For those looking to install the perfect garbage disposal in their home kitchen, there are some important factors to consider, not the least of which is horse power (HP).
Deciding on the HP of the disposal you need is a basic first step and one that will set the tone for the type of disposal you purchase. In this article we’ll take a look at the 3/4 HP option and highlight a few of our favorites in this category.
If you are in the market for a disposal but have yet to decide what HP to get, or if you know you will need a 3/4 HP unit, this article is for you.
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Why 3/4 HP?
The range of horse power (HP) offered in disposals may not seem like much but it makes a big difference in what sort of food (and how much of it) the disposal is designed to process. For instance, on the lighter side of the power spectrum, disposals with 1/3 HP are really designed to take care of the occasional food scraps and can easily dispose of soft foods, but not much else.
They are best suited for those who live alone or don’t cook much.
On the other end of the spectrum, a disposal outfitted with a whole 2 HP is generally reserved for industrial, not residential use. Between these two extremes, 1/2 HP, 3/4 HP and 1 HP are all pretty common in mid-sized homes depending on the size of the family and the use of the kitchen.
Today we’ll focus on the 3/4 HP variety because they are versatile and don’t need to be babied. A 3/4 HP disposal can usually stand up to the most common food waste and are generally reasonably priced. In terms of what to expect from a 3/4 HP disposal, think apple peels and eggshells, but not chicken bones, which makes them a great option for a lot of different homes.
Best 3/4 Garbage Disposals
In this section we’ve chosen four of the most reliable and popular garbage disposals with a 3/4 HP rating. For a more broad list, checkout Dispozal’s roundup of the best garbage disposals overall.
1. InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP
We’re fans of InSinkErator for its reliable product design and the Evolution Compact is no exception.
Don’t let the compact size fool you; this disposal has power and versatility.
Featuring dual grinding stages with stainless steel components, tough food scraps don’t stand a chance. Reviewers also commented on the quietness of this model claiming it was hard to hear at all. The company’s eight year in-home warranty is impressive especially for well under $250.
High marks for ease of installation is icing on the cake.
- Eight year in-home warranty
- Some stainless steel
- Low noise level
- Compact size makes it a good fit in different spaces
- High marks for easy installation and mounting design
- Narrow sink “baffle” loads waste more slowly
- Some customers complained of rust
2. Waste King L-3200 3/4 HP Garbage Disposal
The Waste King L-3200, at less than eight inches in diameter, is tiny but mighty.
Its 2700 RPMs means this little “King” of disposals isn’t likely to jam, even as it crushes your toughest food scraps.
And at under $100, this petite model fits into almost any budget. Customers also enjoyed and mentioned the L-3200’s low noise level and ease of installation.
- Narrow size profile
- Low price point
- Stainless steel parts
- Cord and splash guard included
- Eight year warranty
- Waste King’s EZ Mount system not preferred by some
- Some said this disposal was not as quiet as they had hoped
3. Moen GXS75C GX Series 3/4 Horsepower Garbage Disposal
Moen’s GX series offers a 3/4 HP disposal that is hard to find fault with. Reviewers especially like the ease of installation of the GXS75C and praised it’s space-saving size.
In addition, it has no trouble obliterating the waste thrown at it while maintaining a low noise level.
For DIY lovers, the instructions were easily followed and some customers even liked it so much that they bought a second.
- Easy installation
- Low noise level
- Six year limited warranty with in-home service
- Comes with a power cord
- Features Universal Xpress Mount which also makes it compatible with InSinkErator brand mounting
- Some said this disposal is loud
- “Click” or “ping” sound when first turns on bothersome to some
4. InSinkErator Badger 5XP 3/4 HP Garbage Disposal
No stranger to disposals, as the first company to produce them, InSinkErator doesn’t let us down with the Badger 5 XP 3/4 HP model.
Customers loved the performance and price of the Badger 5, while some even showed their loyalty as return customers, replacing a Badger with another in the same series.
Many reviewers also enjoyed a fast installation when switching one Badger for another.
- Easy installation featuring “quick lock” system by InSinkErator
- Low price point for high HP
- Attached power cord,
- Four Year limited in-home warranty
- Comes with hardware, stopper, and “jam-buster wrench”
- Complaints of water squirting up from the sink
- Grind components galvanized not stainless steel
What is 3/4 HP power enough for?
As mentioned at the beginning of this review, 3/4 HP is a pretty good bet for just about any basic food scraps.
Some of the things to avoid putting down a 3/4 HP disposal are bones and grizzle as well as super fibrous items like artichoke leaves. One customer reviewing the Badger 5 XP complained that an entire lemon was not ground until she cut it in half and even then the Badger had a hard time with it.
Everyone has slightly different expectations, but we don’t recommend putting entire citrus fruit into a disposal with 3/4 HP and aren’t surprised that the Badger didn’t pulverize the lemon. The idea with disposals is to cut back on food waste that is otherwise difficult and messy to dispose of, not to have a mechanical garbage can installed in your kitchen sink. Keep in mind that if you run cold water for 20 seconds after the food goes down the disposal, and feed the canister of your disposal carefully and slowly, you shouldn’t have any problem with these models grinding fruit and veggie peels, eggshells, meat, apple cores, and even small fish bones.
Again, we don’t recommend putting chicken bones or dense, fibrous animal tissue like grizzle or whole fruits and veggies down the disposal. If it is easy to toss into the trash can, then go ahead and toss it instead of putting it into the disposal.
When in doubt, throw it out.
That said, these are tough machines that often last longer than 10 years. Especially with a disposal that has a 3/4 HP motor, don’t feel like you have to handle it with kid gloves and don’t be afraid to use it. After all, that is what it’s there for.
Other Features that Matter
Some other features we think are important are as follows:
- Trusted brand
- Exemplary performance
- Easy installation
- Low noise level
You may notice that our list of favorite disposals tend to include a pretty limited number of brands that have stood the test of time. Brand name is an important factor to consider for a number of reasons. The brands in this and others of our lists are all established companies who have been in the industry for some time. In the case of Waste King, as mentioned, the company has been around for 50 years. Moen, for over 60 and InSinkerator has been making disposals since 1927.
When shopping for a disposal, if you begin your search with a handful of companies that have proven themselves, you have essentially mitigated a lot of the guess work from the process.
After you have settled on a good brand, finding a product with an excellent performance rating is your next step.
Taking a look at a record of how a certain disposal has performed for others – and in a variety of circumstances – can help determine if it will be right for you.
“Performance” should include longevity, durability, warranty, and customer service which all contribute to the product functioning as it should.
3. Ease of Installation
When it comes to something like a garbage disposal which is relatively small and inexpensive, the ease with which it can be installed is another important factor to think about.
There are some things best left to professionals with specific training (installing HVAC or putting on a new roof) and some things that require virtually no training, like changing a light bulb or a battery in a smoke alarm.
A garbage disposal is somewhere in between.
For the majority of people, installing one is pretty doable in a couple of hours of even less. For that reason, keeping the process straightforward and simple is a priority.
4. Low Noise Level
Lastly, a low noise level is important in a garbage disposal.
All disposals are designed to do basically one thing, so we don’t think it’s too much to ask for it to be done quietly. Especially because customers with quieter disposals are more likely to use their disposals more often.
However, this feature might be more or less important to you given your lifestyle. For instance, if you have six month old twins and live in an apartment building then you might be more obsessed with quiet than someone with three teenage sons on five acres of land.
It all depends on preference but in our experience, lower noise levels sets some disposals apart from others.
Any one of our four top picks are good options for those who want a 3/4 HP garbage disposal. And although they each have specific features unique to them, the basic quality markers of brand, performance, installation, and noise level are all accounted for.
Take your time, do some shopping around and think through what is the most important feature to you after the HP rating.
Since we’ve already cobbled together some disposals with a 3/4 HP motor, you can look at other features with the core requirement already taken care.