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How Many Amps Does a Garbage Disposal Use?

The amount of amps a garbage disposal draws can vary depending on the model and motor size. On average, a garbage disposal will draw around 4 to 7 amperes of electricity. However, some larger or more powerful models may take up to 10 or 12 amps.

AMP rating of various garbage disposals

It’s important to check the specifications of your specific garbage disposal to determine its power consumption. Given below is a table listing the amps rating of 25 different garbage disposals along with their horsepower rating;

Garbage Disposal ModelHorsepowerAmp Usage Rate
InSinkErator Evolution Excel110.2
Waste King L-800017.0
GE GFC1020N17.0
InSinkErator Badger110.2
Moen EXL100C17.0
Waste King 998017.0
InSinkErator Evolution Compact¾8.1
Waste King L-3200¾6.0
Moen GXS75C¾4.5
Moen EX75C¾6.0
InSinkErator Badger 5XP¾9.5
Waste King L-3300¾6.0
InSinkErator Badger 5½6.3
Waste King L-1001½4.5
Waste King L-2600½4.5
Moen GX50C½4.5
GE 1/2½4.5
Moen GXP50C½4.5
Moen GT50C½4.5
InSinkErator Badger 11/35.6
Waste King L-1111/34.0
Whirlaway 1911/34.0
InSinkErator Badger 1XL1/36.7
Moen GXP33C1/34.5
Waste King Legend1/34.0
Garbage disposal amp consumption table

Average Amp Consumption based on Horsepower rating

As mentioned previously, the ampere consumption rate depends upon many factors, including the garbage disposal’s horsepower.

The average amp usage of a 1 HP garbage disposal is around 8.06, whereas that for 3/4 HP disposals is close to 6.68. 1/2 HP garbage disposals consume five amps of electricity, and 1/3 HP disposals are rated 4.8 amps on average.

As you can tell, garbage disposals with 1/3 HP draw the least amount of electrical energy. 

a garbage disposal

Do Garbage Disposals Consume Too Much Electricity?

Generally speaking, garbage disposals do not require loads of energy to execute their main job. However, there are dozens of factors that must be taken into account before this question is answered.

For instance, disposals with higher horsepower will require more electricity to function. It also depends upon how much are you using the machine. Some people tend to leave the disposal on for a long while as they chop their veggies and toss them down the drain, while others turn the machine on as the demand rises. Even though disposals generally don’t consume too much electricity, excessive use would surely make an impact on your utility bill. 

What amp switch for garbage disposal: 15 or 20 amps?

The recommended amp switch for a garbage disposal is typically 20 amps. This is because garbage disposals usually consume around 4 to 12 amps of electricity, and a 20-amp switch provides a safety margin to prevent the switch from overheating or failing due to power surges or other electrical issues.

Additionally, a 20-amp switch is also required by electrical code in some regions for garbage disposal installations.

While a 15-amp switch may be sufficient for some smaller garbage disposals with 1/2 HP or 1/3 HP, it’s generally safer to use a 20-amp switch to ensure the reliable and safe operation of your garbage disposal.

Moreover, in an unlikely case when your low HP disposal needs a tad bit more power to start up, the 15-amp switch might trip and cause trouble. Therefore, the safest way is a 20-amp switch for a garbage disposal machine.

Before purchasing or installing a switch, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s specifications to determine the appropriate amp rating for your specific garbage disposal model. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the electrical wiring and circuit can handle the power consumption and amp rating of your garbage disposal and switch.

Is a Separate Circuit Breaker Needed for Garbage Disposals?

Garbage disposals are recommended to have a separate circuit breaker to avoid any unforeseeable hazards.

To put it straight, it depends upon the unit. Garbage disposals generally require their own circuit breaker and that should be the way to go.

Although they can be connected to a shared circuit, the load division might not always go smoothly. Garbage disposals can need a lot of power when they’re being turned on, and if the load is being shared by another appliance, then the circuit breaker might trip. Not only is this risky, but it can also potentially cause a fire.

Therefore, it’s recommended to give a garbage disposal its own circuit breaker, or at least consult an electrician before connecting them to a shared circuit.

What Causes a Garbage Disposal to Draw More Amps?

The thing is that garbage disposals do not always stick to the given amp rating stated in their specifications. During starting up, they can require up to 5 amps more than their standard amp rating. Although this is normal, repeatedly turning on the machine every once in a while can spike up the average amp consumption to a great extent.

Furthermore, giving the garbage disposal more than it can chew is also why the unit would draw more amps. Lastly, lack of proper maintenance can be a leading cause behind a disposal consuming additional power.

Further Reading:

My name is Thomas Anderson, author of DisposalQA. I have 15 years experience working as a plumber in CA, and this is where I answer common questions about garbage disposals.