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Help! Disposal sheild driving me NUTS!

June 28, 2012

I love, love, love my kitchen....except for the new disposal shield in the sink.

There is only 1 kind available at the local hardware stores--very stiff rubber with a tiny hole in the middle, and even smaller holes on the edges.

If you pour out a pot of pasta to drain, the sink just fills up. If you chop up veggies or fruit, you have to push all these nasty bits down past the stick rubber with a fork, brush or your hand.

All this so it can be "anti-bacterial" or some such thing. I am so grossed out. I hate this!

I donated my old cabinets and counters to Habitat for Humanity, and if I had known, I would have kept that old crappy piece of plastic for the sink!

Can anyone give me a link to something that will allow water and small food particles to pass through?

Comments (45)

  • Madeline616

    Hi Laura,

    Just wanted to second your sentiments and commiserate!!

    I love my new, quiet GD and the air switch feature, but am so sick of pushing food particles down through that stiff, unrelenting shield!! And the way it won't allow the sink to drain!!

    Hoping for a better suggestion from some GWers

  • springroz

    What brand disposal do you have?

    That sounds very annoying!

  • brickeyee

    You can usual,y find a 'universal replacement' part for most of the major brands.

    New ones all start out a little stiff.

  • debrak_2008

    Mine was stiff too. It will loosen up quick enough.

  • laurarw

    Anything I can do to speed the process? Like run over it with my car? ;-)

  • laurarw

    I think I am complaining about the universal replacement! Home Depot sells just one kind, and Lowe's sells just one kind--exactly the same!

    The disposal is new and works fine. It is just that things (like water and food) don't get there because of the stupid shield.

  • writersblock

    I've had that universal replacement for about a year and half. It's hard to remember that it drove me crazy at first. They do loosen up over time.

  • Jodi_SoCal

    I would be irritated too! Our GD's shield is pretty flexible but is hard to clean, especially the gunk on the underside.

    My previous GD shield was removable for easier cleaning. I want that one back!


  • kashmi

    I'm so happy to read this thread -- though not so happy about everyone's experiences. I was thinking it was just me. I'm had the same experience since we had our new disposal (Insinkerator Compact Evolution) installed. The rubber-like flanges are so tight and rigid that we've had the same experience as Lauraxx and others. I keep hoping it will get better over time, but it's been 7.5 months and no change yet.

    On the other hand, the disposal is very quiet and works like a charm. Not sure the trade-off is necessary, though.

  • friedajune

    This is why I have a batch feed disposal (vs. continuous feed disposal that the OP has). No shield needed. No switch in my backsplash or counter either. I know that doesn't help the OP, but for anyone reading this thread and trying to decide on a disposal, they may want to consider a batch feed disposal instead of a continuous feed. This choice is of course a personal one, but I agree with the OP, the shield is annoying, and I always hated having to slide my wrist past its sliminess if a spoon dropped down there.

  • poohpup

    I've been having exactly the same issue!!! I'm really hoping it gets better over time. I'm tired of my sink filling up and having to shove everything down the drain. Did not have that problem with my old Insinkerator but definitely thinking my new Insinkerator is a PITA. Maybe I'll try to help it along in loosening up somehow.

  • laurarw

    If anyone figures out how to relax it, let me know!

  • home4all6

    akchicago, or others in the 'know,' could you please explain what a batch-feed disposal is? It sounds like a very good thing.

  • 2LittleFishies

    I have an OLD disposal and although it's not stiff I have the same trouble. Water gets backed up and I have to push it open with my hand so it will drain down. Same for food.

  • 2LittleFishies

    home4all- Here's a thread on it. If you look up Insinkerator Cover Control that is an example of bath feed.


    Here is a link that might be useful: Cover Control

  • friedajune

    Home4all6 - the thread that 2LittleFishies linked discusses some of the differences between batch feed and continuous feed, but I will list them specifically here. Also, this choice is individual to the user - there is no right or wrong choice, just one of preference. Both types have pros and cons.

    A batch feed disposal is turned on and off by its cover, which also doubles as the sink strainer, or if you want to fill the sink with water, the cover acts as a sink stopper too. Because the disposal can only operate with the cover on, some consider it safer than a continuous feed disposal which is turned on by a separate switch. I remember a rental apartment I lived in where the undercabinet light switch and the disposal switch were next to each other, and you really had to think before turning on the disposal. If I had children who like to play with switches and the like, I would only get a batch feed disposal. Just MHO.

    Another advantage to a batch feed is that there is no need for a switch in your backsplash or a hole in your counter (for an airswitch). Love that. Also, as mentioned, batch feed disposals don't need the rubber flange that was the original subject of this thread. You can also see clearly down into the disposal to retrieve spoons or whatever that have dropped down, and no need to slide your wrist past a slimy flange.

    The thread that 2LittleFishes linked mentions that batch feeds might not turn off or something like that. We had batch feed disposals growing up, and I have lived with numerous different ones over many years, and never had that happen.

    The linked thread also mentions that Insinkerator batch feed disposals use a magnetic mechanism in the cover to turn on and off the disposal, and that this magnet may take fiddling. For that reason, I prefer the Waste Kings, which simply have a little mechanical notch (also mentioned in the linked thread) just inside the top drain that turns on and off the disposal. I much prefer that, and also the Waste Kings have larger chambers which I prefer too. The Insinkerators are quieter so that's the tradeoff.

    In the linked thread, Marcolo mentions not wanting to have to put your hand into a filled sink to turn on and off a batch feed disposal. That would be true, but I, like others who responded in that thread, haven't encountered that situation. I mean, if you are filling a sink with water, regardless of whether you are using a batch feed disposal or not, you will have to reach your hand into the water to pull out the stopper to let the water drain in any case.

    One reason people don't like a batch feed disposal is that you put your scraps into it in "batches". I.e. fill it, turn it on with the stopper, pull out the stopper, fill it again until finished. A legitimate complaint, and you have to weigh that against the other pros of the batch feed and decide what you'd like. The Waste King batch feeds have larger chambers, so it take a lot to fill them, so you don't need to do as many batches. Note that it is important to make sure you have room under your sink for the larger chambers of the batch feed disposal.

    I hope that answers all the questions. It's one of those personal preference decisions.

  • friedajune

    I wanted to add to my last point about having to feed in batches - I rarely need to do more than one batch. Sometimes two if I am using a ton of vegetables. So, to illustrate, this morning I put in one disposal batch a banana peel, 4 egg shells, coffee filter filled with grinds, peel from an orange, and an apple core, and there was room to spare, no need for a second run of the disposal. I have the Waste King 3/4 hp batch feed. The 1 hp Waste King is ginormous. A friend of mine has the Insinkerator Cover Control and it is significantly smaller.

  • Gracie

    We had the Insinkerator Cover Control installed last week. I'm not so sure they're magnetic anymore. It's a heavy plastic cover and nothing metal sticks to it, as mentioned in the other thread.

  • shannonplus2

    Sorry we are going a bit OT, but I'll chime in that batch feed disposer is what I had growing up, and what I chose for my family. I agree the continuous feed disposers are more convenient; that's why we bought the huge Kitchenaid 1 hp (instead of the more common 3/4 hp) so we could do mostly all in one batch. For us, the convenience of continuous feed was much outweighed by the safety of a batch feed with children in the house.

  • a2gemini

    Interesting post!
    I grew up with batch feed but have continuous feeds for many years. My DH and I thought it was a plumbing problem with the new Insinkerator Evolution - but it was the flappers. So, we just spread them apart with a utensil if not draining as fast as we want.
    I might take a shears and give them a haircut!

    I am also a fan of the 1 HP!

  • poohpup

    a2gemini, I was thinking of giving mine a haircut too. I supposed if it goes terribly wrong, we could always replace the offensive part. lol

  • wizardnm

    I haven't had any problem with the shield on my disposal. Seems soft to me and easily pops out for cleaning.

    If you opening is the same size, you could probably just order a new shield.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Evolution Disposal

  • a2gemini

    Pooh - LOL
    Wizard - Guess I should read the instructions - I didn't know it popped out - but officially, we aren't in the kitchen yet....

  • poohpup

    Mine pops out easily. All the easier to hack it up. lol My old one had "flaps" where this one is a solid piece with folds in it that expands. I really am tempted to cut it into flaps. Maybe I'll go grab a drink, take in the view with my kitchen counters and grab some scissors. :)

  • Tim

    For what its worth disposals falling out of favor these days up here - might even be against code in some locations. Just makes the water harder to treat before sending it out into the rivers and lakes. In Toronto we now compost all our organic waste - gets picked up weekly.

    I did have a disposal up to last year when I did my kitchen, and over the 10 years we had it the rubber splash guard mostly disappeared. It was a Kenmore unit - heavy duty thing.

  • sjerin

    Did anyone solve this problem? It's driving me crazy too!! My sink is always dirty-looking (until I run the sponge around it with soap and hot water,) as the water sits there so long. Is it worth it to try to trip the flange?

  • sjerin

    Woops, that's "trim." I was in a hurry. No takers?

  • weissman

    If the water is draining out of the sink slowly, just turn the disposal on - that will empty all the water out very quickly.

  • p.ball2

    Have had a batch feed for years and it is great because there aren't any flaps to block the food going down the drain but it does eventually have other problems. To turn on the batch feed you put the cover in and turn. This flips a switch and it runs. When you are done you reverse the direction and turn it off. The problem is the switch eventually gets worn out and the disposal usually seems to get stuck in the on position. The only way to turn it off is to unplug it. We have replaced the switch but since the original switch wore out it has never been the same. It is hard to turn on and we have gone through several switches.

    For the new kitchen we are getting a continuous feed. I have noticed that my MIL new continuous disposal is pain to get food down because of the stiff plastic flaps. Now I am worried I will hate it. Anyone have good solution yet for the stiff flaps?

  • sjerin

    Well, we bit the bullet and trimmed the flange a little and I think it's working better, though I'm filling the sink and doing a big stovetop cleaning at the moment. Even using the disposal while draining didn't help; the center hole is just too tiny. Thank you for your suggestions.

  • matti5

    I am so glad I found this thread as I have been beyond frustrated with my GD shield. At first I thought it was a plumbing issue because of the back up of water, so I called my contractor to take a look. First thing he said was it is most likely the shield, but would check things out. Plumbing checked out fine. He did say that the shield would soften over time, but I'm impatient. Christmas day was a nightmare trying to wash pots and dishes. I think I'll try the trimming idea!

  • friedajune

    p.ball2 - can you tell us which model batch feed you have? It is not a good idea to get a "badger" type disposal, whether continuous or batch feed. Those are the ones that give disposals a bad name, and unfortunately, the ones that builders install all the time. The higher-end disposals by Insinkerator and Waste King that have 3/4 hp motors and all stainless innards (whether continuous or batch style) come with 7 year, 10 year, or lifetime in-home warranties. But the lower-end disposals are notorious for problems. I've had several Waste King disposals, all 3/4 hp, in several homes, over many years, with rough use (chicken bones and the like), and never had a problem.

    Also, the ones that turn as you describe are usually the magnetically-operated disposals. As I noted in my post above of June 30, l prefer the Waste Kings which are operated by pushing down or pulling up the cover, thereby tripping the switch, with no magnet.

  • whecks

    Pull out the shield, flip it over and cut/remove a small amount (roughly 1/4" or 1/2 cm) of the rubber from each of the four protruding "channels" (you can use an ordinary pair of scissors). Reinsert shield.

    The alteration won't affect the shield cosmetically or functionally.

    The reason for the problem is the drain hole is too small. By cutting off some of the rubber, you are widening the drain hole (allowing water to exit more quickly than it enters).

    My wife was freaking out over the whole thing...now its all good.

  • cathy725

    Just be sure not to cut off too much. My last disposal had a very loose cover and spoons would slide in there and we'd find them when we turned on the disposal. :( I got good at checking it before turning on, but forgot once in awhile. Ruined a lot of spoons that way.

  • Linda

    Great discussion and thanks for the info on batch-feeds akchicago. I have always had continuous feed and never had any problems with the flaps until we bought this last house. Now I understand why. Now I remember that we did have a "batch feed" growing up, and will have to consider that for the remodel. Oh great! One MORE choice/decision to make!!!!

  • brickeyee

    "The disposal is new and works fine."

    It should have come with a new shield.

    Why was it replaced?

    Run hot water over it and then use a large spoon to push it against the sides of the GD chamber (GD off).

    This post was edited by brickeyee on Mon, Apr 29, 13 at 14:53

  • mike1975

    Ugh I was in the same position with my Insinkerator Compact as everyone else here....until today. I used scissors to put a slice into the parts of the splash guard that slopes downward. The raised parts have the small horizontal opening at the tops. My sink is now draining the way it used to with the old disposer. I still have to push scraps in, but it isn't nearly as bad as it was. I should have done this months ago when I had it installed.

  • Madeline616

    A solution I found is to run it through the dishwasher, in the top rack, a few times. This, plus some use, loosened mine up pretty well.

  • justmakeit

    Are we talking about the Quiet Collar Sink Baffle? I just took mine out. The disposal runs fine without it, and is still plenty quiet. Hope I'm not unwittingly courting disaster.

  • danphil99

    This is an old thread, but I recently found it while dealing with the Quiet Collar Sink Baffle. If you call Insinkerator they tell you it's on purpose that the baffle is meant to create a "water dam" to make it quieter. It's by design (and is VERY quiet). However, after pressing them they will send you a free non-quiet baffle which doesn't water dam. I just did that so can't confirm it works until it gets here.. but since they know of the issue and have a solution, I'm guessing the new baffle will do the trick. Hope that helps future people looking for this!

  • designsaavy

    Thank you for that info. We've had our new sink and Insinkerator garbage disposal for about 3 weeks now and having the same problem.

  • autumn.4

    I was just searching this the other day. I have 'modified' my baffle with scissors twice now as the water dam drives me nuts. It's ridiculously slow. I think I'll call myself. Thanks for the tip!

  • gwengors

    I widened the opening of my new disposal with scissors. I carefully snipped around the hole. I have never had one so tight even in two brand new houses. What does it matter if the hole is bigger? At least the water won't back up. If the food does not go down, I will widen it until I like it.

  • gschaff2

    We struggled with water backing up. I resolved by cutting holes in the baffle. See the attached photo.

  • HU-936953519

    I cut out the vertical dividers between the flaps. It drains like a champ now.

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