One day out of nowhere, our garbage disposal just decided to quit working. Our house is only 4 years old. We bought it as a spec house, so we didn’t custom build it, but we are the only ones to ever live in it.
I only mention this because builders sometimes take shortcuts on certain things, and buy the cheapest item for things that don’t matter. Nobody’s going to make their home buying decision on the type of garbage disposal, so they just pick the cheapest one they can get their hands on.
However, the brand is one I was familiar with, as I’m sure others are as well: InSinkErator. We had one in our old house that was probably there for 20 years, and we never had a problem with it. We even left it when we updated the entire kitchen, because it was so reliable. So when this one quit working, I did a little investigating.
This particular model was the cheapest InSinkErator model at the big box stores, and currently sells for $85. It also got 3 out of 5 stars, which in my opinion means there are issues with them. I saw a lot of negative reviews about how this model didn’t last very long.
So when I found out mine bit the dust, I looked at the higher end versions of the same brand at Home Depot and Lowes. I figured if I got the same brand, I could just reuse the part that’s already attached to the sink, making installation easy. For one that got good reviews, it would cost $279. I was NOT expecting to pay that much for a garbage disposal! It just chops up food into smaller bits. How could a reliable one cost so much?
So I went to Amazon, and started reading a bunch of reviews. I ended up settling on a Waste King for $76, which also included free shipping. It had great reviews, a stronger motor (1/2 HP as opposed to 1/3 HP), and a longer warranty. It was a different type of connection to the sink, but that was easy enough to take out and replace with the one that came with the kit. They made an adapter, but then the plumbing wouldn’t line up correctly, so I decided to replace the existing part to the sink.
The whole removal and installation took me and my dad 5 minutes to complete. We removed the old disposal, including the sink attachment, and installed the new one with no issues. The plumbing all lined up perfectly, and the installation was super easy. We didn’t even need any plumber’s putty to put the sink attachment in (the kit included a rubber gasket, which worked great).
The only downside was that, according to Amazon, it would take a week or two before it would be delivered. In reality, it took two days before it showed up at our doorstep, so that wasn’t even a real issue. It’s amazing what a difference the Internet has made. If this happened 10 years ago, I would have just bought a different model of the same brand at one of the big box stores, and paid a lot more. Doing some research on the Internet saved me a couple hundred dollars.
One side note: the old one might have been able to have been repaired by a professional, but it would have probably cost just as much as the replacement. I figured it wasn’t worth the hassle in this case. Doing your research before a purchase usually pays off.