Garbage Disposal with Septic Tank – Is It Safe?

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garbage disposal with septic tank

Efficient waste management is vital for your home; it not only adds convenience to your life but also reduces your contribution to the world’s increasing concern about waste production.

Simply installing a septic-system-safe garbage disposal in your house can help you sort through, and get rid of, most of your decomposable kitchen waste.

These specially designed disposal units are made to work efficiently with your septic tank system, so ground kitchen waste can automatically be disposed of.

To pick a garbage disposal unit that is compatible with your existing septic system, we suggest you go through our reviews.

Comparison Table - Garbage Disposal with Septic Tank

Image

Product Name

Rating &
Reviews

Price

Buy Now

InSinkErator 76006, Gray

InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist

413 reviews

$224.00

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

Waste King L-8000

5757 reviews

$131.97

Moen GX50C GX Series 1/2 Horsepower Continuous Feed Compact Garbage Disposal, Power Cord Included

Moen GX50C GX Series

Value missing.

317 reviews

$99.86

General Electric GFC520V Continuous Feed Disposall, Large capacity, 1/2 horsepower, Black

General Electric GFC520V Continuous Feed Disposall

432 reviews

$79.98

Frigidaire FFDI501DMS 1/2 Hp D Garbage Disposer, 10.35 lbs, Blue

Electrolux FFDI501DMS

27 reviews

$84.71

InSinkErator Badger 1, 1/3 HP Household Food Waste Disposer and Power Cord Kit Bundle

InSinkErator Badger 1

reviews

$103.44


Can You Use A Garbage Disposal With A Septic Tank

If you have been wondering whether you can attach a garbage disposal to your septic system, think no more – the answer is yes.

As per FHA, septic tank systems and garbage disposals work very well together. However, since septic tanks are usually designed to break down human waste, added measures need to be taken to ensure that they work well when paired with a garbage disposal.

For example, you will have to ensure that the waste going down your garbage disposal to your septic tank is entirely biodegradable; otherwise, bacteria cannot break it down.

You will also need to regularly maintain your tank to take out solid waste to prevent clogging.

If you pair the right size tank with the correct garbage disposal unit, these two systems can work together efficiently for a long time to rid your house of waste.


Benefits Of Combining These Systems

Your septic tank is your personal on-site sewage system that helps you get rid of water and human waste. Add to that a garbage disposal unit, and you may have found a solution to get rid of all biodegradable waste in your house.

The two major benefits you get out of combining these systems are:

Convenience

It is much easier for you to dump leftover food scraps down the drain when cleaning dishes, and not have to worry about taking out the trash later.

This food waste will grind up, and flush down to your septic system by itself to be broken down by bacteria.

Eco-Friendly Waste

Much of the food waste that goes down your drain to your septic tank will be broken down by bacteria – especially if your garbage disposal has a high grinding capacity.

This means that the food from your house will not end up in a landfill, and add to environmental pollution.


Choosing The Best Septic Safe Waste Disposer

Septic-System Ready

When you are selecting a waste disposal to work with your septic system, ensure that the disposal is septic-system ready.

Many manufacturers offer models that are septic tank friendly and come with an extra grinding capacity which grinds your waste into particle sized bits.

Often, such systems also come with high power motors compared to regular garbage disposals – this ensures that your food waste is small enough not to clog your septic system.

Size

Before purchasing a garbage disposal, you must ensure if it is the right fit for your home.

Assess the space under your sink to see how large a disposal system can fit there. If you have less space, you need to go for a more compact waste disposal system.

However, if you require a large-sized disposal unit for your home, you can consider increasing the space under your sink to fit the garbage disposal.

Horse Power

The capacity and speed of your disposal system depends on the type of motor power it has. This does not mean buying the highest available horsepower for your house.

The type of garbage disposal you choose should match your needs; for example, getting too less or too high a horsepower can be unnecessary and inefficient.

Garbage disposals usually come in four types:

  • 1/3 HP – for single person use
  • 1/2 HP – for homes with 2-3 people
  • 3/4 HP – for homes with 4-6 individuals
  • 1 HP – for large families with 7-9 members

Speed (RPM)

When buying a garbage disposal unit, a critical factor to consider is the grinding speed - the measure of revolutions per minute (RPM) taken by the grinding unit of your disposal system.

Garbage disposals range from 1725 RPM and can go as high as 2800 RPM. The higher the RPM, the faster your disposal system will pulverize your food waste.

Feed Types

Garbage disposal units come with two distinct feed types:

  • Continuous feed
  • Batch feed

As the names suggest, continuous feed systems constantly run from when you turn on your waste disposal unit, until you turn it off. It is suitable for families or houses that produce continuous or large amounts of food waste.

On the other hand, batch feed systems work in sets. You have to put in the waste you want to be disintegrated, cover the lid, and turn on the machine for it to work. Since batch feed can only hold a limited amount of waste at one time, it’s ideal for homes that produce smaller waste volumes.

Noise Reduction Technology

Quality waste disposal systems do not produce excessive noise since they are built keeping noise levels in view.

Consider this: if you have an open kitchen or a studio apartment, it can get challenging to live with the constant sound of your garbage disposal running in the background.

Most manufacturers now make waste disposal units with soundproof materials to minimize the sound of grinders when your unit is running.

Waste Volume/Family Size

The amount of waste you produce is often related to the number of people in the house. Even if you live alone, but entertain a lot of guests, you would generate a higher waste volume than other single-person accommodations.

Therefore, the garbage disposal system you get should have a grand chamber capacity large enough to meet your waste volume quantity.

If you get a smaller unit (with a lesser HP, lower grinding capability and batch feed type) for a household that produces high amounts of food waste, you could potentially damage your disposal unit – or affect its life expectancy.

Grind Capability

The grinding capability of a garbage disposal depends on the number of grinding stages the unit has and determines how finely the waste is pulverized.

A waste disposal system can have anywhere between 1 to 3 grinding stages – typically, more grinding stages equal better grinding capability.

If you're pairing your garbage disposal system with a septic tank, try to get units with high grinding capacity, so you don't end up clogging your drain or pipelines.

Installation

Garbage disposals come with two types of mounting options:

  • EZ mount
  • 3-bolt mount

It’s usually a good idea to consider the cost of installation before buying a new waste disposal system for your house.

If you’re replacing an old unit with a new one, check to see if your new mounting assembly will be compatible with the old one.

Disposal units are generally easy to set up; however, with systems that require extra plumbing, you may need to hire a professional.

Warranty

You don't want to invest in a garbage disposal system without getting the assurance of good service.

Garbage disposal manufacturers offer warranties for their products from 1 to up to 10 years.

Getting a product from a trustworthy manufacturer (like the ones mentioned in this review), who offer excellent customer service, and a reliable warranty can make your product worth the price.


6 Best Garbage Disposals For Septic Systems

1. InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist

Our #1 Choice

Horsepower (HP)

3/4 HP

Speed (RPM)

1725 RPM

Weight

22.6 lbs.

Feed Type

Continuous

Installation

Sink mount

InSinkErator is one of the most renowned garbage disposal manufacturers, and their 74032 model is our top pick for the best garbage disposal systems.

This unit is specially designed for homes equipped with septic-tank systems.

It has a power motor of 3/4 HP; combined with its multi-grind technology, it finely grinds all your kitchen waste, thus preventing any possibility of clogs.

The SoundSeal technology of InSinkErator ensures that despite its powerful function, the unit is virtually noiseless. This patented technology includes high-level insulation, vibration reduction technology, and a sink baffle to prevent noise from traveling up through the drain.

An essential feature of this model is its Bio-Charge Injection Technology that helps waste decomposition by using bacteria driven bio-degradation.

This unit can be self-installed at home thanks to its quick-lock sink mount. However, if you are replacing an old 3-bolt mount disposal with this one, you don't have to fear its installation costs, as it is generally compatible with 3-bolt mounting assemblies as well.

The product comes with a 4-year warranty with in-home service, which includes professional service agents making house calls for installation, repair, and replacement.

Pros

  • Has a powerful motor of 3/4 HP
  • Comes with Bio-charge injection technology
  • Multi-grind technology

Cons

  • Might seem more expensive than regular non-septic-system compatible disposals

2. Waste King L-8000

Most Powerful Option

Horsepower (HP)

1 HP

Speed (RPM)

2800 RPM

Weight

11.94 lbs.

Feed Type

Continuous

Installation

Ez mount

With a 1 HP motor and a grinding speed of 2800 RPM, the Waste King L-8000 is our most powerful option on the list.

This disposal system already comes with an attached cord which eliminates the need for additional electrical wiring and provides an easy plugin mechanism for the disposal.

This model is very ‘EZ’ (to) mount, and can be easily installed with basic plumbing equipment found at home.

High strength, corrosion-proof polymer grind chamber with stainless steel grind components also resists rust – thus, extending the life of your Waste King disposal unit.

Its continuous feed type makes it ideal for homes that produce large amounts of food waste. The splash guard is replaceable and removable which allows quick and easy cleaning, and provides easy retrieval of items that accidentally fall into the disposal.

A prime safety feature of this Waste King product is its manual reset button. You can save your disposal from long term damage by shutting it off in case of overload, or temporary jams.

Pros

  • EZ mount for quick installation
  • Continuous feed
  • Rust resistant

Cons

  • No lid over continuous feed system

3. Moen GX50C GX Series

Quality Compact Model

Horsepower (HP)

1/2 HP

Speed (RPM)

2600 RPM

Weight

9.25 lbs.

Feed Type

Continuous

Installation

3- bolt mount

At 7.5 x 7.5 x 16 inches, the Moen GX50C GX Series is one of the most compact garbage disposals we have come across while reviewing different models. However, owing to its 1/2 HP motor and 2600 RPM of grinding speed, by no means does it compromise on quality.

This disposal is ideal for a household of 2-3 individuals, and with a continuous feed type, affords you the ease of dumping your trash as you clean or cook.

The high-functioning unit is relatively soundless despite the powerful motor, due to its SoundSHIELD technology which effectively reduces the sound of its engine and blades at work.

Due to a pre-installed power-cord, it saves you the time and cost of installation, meaning you can turn on your disposal right after mounting it via the 3-bolt mount assembly, without any added wires or electrical connections.

This quality product comes with a 4-year in-home warranty to put the buyer at ease.

Pros

  • Grinding speed of 2600 RPM
  • A powerful 1/2 HP motor
  • SoundShield technology for reduced noise
  • Compact size

Cons

  • Some users may find the product inadequate for households with high food waste

4. General Electric GFC520V Continuous Feed Disposall

Best Budget Option

Horsepower (HP)

1/2 HP

Speed (RPM)

2800 RPM

Weight

9 lbs.

Feed Type

Continuous

Installation

Ez mount

General Electric is perhaps one of the most renowned electrical appliance manufacturers, and therefore their GFC520V Continuous Feed Disposall has made it to our list of top 6 waste disposals.

Even though this machine is the cheapest option we found, it is still a high-quality disposal unit.

With 1/2 HP motor, it is enough for homes with less than 3 occupants. Its 2800 RPM speed efficiently grinds the continuous flow of garbage coming in.

An added feature of this product is its two-level pre-cutter, which makes grinding smooth for your disposal, puts less stress on the blades, and ensures a fine grind.

These features make it ideal to be paired with the right sized septic tank for your home.

Its EZ mount assembly saves you the cost of installation by a professional plumber. You can set the machine yourself by following the guidelines mentioned in the users’ manual.

Its stainless steel construction also means that it is rust resistant, and has a durable composition which, with the right care, can last you ages.

Pros

  • Very low price
  • Rust resistant
  • 2800 RPM grinding speed

Cons

  • Can only serve small households

5. Electrolux FFDI501DMS

Direct Wire Model

Horsepower (HP)

1/2 HP

Speed (RPM)

2600 RPM

Weight

10.35 lbs.

Feed Type

Continuous

Installation

Ez mount

It is an easy to install, light-weight, quick-to-fix model which, owing to the 1.5-inch diameter of its drain, can fit almost all sinks.

This unit is septic-system friendly, and with its 2600 RPM grinding speed and 1/2 HP motor, can easily pulverize food waste into small particles that flush down to the tank.

This is a directly wired disposal which can be turned on and off from the wall switch control. It also runs from the time it’s switched on to when it’s switched off, due to its continuous feed mechanism.

Due to its splash guard, the unit prevents food from splashing out while the disposal is running, which makes for a mess-free grinding mechanism. This makes this disposal unit very easy to clean and maintain.

It also produces less noise thanks to its sound guard. This means that you don’t have to worry about your disposal grinder disrupting the peace in your small house.

Pros

  • High-speed grinder
  • Compact size
  • Splash guard included
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Possibly inadequate for larger waste volumes

6. InSinkErator Badger 1

Complete With Cord Kit

Horsepower (HP)

1/3 HP

Speed (RPM)

1725 RPM

Weight

13 lbs.

Feed Type

Continuous

Installation

3- bolt mount

InSinkErator, with its quality garbage disposals systems, has made it twice on our list of top 6.

The InSinkErator Badger 1 comes with a quick lock installation mechanism that makes it very easy to install and replace – twist the old one off, and the new one on.

The disposal is also straightforward to connect to a power supply. It comes complete with a power cord kit and easy installation instructions – once appropriately installed, it can easily be plugged into an outlet.

These septic assist disposals are easy on the pocket, do not require ample space under the sink, and are reliable with a 1-year in-home service and warranty.

With a 26 oz. grind chamber, a 1/3 HP motor and 1725 RPM grinding speed, this product is ideal for you if you live alone, or do not produce large amounts of kitchen waste.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • 1-year warranty
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Some users may find the motor power and grinding stages to be less

Installing A Garbage Disposal

Each garbage disposal system comes with specific instructions for installation that can be found in their user manuals. However, here is a general guide to setting up your garbage disposal.

  • Remove older drain pipes
  • Apply plumber’s putty to the flange
  • Install the mounting ring
  • Mount the disposal onto the ring
  • Connect the outlet to the discharge pipe

For a deeper understanding of the installation process, you can also refer to this video:


Taking Care Of Your Septic Systems

To ensure that your septic system keeps working efficiently, it is important that you properly maintain it. This includes:

  • Periodic inspection of the septic system
    While septic tanks can go three to five years until they need to be checked, it is essential that you inspect it frequently to ensure that there are no sudden system failures.
  • Pumping the septic tank frequently
    Pumping your tank regularly ensures that solid waste does not flow into the drain field.
  • Conserving water to reduce stress on the system
    To ensure a longer life for your septic system, try to conserve water as much as possible.
  • Only putting non-toxic wastes into your system
    Avoid putting toxic chemicals such as cleaning fluids, waxes, paints, etc. through your septic system. Not only can they kill off important bacteria necessary for waste breakdown, but they can also contaminate surface and groundwater.

Maintenance Of Septic Safe Garburators

Taking preventive measures to care for your garbage disposal will extend its life, and keep it working efficiently.

Here are some tips to follow for maintaining your waste disposal unit:

  • Run water down the drain after each grinding cycle to remove any food remnants, and flush out the pipes to avoid clogs.
  • Avoid using hot water with your unit as it can liquefy fats such as grease, and cause it to stick to the blades.
  • Keep hard and fibrous food waste away from your disposal. Hard waste such as egg shells or bones can cause unnecessary strain on the blades, or make them turn blunt.
  • Get rid of any foul odor by washing the insides of your disposal thoroughly, and then use vinegar to drive the stink away.

Conclusion

We have compiled this list for you after reviewing several manufacturers and models for septic-system safe garbage disposal units.

Our list of top 6 disposals unites should help you make an informed choice, and select the right one for your house.

As per our reviews, the best disposal to invest in is the InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist. With its 3/4 HP motor, durable make, bio-charge injection technology, and multi-grind stages, it can take care of all your food waste.


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