An air switch is one of the most important accessories you can purchase for your garbage disposal, especially if you don’t have an existing wall switch to turn your disposal on and off.
To use an air switch your garbage disposal must be connected to a power source by cord (not hard-wired). Most garbage disposals come with a power cord, and if yours didn’t you should be able to buy a separate power cord kit for your disposal.
The power cord for the disposal will be plugged into the control box of the air switch, and the whole unit will then be plugged into your electrical outlet.
Why use an air switch?
Wall switch substitute: For those with island kitchen sinks and no wall to place a wall switch, the air switch is an indispensable accessory. The air switch button is easily installed in a sink hole or mounted on your countertop and is connected to an outlet under the sink. You don’t have to install a wall switch in an awkwardly far location or deal with messy electrical work.
Easy access: Many garbage disposal switches are located inside the base cabinet. By using an air switch, you no longer have to bend over and reach into the cabinet to turn your disposal on and off.
Safety: Air switches are also safe to use because they are activated by a pulse of air instead of an electrical current. Air pressure forces an electrical switch to open and close. Pushing the air switch button once will turn the disposal on, and pushing it again will turn the disposal off.
Easy installation: And finally, installing an air switch is easy. It can be done in 30 minutes. You don’t need to perform complicated electrical work as you would if you were to install a wall switch.
Best Air Switches for Garbage Disposals
Northstar Décor AS010 Air Switch
The Northstar Décor AS010 air switch is an easy recommendation because it comes in a variety of finishes to match any kitchen décor. The switch is easy to install and easy to use. It looks great and sits flush on any countertop.
The tube that comes with the switch is 6 feet long. This is longer than what most people need, so if you want a cleaner installation simply cut the tube to your desired length.
This air switch is cheaper than most air switches from garbage disposal manufacturers. These “third-party” switches will work with any garbage disposal so you don’t necessarily need to buy the one that matches your garbage disposal brand.
Cleesink Air Switch
The Cleesink air switch is our budget pick for air switches. It comes in four finishes: white plastic, polished chrome, brushed chrome, and bronze chrome. The air tube with this one is 5 feet long.
When purchasing this air switch you can choose between a “short” and “long” model. If you have thin countertops order the short version. If you have thick countertops (like stone or marble) order the long version. If you’re not sure order the long version.
Essential Values Air Switch
The Essential Values air switch is the third air switch that we recommend. It comes in satin/brushed nickel, red oil bronze, and chrome. It’s a good value product. The air tube is 6 feet long so again you can cut it if it’s too long.
What’s most appealing about this air switch is that it comes with a dual outlet control box. Most air switches have only one outlet for the garbage disposal. But with a dual outlet you can use the extra outlet for a hot water dispenser or other device, which can be very handy.