Garbage Disposal Air Switch


Garbage disposal air switches are available for purchase from a variety of online stores as well as brick and mortar hardware shops in your area. There are plenty to choose from. Finding the right one depends on your needs. If you’re curious about what a garbage disposal air switch is then read on. Below you’ll find what an air switch is, how it works, how to install and more.

Garbage disposal air switch

What Is A Garbage Disposal Air Switch?

The air switch is a nifty alternative to powering on your garbage disposal unit. They have become popular because they are both easy to install and operate. It’s an air-activated switch. The air switch uses air pressure as opposed to electricity to switch the unit on reducing your chance of electric shock if your hands are wet. The air switch can be secured on the kitchen sink or countertop making it easy to access. A better alternative to switches fastened to your cabinet or wall.

Related: Best Garbage Disposal and Buying Guide


How Does An Air Switch Work?

Operating an air switch is simple. Pressing the button causes a pulse of air directly into the power control unit. The push button acts like a syringe, passing air through the tubing that is connected between the push button and power control unit. The air gets firmly pushed on the bottom side of the switch that controls the power module. At this point, the garbage disposal receives the air signal from the push button, activating a switch inside the unit, turning on the disposal. Turning it off is just as easy. All you have to do is press the button a second time.

Related: What are Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts


Garbage Disposal Air Switch Pros and Cons

It’s natural to have questions about which option adequately suits your needs. There are many brands on the market making it difficult. Should you get an air switch or something else? Should you mount it on the wall or your kitchen sink? If you’re having a hard time deciding which kind to purchase, take a look at the air switch pros and cons list below.


Easy to Use – Easily operate your food waste disposal with the push of a button conveniently located on your counter or sink.

Easy to Install – Installing an air switch takes no time at all. The set up is so simple that you can do it yourself saving you money on installation costs.

Safety – Potential for electric shock is greatly reduced because the air switch runs off air as opposed to an electrical current. Wet hands plus electrical currents equal safety hazards.

Reduced Human Error – How many times have you pressed the button mounted on the wall only to turn on the kitchen light? Because the convenient placement of the air switch, the chances of someone turning it on accidentally are virtually zero.

Sleek Exterior – The buttons come in many colors and textures allowing you to choose a fashionable match to your sink or countertop.

Easy Access – Fastening the air switch button to your countertop or sink lets you trigger the disposal without having to reach very far. Electric switches need to be mounted on the wall and are farther away.


Additional Cost – Air switches cost more than wall switches. However, your unit runs off air as opposed to electricity, which is an invaluable investment and a safer option when dealing with wet hands and surfaces.


Choosing The Right Air Switch

A little research goes a long way in helping you decide which switch is the right one for you. There are a few factors to consider when making your purchase. It’s important to know the model of your garbage disposal so you can find a switch that is perfectly matched. Knowing how the switch is to be mounted is another key element when buying your air switch.

Here are several additional questions to ask yourself when selecting a new switch:

  • Where would you like your switch to be mounted? What spot in your kitchen provides you with the most easy access?
  • Are there additional safety requirements you will need? Any kind of accident prevention features for young children? If you have children this is an important consideration.
  • What types of colors, styles or textures are an ideal match for your kitchen? What about a kit with a power cord?

Depending on your needs, you can purchase the button separately or purchase the entire air switch kit.

Popular brands like Northstar, CLEESINKGeyser and Insinkerator are all great companies and have excellent reviews.

Insinkerator keeps it straightforward with great switches that are fully functional and easy to install. Their STS-SO and STS-00SN models are two of their most favored.

If you do prefer a wider range of styles and colors, Northstar’s Decor ASO10 offers 20+ finishes to match any faucet. Choose from polished stainless steel, oil-rubbed bronze, weathered copper and many more. Finding a design that is perfectly matched to your kitchen space has never been easier.

Related: What is the Best Garbage Disposal Brand

How To Install Your Garbage Disposal Air Switch

If you don’t want to spend the extra money of hiring a professional to install your air switch you can do it yourself. It’s a lot easier than you might think. Air switches are simple to install and can be done in a few easy steps.

1. Drill a hole in the surface location where you’d like your sink top switch secured. Always check to make sure it’s in the best possible location that you can easily reach.
2. An air hose runs from your switch to your power module. Place the sink top switch in the hole with hose attached and fasten it by threading a plastic nut from below.
3. At the other end, attach the air hose into the power module and then plug the power module into the wall outlet.
4. Plug the disposer into your power module and then inspect that you’ve secured everything properly before testing. Test by pushing the button to be sure it’s working appropriately.


Common Garbage Disposal Air Switch Problems And How To Fix

The switch allows you to turn your garbage disposal on and off so it’s important to ensure that it’s working properly. Switches are there for your safety when getting your hand in and out of the garbage disposal. However, if you find that it’s not working correctly you might have to replace it.

There are warning signs that indicate when it’s time for a new switch. If nothing happens when you press the switch and you have already inspected the disposer unit ruling out any issues there, then it might be time for a new switch.

One of the most common problems with the air switch is that it becomes stuck and will not pop back up. Water will sometimes accumulate at the bottom of the button, which leads to mildew. Be on the lookout for these things and be sure to wipe down the button and its surrounding area to keep it clean and working properly.

Other issues found while troubleshooting have been that you need to hold the button down and keep holding it for the garbage disposal to work. Sometimes after pressing the button it falls down into the sink countertop because it is not securely fastened. Be sure to inspect your switch to make sure it’s secured correctly. When it falls down into the sink countertop it usually means it’s loose.

If you’re pressing the switch repeatedly in order for your garbage disposal to power on, it could mean that the air isn’t being sent to the power module to activate the disposer.

Sometimes a simple kitchen remodel or upgrade is the reason for a new switch because your old switch has become worn down and you need something that’s more fashionable.

Garbage disposal switches get used often. There’s a lot of wear and tear leading them to become worn out and stop working properly. Taking the appropriate steps now to solve the problem will save you time and money down the road.

The air switch is a reliable component for your waste disposer unit. However, nothing is perfect and even the air switch breaks down from time to time. When the switch does wear out the easiest solution is to have it replaced. You can find replacement parts through the manufacturer or at your local hardware store. Installing a replacement switch is just like installing the original. Follow the steps mentioned above and you’ll be in good shape.



There are a variety of air switch brands on the market, which make finding one easier than ever. It pays to do a little research so you’re able to find the most suitable switch to compliment your kitchen. Asking yourself questions regarding placement, convenience, color and style are important and all worth considering when purchasing your air switch. They’re also easy to install. There are many YouTube videos online that demonstrate how to install one which saves you money on hiring a plumber. They’re quick and easy to set up. However, if you feel more comfortable hiring a plumber then go ahead if it feels like the better choice.

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