What Size Garbage Disposal Do I Need?

Last updated on November 20th, 2023 at 12:03 pm

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When you’re looking to buy a garbage disposal for your kitchen sink, one of the most important things you need to consider before making your purchase, aside from the reviews and price, is whether it’s going to fit your drain pipe.

We all agree that garbage disposals play a big role in our lives for the many benefits they bring to our homes. However, before purchasing one, you should ask yourself this question: “What size garbage disposal do I need”? Because as you may know, the size goes in hand with money, and there are different models and versions with different features and strengths, and buying an expensive one does not necessarily mean that it will suit your home. Meanwhile, buying a cheap one can cause even more damages that you will have to spend more money to fix them.

This article is designed to show you exactly how you can choose the best garbage disposal to perfectly suit your kitchen, and at the end of the day, you will be able to answer the question: “What size garbage disposal should I get?”

Short Answer:

Are you living in an apartment or a studio? Or you are a 1-2 family members? 1/3 HP motor is enough.

Are you a medium house owner of 3-6 family members? ½ HP motor would do the job.

Do you need to grind hard foods without worrying about your unit? ¾ HP motor is a perfect fit.

Does your kitchen receive heavy use? Or you are 4-8 family members? Preferably to go with the 1 HP motor.

Do you have enough space under your sink?

If your answer to this question is yes, then you are not restricted to only the small garbage disposals that are available in the market. In order to know, you have to measure the lengths, heights and width that are available under your sink and compare them with the garbage disposals’ dimensions. To make it easier for you, if the unit has more horsepower (HP), then it will likely take more space, so if you’re living in an apartment or a studio, you will have to go with a unit with less horsepower.

What type of (HP) motors suits you best?

Garbage disposals come with various options and features, among them being the HP motor. Below are the 4 types you should know so you have a clearer idea about why the HP is important for selecting your ideal garbage disposal type:

  • 1/3 HP: This type of motor is the weakest and cheapest on the market. It is ideal for 1-2 family members or if you are living in an apartment or a studio. Also, I advise you to only go for this type if you are not planning to use the unit on a daily basis.

  • ½ HP: Ideal for 2-4 family members. Even though this type is a little bit stronger than the 1/3 HP, but still it should only be used for light scraps and light use overall.

  • ¾ HP: This is the best motor type and the most popular one among homeowners. This type can grind the toughest food waste such as vegetable peels and small bones.

  • 1 HP: If you have are a large household owner with 4-8 family members or have a kitchen with lots of heavy use, then this type is certainly for you. Units with 1 HP motors allow you to grind hard foods without worrying too much about it.


The important thing you must keep in mind is that, when opting for a unit, the garbage disposal size factor should come after the main ones like do you want it for a light or a heavy use, the number of your family members and of course the budget. Overall, deciding which size you should go for completely relies on the amount of work your unit will get.

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