Are Garbage Disposal Power Cords Universal? (We Checked)

Garbage disposals are a great way to get rid of unwanted food scraps and other debris that can build up in your garbage disposal. However, if you are using a garbage disposal there is a chance it will need to be replaced at some point.

When this happens, it is important to know which garbage disposal replacement cord you need for your model.

The good news is that most modern garbage disposals use universal power cords. This means that you can purchase just about any type of power cord and be able to install it on your garbage disposal unit.

In this blog we will talk about garbage disposal power cords.

Here’s If Garbage Disposal Cords Are Universal:

Most modern garbage disposals use universal power cords, which means they should work with most models on the market today. However, there are some exceptions to this rule so it is important that you know what type of power cord you need before purchasing one.

Food waste disposer machine in sink in kitchen

According to the National Electrical Code, a universal cord is one that can be used on any brand of garbage disposal and is considered safe by the NEC.

Are Power Cords for Garbage Disposals Interchangeable?

Universal cords are safe to use with any brand of garbage disposal and will not cause any issues when plugged in.

Universal cords come in different sizes depending on how many amps your appliance needs, but most have a regular 2 or 3 pin male end and that other end will have open wires you can attach inside the garbage disposer.

The plug itself is usually color coded green for ground, black for hot, white for neutral and red for hot; however, this can vary depending on where you live or what type of outlet you have at home.

If you have an older or cheaper garbage disposal or if it has a smaller motor than what’s recommended for your home (1 horsepower), then it may require a non-universal cord with smaller gauge wires instead of an 8-gauge wire like most newer models use today.

Can You Get Universal Power Cords for Garbage Disposals?

The answer to your question is yes, you can get universal power cords for garbage disposals. This is because these universal power cords are designed to fit in most types of garbage disposals.

Nowadays, there are many different types and brands of garbage disposals out there that can give you a hard time when it comes to finding the right cord for them.

But what if you have an old model of garbage disposal that the manufacturer has discontinued? Then how will you connect it to the power supply? Well, this is where universal power cords come in handy.

Universal Power Cords for Garbage Disposals

There are many types of universal power cords that are available on the market today. Some of them are even sold as accessories while others are sold as part of an entire kit together with other parts such as strainers and splash guards. You will find that these kits come with everything that you need so that you can repair your own garbage disposal without having to call a professional plumber or electrician every time something goes wrong with it!

If you’re replacing a broken or missing cord and have no idea what type of device your disposal was made for, there are a few things you can do:

  • Look at the label on the unit itself. If there’s an UL sticker on it, then it’s safe to assume that this is a safe device for use with any brand of garbage disposal.
  • Call up the manufacturer of your appliance and ask if they sell replacement parts for their product line. Chances are good that they’ll be able to tell you exactly what type of plug goes into their product and where they can send one out to you if necessary.

What Happens If You Use the Wrong Power Cord with a Garbage Disposal?

You can’t really use the wrong power cord with your garbage disposer. The only thing you need to pay attention to is whether the power cord is properly grounded and that it’s not old and worn.

Make sure to inspect the power cord for bruises and dents to make sure it’s 100% functional.

Since the cord will be hidden below the sink it’s important that it’s a brand new model that will last a long time.

How Much Power Do Garbage Disposals Normally Use?

A garbage disposal is a handy tool for your kitchen sink. It makes it possible for you to dispose of food waste easily and quickly, so you don’t have to worry about how much space in the trash bag it will take up.

A 3/4 HP garbage disposal can use anywhere from 1 to 1.5 kilowatts (kW) of power at any given time. That may not seem like much, but it does add up over time and can cost you money if you’re not careful about how often you use it.

Take this example: If your garbage disposal is on for 10 minutes every day for one year, that means it will use an average of about 6 kWh per year (1 kWh = 3413 Btu/h).

This is just an average number; however, because each disposal uses different amounts of power based on its horsepower rating (HP), the exact number may vary slightly from this estimate depending on what type of disposal you have.

A garbage disposal has a motor that spins at high speeds so that it can chop up food scraps into tiny pieces. This makes them easy to flush down the drain.

Some garbage disposals also offer extra features like grinders and filters that help make your life easier when cooking or cleaning up after dinner.

When looking at the power consumption of a garbage disposal, consider the size of your home and family. If you have a large family or live alone, then you may want to consider purchasing a larger unit with more horsepower because they tend to use less energy than smaller units do.

The average household uses about 1 kWh per year on their garbage disposal which equates to about $40 per year or $0.25 per month if you run it every day.

How Do You Know Which Power Cord to Use?

There are a few types of power cords. The most common, and the one you’ll see in most houses, is a three-pronged cord that plugs into a grounded outlet. These cords are designed to carry both 120-volt and 240-volt power from the wall to your appliances.

The other three types of power cords are designed for specific devices:

  • Two-Pronged (or Ungrounded) Cords: These cords have two-pronged plugs that fit into a standard outlet without grounding the circuit. They’re used with devices that don’t require a ground — such as light bulbs and portable electronics — or when you want to connect an appliance with a three-pronged plug to an ungrounded outlet.
  • Three-Pronged (or Grounding) Cords: This type of power cord has three prongs on its plug, including one for grounding. It’s used with appliances that require grounding (such as refrigerators), or when you want to connect an appliance with a two-pronged plug to an ungrounded outlet (if it can handle the current).
  • Four Pronged Cords: This type of cord is often used with medical equipment in hospitals and clinics because they can carry both 120 and 240.

Read our blog here about are monitor power cables universal?

Where Can You Buy Power Cords for a Garbage Disposal?

If you’re looking for a replacement power cord for your garbage disposal, you may be able to find one at your local hardware store. However, it’s also possible that you’ll need to order a new cord from the manufacturer.

You may find that the cord is attached to the disposal unit itself, so you’ll need to remove it first before replacing it.

If that’s the case, then follow these steps:

  • Unplug the disposal unit from the electrical outlet and wait until all of its parts have stopped moving before proceeding further.
  • Remove any debris in the unit’s chamber with a brush or other cleaning tool.
  • Use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the hex nuts on either side of the sink hole where your garbage disposal is installed. You should be able to see them once you lift up on the disposal unit’s top cover plate using another wrench or pliers if necessary.
  • Lift up on your garbage disposal unit until it comes out of its mounting bracket and then disconnect the wires from their terminals underneath using needle-nosed pliers or wire cutters if necessary (they will look like two small screws on either side).

Can You Get Longer Power Cords for Garbage Disposals?

You can really use any power cord with a longer range.

However, for kitchen equipment, you should always avoid using an extension cable between the machine and outlet. You should never install extension cable for permanent use in the home.


It’s only a good option if you don’t have a central surge breaker. The best option is to have a surge breaker installed on your main electrical panel. That will protect the WHOLW house rather than the few items you plug into a surge protector. This will render all surge protectors obsolete as you now have protected the whole house.

However, if you dont’ have a central circuit breaker, you will need to insert a surge protector between the garbage disposal unit and the power outlet.

A surge protector is always a good idea to be on the safe side – ESPECIALLY if you don’t know if your main electrical panel has a surge breaker installed.


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