How Many AMPS Does a Garbage Disposal Use?

A garbage disposal is an essential kitchen item. It is one of the most necessary appliances in your home or restaurant for the proper disposal of food waste.

Like all other equipment in your kitchen, the garbage disposal is powered by electricity. As a result, it is vital to be aware of this machine’s power rating. Knowing the amperage rating will help you choose the appropriate circuit wiring to prevent your garbage from tripping off while running.

How Many AMPS Does My Garbage Disposal Draw?

Garbage disposal amps
Insinkerator Badger Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals use less energy than most big appliances, such as electric dryers and dishwashers. They do, however, use enough electricity that specific considerations must be made before an effective installation can work. 

Under normal operating circumstances, a waste disposal consumes 2.8–7 amps and 500–1650 watts. However, at startup, it may require 12–18 amps and 1500–4500 watts for a brief period of time. These figures vary depending on the size and features of the garbage disposal.

Insinkerator Garbage Disposal AMPS
Insinkerator Compact Garbage Disposal

Use this guide to help you estimate the size of the garbage disposal your home requires, and then proceed to see if your home can easily accommodate it or if you need to consider any modifications. You may also have to find a qualified electrician to assist you with the required upgrades.

1. Garbage Disposal with 1/3 Horsepower

In regular running conditions, 1/3 hp waste disposal machines require the least amount of power, which is around 2.8 amps and 305 watts.

However, depending on the efficiency of the unit, these figures may double or even go up to six times their regular value at startup. On average, the values at startup might be about 11.25 amps and 1500 watts.

Softer foods such as cereal, fruit and vegetable peels, and bread scraps work well in these disposals. 

2. Garbage Disposal with 1/2 Horsepower

Half-horsepower disposals may handle somewhat harder garbage, such as entire vegetables and seeds. They consume 9.8 amps. However, at startup, it may draw up to 13.5 amps and 1680 watts.

If you have a big family and produce large quantities of food waste, you’ll need a disposal with a higher amp rating. However, if you stay alone and don’t generate a lot of garbage, a less powerful disposal like this one may suffice.

3. Garbage Disposal with 1/4 Horsepower

This is the least energy-consuming garbage disposal. It uses the least watts, approximately 186, and the amperage rate is about 1.5 amps.

As a result, if you have a 1/4 hp garbage disposal, you won’t have to bother about the amperage rate because it will easily fit into any electrical circuit or outlet, leaving room for other equipment to share.

4. Garbage Disposal with 3/4 Horsepower

There’s a good chance your garbage disposal has a horsepower rating of 3/4. You are already aware that a 3/4-horsepower engine utilizes 559 watts.

However, it is critical to understand that the amount of current is not stable. This is due to the fact that it is dependent on the voltage of your outlet.  A 3/4 horsepower waste disposal motor’s full load operating current is typically 13.8 amps. As a result, a dedicated 15 amp outlet is the best choice for a 3/4 hp disposal.

A garbage disposal with 3/4 horsepower draws this much current because it requires more power for work. This garbage disposal is larger and more effective than others.

5. Garbage Disposal with 1 Horsepower

If you are an avid cook, a single-horsepower disposal is your best option. It is also most appropriate for large families. These powerful machines are capable of grinding almost anything, including bones. Its solid insulation makes this garbage disposal extremely quiet compared to other garbage disposals.

Because of the machine’s higher power (746 watts), the current drawn by the 1 horsepower disposal is higher than others. This is easy! The more power the machine generates, the more current it draws, and vice versa.

As a result, 1hp-disposal uses the most power of any model, reaching around 16 amps. You will need a high circuit breaker to run this disposal.

How Can I Save Energy on Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposal does not consume a lot of electricity. However, if used incorrectly, a garbage disposal can waste a significant amount of electricity. So, let us assist you in learning how to save energy on garbage disposal:

1. Do not leave the garbage disposal on for an extended period of time.

Remember that garbage disposals do not blend or grind your garbage. It simply gets rid of it from your sink. As a result, you don’t have to operate it all the time.

Although you must run your disposal until all of the waste has been disposed of, the appliance can typically get rid of all of the food scraps in 30 seconds.

Power off your appliance when not in use and only use it when you need to dispose of garbage.

2. Use a Separate Circuit Breaker

When not in use, ensure the circuit breaker is turned off. Using a dedicated circuit breaker for your garbage disposal will help you achieve this easily. It allows you to reduce power consumption and idle power waste on the machine.

Keep your garbage disposal clean: The key to saving energy is to keep your garbage disposal clean at all times. If your disposal is clean, the machine will have an easier time running and will run smoothly.

If it’s dirty, it will try to get rid of food waste by increasing the power of the motor. As a result, you will use more electricity. So, after using your garbage disposal, keep it clean.

It is very simple to keep your garbage disposal clean. After using the garbage disposal, simply run water through it for 5–20 seconds. It will remove all the debris from the garbage disposal.

3. Keep your garbage disposal clean

The key to saving energy is to keep your garbage disposal clean. If your disposal is clean, the machine will have an easier time running and will run smoothly.

If it’s dirty, it will try to get rid of food waste by increasing the power to the motor. As a result, you will use more electricity. So, after using your garbage disposal, keep it clean.

It is very simple to keep your garbage disposal clean. After using the garbage disposal for 5 – 20 seconds, simply run water through it. It will remove all of the debris from the shredding plate.

4. Do not put difficult-to-process waste in your garbage disposal

If you put items in the waste disposal that are tough for the device to dispose of, it will try to get rid of your garbage in just about any way it can by providing more electricity to the motor. As a result, it will use more energy.

Check the disposal manual for a list of items that cause the disposal to use more power than usual to dispose of, and avoid disposing of those items with your garbage disposal.

5. Perform routine maintenance

Maintaining a garbage disposal on a regular basis can help it last longer and use less energy. As a result, try to keep an effective maintenance cycle.

If you are unable to perform the maintenance yourself, hire a professional to do so, and keep your disposal clean so that it consumes less power from the circuit.

Frequently Asked Questions for Garbage Disposal Amps

Is it possible to replace a 15-amp circuit breaker with a 20-amp breaker?

If you want to upgrade your circuit breaker from 15 amps to 20 amps, you should consult an electrician first.

However, it is unnecessary because replacing the circuit breaker from 15 amp to 20 amp will not affect the performance of the waste disposal.

It’s also a risky move. Expert evaluation is required to determine whether or not your circuit breaker can be changed from 15 amp to 20 amp.

Failure to properly evaluate whether or not your breaker is completely safe to change from 15 amp to 20 amp could result in dangerous accidents.

If you plan to change the garbage disposal altogether, you might want to see How to Disconnect a Garbage Disposal.

What size wire should I use for garbage disposal?

One of the decisions you must make when installing a new garbage disposal is what size wire to use. Most disposals require at least 14 gauge wire, though some high-quality models may require 12 gauge wire.

Garbage disposal wire
14 gauge wire

The thickness of the wire determines the amount of current it can carry. If you’re unsure about what size wire to use, go with a thicker gauge.

If you are trying to install a disposal on an existing property, you must first determine the size of the circuit breaker. Most homes use 15-amp circuit breakers for light fixtures and outlets.

You can securely install a disposal that uses up to 12 amps if the breaker is 20 amps. If your breaker is rated at 15 amps, you can install a disposal that uses up to 16 amps safely.

You can run various appliances on the same circuit breaker if the amp is rated higher than the amp of the garbage disposal. Just make sure that you don’t overload the circuit. Consult an electrician if you have any concerns.

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