If you are looking for an economical, long-lasting and durable under-sink disposal, the Badger 1 from InSinkErator may be what you are looking for. This review will cover everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision prior to purchase.
Badger 1 Garbage Disposal Review
Ever since the day in 1927 when designer and founder, John Hammes, built a garbage disposal for his wife, InSinkErator has been producing improved designs for disposals. Still headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin, the company has been purchased by Emerson and is still thriving to this day.
From the very first prototype to the latest disposal touting the best technology and materials, InSinkErator can be found underneath a lot of American kitchen sinks. The Badger 1 was designed as a durable, reliable and cost-effective disposal for homes and families looking for their fist disposal or to upgrade an existing one.
While the Badger 1 garbage disposal may not be the largest, fastest or quietest, it is one of the most affordable. This review will take a look at the Badger 1 from the inside out, including installation, use, capacity, and energy consumption. If you are thinking about getting a new disposal, read on to find out if the Badger 1 is worthy of making your short list.
What is the Badger 1 and How Does it Work?
The Badger 1 garbage disposal is an under sink disposal that grinds, chops and disperses food waste from the kitchen to the grey water drainage system. Much like every other under sink disposal, the Badger 1 is inserted between the sink drain and the drainage pipe and is a continuous feed disposal.
Continuous feed disposals are connected to a power supply that is operated by a switch. The switch is generally located near the sink and toggles between on and off. When in the off position, the outlet (generally found on the wall underneath the sink) is not live, and no power is transferred to the disposal that is plugged into it.
When the power switch is turned on, the disposal motor begins rapidly turning the grinding heads located in the food collection chamber.
To avoid burning out the motor, you should run water when the disposal is turned on. This will help break up the food and wash it away when it is chopped small enough to escape through the drainage holes in the collection chamber.
As a preventative measure, you should ensure that nothing but food particles are in the collection chamber before turning the motor on. Silverware, plastic, and pieces of food containers can easily fall into the disposal through the sink drain opening.
You should never place your hand inside the disposal, especially when it is connected to the power supply, even if the switch is off. Instead, if you suspect non-food items are in the chamber, you should unplug the disposal and remove the drain pipes connected to it, then twist the disposal off of the locking mount to remove the items.
Binding, overheating and malfunction of the Badger 1 will result in popping the power interrupt switch. If the motor gets too hot, or if the grinding chamber stops spinning the switch will pop much like a circuit breaker.
If this happens, you should turn the power switch off and allow the disposal to cool for approximately 30 minutes. Once it has cooled, you can depress the red interrupt switch located on the bottom of the disposal to lock it back in the on position.
Power the disposal on again with the switch to ensure everything is working properly. If it is not, the grinding chamber may be fouled or bound, and the entire disposal will need to be removed, inspected and cleared of debris before returning to service.
What Makes the Badger 1 Garbage Disposal Unique?
The Badger 1 garbage disposal is a continuous feed disposal. Unlike a pressure feed that uses a cap to turn it on, the Badger 1 uses a power switch, not unlike a light switch.
As long as the switch is on, the disposal will run. Most homeowners prefer this type of disposal as they are easy to install, work well when needed and you don’t have to get your hand near the top of the disposal for it to work.
The Badger 1 uses a 1/3 horsepower motor to spin the grinding chamber blades, which are made of stainless steel. The blades themselves are not sharp to the touch, they do, however, appear as U-shaped prongs that freely spin on a mounting bolt while the chamber spins the mounting plate around.
The blades spin at 1725 RPM, providing enough power and force to eliminate virtually all food waste.
The chamber that collects and grinds the food has a capacity of 26 ounces, which should hold most of your dinner scraps for processing.
The unit itself is just below average on its size with a total height of just under 12 inches. The Badger 1 does come with a dishwasher inlet to connect your dishwasher to the drain. If you have a dishwasher, you will need to remove the drain plug from the inlet before connecting the dishwasher drain hose.
If you fail to complete this step, water will not drain from the dishwasher into the disposal. You can imagine the mess it will create.
One thing you won’t find on the Badger 1 is noise dampening. A lot of higher-end models have encased their motors and grinding chambers in noise dampening materials to reduce the overall noise while grinding up food.
This is an added expense, and it shows up on the final disposal cost. Because the Badger 1 is an economy model, InSinkErator saved money by not adding this feature. While the disposal may be loud, the operating time is only a few seconds, so you should be okay. Just don’t expect to hear the television while it is running.
The Badger 1, as mentioned previously, is an economy model disposal designed to save you money by eliminating some of the higher end features. If you are looking to purchase a Badger 1, you can expect to pay about $$ for a new unit.
To compare, the average cost of similar models can range from $$ to $$$.
1, you can expect to pay about $$ to $$ for a new unit.
To compare, the average cost of similar models can range from $$ to $$$.
You may be able to find sales or discounted prices though as the Badger 1 has been superseded by the Badger 5. The newer model has a higher price tag, and as the Badger 1 gets phased out, the price should continue to drop some.
Most of the owners of the Badger 1 have very little to complain about. Overall it receives high marks in installation ease, operation, durability, and reliability.
The Badger 1 does come with a 1-year warranty, though most consumers have claimed five to seven years of reliable operation without any faults or problems.
Some of the common complained about problems are due to user wear and tear such as the disposal taking longer to grind up food, or the slightly above average of operational energy costs (on average the disposal will use about one gallon of water, per person, per day and 4 kilowatt hours per year.).
For the purchase price and length of constant use, though, the energy and water bill costs don’t add up to much. When compared to other models of the same power ratings, the Badger 1 rates at about average. There are a few models that use fewer amps and wattage, though there are also a few that use more.
One of the most often reported complaints is that of leaking at the base of the unit. This, however, comes after a few years of service and not out-of-the-box. What is usually described is that over time the body of the unit has rusted and it has gotten to the point of allowing water to leak from the grinding chamber into the plastic base.
When this happens, there isn’t much you can do, except replace it. To save money, the disposal is made from galvanized steel, which will eventually succumb to rust.
Because this happens internally, you won’t be able to see it happen and one day you will notice that underneath your sink has become wet. While this is a problem that is seen in a lot of disposals, the Badger 1 seems to have it happen more often than some of the others.
How It Compares
The Badger 1 garbage disposal stacks up well against other disposals in its weight class. The 1/3 HP motor isn’t the biggest on the block; there are ½ HP motors, even full 1 HP motors. However the more power, the larger the unit and the higher the price tag.
When compared to disposals of the same horsepower, the Badger 1 is well above average. It has a higher number of sales and reviews than almost any other 1/3 HP disposal.
If you compare the overall quality to the size, the Badger 1 is leaps and bounds above most other competitors. It’s high RPM, and small stature makes it an easy fit under almost every sink.
Because it stands at just 11 3/8 inches tall, it can clear almost any drain pipe set up with room to spare. This makes it ideal for smaller homes, apartments or even mobile homes that may be limited on under sink space.
It does fall a little short in the durability department, due to the thin sheets of galvanized steel used for the construction. Susceptible to rusting sooner than most, this can be a deciding factor for those thinking of a purchase.
However, you should realize that almost ever disposal on the market (even the one priced at over $200) will rust at some point in their life. The main issue most people have is that the limited 1-year warranty of the Badger 1, is about a year or two short of most competitors. It is also the time frame that seems to have the rust hole appear; just out of warranty range.
Soft water tends to rust the Badger 1 faster than hard water, though it isn’t confirmed, only reported. Soft water filters can be used to prolong the life of the steel inside the disposal, but it will still eventually rust from the bottom up.
When comparing the price, the Badger 1 is hard to beat. With simple to follow installation instructions, replacing or installing new, the Badger 1 is very simple. Because of this, and the other features, the Badger 1 makes a daring leap forward in the consumer market.
What We Think
The Badger 1 disposal is a durable and reliable garbage disposal that comes with an affordable price tag.
There are, of course, going to be downsides such as potential rust issues and loud operation. However, for the money, the Badger 1 compares highly among other models as well as other competitors models in the same performance and price range.
The upsides, though, outweigh the possible negatives. The price point is lower than most comparable disposals and the ease of use, installation, and space saving design, make the unit a high demand disposal.
If you are in the market for a new or replacement garbage disposal, the Badger 1 garbage disposal is a great choice. Granted, it won’t last forever, and it can be a little noisy when in operation, but you can’t beat the price and performance.
With over 1700 revolutions per minute in the grinding chamber and a 1.3 HP motor, your food remnants will be gone in no time. For residential, daily use, the Badger 1 works well. It is easy to install (even with a dishwasher drain line) and performs flawlessly right out of the box.
The distinct advantage of the Badger 1 is the low height profile. It is able to fit under most, if not all sinks and still clear the main drainage pipes. If you want more power, take a look at the Badger 5. However, if you want affordable performance, the Badger 1 should make your short list.