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An air switch for garbage disposal is very useful in the case where hands need to be kept out of a drain opening. For some people, this can be more convenient, especially if their hands are full or they have limited mobility. Not all types of garbage disposals are compatible with air switches, however, so you may need to do a little bit of research before purchasing one.

How does a Garbage Disposal Air Switch Works?

An air switch for garbage disposal is actually much like an ordinary wall switch. The big difference is that it runs off of compressed air instead of electricity, and instead of simply turning on or off the power to the appliance, it activates (or deactivates) the motor inside. This type of switch usually has two buttons: one which turns the motor on and off, and one which activates the overload protector.

An air switch for garbage disposal is fairly easy to wire up if you already have an existing wall switch in place. The biggest concern with this type of installation is making sure that the wiring connections are secure so as not to risk a short circuit or fire hazard – especially since they’ll be exposed to water on a regular basis.

Types of Garbage Disposal Air


Air switches for garbage disposals come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The most basic air switch is simply a button that you push to turn the disposal on and off. This type of air switch might be suitable for someone who just wants their garbage disposal to start easily, but it does not really provide any convenience factor over using the traditional way of simply turning a switch.

Single Outlet Disposal Air Switch

A single outlet air switch can be installed in pretty much any garbage disposal. This allows you to turn the unit on and off without having to step on a separate button, which can be especially helpful for people who have mobility problems. It is also useful if your hands are full because it keeps them from getting wet or dirty. You just have to make sure that the switch is compatible with your disposal.

This type of air switch has a separate power outlet and remote button. This allows you to accommodate several appliances at once without losing outlets on your wall. Not only can it be used for garbage disposals, but also for any other small appliance that requires a separate power source. A multi-functional switch like this can be especially helpful if your kitchen does not already have enough outlets to run the appliances you want.

Dual Outlet Garbage Disposal Air Switch

A dual outlet air switch for garbage disposal can be very convenient because it allows you to run two appliances at once. If the appliance is not too powerful, then this type of installation may provide enough room for an additional power cord that plugs into any standard wall outlet.

This is a good option for people who like to keep their kitchen appliances separate. It may be relevant to note that a dual switch is generally more expensive than other types because it requires an additional power outlet and air tubes to run properly.

What are the Advantages of an Air Switch?

There are a number of great advantages to using an air switch for garbage disposal. These include:

They do not break as easily as traditional switches. Because trash tends to build up around them, they can often be difficult to use. This means that a traditional footswitch may eventually break through normal wear and tear, but an air switch is much more durable.

Taking your hands off of slippery trash disposal can reduce the risk of injury. In many types of injuries, most people do not think about what they put their hands on when they make a grab for something. If hands end up on a wet or even greasy surface, the results can be very painful. With an air switch, there is no risk of touching anything when you press down to turn it on or off.

Best 5 Air Switches for Garbage Disposal Reviewed

Cleesink Garbage Disposal Air Switch Kit

Cleesink Garbage Disposal Air Switch Kit

If you are looking to spend as little as possible and don’t need all the extras of our top pick, then we suggest the Cleesink Sink Top Air Switch Kit. It doesn’t have dual outlets and is the hose is only five feet long, but that should be just fine for a lot of people. Not everyone needs two outlets, and it is rare to need a hose longer than five feet if you plan on putting the button in an averagely sized sink. Despite not having that extra stuff, this switch has more finish options for the button than some other switches!

Essential Values Garbage Disposal Air Switch

Essential Values Garbage Disposal Air Switch

The Essential Value Switch is a professional grade actuator an Air Powered switch to install in your garbage disposal. This system eliminates the need for running wires from under the sink when outlet space is not available or just when you want that “clean and simple” installation. Of course, it’s ideal when installed with a Waste King, InSinkErator, Moen OR KitchenAid Disposal/Disposer Unit on ANY Counter Top or Sink Top.”

This custom-designed switch comes complete with everything needed to make installation quick and easy: 3ft power cord; 6ft black vinyl tubing; air-activated Stainless Steel Switch and Stainless steel watertight seal (cover), reinforced Cord Clamps and rubber feet. The Quick Connect fittings make installation simple and will solidly seal between the switch and pump.

Waste King Air Switch

Waste King Air Switch

Are you tired of getting up to flip the disposer’s switch? Are you suffering from back pain? Don’t worry! The Waste King Air Switch is perfect for anyone who needs an easy way to start taking out the trash. Its retro-styled plunger lets you simply press down on your countertop or island, and it will activate your disposal with ease! Just turn the water off first, please.

The Waste King Arc-4200 has a durable 1-year limited warranty that brings peace of mind knowing that if something goes wrong, we’re here to help. You can find installation within just about any existing sinkhole with proper measurements needed – it’s even compatible with islands if there isn’t already an electrical switch nearby! This product is completely assembled, so it is easy to install and works with any standard-sized drain line.

WestbrassGarbage Disposal Air Switch

WestbrassGarbage Disposal Air Switch

The Westbrass disposal Air Switch is a dual outlet remote on/off switch control box that toggles between two outlets. By placing this innovative switch in close vicinity of the garbage disposal, there are no worries about an outlet being “dead” when the garbage is cut off. The safety factor increases significantly, eliminating any possibility of electrical shock while operating your disposal.

InSinkErator Garbage Disposal Air Switch

InSinkErator Garbage Disposal Air Switch

Fight the kitchen mess created by accidental back-siphoning! Switch your Garbage Disposal’s action to “Off” with this convenient method that doesn’t require getting up from cooking or doing dishes. Mount it at a convenient height where you can just press on the switch to activate and off, whichever side of the sink you’re on. The sleek design is also a great match for any high-design sinks, countertops and kitchens – let’s face it: garbage disposal units are not attractive appliances. Plus, if you have an island where plumbing allows it, there becomes no need for those ugly wires from under your sink as these products both come with wireless transmitting power supplies so they can be mounted anywhere in range without interfering with anything else below.

Garbage Disposal Air Switch Installation

All of these different types of switches are relatively simple to install, but there are several factors to consider before you begin wiring your disposal.

  •     The first step is to determine which type of air switch will work best for you. If there are other appliances that you would like to attach it to, then a multi-functional switch may be the best option. Check with your local government before buying an electrical switch to ensure that it’s allowed in your area.
  •     You also need to consider where you want to install the switch. A tabletop button switch is the easiest to use, but it requires an electrical outlet. Wall switches are best for people who are comfortable with home improvement projects because they require wiring in order to work properly.
  •     If you are installing an air switch by yourself, then you will need to purchase the necessary tubing for it. While some types of switches do not require tubing, most models use standard 4-inch piping that is attached to a pump in your unit.
  •     Next, you will need to install the wiring. Wall switches can be wired using existing electrical wires, but most other models are not compatible with junction boxes. If you have an older home that was built before the use of air switches became popular, then you may need to hire a contractor to install one for you.
  •     The final step is connecting the power cord on your disposal to the wiring in your wall. Depending on the type of switch you use, you will either need to connect it directly or plug it into an electrical outlet.
  •     When the wiring is complete, your disposal should turn on and off silently by pressing down on the tubing. The one downside to using an air switch is that they are not compatible with all garbage disposals. Before you begin, you will need to check your unit’s manual for the amperage that it requires. If the power cord on your disposal is too thin, then an air switch might not work because it needs more power.

Other features to consider

Sink Top Air Switch Electrical Requirements

Before you begin a wiring project, it’s important to ensure that the air switch has enough amps and wattage to power your garbage disposal. Electricians use watts or amps to determine whether or not an appliance is compatible with a junction box.

3 amp 120-volt switches are available for most household appliances, but many of them require more power. Garbage disposal typically requires between 1-1/2 and 2 amps, so be sure to check the manual for your specific model to ensure that you get the right air switch for it.

Tabletop Button Air Switch

One of the most important parts of an air switch is that it can be used easily. If you have to lay on the floor just to turn your garbage disposal on and off, then an electrical switch might not work for you. This is where a tabletop button air switch comes in handy because it allows you to use your disposal with minimal effort.

A tabletop button air switch works by inserting it into your wall. You simply plug the cord into the back of your disposal, then press down to turn it on and off. There is no wiring involved with this type of installation because most units use a standard outlet.

There are some disadvantages to using an electrical switch for garbage disposals. If you do not plan ahead and buy a compatible unit, then you will end up purchasing another air switch. This wastes time and money because the second air switch comes with an installation fee.

Air Tubing

Air tubing is essential for using an air switch with your garbage disposal. An electrician will connect the pump in your unit to a tube that runs through your ceiling or wall, allowing you to engage and disengage the power easily by pressing down on it.

What is a Garbage Disposal Air Switch?

An air switch for garbage disposal is an electrical device that allows you to turn the unit on or off without having to step on the floor switch. Some types can be used with all units, but others are not universal and have to be installed directly into the unit. These should come with clear instructions for installation. Like other products, there are those that work better than others, so you will have to choose carefully.

Frequently asked questions

How Do You Change the Air Switch on a Garbage Disposal?

It is not difficult to change the air switch on a garbage disposal. If you are using an electrical switch, then you can simply replace it with one that does not work or is broken.

If you are working with an older unit that requires tubing, then this task will be slightly more complicated. The first thing you will need to do is remove the old switch and tubing so that you can put in a new one. After the installation is complete, your disposal should be able to run on air again.

Can You Install a Garbage Disposal Without a Switch?

Yes. Some garbage disposals such as the Waste King 1001 model can be powered by a direct connection, which means that it does not require an air switch or electrical cord in order to function properly.

What Is the Difference Between an Air Switch and a Direct Connection?

An air switch is basically a small tube of plastic attached to a pump. When you press down on the tubing, it forces air into the pump so that your unit is able to run. With a direct connection, you are directly powering up your disposal without any extra accessories needed.


Garbage disposals are a great addition to any kitchen because they make it easy to get rid of food waste. However, these appliances require electricity or air in order to function properly. Air switches are small tubes that you press down on when using your disposal, and they work with all models including older ones. If you want to install a switch, then an air switch kit is available for purchase.