Upgrading an Insinkerator Garbage Disposer - From Badger to Evolution

This post will be short.

It has literally nothing to do with Apple, iOS, or HomeKit.

Our garbage disposer CRACKED IN HALF over the weekend.

So there's a new project!

OK - this post has a little bit to do with one of our major AAAD projects.

Our basement rough-in is complete, but the floor was covered in drywall joint compound.

So we mopped, and scrubbed.

And when the water bucket was completely opaque, I'd dump the water in the sink, and refill.

Later that night, Ms. AAAD commented that I'd spilled drywall water all over the floor. I didn't think I had, but then again, that kind of sounds like me - so I vowed to be cleaner in the future.

Next day, second attempt at mopping - same result! So I opened up the cabinet under the sink (with the disposer running), and was treated to a full-on spray of water coming out of the side of our disposer.

There are certain causes for water leaking from your garbage disposer that can be repaired.

"We have a 3 inch gash in the metal casing" is not one of those causes.

The old disposer was a Insinkerator Badger 5. 1/2 horsepower. Loud as heck.

Our Badger 5.   I mean, not OUR Badger. This one is in one piece.
I wanted to go with an Insinkerator Evolution Excel, (pictured at the top of this post) which is whisper-quiet, has 3 levels of chopping blades, brings a full 1.0 horsepower, and has a stainless steel finish.

But, at $315 and up, that's a pretty expensive garbage disposer.

Looking at Insinkerator's second-tier disposers, things got a bit complicated.

Insinkerator's website describes a whole host of Evolution disposers - the Essential, the Compact, and various Septic Assist models.

Home Depot had none of these. Same goes for Lowe's. Both have "store models" - which correspond roughly, but not exactly, with the Essential and Compact.

For instance, Home Depot's Select = the Compact, and its Select Plus = the Essential. But not precisely. There are small differences in size and in noise reduction.

Same goes for Lowes' "Premier". I hate it when store brands muddy the waters.

Ultimately, we ordered the Evolution Essential from Amazon.

The Evolution Essential

It's not the Excel, but it's just over $200. (Is the Excel worth an additional 50%?  Maybe. We'll never know)

Price wasn't the only issue. We went with the Essential because Home Depot claimed that their Select models can be installed as upgrades from Badgers with no re-piping. We'll see about that.

So, 3/4 horsepower. Quieter than a Badger, but not as quiet as an Excel. It should be a massive improvement.

It arrives tomorrow. We'll see how easy the install goes.

UPDATE - Install went... pretty well! 

As promised, you can upgrade from a Badger to an Evolution garbage disposer WITHOUT changing your plumbing.

Even better - you don't have to remove the drain apparatus from your sink.

When you originally install a disposer, you have to set and seal the "top" part, which comprises the sink drain and the hanging apparatus.

(In the "Essential" pic above, it's all of that chrome above the disposer itself.)

That requires the use of plumbers putty to avoid leaks, and complicates the install to a moderate extent.

In our case, it was a lot simpler.

  • Unplug Badger, unhook from PVC plumbing, twist Badger off. 
  • Swap the power cable from the Badger to the Evolution (seriously, it's so odd that disposers don't come with power cables standard.)
  • Twist the Evolution into place, attach to the PVC plumbing, plug in.

All told, it took around an hour - primarily because I was working in a very tight space, and decided to clean the drain trap after removing it.

One strange little difference - the plastic "baffle" which covers the drain of a garbage disposer was integrated and attached to the Badger, but comes as a separate piece with the Evolution.

You just place it in the drain when the Evo is installed.

The big question, though - how quiet is it?

Well, it's really quiet. I'd say less than half as loud as the Badger.

And it's 50% more powerful... and it doesn't have a giant hole in the side. So, all told, a win-win-win.


  1. Nice story, so far. Us in the homeowner world eventually experience these painful "routine" repairs. lt's always nice to hear first hand testimony of how it all works out...or not.

  2. Nice story, so far. Us in the homeowner world eventually experience these painful "routine" repairs. lt's always nice to hear first hand testimony of how it all works out...or not.

    1. Thanks, Steve and Jackie. We installed the new disposer last night. It's definitely an upgrade in terms of noise and power - I'll never use a Badger-level disposer again.

      But we were even happier that we could use the existing drain and plumbing to install.

  3. You can spend a lot of time on repairs. I advise you to take a new sink disposal, now the 2018 models are not expensive. Check out the best models - http://bestsinkdisposal.com/a and tell me if it's so expensive?

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