Installing a garbage disposal in a rental apartment
May 18, 2012 4:01 PM   Subscribe

Installing a garbage disposal in a rental apartment

I'm moving to a new apartment that does not have a garbage disposal in the kitchen sink. This is not the end of the world for me, but I do like the convenience of a garbage disposal. In looking on Amazon, it looks like there are models available for a reasonable price (<$100). I'm wondering if

a) these type of models work at all, and if anyone has recommendations for which are better than others
b) this would be reasonably easy to install, set up, use
c) this would run afoul of my lease (there is nothing specifically mentioned). I could always check with my landlord, and would be willing to return the sink to the original condition before moving out (assuming that's possible with these models of garbage disposals)

The kitchen sink is currently just a regular sink, with plenty of room in the cabinet underneath the sink.
posted by rainbowbrite to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
What does your lease say about changes to the apartment? Does it have any information about that at all?
posted by ocherdraco at 4:05 PM on May 18, 2012

You may have less space than you think, depending on how the pipes are arranged. Do you also have a dishwasher?

I recently had a (albeit, large) garbage disposal installed in what I thought was a spacious area, but the pipe voodoo the plumber had to pull off required some sawing into my cabinetry (and an accidental slice into the drywall that had to be patched).

So, if your landlord approves, keep receipts and make damned sure the plumber lets you know before he pulls out the electric saw.
posted by Wossname at 4:06 PM on May 18, 2012

Talk to the landlord. He might be willing to install it for you (or recommend an installer), so as to keep you from possibly doing it wrong and causing damage. And get his answer in writing, whether it's Yes or No.
posted by Etrigan at 4:07 PM on May 18, 2012

Response by poster: Ok, this sounds like an issue I do need to check with my landlord about regardless - so, assuming he was okay with it, in general do folks think the <$100 models are functional, and are there any recommendations for the better models?
posted by rainbowbrite at 4:17 PM on May 18, 2012

Is there an electrical outlet inside the sink cabinet? If not, where will you get power from?
posted by jon1270 at 4:26 PM on May 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: This site is good for reviews on this kind of stuff.
posted by orme at 4:37 PM on May 18, 2012

Best answer: I spent about that much and have had no problems. Might've only spent $80 even. Basically you're just paying for how hard you can be on it. One brand will have several models, just like a car. More power, more money. If you wanna play "will it blend?" then go top tier, but otherwise, eh. The only thing I've found mine doesn't like is onion skins. Too fibrous. But it doesn't hurt it, they just don't go away immediately. Champ otherwise. I'm not at home, but I think it's black and decker.
posted by hypersloth at 4:48 PM on May 18, 2012

My disposer cost $40 on sale somewhere. It works fine. It's a variant of this one.
posted by chazlarson at 5:11 PM on May 18, 2012

Best answer: A disposal needs an electrical supply line and a switch on the wall within reach of the sink. The wiring is not difficult if you have an outlet nearby that you can tap into, but you will need to open the wall below the cabinet and most likely above the cabinet to install a switch box. It's not a normal do-it-yourself job.
posted by lee at 7:03 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is it an older building? If so, I'd think twice about it because the pipes might not be able to handle it. When our landlords updated the kitchen in this house, they didn't really take that into account. After the third time the pipes stopped up we were told to just not use it anymore. It would suck if the landlord made you pay to have the pipes unclogged.
posted by dawkins_7 at 7:44 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Check the circuit on your fuse box, too. I thought about doing this, but my kitchen circuit is only 20A and the breaker used to pop when I'd use the toaster and the microwave at the same time. Plus, my landlord said, "the pipes are too small." Since I actually verified that this wasn't true with an actual plumber, be prepared for the possibility that he'll just give you a BS excuse as a "no." For possibility c), check for words similar to "structural changes."
posted by rhizome at 2:02 AM on May 19, 2012

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