How Many Amps Does A Garbage Disposal Draw? [By Horsepower]

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Are you considering adding a garbage disposal to your kitchen and need to know the electrical requirements? And what is the difference between the different models? Well, you've come to the right place, and we've researched the topic to bring you the answers you need.

  • 1/3 Horsepower  garbage disposals draw four Amps
  • 1/2 Horsepower garbage disposals draw 9.8 Amps 
  • 3/4 Horsepower  garbage disposals draw 13.8 Amps
  • One Horsepower garbage disposals draw 16 Amps

You're probably wondering what size breaker you will need or what the different horsepowers mean for performance. Keep reading to learn about the electrical requirements needed to install a garbage disposal in your home.

A plumber checking garbage disposal, How Many Amps Does A Garbage Disposal Draw? [By Horsepower]

Do Garbage Disposals Draw A Lot Of Electricity?

Garbage disposals don't draw a lot of electricity, less than most major appliances like dishwashers and electric dryers. They do draw enough electricity that they need special considerations before proper installation can take place. They're also available in a variety of different strengths, some of which require more power than others.

Use this guide to help you determine which size garbage disposal your home needs, and then work from there to see if your home is readily able to accommodate it or if you need to start thinking about some upgrades. You may need to contact a professional electrician to help you with the upgrades required.

1/3 Horsepower Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals that are rated at 1/3 horsepower draw the least amount of energy. They also have the least amount of power behind them. These disposals are good for softer items like cereal, fruit and vegetable peels, and bread scraps.

Waste Maid 1/3 HP Garbage Disposal

This garbage disposal offers continuous feed operation, and it has built-in odor protection. It has a 3-foot power cord that plugs into a standard 3-prong outlet and boasts easy installation. This is the perfect addition to a kitchen that gets minimal use.

Click here to see this disposal on Amazon.

1/2 Horsepower Garbage Disposal

Disposals with 1/2 horsepower can handle slightly tougher waste, like whole vegetables and seeds.  They draw 9.8 amps, which is more than double a 1/3 horsepower disposal. These are good for couples and small families who don't have a lot of food waste.

Frigidaire 1/2 Horsepower Garbage Disposal

This disposal is available as a direct wire model or with a power cord, making it easy to install without help from a professional electrician. It offers sound reduction technology and a space-saving design to save room under the sink.

Click here to see this Frigidaire disposal on Amazon.

3/4 Horsepower Garbage Disposal

A 3/4 horsepower garbage disposal will draw about 13.8 amps. These disposals are great for everyday use and people who cook frequently. They're capable of grinding most waste including meat and large fruit and vegetable seeds and pits.

Kraus 3/4 Horsepower Garbage Disposal

This disposal has a sleek design and includes everything needed for installation. It is only available in a corded version and does not have any options available for hard wiring.

Click here to see this disposal on Amazon.

1 Horsepower Garbage Disposal

A single horsepower garbage disposal is the best option if you consider yourself an avid cook. These powerful machines can grind almost anything you throw at them, including bones. They draw the most power of all the models, reaching about 16 amps; because of this, they require a larger breaker.

Moen 1 Horsepower Garbage Disposal

This garbage disposal is made for heavy use and tough waste. It has sound insulation to reduce the amount of noise it produces. This model is only available in a hard-wired version.

Click here to see this Moen disposal on Amazon.

Installing garbage disposal

Can You Use A 15-Amp Switch On A Garbage Disposal?

Yes, a 15-amp switch is enough to handle 1/3, 1/2, and 3/4 horsepower disposal models. You can choose to upgrade these low-amp models to a 20-amp breaker if you prefer, but it is not typically necessary. For single horsepower disposals, you will need to boost it up to a 20-amp switch to accommodate the higher power draw.

Seimens Q115 15-Amp Breaker

This 15-amp breaker is compatible with Seimens PL and ES series breaker boxes. This is the ideal size for most garbage disposals, although you could choose to use a 20-amp breaker. Make sure you check your box for compatibility before making a purchase.

Click here to take a look at this breaker on Amazon.

What Size Wire Do You Use For A Garbage Disposal?

For disposals to run off a 15-amp circuit, you will need to use a 14/2 wire. A 20-amp breaker will require 12/2 wire for proper installation. Never attempt to install wiring yourself. This is a job that should always be handled by professionals due to the risk of serious injury.

Southwire 14/2 Indoor Electrical Wire

This wire is what you will need when using a 15-amp breaker for your garbage disposal installation. This roll contains 50-feet of wire, enough for most interior electrical projects. Make sure you measure the distance from your breaker box to the disposal, and tack on a few extra feet to your measurement to make sure you order enough.

Click here to take a look at this wire on Amazon.

Does A Garbage Disposal Have To Be On Its Own Circuit?

Garbage disposals are normally kept on their own circuit, but there are some situations where they can share a circuit. Check your disposal's user manual or consult an electrician for help making this determination. Overloading a circuit means tripping the breaker regularly, which is annoying and dangerous.

Can A Garbage Disposal Be On The Same Circuit As The Dishwasher?

You will need to check the user manual of your garbage disposal and dishwasher to see what the amp requirements are. It is strongly recommended to keep your garbage disposal on a dedicated circuit to avoid overloading the circuit. You can check with your electrician for advice on sharing circuits.

Garbage Disposal under the modern sink

Why Would Someone Need A Corded Disposal?

Corded garbage disposals can take some of the work out of installation for you. Most disposals have 3-foot cords, allowing you to plug them into any standard outlet within three feet of your sink, but without the hassle of hardwiring. This means you don't have to call an electrician to re-wire the disposal, saving you money on materials and labor.

InSinkErator 3/4 Horsepower Corded Garbage Disposal

This garbage disposal is 3/4 horsepower, making it perfect for the average family. It can handle most scraps and most tougher foods like meat. It's corded for easy installation, and it has excellent reviews on Amazon.

Click here to check out this disposal on Amazon.

Does A Corded Disposal Still Need A Dedicated Circuit?

Yes, it is generally advised to keep garbage disposals on dedicated circuits, whether they are corded or hardwired. This will ensure that the device is receiving enough power and prevent the breaker from tripping. If you want your disposal to share a circuit, it's best to check with an electrician. You may need to upgrade some components before this can be achieved safely.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Garbage Disposal?

If you have the knowledge and skill to install the disposal yourself, you can have it done for as low as $75 in materials. Professional installation can range anywhere from $150 to $950. The total cost will depend on the distance from the breaker box to the installation area.

Make sure you get multiple quotes before you settle on a company to ensure you are getting the best price. You can also check with your local hardware stores to see if they offer flat-rate installation.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Garbage Disposal?

Replacing broken disposals is usually much easier than installing a completely new setup. You should already have the proper wiring and amperage in place, meaning it's just a matter of swapping out disposals. This job will typically run between $85 and $200, depending on your location and the difficulty of the job.

Stainless steal kitchen sink with water drops

Are There Alternatives To Using A Garbage Disposal?

Yes, there are some other ways you can try to eliminate organic waste without sending it to the landfill. Try starting a compost bin or pile if you have the yard space. Composting is also a great way to help the environment and reduce the waste produced by your household.

The Daily Grind

Now that you know all about the electrical requirements for garbage disposals and how they work, you're ready to start looking for the perfect model for your home. Always use care when working with electricity and grinding items in your new disposal. Have fun finding your new appliance!

You May Also Enjoy

To learn more about garbage disposals before you invest in one for your home, read our article "Is Garbage Disposal Considered Plumbing Or An Appliance?"

Read our article "Do Garbage Disposals Have Blades?" to learn about the anatomy of garbage disposals and how they work.

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