Disposal air switch: everything you need to know

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If you’re not a fan of using a wall switch for your garbage disposal, why not consider an air switch? An air switch is a convenient device that can be installed on your sink deck, allowing you to activate the disposal with just the touch of a button. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using a disposal air switch and highlight some of the top brands available on the market today.

What Exactly is a Garbage Disposal Air Switch?

A garbage disposal air switch is a small device that is installed on your sink deck. Instead of using a wall switch, it allows you to activate the disposal by simply pressing a button. The air switch consists of two parts: the sink top button and the actuator box installed underneath the sink. The button sends a burst of air down to the actuator, which then activates the disposal. This mechanism adds an extra layer of security as the switch itself doesn’t come into contact with any wet surfaces, such as wet hands or water splashes from the sink.

Items Included
Items Included

Disposal Switch Installed
Disposal Switch Installed

Standard air switches typically come in colored plastic buttons, such as white, polished chrome, or brushed nickel. However, there are also decorative options available made of more durable metals with custom finishes.

The Benefits of a Disposal Air Switch

When compared to a wall switch, a disposal air switch offers several advantages. Not only is it more convenient and easier to access, but it also provides an added layer of safety. Additionally, it adds a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing look to your kitchen.

Convenience and Ease of Use

Disposal air switches are installed right on your counter, next to your kitchen faucet. This location makes it more accessible compared to a wall switch, which is typically hidden behind the backsplash or lower on the wall. Easy access encourages household members to actually use the disposal instead of leaving food waste in the sink.


Because air switches don’t carry any electrical current, they eliminate the risk of electrical shocks. With a wall switch, there is a slight chance of shock if your hands are wet or if water from the sink splashes onto the switch. An air switch removes this possibility entirely.


One of the main selling points of air switches is their ability to provide a cleaner and more polished look to your kitchen. With a wall switch, cords may be visible behind the backsplash, creating an eyesore. An air switch eliminates this issue and is also easier to keep clean since it doesn’t accumulate dirt like a standard white switch.

Ideal for Island Sinks

If you have an island sink, an air switch is a must-have. Unlike wall switches, air switches can be installed remotely, allowing you to place the button wherever is most convenient on your countertop. With no nearby wall for a standard switch, an air switch is the perfect solution.


The only notable drawback of a sinktop switch is the additional cost. While a standard wall switch typically costs around $20, an entry-level air switch package from a brand like Insinkerator with a standard chrome button can set you back around $60. More decorative options from luxury brands like Rohl and Newport brass can cost as much as $500 for a complete package with a custom finish.

Top Brands

While there are many air switches available on the market, we recommend reputable brands that have proven their quality over time and provide accessible customer support.


Known for their industry-leading lineup of disposals, InSinkErator also offers a wide range of air switches. From basic white to more decorative options like polished gold, their switches cater to different preferences. It’s important to note that their buttons are made of plastic, targeting the entry-level market.


Rohl is a high-end kitchen and bath faucet manufacturer, respected for their durable products. Their sinktop switch is no exception. Made of solid brass with a strong spring, it provides a satisfying “click” sound when in use.


Jaclo specializes in accessories and offers a wide variety of custom finishes. Their sinktop switches are designed to match finishes from popular faucet brands. Compared to typical custom finish brands, Jaclo products tend to be more affordable.

Remember, always choose a brand that suits your needs and preferences.

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