What Size And Horsepower Garbage Disposal Do I Need

The garbage disposal will serve you in all different ways in the kitchen, and one thing you should get right when buying it is the size.

Of course, all other factors matter too, but without knowing the right size, you may purchase an undersized one.

What Size Garbage Disposal Do I Need

Since it has many moving parts, using a smaller size than you need will damage it and thus shorten their lifespan. While you need to know how it works and choose the best brand, the size will also determine its efficiency.

Are All Garbage Disposal the Same Size?

When you ask about the size of the garbage disposal, for most people it refers to the outer body of the garbage disposal in reference to the sink size. The good news is that most of the kitchen sinks have an about 3.5-inch diameter. So, most of the disposers will fit this size.

If say, you have a different brand from the one you wish to replace it with, worry not because it will perfectly fit your kitchen sink. Although the drainage hole will fit any disposer, there are a few things that differ in sizes and also determine the size of the disposer.

  • The motor size

This one isn’t about the height and width of the disposer; instead, it’s about the size of the horsepower. The horsepower will tell you how powerful the garbage disposal is. The differences in HP creates differences in power and size.

  • The unit size

The unit size factor follows the motor size. If the motor size is higher, then the unit size is also definitely high. While this is not always the fact of the matter, the unit size of the disposer is determined by the size of its electric coil.

Generally, expect the size of the disposal unit to be a foot tall and 5-6 inches wide.

  • The grind chambers

This is just the cylindrical size of the chamber where the food goes into. Its where you grind the food. You should know the location because it’s just below the disposer connector.

You can have the large grind chambers carrying up to 40 ounces. But the regular grind chambers size is between 30-34 ounces.

  • Connection size

Since you will connect the disposal on the sink and it has a basket strainer that has a diameter of about 3½ inches, it fits all the different kinds of sinks you have. Now this connection bracket will let you hook and clamp the disposer to keep it secure.

Another connection is the pipe that goes straight through the drain and to the disposal. It then connects to the exterior pipe which features the kitchen draining pipe.

How to Know the Right Size for You

While you may think it’s hard to know the right size of garbage disposal for you, it doesn’t have to be challenging. Remember if you buy a smaller disposal unit you will deal with endless clogs and jams which may eventually lead to the total deterioration.

Sadly, we may say it’s better to buy a large one, but even that is not a solution because you underusing it means you wasted a lot of money.

Whats your household size?

This is the most straightforward guide to use when you need to know the right size of disposal. The horsepower size indicates the number of people who can use it. Basically, there are four different horsepower sizes.

  • 1/3 HP- serves at most 2 people.
  • ½ HP- serves at most 4 people.
  • ¾ HP – serves at most 6 people
  • 1 HP – serves more than 8 people

Thus, those with the averagely sized family, ½ HP will serve you although it’s advisable to pick one that is slightly powerful so you can buy the ¾ HP.

The number of people living in your household also determines the power and ultimately the size of disposal you buy.

Consider your space

This is literary the space you have under the sink. You can use the tape measure to determine the under-sink space. Thus, measure the length, height, and width of the space as that will show you the unit size that fits the space.

Notice that if you go for powerful garbage disposal, it will need more space. So, if under sink space is small you will have no choice but to buy smaller disposal.

Garbage Disposal Hp Difference (Garbage Disposal Horsepower Recommendation)

To begin the subtopic, HP refers to the horsepower and the horsepower is the unit used to measure the power of the disposer. It’s the power of the garbage disposal motor. As we have mentioned earlier, the more the HP, the more powerful the disposal is.

1/3 horsepower

This is the lowest the garbage disposal power can go. It will serve you best if you are single or there are two of you. Also, if you only need to grind very soft food, then using it should be a non-issue. If you are looking for the cheapest garbage disposal, you may find it on this level too.

Remember the fact that it’s budget-friendly means that it’s the least powerful. If you misuse them, overuse them, they will breakdown soon. Therefore, you have to be very careful about the things you put in the disposer.

Another factor is that the garbage disposal is built using some of the cheapest metals, which mean they either destroy or breakdown quickly. So, you will have to replace it more frequently than all other disposers. However, when all is said, it serves you greatly.

1. Waste King L-111 Garbage Disposal

Waste King L-111 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, 1/3 HP , Gray

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The only thing that always makes me love the waste king brand is that the package comes with everything you need to install it. They are also cheaper. For $54.58, you can have a disposer.

Although it has lower power, it grinds at a high rate per minute-1900RPM. This means that it will serve you with efficiency even though its less powerful. Therefore, you won’t have problems related to clogging and jamming.

It’s lightweight yet it’s a continuous feed kid of disposer.

½ Horsepower

While you may choose the one above, most of the plumbers and brands will encourage you to buy the ½ HP instead. It serves a few more people, yet it’s also a little more powerful. Nevertheless, you should also delicately use it for soft foods only.

If you have a space problem, the disposal will serve you best. Also, it’s a budget-friendly option that suits those with studios or apartments. You will find most of them being the continuous feed type. However, consider feeding the waste bit by bit as opposed to a lot at once.

There are ways to make it increase its lifespan, and it includes using a lot of running water.

2. InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Badger 5, 1/2 HP Continuous Feed

InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Badger 5, Standard Series, 1/2 HP Continuous Feed, Black

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The badger is one of the oldest Garbage disposals in the market. It has been modified from the ancient John Hammes badger. Apart from being one of the budget-friendly disposers, it’s useful to use.

It has a tiny body that suits anyone that has a problem with space. I like the badger because it’s so popular that you if you are experiencing any problem with it you could access relevant information online.

It’s further easy to install, and it’s reliable to serve you over a prolonged time if you care for it. Its dura drive motor is durable, and that increases its lifespan. It further has the galvanized steel components that will give you that powerful grind.

¾ Horsepower

If you are anyone with a large family or you love cooking, you may need this horsepower. It’s further the most popular size in the market. You can use it for a little heavy grinding while also taking on the average grinding. It’s a workhorse that will grind endlessly without deteriorating.

If you have a slightly large family, you can use this disposal, and the good thing is that it can cover for those days when you have many guests around. With this power, you won’t hear of clogs nor jams if you know how to use it.

This is high-quality disposal that operates quietly, unlike the ones above. You can run it while you have guests around and not worry about the noise. While it’s such a right size it may not fit in some houses. They are larger and will cost you a little more.

3. Waste King L-3300 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord

Waste King L-3300 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, 3/4 HP

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This is a combination of the high power and the high-speed motor. What that means is that it not only grinds even the hard waste and a lot of it but also fast. With such a speed, it jams and clogs lesser than most other disposers.

It’s the most effortless disposal to install since it comes with the power cord installed already. You may not even need the electrical expertise. The garbage disposal is lightweight which makes it easy to mount.

5/8 Horsepower

This is just a little bit powerful than the ¾ HP. It can grind most of the tough foods, yet they mostly have strong grinding components. It further has a powerful body that will stand most forms of mishandling.

At this level, you expect it to work more quietly as they mostly have the sound seal technology. However, you will need more space to run and operate it. They have larger grinding chambers so you should consider the space too.

4. In-Sink-Erator Evolution Select 5/8-hp Compact Garbage Disposal

In-Sink-Erator Evolution Select 5/8-hp Compact Garbage Disposal

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It comes with the quick sink mount to ease the process of mounting the Insinkerator. Coming in at the 5/8 HP dura motor it will serve you over a long time. Well, if you have a relatively large under sink area, you could use it.

It uses multi grinding technology to grind all the different kinds of waste. It further makes it less susceptible to clogs.

1 Horsepower

Now, this is the most powerful type of disposal for household use. It’s used in commercial settings as well. You shouldn’t buy them if say you have such a small house with very few people because then you will be wasting it.

You can buy it if you have a big family and that you need to drain a lot of waste. This kind of disposer will handle even the toughest food waste like chicken bones. The internal components are further made using stainless steel.

Since you have a powerful motor, you reduce the chances of jamming and clogs to a bare minimum. They are further noise-free, but you will have to expect to spend some money on this high quality.

Also, note that with such power it occupies a larger space than the ones above. It suits anyone with a big household.

5. InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Evolution Excel, 1.0 HP Continuous Feed

InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Evolution Excel, Quiet Series, 1.0 HP Continuous Feed, Stainless

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If you can afford this powerful machine, go for it. I like that it operates hushed. In fact, you will almost not know it’s there. It comes with the dura drive motor which keeps it running over a long time. All of its internal components feature the use of stainless steel.

It’s one of the most durable pieces you can ever have. What’s more, it gives you a powerful grind following its 3 level grind stages. This ensures that you won’t suffer from clogs. It can handle even the toughest foods.

It matters not so much the number of people it will serve in the house no wonder some people use it for commercial purposes. It rarely jams because it has a strong jam sensor. Moreover, it offers you the quick lock sink mount for easy installation.

Its warranty is of 7 years, so its security is assured. On the downside, it will occupy a lot of space as you would expect.

What Horsepower Do You Need for Your Home?

In summary, there will be several factors that make you choose any disposal. But depending on the household size and number of people in the house you can select the right size.

Horse power1/3 HP½ HP¾ HP5/8 HP1HP
People it serves2Up to 466-88+
Food it grindsVer softRelatively soft foodGeneral food items. Slightly hardHard food and soft foodEvery type of food hard and soft
Best featureBudget friendlyBudget friendly and reliablePowerfulPowerfulVery powerful
What kind of usageTemporary usageLow useRegular useHeavy useVery heavy use.

With this information, you can make the ideal decision on the power you need on your disposal unit.

Now you know that if you want a disposer for all kinds of waste, you will need a more powerful one but if you only use the disposer temporarily you can buy the least powerful one.