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How Many Amps Does a Garbage Disposal Use

By September 19, 2022Home Maintenance
garbage disposal

Understanding the amount of power your garbage disposal consumes is important to prevent breaker trips. You will want to follow the energy rating guides to ensure that you have the proper outlet circuit on a dedicated circuit breaker for your garbage disposal. How many amps does a garbage disposal use? The average garbage disposal uses 15 amps. A 20 amp disposal needs a 12/2 wire hookup.

Let’s take a look at what’s involved with understanding the amp usage of a garbage disposal.

Vegetables can go in a 1/2 horsepower garbage disposal.

What Is The Horsepower

Depending on the type of garbage disposal that you purchase, will determine the kind of horsepower that you will need for it to work properly.

  • 1/2 horsepower – if the garbage disposal has a 1/2 horsepower, it can handle shredding whole vegetables and seeds. The 1/2 horsepower garbage disposal will utilize approximately 9.8 amps. This is twice that or a 1/3 horsepower disposal.
  • 1/4 horsepower – will utilize 1.5 amps and is the least power-grabbing disposal. This type of garbage disposal can be plugged into a standard outlet.
  • 3/4 horsepower – garbage disposal with a 3/4 horsepower will use approximately 13.8 amps. These disposals will be able to shred meat, fruit, vegetables, and pits or seeds.
  • 1 horsepower – if you are someone who cooks often, you will likely need a powerful garbage disposal. A 1 horsepower garbage disposal will utilize 16 amps and is the most powerful of them all. This type of disposal will require a large breaker setup.

Size Of The Amp Breaker

When it comes to installing a garbage disposal, you will want to know what the breaker size is that you are connecting to. Most garbage disposals use a 20-amp breaker to handle 15 amps of electricity. In some cases, the garbage disposal can require a 30-amp breaker. Before you purchase the garbage disposal, read up on the manufacturer’s recommended amps for the breaker functionality.

Wire Size For Garbage Disposal

The size of the electrical wire needed for garbage disposals will also determine how many amps it can handle. If the disposal is 15-amps, you will need at least a 14/2 wire. Also, if the breaker is a 20-amp breaker, you will need a 12/2 wire. Additionally, if you do not have the proper wiring, the garbage disposal will not work properly.

Circuit For Garbage Disposal

The majority of garbage disposals are connected to their circuit. You wouldn’t want to connect your garbage disposal to share a circuit if it will cause the circuit breaker to trip. Be sure to read the user manual or manufacturer’s instructions to determine if the garbage disposal you purchased can be placed on a shared circuit or needs its circuit. If you aren’t sure, reach out to your local professionally licensed electrician.

Fixing a garbage disposal under the sink.

How Much Does It Cost

Depending on the type of garbage disposal that you purchase, will determine how much it costs to install. The national average cost to install your garbage disposal ranges between $150 and $950. Luckily, if you maintain your garbage disposal correctly, it can last you up to 15 years.

Don’t Want A Garbage Disposal

Just because you don’t want to install a garbage disposal doesn’t mean that you can’t discard your extra waste. It is a great idea to utilize a compost bin or compost pile in your yard. Creating this option allows you to get rid of your excess organic waste in an environmentally friendly manner.

Here is an excellent video about choosing the right size horsepower for your garbage disposal.

Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know about garbage disposals, let’s take a look at some other maintenance areas in the kitchen. One of those is the amp required for a microwave. A microwave above the oven requires a 20 amp/240-volt circuit breaker. It is essential to make sure this is the proper size in your home. If you have a microwave that plugs into the wall, it will work on a smaller circuit.

Next, if you hear your refrigerator making noise, it could be a few different things. It may be the compressor, defrost timer, or condenser fan. Whatever it may be, take the time to see if you can fix it or call a professional for help. This will save you money if you don’t need to replace the whole unit.

Lastly, while you are taking the time to check out the garbage disposal, make sure you take a look at the sink. If the sink has chemical stains, you can use a combination of baking soda, water, vinegar, and soap to clean it. This is the best way as these ingredients are better for the environment.

Maintenance on a garbage disposal.

When to Contact a Professional

When it comes to installing a garbage disposal, it is a great idea to hire a local electrician. Professionally licensed electricians will have the knowledge and understanding of how to best wire and connect the garbage disposal you have purchased. If you aren’t sure who to call, reach out to your local home inspection team. They can inspect your electrical system and make a recommendation for a reputable professionally licensed electrician.


Anytime you are dealing with electrical projects, you should always consult a licensed electrician. If you aren’t sure exactly what you need for your garbage disposal installation, then reach out to Boggs Inspection Services. Call on Boggs Inspection Services to get a home inspection of your electrical setup, completed in the Lacey, WA, and surrounding areas

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