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How Many Amps & Watts Does a Garbage Disposal Use?

Garbage disposal is an important appliance in every kitchen. Among all the appliances in your home and restaurant, garbage disposal is important to dispose of your food and waste properly.

Like all other appliances at your home and restaurant, garbage disposal uses electricity to run. So, you must know the power rating of this machine.

Let us help you know how many amps and watts garbage disposal uses and also inform you about other relevant information related to it as well.

How many amps & watts does a garbage disposal use?

A garbage disposal uses an average of 2.8 – 7 amps & 500 – 1650 watts on working conditions. But during starting time, it may consume between 12 – 18 amps and 1500 – 4500 watts for a short period of time. These numbers vary according to the features and size of the garbage disposal itself.

Each garbage disposal machine has its own electricity requirement. All machines have a sticker on them where the required electrical needs of the machine are written.

But we will help you get a basic knowledge of how many amps and watts does a garbage disposal machine use. Let us help you understand that properly and inform you about how much electricity does garbage disposal requires:

3/4 Hp garbage disposal:

A 3/4 Hp garbage disposal uses 5.5 amps &605 watts on average. Though on startup it consumes up to 15 amps& 1800 watts for a short time.

1/2 Hp garbage disposal:

A 1/2 Hp garbage disposal uses 4 amps &412 Watts on a general operation. But on startup, it may use up to 13.5 amps & 1680 watts for a small time.

1/3 Hp garbage disposal:

1/3 Hp garbage disposal machines are the smallest ones that one can get and it consumes the least amount of electricity which is about 2.8 amps & 305 watts in standard operating environments.

But during start-up, these numbers may double or even get up 6 times higher than their normal value depending on the efficiency of the unit. The numbers during start-up can be around 11.25 amps & 1500 watts on average.

1 Hp garbage disposal:

A 1 Hp garbage disposal is a commercial or heavy-duty garbage disposal. It consumes around 7 amps &840 watts in running condition. At startup, it may consume about 21 amps and 2145 watts.

Does garbage disposal need its own circuit breaker?

Yes, garbage disposal needs its own circuit breaker. There are a few fair reasons why you should use a separate circuit breaker for garbage disposal.

The most obvious one is that you may not want your garbage disposal to trip as it uses a motor and its electricity consumption may vary from time to time.

Another obvious answer to support the reason will be as it uses a motor, it may use almost double or even 6 times more electricity when starting from idle or when turning it on.

As we know motors consume more electricity when it turns on initially, you may end up tripping the circuit breaker that it is connected to due to lack of load capacity on the circuit breaker.

Does garbage disposal need a 20 amp switch?

Yes, garbage disposal needs a 20 amp switch. Garbage disposal requires a switch almost like the load of the garbage disposal and the circuit breaker that it is attached to.

As 20 amp circuit breakers are commonly used to connect garbage disposal, thus garbage disposal needs a 20 amp switch to operate properly or it will trip and even burn the new switch.

What amp breaker is needed for garbage disposal?

A 20 amp breaker is needed for garbage disposal. Depending on the size of the garbage disposal, you may require a lower or higher amp breaker. But on average, a 20 amp breaker will be sufficient for garbage disposal.

You may find that according to the garbage disposal’s manual it may need a breaker of small value. But you must keep in mind that, your garbage disposal will require more electricity when it initially starts or starts from idle.

Though it happens for a short time, remember that if you have a breaker lower than 20 amp, your breaker will trip although your garbage disposal didn’t need that much electricity.

How to reduce power usage on garbage disposal?

Garbage disposal doesn’t use that much electricity. But if you misuse it, a garbage disposal can waste a lot of electricity. So let us help you learn the ways to reduce power usage on garbage disposal:

Do not use garbage disposal continuously:

You have to keep in mind that garbage disposal doesn’t grind or blend your garbage. It simply disposes it properly from your kitchen sink. Thus, you do not have to run it all the time.

Turn off your unit when you do not need it and use it when you have to dispose of the garbage.

Do not dispose of garbage that is difficult to process:

If you dispose of such things in the garbage disposal that are difficult for the unit to dispose of, the garbage disposal will try to dispose of your garbage in any way possible by providing the motor with more electricity. As a result, it will consume more electricity.

Check the manual of the garbage disposal to know the list of garbage that causes the disposal to consume more power to dispose than usual and prevent yourself from disposing of those listed things by your garbage disposal.

Use a separate circuit breaker:

When you are not using the garbage disposal, make sure to turn off the circuit breaker.

To ensure that, use a separate circuit breaker for the garbage disposal. By doing this, you can stop idle power wastage of the machine and reduce power usage.

Keep your garbage disposal clean:

Keeping your garbage disposal clean is the key to saving power. If your garbage disposal is clean, it will be easy for the machine to run and it can operate smoothly without any problem.

If your garbage disposal isn’t clean, then it will try to dispose of your garbage by providing more power to the motor. Thus, you will end up using more electricity. So keep your garbage disposal clean after using it.

Keeping garbage disposal clean is very simple. Just let water flow through the garbage disposal after using it for 5 – 20 seconds. It will clean all the filth stuck on the garbage disposal.

Also, clean out the disposal every 1 or 2 months by cleaning agents.

Perform regular maintenance:

Proper maintenance of a garbage disposal can help it last longer and reduce power usage. Thus, try to maintain a proper maintenance cycle.

If you can’t do the maintenance by yourself, call a professional to do it for you and keep your garbage disposal tidy so that it uses less power from the circuit.

How long should you run your garbage disposal?

You should run your garbage disposal for 30 seconds on average. Although you need to run your garbage disposal until the waste and food are gone, the garbage disposal can dispose of all of the waste within 30 seconds on average.

After 30 seconds, turn off the garbage disposal if the food is disposed of properly and let the water run through it for 5 – 20 seconds to clean it.

Can the disposal and dishwasher be on the same circuit?

Yes, disposal and dishwasher can be used on the same circuit if the load on the circuit breaker doesn’t exceed 80%. You can use a disposal and dishwasher side by side as garbage disposal uses very little power from a circuit.

In this case, you must use a 20 amp circuit breaker and then use both, as the dishwasher consumes an average of 10 amps or less and the disposal uses very little power.

But keep in mind that a garbage disposal uses a lot of power at the starting for a limited time. Thus, you should keep the dishwasher off when you turn on your garbage disposal. Use the dishwasher when you are done using your garbage disposal.

Will a garbage disposal trip a GFCI?

Yes, a garbage disposal will trip a GFCI. Many factors can cause a garbage disposal to trip a GFCI.

If your garbage disposal connection on a GFCI outlet is exposed to water, it may cause the GFCI to trip. As a garbage disposal is always near to water sources, there is a huge chance to trip a GFCI while using a garbage disposal.

Final Thoughts

Depending on the size, garbage disposal uses around 2.8–7 amps & 50–1650 watts on running condition. But when starting, it uses almost 6 times more amps and watts than the usual amount. You can find accurate information on amps and watts of the garbage disposal on the manual or on its body.