Product Review

Badger Garbage Disposal: Reviews For InSinkerator

Find which InSinkerator product is best suited to your food disposing needs.

by Andy

Product Review

Badger Garbage Disposal: Reviews For InSinkerator

Find which InSinkerator product is best suited to your food disposing needs.

by Andy

by Andy

In the US, we love our Badger garbage disposals. It’s amazing to think that most other industrialized nations don’t use these handy devices, meaning that they have to throw food away into the garbage can when they are finished with their meal.

Having a garbage disposal is so much better than not having one, which is why we are here today. So let's look at some of the best in the business. When talking about different brands, one stands out above the rest: InSinkErator.

The reason that this company has dominated the garbage disposal landscape (along with Waste King) is that it makes the best and most reliable units. To top it all off, InSinkErator has one of the best warranty systems in the industry, meaning that it is more than willing to back up its claims.

So, without further ado, let’s look at the most popular series of garbage disposals that the company makes, the Badger. I will not only show you all of the different Badger options, but I will help you understand which features are most important so that you pick the right one for your household.

5 Badger Garbage Disposal Reviewed

1. InSinkErator Badger 5 

Horsepower

½ HP

RPM

1725

Mount System

Quick Lock

Household Size

2-4 people

Food Waste

Scraps and Leftovers

Kicking things off is the Badger 5. As far as these models go, this is about the middle of the road.

It’s not too powerful and not too big, meaning that it is ideal for smaller households or individuals. This disposal comes with a meaty ½ horsepower motor, which means that it can chew up almost any food with ease.

What I like about this unit (and all InSinkErator models) is that it comes with stainless steel impellers. Some other brands use regular steel, but that will rust and break down over time, meaning that they don’t last as long as these.

The grinding chamber is twenty-six ounces, which is more than enough to power through any leftover food that you have to toss down the drain. That, coupled with a Dura-Drive induction motor means that you can get done a lot faster than with the competition.

Best of all, this unit is made in the USA and comes with a two-year in-home warranty. That means that if any components break down in that time, it is possible for technicians to come to your house to fix it on the spot. If that’s not high-quality customer service, then I don’t know what is.

Pros
  • 26-ounce grinding chamber
  • Durable stainless steel impellers
  • Compact design
  • Insulated to reduce noise
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Power cord is extra
  • Even with insulation, it can be loud
  • Can get backed up easily

2. InSinkErator Badger 5XP 

Horsepower

¾ HP

RPM

1725

Mount System

Quick Lock

Household Size

2-4 people

Food Waste

Tough Scraps

If you thought that the Badger 5 was pretty good, then wait until you lay your eyes on the 5XP model. If one-half horsepower is not enough to get the job done, then the XP will kick things up a notch by giving you ¾ horsepower.

The proprietary Dura-Drive induction motor means that you get more torque, thereby enabling you to process more food in less time.

The best part of the 5XP is that it has stainless steel impellers. Because the motor is so robust, it’s crucial that the impellers match the quality of the machine; otherwise, you wouldn’t get the same level of performance.

Other standard features that come with this garbage disposal include InSinkErator’s Quick-Lock mounting system for easy installation, a large 26-ounce grinding chamber, and insulation to help keep things quieter than usual.

As far as reliability goes, the Badger 5XP comes with a three-year limited warranty, which means that it is more powerful and more versatile than the 5 model. 

Pros
  • 26-ounce grinding chamber
  • Durable stainless steel impellers
  • Insulated to reduce noise
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Even with insulation, it can get loud
  • Some components are not as durable as others

3. InSinkErator Badger 500

Horsepower

½ HP

RPM

1725

Mount System

Quick Lock

Household Size

2-4 people

Food Waste

Scraps and Leftovers

Next, we have the Badger 500. This is mostly similar to the 5, although there is one important distinction that this one has that the other doesn’t. While the Badger 5 (and most other garbage disposals) require a power cord to operate, the 500 model uses direct current or 'direct wire', meaning that you may not even need a cord when installing this unit.

Unfortunately, not all homes have the capability of providing such hookups, so you might not be able to benefit from this highly efficient system.

Otherwise, the performance of the Badger 500 is about the same. It comes with a ½ horsepower motor, durable and rust-resistant stainless steel impellers, and a single grind chamber to process all of your food.

As with the others, the motor is powered by a proprietary Dura-Drive induction motor, making it more efficient and stronger than the competition.

Warranty-wise, the Badger 500 comes with the standard two-year in-home warranty. While not as great as the 5XP model, two years is still more than enough time to figure out if there are any unforeseen issues.

Pros
  • Quiet Dura-Drive motor
  • Compact design
  • No power cord necessary
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Can be loud, even with insulation
  • If you do need a power cord, then it is extra

4. InSinkErator Badger 1 

Horsepower

1/3 HP

RPM

1725

Mount System

Quick Lock

Household Size

1-2 people

Food Waste

Light Scraps

If you are looking at these Badger models and thinking that they are too much for your needs, then the Badger 1 might be your best solution. This is the smallest and most compact model, so it could also be a great choice if you have limited space underneath your sink.

While it’s not as powerful as the other models we’ve seen, the Badger one has a ⅓ horsepower motor that can chew through most food with ease.

The only other significant difference between this unit and the others is that it uses galvanized steel, rather than stainless. While galvanized steel won’t last quite as long, it is still preferable to regular steel, which will rust and corrode. To help prevent that from happening, the company has coated the metal with a protective layer.

Otherwise, this disposal comes with InSinkErator’s standard equipment, including a Dura-Drive induction motor, a Quick-Lock mounting system, and a large 26-ounce grinding chamber. You also get a one-year warranty with this particular model. 

This is an excellent choice for smaller homes, condos, or cabins.

Pros
  • Galvanized steel construction
  • 26-ounce grinding chamber
  • Quiet Dura-Drive induction motor
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Not as powerful as other models

5. InSinkErator Badger 15ss 

Horsepower

¾ HP

RPM

1725

Mount System

Quick Lock

Household Size

2-4 people

Food Waste

Tough scraps

Our final stop is with the Badger 15ss. This is another high-powered option like the 5XP, so if you want the best of the best, then this something to consider.

A powerful ¾ horsepower Dura-Drive induction motor means that you can chew through almost any food with ease. That, coupled with extra sharp stainless steel impellers means that this disposal is built to last.

What I also like about this particular model is that it comes with a splash guard so that you don’t have to worry about backsplash when you turn the unit on.

Otherwise, it also comes with all the standard features, including a 26-ounce grinding chamber, a Quick-Lock mounting system, and a three-year in-home warranty.

It is slightly outdated and prone to clogging issues. For that reason, we believe one of the choices above is a better option

Pros
  • Durable stainless steel impellers
  • 26-ounce grinding chamber
  • Compact design
  • Dura-drive induction motor
  • Splash guard included
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Louder than other models
  • May be too big to fit under your sink

How to Choose the Best Badger Garbage Disposal

Size

First of all, when picking out the best disposal, you first have to make sure that it will fit under your sink. While it may be tempting to get the biggest and baddest unit of them all, it won’t mean anything if it can’t squeeze into your kitchen cabinet.

Conversely, if you have tons of space and aren’t worried about size, then I highly suggest that you get a more robust model as it will last longer and make your life so much easier with regards to cleaning.

The other thing to think about with regards to size is how big your grinding chamber is. Unless you want to have your unit clog up all of the time, then it’s imperative that you get a chamber that is big enough to hold a lot of waste.

Efficiency should be your number one priority, and having a sufficient grinding chamber will make the whole process much better.

Power

When comparing different disposal models, you will notice that they are all rated by horsepower. While this is kind of a misrepresentation of what the disposal can do, looking at horsepower is an easy way to see which unit can process more food.

What’s most important is the amount of torque and whether the blades are sharp enough, but, unfortunately, disposal companies don’t divulge that information.

As a rule, the more horsepower you get, the faster and more capable the machine is.

Material

The most important components of your disposal are the impellers because without them doing their job you might as well not even have a garbage disposal.

That being said, make sure that they are made with high-quality food-grade stainless steel. The reason for that is stainless will not rust easily and will hold up longer than other materials. Galvanised steel is also commonly used but do not expect your food disposer to last as long as a stainless steel unit.

Noise

Another thing that you should watch out for is the amount of noise that your disposal generates. While most companies don’t put a decibel level on their list of features, a good rule to follow is that the more powerful it is, the noisier it will be.

While InSinkErator disposals are built with extra insulation to help reduce the sound, they won’t necessarily be “quiet.”

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell how loud your machine will be until it is installed, but if you’re more worried about the noise, then choose a smaller model with less horsepower.

Mounting System

Thankfully, InSinkErator models each come with a proprietary mounting bracket, meaning that if you already have a disposal from the company, then it will be a breeze to install. However, if you have one from a different brand, then you will have to take out that mounting bracket and put in a new one for your badger.

However, what that does mean is that when it comes time to replace your new unit (within the next ten years), you will already have the mounting system installed so it should be much easier to upgrade.

Grinding System

If you want the ultimate performance with your garbage disposal, then you will want to pay attention to how many stages of grinding it has.

While Badger models only have one stage, some of the more high-end units from InSinkErator have multi-stage systems. That means that your food is processed twice or three times to ensure that it won’t clog your drain or leave a greasy residue in your pipes.

Feed Type

A lot of people do not realize that there is more than one method for feeding waste through a garbage disposal. It is likely that you're familiar with the continuous feed, which is when the disposal continuously runs. Healthy Kitchen 101 says that this is “best against an extensive amount of waste. Similar to other things, we’d like to divide substantial work into small parts and deal with it gradually.”

A batch feed system is when the disposal runs in batches, and you have to put food in the chamber before the grinder starts. Usually, these systems will only run when the drain cover is set in place. So you turn the switch on, fill the chamber with your food waste, and the grinding will begin once you put the drain cover in. 

There are pros and cons to each system. Most people opt for continuous feed disposals since they save time and get the job done efficiently. They are also cheaper than batch feed disposals. However, anyone wanting the safest option possible will install a batch feed disposal.

Ease of Installation

Whether or not you hire a professional plumber for your garbage disposal installation is up to you. It’s more than possible to do it on your own, but if you don't feel comfortable with DIY projects, then a plumber can complete the installation in an hour or less. You'll be given a set of instructions from the manufacturer as well as all the required hardware. 

Warranty

A kitchen appliance used as frequently as the garbage disposal should come equipped with a reliable guarantee. Do not even to consider a model that comes without a warranty; all of the ones mentioned in this review have a coverage period of at least one year up to three years.

Most disposals are covered under a limited warranty, which means only certain parts and specific dysfunctions are covered. Before purchasing one, check into the warranty terms and conditions, the process of making a claim, and the likelihood of receiving a replacement.


Other New Models From InSinkErator

As a leading garbage disposal manufacturer, InSinkErator has plenty of models to choose from. Founded in 1927, the company has learned the ins and outs of waste disposal and perfected their systems over the years.

In addition to the Badger series, their Evolution disposals are insanely popular. They have been engineered to grind more food waste in less time and do it as quietly as possible.

The Evolution disposals utilize a durable Dura-Drive motor which is meant to last, even after years of continuous use. All of these motors have at least ¾ horsepower, and some offer even more with 1HP. You can choose between batch or continuous feed systems - no matter which one you go with you'll love how efficient (and quiet) your new disposal is.


Who Needs a Badger Garbage Disposal?

When was the last time you replaced or repaired your disposal? Can you even remember? If it’s been more than five years, then you are probably due for an upgrade.

Even if your current unit sounds fine, odds are that you will experience issues in the coming months or years that could result in clogging, breakage, or a complete shutdown of your disposal.

When trying to fix a plumbing problem, it’s far easier to fix things before they break, as you won’t have to worry about calling a plumber. In short, it’s better to take care of things now before they go sour; otherwise, you’ll have to pay a boatload when your disposal breaks.

The other reason to get a Badger Disposal is if you are unsatisfied with your current model. Even if you have a different brand (and therefore need a new mounting bracket), the installation process is so worth it when you have such a high-quality machine chewing up your discarded and leftover food.


Installing an InSinkErator Badger Disposer

InSinkErator Badger models utilize a Quick Lock system that will make you never want to switch from an InSinkErator again. This patented installation system allows you to remove your old InSinkErator by simply twisting it to remove and locking the new model in its place.

Reviewers praise this unique feature since the Quick Mount lock is compatible with every InSinkErator disposal, even if you switch from a Badger to an Evolution model. 

If you are installing your Badger or another InSinkErator disposal for the first time, the installation requires a bit more effort, but not much. All the mounting components you need will come in the box along with a thorough set of instructions.

The best part is that you only need to install the mounting mechanism once in your life if you choose to stick with this company. This video shows you exactly how to do it. 


How to Fix a Leaking Badger Waste Disposal Unit

A few things can cause disposal leaks, but typically they originate from the sink flange or the connection to the P-trap or dishwasher. Before anything else can be done, you need first to determine where the leak is coming from. Once that is done, you can follow these steps to fixing your leaking Badger unit:

  • Unplug the unit, or even better turn off the breaker to the kitchen. A quick fix might just require you to turn the disposal clockwise. If it turns, continue turning it until it stops. This could fix the leak since the problem was that the disposal was not tightened into place. If it does not spin, you'll need to remove the unit.
  • Once the disposal is removed, try tightening the mounting screws with a screwdriver. Then replace the disposal and fill the sink while covering the drain. If the leak persists, remove the disposal once again and tighten the screws even further.
  • Once the sink drain is leak-free, fill the sink without using the drain cover and watch for leaks from the pipes. You can tighten these leaks using adjustable pliers.
  • If the leak is coming from the dishwasher drain hose connection, you might need a drain hose replacement. Anyone that just had a new dishwasher installed can try removing the drain hose to see if the manufacturer's plug is still in place. This can be fixed by punching the plug out using a screwdriver and then reattaching the hose connection.

If the disposal is leaking from the bottom, it might be worth it to replace the entire unit (especially if it is still covered under warranty). A bottom-leak indicates that an internal unit mechanism is not functioning correctly, and this can be a pain to fix.


How to Fix a Garbage Disposal that is clogged?

The Spruce says that “the reason for a clog in a food disposal has to do with how ground food waste reacts to water or lack of water after the disposal unit grinds it up and sends it on its way toward the drain line. When a garbage disposer clogs, you will often find the problem in the trap pipe located on the waste discharge side of the disposal.”

  • Step 1:
    Place a bucket under the drain tap to catch any food waste or water. When you disconnect the pipes, it is common for debris and water to be released.
  • Step 2:
    Using pliers, disconnect the slip-nut fittings to remove the P-trap. You can then check for clogs in the trap fittings.
  • Step 3:
    If there is a clog in the trap, use a small scrub brush to release the clog. Most clogs will happen in the sharp bend of the trap where food debris begins to build up over time.
  • Step 4:
    If the trap isn’t clogged, the problem could be in the drain arm connecting to the drain pipe. Clearing this type of clog is more complicated and requires something called a sink auger.
  • Step 5:
    Once the clog has been cleared, replace the trap fittings and run the water for several minutes to remove any remaining debris.

You can prevent clogs from happening in your disposal by flushing the disposal with water for about 30 seconds after using it. Another handy trick is to grind lemon peels along with ice cubes every once in a while to prevent buildups.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a typical Insinkerator Badger disposal last?

This depends on your habits and how rough you tend to be on home appliances. In general, though your InSinkErator Badger should last at least a decade, give or take a few years. If you properly care and maintain the system, you could get 15 years out of it. Once you are ready to replace your Badger, always consider another InSinkErator since you can twist and lock the new unit in place.

Where can we buy the power cord if it is not included in the disposal unit?

When you purchase your Badger online, you'll almost always be given the option to buy the power cord with the unit. For example, Amazon gives you the opportunity to purchase the Badger 1 with a power cord or buy the unit with no cord included. I recommend purchasing the unit with the cord since it usually just $10-$15 more and saves the hassle of having to buy a cord separately.

Do I need a professional plumber to set up and install a Badger?

No, it isn't necessary to hire a plumber for installation. InSinkErator are straightforward to install, especially if you previously had one since you can utilize the Quick-Lock mounting system. However, it might be a good idea to hire a plumber if you have safety concerns or aren't comfortable doing it on your own.

How much does it cost to have a plumber install a Badger disposal unit?

If you do choose to hire a plumber, you'll pay an average of $185 according to Home Advisor. Depending on the company you want, this may or may not include the hourly labor rates. The hourly rate for a plumber is an average of $28, and it shouldn't take more than 2 hours for installation from start to finish.

What is the price range of the Badger products on our list?

All of the Badger models on this list cost between $100 to $130 without a power cord included. If you purchase the unit with a cord, you’ll pay about $10 more.


Final Verdict

All Badgers are made by InSinkErator and all are high-quality disposals that will make your kitchen run more smoothly.

I highly recommend the 5XP model for anyone with large familys. For smaller households, the Badger 5 is an excellent choice too. Both of these have the power and speed that you need to take care of any leftovers.

Product Picture

Product Name

Editor Rating

Price

InSinkErator Badger 5

4.5 out of 5

InSinkErator Badger 1

4.7 out of 5

InSinkErator Badger 5XP

4.6 out of 5

InSinkErator Badger 500

4.1 out of 5

InSinkErator Badger 15ss

4.5 out of 5

Kicking things off is the Badger 5. As far as these models go, this is about the middle of the road. It’s not too powerful and not too big, meaning that it is ideal for smaller households or individuals. This disposal comes with a meaty ½ horsepower motor, which means that it can chew up almost any food with ease.

What I like about this unit (and all InSinkErator models) is that it comes with stainless steel impellers. Some other brands use regular steel, but that will rust and break down over time, meaning that they don’t last as long as these.

If you thought that the Badger 5 was pretty good, then wait until you lay your eyes on the 5XP model. If one-half horsepower is not enough to get the job done, then the XP will kick things up a notch by giving you ¾ horsepower. The proprietary Dura-Drive induction motor means that you get more torque, thereby enabling you to process more food in less time.

The best part of the 5XP is that it has stainless steel impellers. Because the motor is so robust, it’s crucial that the impellers match the quality of the machine; otherwise, you wouldn’t get the same level of performance.

Other standard features that come with this garbage disposal include InSinkErator’s Quick-Lock mounting system for easy installation, a large 26-ounce grinding chamber, and insulation to help keep things quieter than usual.

Next, we have the Badger 500. This is mostly similar to the 5, although there is one important distinction that this one has that the other doesn’t. While the Badger 5 (and most other garbage disposals) require a power cord to operate, the 500 model uses direct current, meaning that you may not even need a cord when installing this unit. Unfortunately, not all homes have the capability of providing such hookups, so you might not be able to benefit from this highly efficient system.

Otherwise, the performance of the Badger 500 is about the same. It comes with a ½ horsepower motor, durable and rust-resistant stainless steel impellers, and a single grind chamber to process all of your food. As with the others, the motor is powered by a proprietary Dura-Drive induction motor, making it more efficient and stronger than the competition.

If you are looking at these Badger models and thinking that they are too much for your needs, then the Badger 1 might be your best solution. This is the smallest and most compact model, so it could also be a great choice if you have limited space underneath your sink.

While it’s not as powerful as the other models we’ve seen, the Badger one has a ⅓ horsepower motor that can chew through most food with ease. The only other significant difference between this unit and the others is that it uses galvanized steel, rather than stainless. While galvanized steel won’t last quite as long, it is still preferable to regular steel, which will rust and corrode. To help prevent that from happening, the company has coated the metal with a protective layer.

Our final stop is with the Badger 15ss. This is another high-powered option like the 5XP, so if you want the best of the best, then this is the way to go. A powerful ¾ horsepower Dura-Drive induction motor means that you can chew through almost any food with ease. That, coupled with extra sharp stainless steel impellers means that this disposal is built to last.

What I also like about this particular model is that it comes with a splash guard so that you don’t have to worry about backsplash when you turn the unit on. Otherwise, it also comes with all the standard features, including a 26-ounce grinding chamber, a Quick-Lock mounting system, and a three-year in-home warranty.

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