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How Many Amps Does a Garbage Disposal Use?

Garbage disposals are the type of home appliances that are responsible for an important job in your kitchen, grinding your food waste and eliminating it. Although numerous factors determine a garbage disposal’s value, one of them is its electricity consumption rate. Are you looking to get a garbage disposal installed in your kitchen? If yes, then you’re probably wondering how many amps should be an ideal disposal draw. In this article, we shall be going through a detailed analysis of the connection between garbage disposals and their electricity consumption.

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. 

How Many Amps Does A Garbage Disposal Consume

Given below is a table listing the electricity consumption 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 is dependent upon many factors, one of them being 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 5 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. 


What amp switch should I install: 15- or 20?

To see what amp switch you need to install your garbage disposal, go through the user manual. Usually, garbage disposals need a 20-amp switch but they can also do well with a 15-amp. However, note that 15-amp switches are strictly for low-powered ½ or 1/3 HP garbage disposals. To be safe, go for a 20-amp switch because if you decide to upgrade your unit in the future, the switch would still be compatible. 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.

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 division of load 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 as well. 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 on their specifications. During start-up, they can require up to 5 times their standard amp load. 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 what it can chew is also a reason why the unit would draw more amps. Lastly, lack of proper maintenance can be a leading cause behind a disposal consuming additional power as well.


Garbage disposals are small machines that are not made to consume loads of power. However, not sticking to the best practices can probably make them do the opposite. If you’re worried about electricity bills skyrocketing, consider going for a disposal that is specially designed to draw as little electricity as possible.

My name is Thomas Anderson, and I have worked briefly as a plumber. Even though I am currently working on a different career path I still help out my friends and family with their plumbing issues. This is a hobby blog where I share my knowledge with the audience through random articles. Through this blog, I hope to address some common questions about garbage disposals.