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Question for Miele induction owners

posted by: luvmyguys on 09.06.2008 at 01:17 pm in Appliances Forum

I'm very interested in the 36" Miele induction unit. I was planning to use a 36" drawer base for the cooktop, but my KD pointed out that the Miele requires a 36 1/8" cutout. Ahhh...the cab company doesn't have a 39" drawer base and it wouldn't fit as well in the space anyway. The KD suggested we might be able to cut down the sides of the cabinet to make it work. If you have this unit, how did you install it?

Also, since I've never seen the unit in person, how much does it show fingerprints?

NOTES:

My question about 36" Miele induction.
clipped on: 09.07.2008 at 12:55 am    last updated on: 09.07.2008 at 12:55 am

RE: What's the Best Garbage Disposal (Follow-Up #60)

posted by: volsboy77 on 07.03.2008 at 02:03 pm in Appliances Forum

A waste disposer isn't rocket science, but a summary of its operation is in order. Here's a simplified drawing of the machinery involved:

Here's how it works: when you toss a bunch of stuff in the hole, it ends up sitting on top of the turntable. When the disposer is running, the stuff is slung outwards against the shredder ring. It's not clear in this illustration, but the shredder ring has a series of slots in it, the edges of which are sharp. The lugs, which are loosely attached to the turntable so they can swivel around and jingle, help bash the stuff against the shredder ring. As the stuff is dragged along the shredder ring, small chips are shaved off and go through the slots and fall into the chamber below the turntable. With a good flow of water, all these chunks are stirred around under the turntable until they make their way out the outlet into the waste piping system.
Since the slots in the shredder ring are pretty small, the shavings that come through it should also be pretty small -- small enough that you wouldn't expect them to cause any problems down the pipes. However, it is possible for stringy stuff, like some types of beans, artichoke leaves, corn husks, things like that, to get in here and make a real mess of things. The stringy parts can get pulled through the slots in the shredder ring lengthwise, then get wrapped around the shaft of the motor, or head on down the pipe and congregate in a trap and plug the drain.
Residential waste disposers are generally available with 1/3 to 1 horsepower motors, with commercial units having even more power. Really, it's hard to imagine any of these power options being a problem; 1/3 horsepower is plenty for chomping up everyday food scraps, and if you need more power than that you might want to rethink what kinds of junk you're shoving down the hole for me I want the biggest baddest a guy thing.
There are, in fact, two general types of disposer: continuous feed models, and batch feed models. Most models you're likely to find are continuous feed models; the idea here is that you run the water and start the disposer running before you put any scraps in the hole. In other words, the unit is not designed to have to start from stationary with scraps in the disposer. Do you feed the scraps in while it's running? Not likely; most people put it in the hole first, then hit the switch -- and this is how disposers get jammed. Fortunately, disposers include a breaker that will trip if the motor gets jammed, and some include a wrench that you can stick in the bottom to manually turn the rotor. Some of the upper-end models even include an auto-reverse feature to clear jams.

The batch feed models are intended to be loaded before starting. You can tell these models by the way they are operated; the plug must be inserted into the drain and twisted to start the disposer. Perhaps a good safety feature; you theoretically cannot have your hand in the disposer when it's running.

Regardless of the type disposer, you probably don't care about the power as much as you care about the starting torque or stall torque. Unfortunately, nobody advertises their stall torque. Even if they did, you'd have to check the diameter of the turntable to be sure you're comparing apples to apples; a larger turntable requires more torque to provide the same force at the edge where the shredder ring is.

Now, to throw a really big monkey wrench in the discussion: there are two general types of motor used in waste disposers. Most have split phase induction motors, and you can tell these by the rpm written on the box: 1725. However, there are also disposers with commutator motors, and these generally spin much faster; the ones made by GE are rated at 2800 rpm. Commutator motors are considerably smaller than induction motors, although that might not be apparent underneath the sound shielding surrounding the unit.

There are more differences, though. When a motor turns faster, it doesn't require as much torque to develop the same horsepower, so a motor that turns 8000 rpm can have less than 1/4 the torque of the induction motor with the same horsepower rating. That's not a problem, though, for two reasons. First, since the commutator motor turns faster, it can be made with a considerably smaller turntable and still move the scraps through the shredder ring in a hurry, and a smaller turntable means less torque needed. Second, commutator motors inherently have a lot more starting torque than induction motors -- and, as mentioned above, starting torque is where it's at with waste disposers. The long and short of it: either type motor seems to work pretty well at disposing of waste.

Commutator motors -- especially ones with permanent magnets -- are also considerably more energy-efficient than induction motors. That's totally unimportant here, though; a waste disposer probably uses a quarter's worth of electricity in its lifetime. If you don't believe me, look at it this way: a 1-horsepower motor will draw about one kilowatt of electricity. If you run it for an hour, under load (not just spinning with nothing in it), it'll use one kilowatt-hour of electricity, which costs less than a dime. Now, think about how long it would take you to put an hour's operating time on a disposer.

Judging from the promotional blurbs on waste disposers, noise is a really big issue in this market. Frankly, I don't see the importance here save for the Wasteking; sure, some run more quietly than others, but you wouldn't want to start up any of them while your better half is asleep in the next room. And when you do run it, it's only for a matter of seconds; it's not like it's going to be hindering conversation for the entire evening.
If noise is an important issue with you, there are several factors to consider. The most obvious is sound insulation; the better disposers have a plastic shroud built around the upper half (the area of the grind chamber itself; the motor is actually pretty quiet), while the cheap units do not. There are different degrees of such noise shielding, with In-Sink-Erator describing its top two models as having "double baffle" sound insulation. Of course, you could buy a cheap unit and then wrap something around the upper half yourself.

The rubber flappy thing within the drain itself is also a consideration. It is, in fact, one of the most important features to keeping the noise in the grind chamber from getting out into the room. Obviously, if you want to minimize noise, you'll want to put the plug in the hole while grinding -- which means you might want to opt for a batch feed unit instead of the more common continuous feed unit.

With any rotating machine, minimizing sound transmission from its moving parts to the surrounding structures involves soft rubber mountings to isolate vibrations. With a disposer, there are two attachments between the unit itself and the rest of the world: the structural attachment to the bottom of the sink, and the attachment to the drain pipe. Ideally, both of these connections will be made using a flexible rubber isolator. (The wiring could also transmit vibrations, but hopefully nobody will make the mistake of connecting it up using rigid conduit. As long as flexible conduit or, better, a power cord is used, vibration transmission won't be a problem there.)

All In-Sink-Erator models use the same mounting scheme to the sink, and it includes rubber isolation. The rubber flappy thing in the opening is, in fact, the rubber isolator; the outer section of the same part is the mounting grommet for the disposer. It is slipped onto the lip of the disposer, and then the mounting ring compresses this rubber grommet so it grips the lip securely; there is no metal-to-metal contact between the disposer and the sink.

Unfortunately, the connection to the outlet pipe may not be as good. Some disposers use a scheme here where a rubber grommet is fit around the end of the outlet pipe, and then the pipe and grommet are secured to the outlet of the disposer itself with a bolted-on flange that compresses the rubber grommet enough to secure a watertight seal. This will provide good vibration isolation, since the pipe itself touches the grommet only, not the metal flange nor the disposer casing. However, the Kenmore model 60563 I bought in 2001 has a threaded outlet on the disposer, and the pipe connects to it quite rigidly. This may not be much of a concern with PVC piping since the plastic probably absorbs a good bit of the vibration, but if I were plumbing this thing up with metal pipe I'd be concerned. Interestingly, an In-Sink-Erator model 444 observed in a store, while apparently largely identical to the Kenmore 60563, had the better rubber-isolated outlet pipe connection.

You might want to note that the rubber isolation and PVC piping means that the disposer is not electrically grounded to the sink or piping.

In the horsepower discussion, I pointed out that there are two different types of motors used in disposers: induction and commutator. The induction motors run at 1725 rpm, while the commutator motors run much faster; GE claims 2800 rpm for theirs. This makes a world of difference in the sound. The 1725 rpm units make a sort of droning sound as they run, while the commutator units scream by comparison. Even if the actual db levels are comparable, some homeowners may prefer one sound over the other. To some, the induction motor's drone may seem a more relaxed sound while the commutator motor's higher pitch sounds more hyper and irritating. On the other hand, some people might find the higher pitch of the commutator motor less intrusive, while the induction motor's drone seems almost earth-shaking, like it fills the house. On top of this, there's the issue of starting and stopping; the commutator motor starts smoothly and winds up like a jet engine, while the induction motor starts with a sudden kick. Overall, I expect most people will find the induction motor's sound preferable, especially with the high-end units where the unit was clearly designed with minimal noise as an objective.

It may not be obvious, but if you're concerned about noise you might want to look at the sink you're installing this disposer in. Heavy porcelain cast iron sinks don't transmit much sound, so if you mount a reasonably quiet disposer to one you shouldn't get too much racket. Thin stainless steel sinks, on the other hand, can take whatever vibration you feed into them and amplify it like a megaphone. If you have a really cheap stainless steel sink, you know it's noisy; you hear the racket it makes whenever you drop a spoon in it. If you have a better stainless steel sink, it's quiet -- because it comes with a sprayed-on coating of dampening material on the underside. This coating not only makes the sheet metal nice and quiet, it also helps keep the water hot by providing some thermal insulation. So, if you just looked at the bottom of your stainless steel sink and saw nothing but stainless steel, you know of one option for reducing noise: find some of that spray-on stuff and apply it. I don't know if a dedicated product is available, but automotive undercoating might do
These things I have talked about is why I think Viking 1st Evolution Excel 2nd.In the 70s everybody made there own.Maytag which is in my sink now are UNREAL they have a tungsten alloy massive grind ring.The impellers are on bearings and float above the grind table its a massive machine.G.e. made the also which were good some of them were 8000 Rpm and had no grind ring the shear speed ground the food.The other was Kitchenaid/National/Hobart these were made out of cast Iron and commercail quality.The old ones had undercutters so that everything was puree.I.S.E. used to use Cast rings but they went to the stamped ones which there is nothing sharp and the food going down the drain was like large Cole slaw.Potatoes,Celery,Cornhusk cant be ground with out a clog but,with a Viking you can put anything in it and not worry.Auto-reverse is a great feature cause it uses both sides of the grind ring so twice the life than others.Wasteking don't use reverse they are pretty good but,SO Loud by design.Plus they don't have true bearings in them they have a sleave bearing which is just a cork like material that is imprenated in oil.The I.s.e. Excel is Not bad at all but,won't outlast the Viking half of the pass through hole's can be bent out if you are hard on disposer's.I show NO mercy to them at all Raw bones,Steak,Pits,Paper,Coffee filters, and my old Maytag which is just a 1/2 H.p just asks for more same with the Viking which is in my Prep sink.I hope this helps in the maze of makers that try to rip off people.Shannon I hope that my grammer is better but,I am still terrible at it.:)

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clipped on: 07.11.2008 at 12:06 am    last updated on: 07.11.2008 at 12:06 am