6 of the Best Quiet Garbage Disposals

6 of the Best Quiet Garbage Disposals

Not long ago I was throwing a party for my friends and family and was expecting a lot of people. It was a big ordeal and I had planned on preparing much of the food and doing a lot of cooking. I started everything the morning of the party. 

I was cooking quite a bit and producing lots of food scraps. Right in the middle of cooking, my disposal clogged and jammed. The time I would have spent cooking, I spent trying to fix the disposal. 

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It took long enough that the food in the drain started to smell a little in the kitchen. I finally got it fixed, but guests started arriving and it was so loud I literally could not talk to them in the kitchen with it on.  

After that, I decided it was time for a new disposal.

I knew after that ordeal, I would be picky, and would not just run down to the store and grab whatever was on sale. I wanted something dependable and quiet. 

If you’re in a similar boat, below I will share what I’ve learned about the quietest, best garbage disposals available today. 

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At a Glance: The 6 Best Quiet Garbage Disposals

In a hurry? Our choice for the Best Quiet Treadmill is the:

General Electric GFC320N Continuous Feed Disposal

Click through to read the product details and reviews on Amazon!

Who is this for and why is this beneficial?

The garbage disposal was invented in 1927 and was picked up by a company still in business (and represented in the list of disposals below.) 

At that time, there were regulations against putting food waste down the drain and garbage disposals were illegal in many places, including NY city. 

InSinkErator, spent a good amount of time and money getting those regulations removed. The argument goes that food scraps are essentially liquified in a disposal and handled by existing infrastructure, rather than filling up landfills and giving off gasses.

If you are in the middle of building or buying a new house, or just wanting to upgrade or remodel your kitchen, you do not want to overlook your disposal. 

Everyone thinks about the stove and the fridge – but whatever you don’t use from the stove and fridge will likely wind up in the disposal, unless you want it sitting in your trash can. 

You’ll need a good one to be quiet enough to run at any time, yet powerful enough to handle whatever you put down in it. 

Before installing a garbage disposal machine

When you’re thinking about your disposal you want to consider a few factors:

  • How easy is it to install?
  • Does it meet the needs of my sewer or septic tank?
  • How large is it and will it fit under the sink or take up too much space?
  • How powerful is it?
  • How loud is it?

I knew I wanted something reliable and power, but something quiet enough to never interrupt my parties again. I’m OK around the house, but am not super handy, and so I wanted something easy to install.

best quiet garbage disposals for your kitchen

Garbage disposals will help you cut down on garbage, particularly the kind that will sit in your can and rot and potentially smell after a while. Anyone who drinks coffee knows grinds don’t age well, and if you’re like me, you’re constantly finding things in the back of your fridge that look more like science projects than they do food. You want a disposal for all of that – not a trash can that sits where you cook and eat.

Between food prep-kits, and the explosion of popularity of cooking shows, people are cooking a lot more than the did just a few years ago. When you get into a cooking groove you do not want to stop to worry about food scraps, you want them to go down the drain and be done with them.

Now if you’re putting food and waste down your sink there is one thing you absolutely do not want: clogging and jamming. If the food has gone bad, or even if it hasn’t – a jammed or blocked disposal means odors and even a kitchen sink you can’t really use.

For those reasons and more, it makes sense to invest in a decent garbage disposal. Something you can easily install and rely on.

How do garbage disposals work?

Disposals ferry away your food waste, almost by magic, sending them out to the sewer system, and on to water reclamation plants. People often imagine that below the splash guard there are spinning blades chopping up the food, much like a hungry monster under your sink. 

In reality the disposal uses centrifugal force to pull the food against a grind ring (a ring around the disposal, essentially made of blades. The impellers spin, throwing the food at the grind ring, which liquifies the food. The water you run flushes them out. They are usually connected to the dishwasher as well so that any heavy food washed off your dishes has a place to go as well. 

Types of Garbage Disposals

Continuous feed

Continuous feed is the most common, activated by a nearby switch as you run the water, or ones that you fill and activate. They are less expensive and can just keep running, and therefore handle large amounts of waste. You have to be careful not to drop silverware or anything else down there while it is running, and you do use a lot of water.

Batch feed

Batch feed works in – well – batches. There’s a lid you open and close to fill before you run it. There is the safety benefit of having the lid closed while the disposal running. They are a little more expensive and take a little more time to run.

Important point to note: grease, hard seeds or pits, should not be put into garbage disposals. Grease builds up on the insides of the pipes, catching other food waste, eventually leading to a clog. The other items do not grind well. More maintenance tips here.

Key Feature 1: Size and Power

How often do you cook? How many people are you cooking for? If the answer to either of these questions are on the higher-end, chances are you want something with a little more power and larger capacity. For a full family that cooks, 1-2 horsepower is a good choice, as is a full-sized disposal. Keep in mind how much vertical space you have under the sink and how large the disposal is. 

Key Feature 2: Septic Tank and Connections

All of these will most likely work with a septic tank. However, companies make special models that work best with septic tanks. Be sure to consider this when selecting your model. Also remember you are going to connect this to your sink, your dishwasher, your outgoing plumbing, and a power outlet. Ensure that the measurements of the disposal match your own measurements and connection needs.

List of the Best Quiet Garbage Disposals

InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Evolution Excel, 1.0 HP Continuous Feed

InSinkErator is literally the company that invented garbage disposals in 1927, so they know a thing or two about building them. 

This particular models claims to be the quietest disposal available – and by all reviewer accounts, it seems to be – thanks to its SoundSeal Technology, with insulates and dampens noise. This design is said to reduce noise by up to 60% more than standard disposals—quite a bit quieter. 

It comes on a unique mount, which prevents vibration, another standard sound culprit. Made of stainless steel, it is made to be durable, and has 3-Stage Multi-grind Technology, with an auto-reverse function and jam-sensor, which will increase the motor power to break through the jam. 

Not only is it quiet, its powerful 1 HP motor includes Multi-Grind technology, meaning it will deal with the densest food waste like hard vegetables and fruits or heavy materials like dense heavy rice and pasta. 

InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist 3/4 HP Household Garbage Disposal

All of InSinkErator’s disposals are septic-friendly, and this one comes with Evolution Septic Assistant.

This is a replaceable cartridge which adds additional microorganisms to help break down food waste. All the other benefits are the same as the one listed above. 

This model of garbage disposal is made quieter with the SoundSeal Technology, DuraDrive Induction motor, and 2-Stage Multi-grind Technology. 

Waste King L-8000 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, 1 HP

The Waste King promises a high-speed motor (similar to that above), easy installation and cleaning. 

Notably, it is a continuous feed disposal to prevent clogging even if you keep filling it. 

It carries a 20 year-limited warranty, which covers mechanical and corrosion protection. 

While it is considered a quieter disposal, it is the loudest on this list. It makes up for this by also having the fastest motor 2800 RPMs. 

If you do a lot of heavy cooking, this is the best choice, but if you’re looking for something particularly quiet, one of the others might be better.

Even though it is very powerful, the motor is insulated by SoundSHIELD to dampen noise and vibration and it is safe to use with size-matched septic tanks. 

Moen GX50C GX Series 1/2 Horsepower Continuous Feed Compact Garbage Disposal

Compact model makes it perfect for smaller sink cabinets or if you need extra space. 

This continuous-feed model promises to be easy to install and powerful. 

Due to size it is less powerful than two disposals above (with ½ a horsepower rather than 1 full HP); while quiet, and not as powerful as some of the others, it is still very fast, with 2700 RPMs.

Moen makes others that are not compact, but this was chosen to showcase the different types of quiet disposals available to you. 

Includes the company’s SoundSHIELD feature, which reduces noise and vibration. It comes with a 4-year warranty and in-home service guarantees.   

General Electric GFC320N Continuous Feed Disposal

You should consider this a “budget model” for quiet disposals. 

This model has 1/3 horsepower and is a continuous-feed model, with a 2500 RPM motor.

Made of stainless steel, it is designed to be jam-resistant thanks to dual-swivel impellers. 

The motor and moving parts are contained in advanced insulation packaging to ensure it runs super-quiet. 

If you encounter issues, there is a full reset button. 

This is designed to be quite rugged with its stainless-steel flanges, and galvanized-steel turntable.

Emerson Evergrind E202 Food Waster Disposer

The Emerson ½ horsepower garbage disposal is another compact, lighter design, comes with quiet a Dura-Drive Induction motor. 

This design, though compact, will maximise space and speed of garbage disposal. 

Made of galvanized steel, and other strong materials, it is meant to be rugged even in its size. 

One disappointing fact is that this disposal comes with only a 1 year warranty.

Splash guard

InSinkErator QCB-AM Anti-Microbial Quite Collar Sink Baffle for Evolution Series

There are many generic baffle/splash-guards on the market. This one is designed specifically by InSinkErator but I like that it is compatible with some other models in the market. 

First off, It is antimicrobial to prevent bacteria build up and smells, Also, it has a Narrow opening for water, which otherwise helps to cut down on sound coming up when the disposal is running. 

Customer Impressions

All of these disposals come highly recommended for their features and quality.

InSinkerator is far and away the most popular garbage disposal. They invented it and now have a variety of options and accessories. WasteKing is a close runner up. Reviewers are very happy with these two brands overall, impressed at their balance between speed and power. (InSinkerator’s Disposal seems to be THE quietest if you’re keeping score.) 

These two brands have the most rigorously designed materials, right down to the splash guards blocking sound. However, they are large, heavy, and relative to the other models, expensive. But if you want quality and quiet, you will sure be happy with either option.

In contrast to two above are GE Large Capacity and Moen Compact. It might seem to be odd to group these two together, but both might be better fits for those who are price sensitive. 

The Moen is smaller and lighter and therefore easier to install and still quiet. What you sacrifice in size you seem to get in quality still. If you want something that is still within the quiet category, but larger than the Moen Compact, and less expensive than InSinkerator and WasteKing, then chances are the GE Large Capacity disposal is a good option.

The other disposal, Emerson, discussed here falls between these two categories and is a safe bet as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is my garbage disposal so loud?

There are three particular aspects of disposals that make them loud: 

  1. Noise coming up from the opening 
  2. Noise of the motor 
  3. Vibrations around the machine

Quiet disposals address these aspects in several ways. Most of the motors on this list are heavily insulated: each company has its own strategy or propriety insulation design. 

The moving parts – impeller, and spinning disk are designed to run quietly. Several of these have specialized mounting components to cut down or prevent vibration so that they are quiet. If you’re concerned, it would not hurt to put insulating foam, or something of the sort on the insides of your sink cabinet doors.

Problems you are likely to encounter with a garbage disposal

The two biggest problems you are likely to encounter are 

  1. Clogging 
  2. Jams

Both of which are caused by putting the wrong things down drains, such as those listed above or overfilling them. 

Several of the models discussed below include specific technology to prevent or correct those issues including reset buttons and reversing motors. Clogging is not something disposals can do much with, particularly once it is in the piping.  

Installation is not necessarily hard, but requires several different things to be kept in mind. 

How large is the space beneath your sink? If you install a larger disposal, you’re going to lose most of the space on that side below the sink. 

Disposals require plumbing connections – from your dishwasher and out your drainage pipes. They also require that you connect them to power. 

Obviously, when you install your garbage disposal, be sure to first shut off water and electricity. Most of these come with a standard power cord to ensure the power connection is simple and easy. 

Usually what you will need will be standard household tools: screwdrivers, pliers, putty, and hammer.

Which garbage disposal is the quietest?

All of the above are considered “quiet.” However, InSinkErator and General Electric are among the quietest.

How challenging is it to install a disposal?

You can usually install a disposal in a couple hours. It takes longer if your sink is not yet configured for a disposal, or if your current disposal has been there for years or decades, and is challenging to remove. Plumbers can definitely do this for you, but then you will be paying the cost of labor on top of everything else. 

  • Shut off water and electricity
  • Remove your current disposal
  • Install the new disposal’s mounting ring on the bottom of the sink
  • Make any other attachments the disposal requires, including your dishwasher
  • Make sure everything is tight and sealed before you test it

You do not need an electrician, unless the installation requires wiring and you are not comfortable with this.

Many of these come with power cords and plugs. What do I do if mine is currently hard wired?

In this case, the easiest thing to do is to install an outlet to plug the disposal into. Changing the wiring on the unit is not as easy, and potentially voids the warranty. Just be sure you’re comfortable installing the outlet under the sink for the disposal and that you have turned the power off. 

How do I get rid of my old garbage disposal?

Check with your local regulations, but chances are you have a few options. If it still works fine and you just want to upgrade, clean it out and give it to your local goodwill service. Chances are someone will need one. You can also check with any local churches, food pantries, or other local services. Because it is full of metal you can often sell it for salvage, or you can have it recycled. Obviously, landfills will often take them, but try that as a last resort. 

How do I clean a garbage disposal unit?

There are several items you can use: sponge, dish soap, baking soda and vinegar, ice, or other cleaning solutions. Switch the power off at the fuse box. Using the soap and sponge, reach in and clean out the insides. Do the same to the baffle at the top of the drain. 

What do I do if it my garbage disposal is making loud noises?

If you hear a flat humming sound, it is likely that the disposal is jammed. Shut off the power and reach in with a long object to push and rotate the grinding plate. If it is making a grinding noise, there is something likely stuck. You may want to inspect it for something that does not belong such as silverware or any other.

How much horsepower do I need in a garbage disposal?

Most agree that in a 2-person household, 1/3 to 1/2 horsepower is enough to handle the common amount of food ground up. Households with 3-5 should consider 1/2 to 3/4 and for larger households, 1 horsepower motor might be best.

Conclusion

So, as you can see, you have many options including several highly recommended brands, types, and sizes. 

The benefits of a good disposal are a nice quiet motor, less food waste in the trash and landfills, and peace of mind when you’re cooking. 

It is certainly worth looking into the models here, as they offer the extra benefit of quietness at pretty much the same price point as regular garbage disposals.

Whichever you pick, I hope this article has helped you to choose the best quiet garbage disposal for your home!

As always, do check out the links to Amazon where you can learn more or order any of these models.