Owning a quiet garbage disposal can definitely make your time in the kitchen more pleasant. Nobody likes to hear a loud grinding noise. It's disruptive, and if you're listening to music, podcasts or simply trying to hold a conversation, it can bring the kitchen to a stop. Choosing the quietest garbage disposal on the market might just be in your best interest.
Surprisingly, many homeowners don't consider how noisy a garbage disposal is when they're doing their research. This guide will cover both how to buy a garbage disposal and how to find the quietest garbage disposal. We'll even help you get started with your research on the quietest garbage disposal options and show you our favorites.
Before we cover the things that make a garbage disposal quiet, let's first take a look at how to buy a garbage disposal in general. Read our guide on how to keep a garbage disposal healthy.
Garbage Disposal Buyers Guide
Here are the things you should know when shopping for a garbage disposal:
There are 2 main types of garbage disposals on the market: Continuous feed and batch feed. The difference between the two is a bit like the difference between Beta and VHS video tapes . . . although they're different, in the end, they both do the same thing.
Continuous feed is the most common garbage disposal in households. This is largely because they are the easiest to use. A continuous feed disposal has an open-mouth which will continue to run until you switch it off at a wall switch.
These garbage disposals allow you to add food waste in small batches while it's running, which will also help prevent clogs.
There's plenty of continuous feed disposals to choose between, and you shouldn't have a problem finding one that meets your budget as they come in a wide price range.
Batch feeders operate differently. When you're ready to run the garbage disposal, simply turn it on, and fill it with food waste and water. Then secure the drain cover to start grinding.
Since batch feed disposals require a stopper lid to be securely in place before they operate, they're safer than continuous feed systems. They're also more environmentally friendly because they use less power and water.
Waste disposal systems are rated in horsepower (HP) and come in the following sizes: 1/3 HP; 1/2 HP; 3/4 HP, and 1 HP. Anything above 1 HP is typically designed for commercial use and is much more expensive.
A good rule of thumb to use when determining the amount of horsepower your household requires, is to gauge it on how many people live in your home.
- 1 to 2 People: Either a 1/3 or a 1/2 HP
- 3 to 6 People: Either a 1/2 or a 3/4 HP
- 5 to 8 People: Preferably a 1 HP, although you may be able to get by with a 3/4 HP.
- Over 8 People: 1 HP, or move towards the larger commercial 2 HP units.
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The grinding chamber of the garbage disposal is where all the waste is chopped up. Those with smaller motors have limited power and torque, so they are usually designed with a smaller chamber to help keep the motor from overloading.
Some high-quality disposals have stainless steel chambers that are more durable and easier to clean.
The number of grind stages a disposal has will determine how fine the food waste is when it enters your plumbing. There are 3 different grind stages available.
A garbage disposal with 1-grind stage will be the least expensive and you'll be limited on what type of food waste it can handle.
A 2-grind stage disposal will liquefy the waste as it passes through the second grind stage. This will reduce the number of jams, and allow you to throw more difficult food items such as fruit and vegetable peels into the disposal.
3-grind stage disposals not only liquefy the food waste, but they're also capable of handling fibrous and very hard items, such as bones. In fact, they're even able to chop rice grains into small pieces. Jams are very uncommon with 3-grind stage disposals.
The auto-reverse feature is an anti-jamming feature that automatically reverses the rotation of the motor if something gets stuck in the grinding chamber.
Designing a quiet garbage disposal is something that many manufacturers take very seriously. They recognize the importance of delivering a quality product that won't disrupt the household every time it runs.
As a general rule, the larger, high-quality disposal systems tend to do a better job at reducing noise by running at a low decibel level. Their solid build and sound insulation play a significant role, but other factors such as connections are critically important.
You can expect a garbage disposal that ranks high on the quiet scale to have a decibel rating in the range of 25 to 45 dB, compared to a typical disposal of about 80 dB.
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Different garbage disposals are covered by different warranty packages. Factory warranties range from 1-year to 20-years of coverage. Higher-quality models also offer corrosion and mechanical warranties, and many even have replacement coverage.
Some retailers offer aftermarket warranties which you can purchase that'll provide you with additional coverage options. Typically, it's more cost effective to purchase a new disposal when the time comes for a new one, than it is to add additional coverage.
When shopping for a quiet garbage disposal you'll usually see a ranking or statement on the box that labels the unit as quiet. Although, this is important information from the manufacturer, it's also helpful to know what actually makes a garbage disposal run quiet.
What Makes a Garbage Disposal Quiet?
Motors themselves, are typically pretty quiet. In fact, the majority of the noise usually comes from the grinding action of the disposal.
To ensure a garbage disposal runs quiet, it needs to be properly insulated in order to reduce the grinding noise. Each manufacturer uses a different insulation technique to muffle the sound. For example, the InSinkErator uses an advanced level of insulation within their SoundSeal Technology.
Batch feed units are often the quietest garbage disposals. Many homeowners purchase a batch feeder for the safety factor, and later discover how quiet they run.
With that being said, there are many great continuous feeders on the market today that run extremely quiet. In fact, our favorite quiet garbage disposal is a continuous feeder.
If you do choose a continuous feeder, keep in mind, that the sink baffle will play a crucial role in the noise level. The sink baffle is a gasket-like, rubber piece that covers the drain and muffles the noise from the grinding chamber.
The best quiet garbage disposals use rubber mountings that isolate vibrations. This prevents the sound and vibration from making its way from the grinding chamber to any of the surrounding structures.
Vibration reducing connections that attach the disposal to the sink and drain lines are typically made from flexible rubber. Their purpose is to isolate and absorb the sound and vibrations so that it won't echo and carry into other areas.
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Garbage disposals use two types of motors: Induction and commutator. A commutator motor runs at a much faster rpm than an induction motor. In fact, it can run as fast as 8000 rpm! Where an induction motor typically runs at a pace of 1725 rpm.
This can have a huge impact on the level of noise made by the garbage disposal. Induction motors generally make a humming or droning sound, where a commutator motor is much louder in comparison.
But that doesn't mean that commutator motors always have a high decibel level (dB). In fact, it's possible to find the same dB level in both commutator and induction garbage disposals. When this happens, it really comes down to personal preference of which sound you prefer.
The motor will also make noise when it's turned on and off. The induction motor starts with a sudden kick, while the commutator is smoother in its initial startup, and then builds as it's running. But in general, induction motors are simply not as loud as commutator motors.
You may not think the sink plays a role in the noise level of a garbage disposal, but it can be a huge factor. Heavier sinks, such as porcelain and cast iron, actually reduce the level of noise a disposal makes.
On the other hand, stainless steel sinks are pretty thin and tend to amplify the vibrations like a megaphone. However, if you have a stainless steel sink, you can add sound dampening material to the underside of the sink to help absorb the sound.
When trying to find the right garbage disposal for your home it's easy to get overwhelmed. These 4 units, each unique in it's own way, are among the quietest garbage disposal units on the market. They're a great starting point as you begin to research specific models.
InSinkErator Evolution Excel
InSinkErator not only offers a full line of quiet garbage disposals, but the company is known for it's high quality, long lasting products. But even among their best models, the Evolution Excel stands out above the rest.
The SoundSeal® Technology ensures the quietest operation possible. With connections that reduce vibration, a noise blocking sink baffle, and top-notch insulation, this garbage disposal is ultra quiet.
The powerful 1.0 HP induction motor spins at 1,725 RPMs, and with 3-stage food grinding, the Evolution Excel is designed to handle your toughest food waste! It'll power through small bones, peels, fruits, and even celery with the greatest of ease.
But even the best garbage disposals can jam, which is why the Evolution Excel is built with the exclusive Jam-Sensor® Circuit. When the disposal senses a jam, it'll automatically increase the torque 500% to break it up.
The Auto-Reverse will also trigger automatically when a jam is sensed and throw the disposal into reverse. And the 40 oz stainless steel grinding chamber and components will prevent rust and corrosion for years of worry free use.
Designed with the Quick Lock® sink mount feature, this disposal is easy to install or replace, and the 7-Year We Come To You® warranty plan covers parts and labor.
The Evolution Excel is InSinkErator's most powerful and quiet garbage disposal. It can handle most anything without a jam, and it's decked out with all the sound muffling features needed to keep it running quiet.
InSinkErator Evolution Cover Control
If you're looking for a batch feed unit, the InSinkErator Evolution Cover Control is a great choice. There's not a lot of batch feed disposals to choose between, and this one is definitely on the top of the list.
The Evolution Cover Control comes with a magnetic stopper that has a built-in switch. The stopper stays inserted to prevent foriegn objects from falling into your garbage disposal unnoticed.
Then, when you're ready to grind, add cold water and simply give the lid a turn. You'll never need to fish around inside your garbage disposal again looking for lost forks or jewelry!
This high quality disposal comes with a powerful 3/4 HP induction motor and runs at 1725 RPM. The SoundSeal® Technology allows it to operate 60% quieter than traditional disposals. You'll be able to hold a conversation in the same room when it's running without raising your voice.
The 40-oz stainless steel grind chamber and components use 2 grind stages to ensure that even the most challenging food waste is liquified. And the built-in anti-microbial technology helps prevent odor-causing bacteria growth.
The Evolution Cover Control comes with InSinkErator's exclusive 7-year We Come To You In-Home Limited Warranty which covers parts and labor.
There's a lot to like about this garbage disposal, and batch feeds in general, but they're not for everybody. If you're on the fence, your best bet is probably the InSinkErator Evolution Excel.
Waste King Legend 8000
The Legend 8000 disposal is one of the most powerful garbage disposals in Waste King's line-up. This unit is designed for large families and heavy use, and although it's not quite as quiet as the other disposals on this list, it's still worth serious consideration.
It has a 1.0 horsepower permanent magnet motor, which is said to be more efficient than induction motors, and the same type of motor that's used in electric cars such as the Tesla.
Running at 2800 RPM, the Legend 8000 is sound insulated to keep your work space quiet. The stainless steel swivel impellers and glass-filled nylon grinding chamber keeps it well protected from rust and corrosion.
Waste King doesn't use the same grind stage technology as InSinkErator. Their philosophy is that everything is thoroughly ground with the powerful motor. So if you want to compare grind stages side-by-side with other models, you might think of the Legend 8000 as having an extremely powerful and efficient 1-stage grind.
In talking with a very helpful person from Waste King, I was informed that the chamber capacity wasn't something they measured. This is because the Legend 8000 was a continuous feeder and should never be fully packed with food.
Instead, large amounts of food waste should be gradually added to the disposal as it's grinding. Although, this is true with all continuous feeders, we feel that it could still be a helpful metric.
The Legend 8000 uses the EZ-Mount system, but if you prefer the 3-Bolt Mount you can order the Legend 9980. Although, one difference (besides the mount) is the 8000 has a removable splash guard, where the 9980 does not.
The EZ-Mount is made from aluminum and is geared more towards DIY installations since it's so easy to use. Professionals tend to install 3-Bolt Mount disposals. The 3-Bolt Mounts are made of stainless steel and are stronger and more challenging to install.
Waste King offers the best warranty on the market today. Both the 8000 and the 9980 offer a 20-year limited warranty, which covers the unit from material and mechanical defects or Waste King will replace it at no cost to you.
InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist
Garbage disposals can be used with septic systems, although many homeowners choose not to. The InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist disposal is specially designed to not only be used with a septic system, but to also help break down food and solid wastes within your septic system.
Each time you run the disposal the Bio-Charge cartridge injects over 300 million enzymes producing micro-organisms into your septic system.
These natural micro-organisms are not only safe for your pipes and drain fields, but they're also safe for the environment. The micro-organisms help break down fats, proteins, starches and grease, as well as solid waste items such as toilet paper. In addition, the Bio-Charge enzyme treatment will help control sink and drain odors, while leaving a pleasant citrus smell.
The average household will need to replace the cartridge 3-times a year. The process is as simple as releasing the old cartridge with a push of a button and replacing it with the new cartridge.
But don't be fooled with all the focus on the septic system. This garbage disposal is every bit as powerful and sound muffling as the others in the Evolution line.
Armed with a 3/4 HP induction motor, 1725 rpms, and 2-stage grinding, you can feel comfortable that the InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist can handle most any challenge.
The 40 oz grinding chamber and components will resist rust and corrosion, and the replaceable Quiet Collar Sink Baffle, advanced-level insulation and vibration reducing connections, will keep your kitchen quiet and enjoyable.
The InSinkErator Septic Assist garbage disposal is an excellent choice if you have a septic system. In fact, many homeowners purchase this disposal for the septic tank benefits alone and are pleasantly surprised that it's so quiet!
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Last update on 2021-06-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API