap dispenser to the left of the faucet and the air switch to the right under the faucet handle - 3 holes tightly grouped on the inside middle corner of the prep sink which minimizes the disruption to the island surface.

We have kid safety latches on the under sink cabinets because of the detergents stored at the main sink and the sharp or heavy prep appliances at the prep sink so under the sink would be a pain.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 12:01PM
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gnancyanne

I don't know if I'm too late for this but...I used to have a soap pump and hated it. I ran across an Insinkerator air switch at Lowe's on a close-out for something like $25 that I couldn't pass up. I used the white button and have never had a problem in 5 years of use. Installed it myself...Now that I'm redoing the kitchen, I wanted to use the chrome button that came with it, but wasn't sure I could find it but learned that you can get replacement buttons from Insinkerator; they have about 9 different options for colors/metals, etc., for about $30.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 9:59AM
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Linelle

I've had my air switch for almost two years, no jamming. If I were to spill lots of smooshy food on top of it, it's possible something might work its way between the button and trim. I don't mind the hole in my granite. C'mon, it's in the thin strip behind my sink. What else would I put there? It barely shows at all. I also have an air gap! Of all the things that make my life less than perfect, these aren't among them.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 1:54PM
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mrtulin

Not too late! In time for me to feel totally fine about telling (not asking) the GC to put one in.
Also not too late for me to notice I spent about $10 bucks more for the one I ordered on Amazon than you guys might have.
In the scheme of misspent money, that $10 bucks is chump change.
I can't go back without losing my message, but what was the other "air something" just mentioned? I've heard of it, but don't know what it is for.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 10:01PM
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gnancyanne

You must be referring to the air gap. I don't know much about it; I think it has something to do with drainage, like from a dishwasher, and I think you see a little cylinder that sticks up. Somebody else can explain it, though.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 10:40PM
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sjhockeyfan325

Yes, that's an air gap, required some places and not in others. I'd prefer not to have one, because they're not very attractive, but I think they're required here.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 10:42PM
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mrtulin

required because they do what?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 10:52PM
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mrtulin

required because they do what?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 11:05PM
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sjhockeyfan325

Sorry, it has something to do with the drainage from the dishwasher. I think it prevents backflow.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 11:37PM
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nightowlrn

The hole for the air gap is the same size as a soap dispenser or hot water tap hole would be. The air gap must be there to pass inspection in some areas, a soap dispenser/hot water tap must not....

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 11:49PM
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Linelle

The air gap has something to do with preventing backflow between the DW and sink (spoken by someone who knows very little about the physics of plumbing). I needed one with my old DW. Now I have a new Bosch and from what I've read, either I don't need one anymore or I could have had a "high loop." Whatever. My KD kept insisting it was code here (Bay Area). I took the path of least resistance. I've always had one so I don't even notice it. I preferred to err on the side of minimizing risk over aesthetics. I suppose I could replace mine with a soap dispenser but I don't want one.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 11:34AM
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sjhockeyfan325

I'm in the Bay Area too - We needed one when we last remodeled (on the Peninsula). Now it's 7 years later, and we're in the city, so I'm going to check with the plumber. I'm getting a Bosch d/w too - if I can avoid the air gap, I will (no soap dispenser either - we had one previously, and I think they're prone to failure. I've decided to mount a holder on the wall for a decorative soap bottle instead.).

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 11:40AM
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beverlyfla

I have an air switch. It has never jammed, however, my switch in on my sink ledge and if I splash water, the water somehow gets in there and leaks into the sink cabinet below.

My previous home had the switch inside the cabinet under the sink, and if i had it to do all again, that's where I'd put it.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 11:44AM
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gnancyanne

Well, I was glad to see there are others who didn't like the built-in--or whatever you call it--soap dispensers. They look like such a good idea, but not really. I say: Just don't use soap! (not really) but how 'bout this--

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 1:38PM
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mrtulin

I love the lemon for a hand soap.Unfortunately, it is $49. But that does include the soap.
I have packed away a vintage soap and sponge holder, orignally designed for a bathroom.I'd forgotten it over the six months this kitchen has been underway. Wonder where it is?

I had the dishwashing detergent dispenser in a previous home. I found it convenient and the easy to overfill issue never bothered me much. Now there there's Never MT I am looking forward to it again.

This post was edited by idabean on Sat, Oct 5, 13 at 15:16

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 3:09PM
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gnancyanne

I know--I found a couple of French sources for the soap & holder that were really reasonable, but the shipping was out of this world! or one place said you'd be responsible for the import fees, etc., and I have no idea what that would be/how to do that. Where did you find the lemon one for sale? the only ones I actually could find for sale here were white almond scented and expensive. (I originally saw it on the wall in a photo, and googled something like wall-mounted lemon shaped soap until I found a photo where I could see the name.)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 8:59AM
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KelinMD

I still don't understand how the air switch works, how does it turn it on if it is not electrical?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 4:45PM
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gnancyanne

This is what is on Insinkerator's website: The remote push button uses air pressure to activate the power module, located under the sink. When pressed, the SinkTop Switch sends a pulse of air down the air tube, triggers the remote switch and activates the disposer.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 8:04PM
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meek95

I just have to chime in here and be the contrary voice. My in-laws have an air switch and it jams almost every time I use it. I disliked it enough to keep my wall switch in my remodel.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 11:01PM
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sushipup1

Must have been installed by idabean's contractor.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 12:06AM
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mrtulin

Too funny. I am surprised at the longevity of this thread.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 12:35AM
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mrtulin

today I broke the bad news to our GC: I want/need an air switch. He cautioned me ever so seriously, and I assured him I heard him and that he had done due diligence in "warning" me.
I gave him permission to say "I told you so" if I ever call up to complain it jammed.
Goodness, this man is like a father!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 8:38PM
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gnancyanne

It might be a little late to ask this, but I don't even know what happens when an air switch "jams" except it doesn't work.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 9:17PM
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hazeldazel

we have one in the kitchen at work, it rarely gets used but still, it's 50/50 on whether it will work or not. Usually you just keep hitting the button over and over again and hope it will eventually work.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:21PM
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rollie

Really surprised the "air switch" has stayed in favor for as long as it has, compared to the fibre optic option available.

smaller hole, less effort to depress. no need to turn off, as it shuts itself off in 20 seconds if left on.. Doesnt have to be in the countertop, can be in the false front or in the faceframe of the cabinet front, or in the countertop. Less profile to clean around..

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:32PM
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ck_squared

rollie said: Doesnt have to be in the countertop, can be in the false front or in the faceframe of the cabinet front, or in the countertop. Less profile to clean around."

This is interesting to me because I told my GC I wanted an air switch on the island for the prep sink and he asked if I wanted it on the face frame of the cabinet instead. Can air switches BE on the face frame of the cabinet or do they have to be on the counter? With rollie's information above, I'm wondering if he is talking about the fiber optic option (and what the heck is that, anyway?).

Has anyone put an air switch in the face frame of a cabinet rather than the countertop?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:52PM
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gnancyanne

rollie, you shouldn't be surprised about the air switch vs the "fiber optic option available". I'd say most people haven't heard of an air switch, much less a fiber optic option. I wouldn't have thought there was any other way to turn a disposer on except a wall switch, except that I saw the air switch on a mark-down table at Lowe's. Now that my kitchen remodel has started, you've made me wonder if I want a fiber optic control instead of reusing my air switch (which, by the way, has never given me any trouble).

Here is a link that might be useful: Waste King fiber optic switch pdf

This post was edited by gnancy on Fri, Oct 11, 13 at 15:51

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 3:16PM
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rollie

Yep, That's the one I was talking about Gnancy.

Keep in mind, that the actual fiber optic switch does not come with the control box. (primarily because of all the color options available) It is a separate item, sold separately..

I don't think air switches care if theyre installed in a horizontal or verticle surface, although I have never installed one on a verticle surface myself. Usually, when I explain the differences, my customers make the change to the fibre optic option.... Usually..

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 9:12PM
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a2gemini

Wish I had known about fiber optic when I got my disposer - I have a wall switch and could have had one less thing on my wall.
Too late now but next time (OK 19 years from now)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:50AM
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suzanne_sl

I considered the fiber optic switch, but opted for the air switch. Given that I wanted the button next to the faucet on the granite, the pivotal reason was that my fabricator can't really drill a hole smaller than the size used for soap dispensers and air switches. The fiber optic switch is smaller, but it still needs a housing to "plug" the unnecessarily large hole in the granite. And it costs significantly more.

As to installing an air switch on a vertical surface: why not? As long as you can thread your tubing from the push button location to the power module, it should work regardless of the orientation of the button. See gnancy's diagram.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 11:10AM
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ginny20

I got the fiber optic switch two years ago because of a rec on GW. Love it, love the auto shut off. There was some finagling at install because it's more difficult to make a very small hole in granite, but my GC (who had never seen one of these before) figured out how to make it work. Fiber optic is made by Waste King, but it works with any disposal. I think they are a little more $ than air switch, but not significantly more.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 11:23AM
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mrtulin

The contractor was here today making a "final" list of still-to-do.
The air switch came up again! This time he said I shouldn't have it on the back of the sink near the faucet, etc because of "all the water"
I ready to sign an affidavit that I'd been adequately and clearly warned by him.
It is clear from many photos that air switches are fine at the back of the sink. Besides, the source of the electricity is below the sink, or counter.
I think we are getting tired of one another after 6 months.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 1:18AM
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