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Does a Garbage Disposal Need its Own Dedicated Circuit?

Does a Garbage Disposal Need its Own Dedicated Circuit?
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Having a garbage disposal is certainly useful in many situations. Being able to properly dispose of food debris is convenient, after all.

If you’ve never had a garbage disposal before, then you might be excited to install one soon. Installing a garbage disposal isn’t really all that difficult, but there are some things that you should consider.

For example, you might wonder what the safest way to install a garbage disposal is. Will the garbage disposal require its own circuit?

Read on to learn more about whether garbage disposals need their own circuit or not. You’ll feel confident enough to make a safe decision once you’ve read all of the information.

You Want to Get Things Right for Safety Purposes

You absolutely want to get things right for safety purposes. Technically, it might be okay to install a garbage disposal without its own circuit.

However, doing this might not be the safest thing to do. In fact, a garbage disposal that isn’t installed properly could prevent your home from passing a wiring inspection.

Generally, a garbage disposal is supposed to have its own circuit. It might be fine for it to share a circuit with a dishwasher, though.

There should be specific information available to you in the user manual that came with the garbage disposal. This should tell you whether it’s fine to have the garbage disposal share a circuit with a dishwasher or not.

You’ll find that the best solution is often to ensure that the garbage disposal has a dedicated circuit. If you can install the garbage disposal with a dedicated circuit, then you won’t have anything to worry about.

Do your best to get the installation done right so that you can avoid problems, too. Remember that the garbage disposal is going to vibrate when it operates.

This vibration can sometimes cause electrical connections to separate. It’s wise to check for loose connections near the base of the garbage disposal.

For extra safety, you could check the base of the garbage disposal every so often to see if all is well. If necessary, you can try to tighten things up from time to time.

How Many Amps Does a Garbage Disposal Use?

Now that you know that it’s best to give a garbage disposal its own circuit, you’re likely wondering how many amps it uses. To do everything safely, a garbage disposal should have a dedicated 15- or 20-amp circuit.

It should be fine to have the garbage disposal share a 20-amp circuit with a dishwasher, but you should follow the instructions that you were given when purchasing the product. Just make sure that you have a circuit that will work for the garbage disposal and you should be ready to move forward with installation.

Advice for Using a Garbage Disposal

Using a garbage disposal is pretty straightforward, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make mistakes. If you want to get the most out of using the garbage disposal, then it’s wise to do things carefully.

Below, you’ll find pieces of advice that can help you to use the garbage disposal responsibly. It’ll help you to keep using the garbage disposal without breaking it or encountering serious issues.

Don’t Put Large Food Chunks Into the Garbage Disposal

Putting large food chunks into the garbage disposal will be a mistake. Instead, you should try to put in little chunks at a time until you’ve disposed of everything.

It would be better to break apart large chunks of food than it would be to try to throw it all in at once. You don’t want large food items to get stuck in the disposal.

Sometimes it might be necessary to cut food particles up into smaller pieces. Even if this seems like a pain, it’s going to be better to do things this way.

Exercising a bit of patience can save you from ruining your garbage disposal. After all, you don’t want to break something that you spent money on just because you didn’t do things right.

Only Put Food and Water in the Garbage Disposal

Even though the item in question is called a garbage disposal, you’re not supposed to throw garbage in it. Some people make this mistake and they wind up ruining the garbage disposal.

You could easily damage the disposal by throwing things that aren’t food in there. For example, throwing aluminum or bottle caps into the garbage disposal could be particularly damaging.

Non-food items could easily get stuck in the piping and cause you many problems. Whether you clog the garbage disposal or outright damage it, it’s not going to be a good thing.

Be mindful of the potential to harm the garbage disposal. Only put food and water down the disposal so that you won’t have to be concerned.

Run Water While Using the Disposal

Running water while using the garbage disposal will help food scraps to go through the piping. You should run water while you’re using the disposal and then keep running water for approximately 30 seconds.

This simply ensures that all of the food particles make it down without getting stuck. Sometimes bits of food will be a bit sticky, and they might not make it all the way down the pipes if you’re not running water.

Cold water works best when you’re trying to flush food particles. It helps fat and grease to harden, and this makes it so that they will go through the pipes properly.

It’s fine to run warm water through the garbage disposal when you’re not using it. Just remember that water can help you quite a bit when you’re using the disposal.

Certain Types of Food Probably Shouldn’t Go in the Disposal

Sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are certain types of food that you should avoid putting in the garbage disposal.

For example, bones might be hard enough that they will cause the blades to chip or dull. If something seems like it might be too hard, then it’d be better to put it into the trash can.

When you’re placing certain food types in the disposal, you’ll want to be quite careful. Artichokes can go in the garbage disposal, but you’ll need to do a little bit at a time.

Always be careful when you’re putting fibrous foods into the disposal since they can take a while to grind down. If you do too much at once, then your garbage disposal could get clogged.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to do your best to install your garbage disposal safely. If you cut corners or do things improperly, then it could wind up being dangerous.

To pass wiring inspections, it’s going to be necessary to install garbage disposals carefully. It’s usually best for a garbage disposal to have its own circuit.

A garbage disposal should have either a 15-amp or 20-amp dedicated circuit. It might also be fine to install a garbage disposal and have it share a circuit with a dishwasher.

Follow the instructions that were given to you when you bought the garbage disposal. If you install everything properly, then you won’t have anything to worry about.

Remember to use your garbage disposal responsibly, too. If you throw things in the garbage disposal without being careful, then you could wind up clogging it or breaking it.

Only put in small bits of food at once to avoid clogging issues. Try not to put food items in the garbage disposal that might be too hard.

Avoid putting non-food items in the garbage disposal. Items such as aluminum and bottle caps could damage the garbage disposal.

So long as you know all of this, it’ll be easier to use your disposal to the fullest. It can make your life easier and more convenient in some ways when you use it properly.