Proper use of a garbage disposer

There are many conflicting opinions concerning the proper use of a garbage disposer (garbage disposal). Mike’s advice is valuable (considering his forty years of experience solving plumbing problems). This is a free sample of the type of advice you will find in Mike’s book (

When possible put garbage in a compost pile or in a trash can. Even with the best garbage disposer, problems can develop when large amounts of garbage go down the drain.

When you need a new garbage disposer I recommend the Badger 5 pictured below. It usually sells for about $99.00 at Home Depot or Lowes (sometimes it is listed as a Badger 500 or other name).

When you have to put garbage in a garbage disposer, the way you do it is more important than the price of the disposer. I did a survey for three years, and I asked people how they run garbage through their disposer. The people in my survey were people that had called me because of a stopped-up sink. About ninety percent of these people scraped their plates, turned on the water, and then turned on the disposer. Many of these people experienced yearly or more frequent, stoppages. After I asked these people to start slowly feeding garbage while the water and the disposer are running, they rarely experience a stoppage. Also, they avoid a stinky disposer and avoid problems with a stopped-up line from the dishwasher.

The practice of putting garbage in the disposer (AKA batch feeding) before the disposer and water are on, is not what I call the proper use of the disposer. Some disposers can only be used by batch feeding, and if children or mentally challenged people are in the household, I think the trade off is worth it.


About the Author

Mike started his plumbing apprenticeship in 1969. He has over forty years experience solving plumbing problems in homes. Mike helps people avoid mistakes. He is the founder and president of Quick Quality Plumbing Inc.. Mike published a book ( and he is the administrator for the web site (