How to install a garbage disposal switch

In this article, we discuss in detail how to install a garbage disposal system in your kitchen sink. Furthermore, we also discuss the garbage disposal system and why every house requires it.

What is a garbage disposal system?

We’ve learned to rely on the garbage disposal as the kitchen’s workhorse. 

The trash disposal, invented by John Hammes in 1927, has stayed relatively similar in design while growing in popularity to the point that it is now a mandatory item in almost every kitchen. 

When you turn on the disposal, a spinning disc, also known as an impeller plate, spins quickly, driving the food waste against the grinding chamber’s outside wall. 

The meal is pulverised into little pieces, which are subsequently washed away by water through perforations in the chamber wall. 

Disposals do feature two dull metal “teeth” on the impeller plate, but they do not have sharp blades, contrary to popular belief.

How to install a garbage disposal switch

Before we begin with this, you should gather the following tools in order to get to the job. If you do not have them, either ask a neighbour to lend you those parts, or simply buy them from the nearest hardware store:

  • Outlet box extender
  • Outlet
  • Switch
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire stripper
  • Electrical tape

You may wire a switch above your countertop that links to the disposal’s outlet if you don’t want to go under your sink and plug in the disposal every time you use it. 

Wiring a disposal is complicated and takes some electrical component familiarity, so it might be harmful if you haven’t done so before. 

However, if you know how to wire a trash disposal and have the right equipment, you can have it up and operating in less than a day.

To install a power switch to your garbage disposal system, simply follow the steps mentioned below:

  • To begin, disconnect all cables and test the power to ensure there is no electricity flowing. You may check it using a voltage tester. If it lights up, the electricity is still on, and if it doesn’t, you’re all set.
  • The outlet box extension must be added. We’ll have to put it in the hole while avoiding all the cables. This box serves to protect the cables from the inside while allowing you to put your outlets on the wall.
  • With a wire stripper, strip the ground wire, wrap the wire around the ground screw with a needle-nose plier, and tighten the ground screw with a screwdriver.
  • The dark-colored screw on the outlet is for dark wires (black wire), whereas the light-colored screw is for light wire (white wire).

    The trash disposal’s hot and neutral wires must be connected on the top portion of the outlet, while the dishwasher’s hot and neutral wires must be connected on the bottom part.

    Strip the black and white wires to about three-quarter inch lengths, spin them with needle-nose pliers, then place them into their corresponding screws and tighten them.

    After you’ve finished wiring the outlet, use electrical tape to attach the wires and screw the outlet into the outlet box.
  • Now you’ll put the waste disposal switch in place. Tighten the screws after wrapping the green ground wire around the ground nut.

    There will be two copper screws on the switch. You must connect the red wire that comes from your garbage disposal to the upper one.

    With the aid of pliers, insert the wire and tighten the screws. Similarly, plug the black wire into the bottom screw and use the screwdriver to tighten it.

    The switch should be installed on the outlet box. Check to see if it’s pointing in the appropriate way. A little gold metal plate on the top of the switch is usually used to denote the direction.

Things You Should Never Put in Your Garbage Disposal

Although a garbage disposal system is helpful to break down food debris, which in turn ensures that your drain doesn’t get clogged, it is vital to make sure that some things are not added in the garbage disposal system.

Use your garbage disposal as a supplement to composting organic matter—a far better choice—and be sure to avoid putting certain items down it.

The following things should not be added in the garbage disposal system:

  • Animal Fats and Grease
  • Cooking Oils
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Large Pits
  • Large or Thick Bones
  • Glutinous Materials
  • Hot Water
  • Peanut Butter
  • Shells
  • Stringy Vegetables

We shall discuss these in brief.

Animal Fats and Grease

Cooked meat fat and grease start off as a liquid, then congeal and solidify into a white sludge that your trash disposal and drain pipes can’t handle.

Cooking Oils

While culinary oils like canola, vegetable, or olive oils may not congeal as quickly as animal fats, they can form a thick, sticky gel that clogs your disposal over time.

Coffee Grounds

A few coffee grounds in the garbage disposal are alright, but pouring a large amount of coffee grounds at once will cause it to clog. Coffee grinds cluster together and can form a mass that is difficult to break up and transfer out of the disposal.

Large Pits

Pits from apricots, plums, and avocados (as well as any other big pit) should never be thrown away. It’s not so much that they’ll clog the system as it is that the disposal won’t crush them down. 

If you put an avocado pit down the disposal, it will bounce around indefinitely until you decide to remove it.

Large or Thick Bones

Large bones are resistant to the trash disposal’s centrifugal hammering action. They won’t break up on their own, so you’ll have to remove them.

Glutinous Materials

Even though pasta, rice, bread, and oats are pantry mainstays, they should be kept away from the garbage disposal. Any food that turns glutinous when it comes into touch with water might clog your waste disposal.

Random fettuccine strands or rice grains aren’t a problem. When you start dumping piles of oats, rice, or wheat-based items down the garbage disposal, though, you’ll rapidly reach the capacity limit of your device.

Hot water only worsens the problem, so be sure to use cold water if you’re trying to force along any of this glutinous food matter.

Hot Water

When crushing food waste, avoid using boiling water. Draining hot water into the disposal between grinds is okay, but do not use hot water when grinding food matter. 

Even if you’re meticulous about not putting fat and oil down the drain, food still contains trace quantities of it. Residual fats and greases are liquified by hot water and spread out in a thin layer throughout the system.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter, which is sticky enough to withstand the hard cycle in the dishwasher, does not do well in the garbage disposal. 

Peanut butter should not be placed down the waste disposal. The water and the grinder can’t get rid of it since it’s so greasy and sticky.


Clam or oyster shells are too tough for the garbage disposal to break up adequately, and can potentially cause damage to the equipment. These sorts of shells are often listed as a no-no for garbage disposals by most manufacturers.

Stringy Vegetables

Celery, maize husks, artichokes, rhubarb, string beans, banana peels, and any other stringy or fibrous vegetable should never be disposed of in the garbage disposal. 

The threads may become entangled in the machinery and become difficult to release.


In this article, we have discussed how to install a garbage disposal switch in your kitchen at a spot of your convenience. Furthermore, we also covered what things should you refrain from putting into the garbage disposal system.


What things can be added in the garbage disposal system?

The following things can be safely put in your garbage disposal system.

  • During grinds, use cold water rather than hot water. Cold water solidifies any leftover fats and greases, making them easier to flush down the drain.

    Ice cubes can also be used to clean the chamber, with the added advantage of being able to melt away afterwards.
  • The grinding mechanism and the grinding chamber are scrubbed with biodegradable waste disposer cleansers or degreasers. Use on a monthly basis or as needed.
  • Hard items, such as little fruit pits or small bones, should not be thrown down the disposal because they cause a scouring effect in the grind chamber, according to the manufacturers.

    Some little particles may remain, but they will be washed away with time.
  • Garbage disposal odours may be neutralised by grinding lemon or lime rinds, which is a tried and true procedure that disposal manufacturers advocate.
  • If you need to get rid of a few remaining squirts of dish soap, put them down the trash disposal and run cold water down it. It will aid with trash cleaning and leave a pleasant odour.

What to look for when selecting a garbage disposal system?

The following things can help to make a decision when it comes to selecting a garbage disposal system.

  • Feed Size

    Continuous feed and batch feed are the two major forms of disposals. Continuous feed disposals are the most frequent and, in most cases, the most straightforward. They’re the open-mouth garbage disposals that are controlled by a wall switch.

    To activate a batch feed disposal, you must insert a stopper cover into the disposal’s mouth. As a result, turning on the disposal while fishing down within the unit is difficult.

    It also prevents errors such as turning on the disposal just as a fork is about to enter its mouth. Batch feed disposals can be more expensive than continuous feed disposals, and they’re also less prevalent.
  • Motor Size

    A disposal’s motor size is measured in horsepower (HP). 1/3 HP, 1/2 HP, 3/4 HP, and 1 HP are the most common sizes.

    Although 1/2 HP is sufficient for most families, spending a little extra for a 3/4 to 1 HP motor might result in fewer jams and better running, especially if you use your disposal frequently.

    If you don’t want to be concerned about what goes down the drain, go for a bigger engine.
  • Grinding Chamber

    The action takes place in the grinding chamber. Smaller chambers are common in disposals with smaller motors since they have less torque and power to pulverise the food waste. Food grinding chambers may be bigger in machines with higher-HP motors because they can handle more waste volume.

    Stainless steel grinding chambers are used in certain higher-end disposals, and are said to be simpler to clean and more durable than conventional steel chambers.
  • Auto-reverse

    If something becomes trapped in the grinding chamber, auto-reverse is an anti-jamming mechanism that allows the motor to automatically reverse its spin.

    This can aid the disposal in overcoming difficult materials and preventing overloads that cause the disposal to shut down.
  • Noise

Because there is no universal sound rating system for trash disposals (as there is for bathroom fans), it’s difficult to compare products based on noise levels.

To summarise, noise levels vary, and larger, more expensive disposals tend to be quieter than smaller, less expensive models.

Solid design and insulation surrounding the grinding chamber help manufacturers decrease noise.


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