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GE GFC1020N 1 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal Review
All things considered, the GE 1 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal is a well-built machine. It delivers strong performance on common foods and works fairly well against more challenging materials. It offers a fast and powerful motor, durable stainless steel grinding components, and quality augmented details.
The disposer has its share of drawbacks, but nothing too major. It’d be great if the disposer is more affordable, but it’s not pricey, either. That said, we feel like there are more attractive options at the disposer’s price point.
Things We Like
- Noise reduction
- High torque
- High speed
- Stainless steel grind components
- Strengthened chamber layout
Things We Don’t Like
- Heavy build
- Space-consuming design
- Can be loud
- No power cord
- Updated Feb 2, 2023:
The GFC1020N is a bulky machine. It has a tall body and is quite heavy too. From the outside, it looks very similar to a high-power Waste King food disposer, except for the deep black casing instead of gray. The GE disposer also employs a similar grinding layout, only that certain details are augmented for better grinding capability. The GFC1020N comes with quite a few accessories but, surprisingly, not a power cord.
GE GFC1020N Garbage Disposal’s Performance: Consistently Stable
Prior to the GFC1020N, we’d tested two other disposers from GE Appliances and they both performed exceptionally. The GFC1020N didn’t disappoint, either; it ran through our tests with strong consistency and had little to no trouble swallowing the toughest scraps that we’d prepared, e.g. raw salmon remains.
Unfortunately, the disposer’s output quality is acceptable, at best. On one hand, it did a decent job against common foods, even cooked chicken bones. On the other hand, the grinder couldn’t handle its raw materials very well. Not to be harsh but this is a letdown for us seeing how this is a 1-HP food disposer.
The 90 ounces of random scraps weren’t a challenge for the GE 1-Horsepower Disposer. Although it wasn’t too fast, the machine was sufficiently quick chewing through the 11 types of assorted foods. After the run, all the materials remaining in the chamber weighed only 0.14 ounces. This translated to over 99% completion rate.
Out the other end, the ground results were reassuring as well. Most of the input was processed thoroughly; hard-to-grind ingredients like avocado pits or corn cobs didn’t put up much of a fight, either. The biggest issues with the GFC1020N (and most mid-range garbage disposals) were the pin bones and the vertebrae from the fish.
7.7Raw Fish Scraps
The disposer didn’t manage to break down everything, but its results were some of the best we’ve collected. The in-sink grinder managed to pulverize up to 98% of the input; most of the leftovers were resilient stringy skin wrapped up with crushed vertebrae. Those were the toughest parts of the input.
Materials caught by the two-layer filter appeared heavily shredded. We could see that the disposer broke up a large number of bones; however, there were seemingly unscathed pieces in the mess too. So far, we’ve only tested one model that could confidently and effectively deal with such tricky scraps, which is the InSinkErator Excel.
6.4Raw Chicken Scraps
With raw chicken scraps, the disposer had no problem crushing the boney parts, similar to how it fared with cooked chicken bones in the scrap mix test. It was the spongy and stringy parts that gave the grinder a run for the money.
Technically, the disposer finished around the 2-minute mark (when the amount of leftover material was low enough to pass). We kept it running for another 15 seconds but that did nothing to the final results. The product processed more than 90% of the input, which was not bad, but the quality of the output wasn’t up to our expectations.
GE GFC1020N 1 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal’s Design: Bulky and Tough
The GE GFC1020N is one of the biggest garbage disposers we’ve tested. It sports a thick plastic protective case with soundproof cushioning. It runs on an efficient motor and enjoys high-quality grinding components. Although the disposer is not the heaviest in our lineup, it does carry a decent amount of weight.
If you’re used to the Waste King Legend series, this GE 1 HP is going to feel familiar. It is basically the popular L-8000 garbage disposal but with upgraded details and stronger craftsmanship.
In the Box of GE GFC1020N 1 HP Garbage Disposal
- GE GFC1020N 1 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposer
- EZ Mount assembly
- Removable splash guard
- Universal Mount adapter
- Discharge tube
- Rubber gasket
- Flange and bolts
- Wire nuts
The GFC1020N comes with a few more accessories than other similar garbage disposals. Alongside a standard plumbing kit for the machine’s outlet setup, you’ll find a collar adapter for the mounting process and wire nuts in case you want to install a power cord.
There is also some documentation including a user manual, a registration slip, and an instruction leaflet for the adapter. The manual is available in English, French, and Spanish; the two slips are only in English.
Dimensions of GE GFC1020N Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal
The GE 1 HP takes up a lot more space than a regular 1/3 or 1/2-horsepower unit, so if you’re upgrading, make sure there’s adequate room in the sink cabinet. For its power rating, the disposer is actually light because stronger motors inherently pack more weight. For comparison, a 1-horsepower residential garbage disposal may weigh up to 19 pounds.
- Support ring
- Mounting ring
- Cushion mount
- Fiber gasket
- Rubber gasket
- Sink flange
- Removable splash guard
The GE GFC1020N and most other GE food waste disposers employ the EZ Mount system. Compared to the 3-Bolt system, EZ is less complicated and much easier to handle. EZ mounts also require no tools to disassemble or assemble, whereas 3-Bolt mounts need at least a screwdriver.
The standard version of the GE GFC1020N doesn’t come with a power cord.
Accessories: Discharge Set
This includes an elbow pipe, a rubber gasket, a flange, and two bolts. The pipe is 1.5 inches in diameter and the bolts have 3/8-inch hex heads with slotted drives. You can tighten the bolts with either a flathead screwdriver or a wrench.
Accessories: 3-Bolt Mount Adapter
Both the GE GFC1020N 1 HP and the GE GFC720N 3/4 HP come with mounting adapters that help connect EZ disposers to 3-Bolt mounts. The device comes in handy when you have an existing 3-Bolt fitting on your sink. Usually, these adapters are sold separately and they work with all EZ-system disposers.
Just keep in mind that using the adapter adds 1/2 inches to the total height and that its splash guard is integrated into the cushion mount.
Accessories: Wire Caps
The disposer has no power cord; so if you want to wire your own cord, you can make use of the included wire nuts. These nuts help splice the wire connections safely and effectively.
The disposer’s chamber has roughly 30 fluid ounces of holding capacity, which can be a little tight in comparison with more spacious models. However, we’ve found the GE—or any model with the same capacity—sufficient. If you save most raw meat scraps for the bin and don’t shove excessive amounts of food down the drain (for reference, 90 ounces are still safe), the grinder can handle it.
The GE 1 HP disposer shares many details in the chamber with other permanent magnet disposers; in fact, those usually have identical grinding layouts. What sets the GE disposer apart is that it has a pair of strengthened impellers that are larger and thicker than the conventional impellers.
The GE 1 HP runs on a high-torque permanent magnet motor. These motors operate with higher efficiency and are much faster than induction motors. Induction disposers like InSinkErators spin well under 2000 revolutions per minute (RPM) with no scraps present; meanwhile, permanent magnet disposers easily surpass 3000 RPM—or in the case of this GE GFC1020N, 4000 RPM.
Permanent magnet motors are also much cooler than induction motors. If a disposer runs hot, it has a much higher chance of tripping the circuit breaker and a greater risk of damaging internal details. So far in our testing, only disposers with induction motors have overheated.
It was somewhat surprising to see how solid the disposer turned out in terms of build. Most of the permanent magnet disposers in our lineup have lost some of their build integrity—the casing, to be precise—after our testing processes. We know this by shaking every one of them to check for loose connections. The GE GFC1020N, however, doesn’t feel much different from the day we took it out of the box.
The quality of the casing is also reliable. Its thick plastic construction makes it highly shock-absorbent. The color is tinted instead of coated so it doesn’t scratch easily. The deep black tint also works great hiding minor nicks here and there. Under the casing lies a layer of acoustic foam that treats noise, but its effect is barely noticeable.
GE GFC1020N Garbage Disposal’s Usability Review: Could be Better
During our time with the GE GFC1020N 1 HP Disposer, we didn’t spot any major shortcomings or dealbreakers. It performed consistently and with might as it should. Our only issue with the product was its control, or rather the lack of such, over the byproduct noises.
As solid as it is, the disposer still feels underwhelming in certain areas, especially for something at its listed price. That said, it’s still in our top 5 with everything else taken into account.
8.0Ease of Use
The GE GFC1020N’s chamber is fairly deep which helps it comfortably accommodate scraps of varied sizes. Especially long scraps like celery stalks or even uncooked bones from chicken thighs should go right in without poking up the sink baffle during operation. Many models in our collection struggled with such tricky scraps.
The disposer, like other EZ models, has a removable baffle. Removing the baffle helps when you want to clean or when you want to speed up the process because you have a lot of garbage in the sink. Another thing to keep in mind is that the universal adapter kit lets you keep the 3-Bolt assembly but lower the whole setup and its baffle piece can’t be removed during use.
If you’re not familiar with the process, we recommend getting some help setting up the GFC1020N. Sure, the EZ Mount system is simple enough, but running the power supply needs technical knowledge and the machine’s build needs arm strength.
If you’re determined to try doing it yourself, there are a few tips: First, use the wire nuts to make splicing easier; second, find something to support the disposer’s weight; and third, make sure the connections are dry and secure or the whole disposer may rotate when it’s running.
(tips: *For safety reasons, you should ALWAYS set up to control your garbage disposal via a dedicated switch with a clear “Off” position.)
Other than the installation process, another drawback of the disposer is its relatively loud operation, despite its noise reduction feature. Mind that it’s not noisy all the time, but it gets worse when the disposer processes crunchy stuff. To be fair, it’s not going to take too long to finish, so normally you don’t have to stand the noises for so long that it annoys you.
Because high-speed disposers like the GE 1 HP don’t often jam, they don’t have any unjam mechanism, per se. In case the grinding chamber jams, you can use a stick and rotate the flywheel through the drain.
About your guide
Be Nguyen is a writer of product reviews at Healthy Kitchen 101. His curiosity in technology and its real-world applications once drove him to study Engineering. That same interest is what motivated him into dissecting and testing household appliances. When not working at the Healthy Kitchen 101 lab, Be writes and plays music.
Lap Vo is head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (the RTR) at Healthy Kitchen 101. He is responsible for designing and overseeing the testing of kitchen tools and appliances.