Solitude around the sink?
She cooks, so I clean. That is how I became the designated dish washer in our household. After laboring through countless sink-loads, I found myself struggling to efficiently clean up after meals, bouncing back and forth between scrubbing and operating the disposal wall switch with a wet soapy hands. I knew there had to be a better way.
A better way was about to emerge…
My experience with disposal switches was slim at best. I used the most common disposal switch daily. Nearly-identical to a typical residential light switch, ours was mounted just above the sink. I noticed in some homes the switches were located inside the sink cabinet or on the wall with other switches steps away from the sink. I went gathering information on other switches on the market, such as air or reed and began formulating a ideas.
Way back when I worked as a journeyman plumber, I’d seen simple foot driven switches designed to free up the hands. From my perspective, this was the ideal concept to introduce to the kitchen environment…safer, cleaner and easy out of sight. But, would they work in the kitchen?
Time for the hard work!
With some minor modification, my first switch was born. It was crude in operation…simply step on the pedal with your foot to activate. At times, inadvertent activation was all too common and for safety's sake more changes were necessary.
As a a 10-year veteran of a large city’s building inspection department, I knew the one step concept was not kitchen safe and bound for the round file.
After 35 prototypes and considerable patience from family-based focus groups, I emerged from the workshop with something that I felt was quite good.
The switch was finally ready to take to UL (Underwriters Laboratory) for rigirous testing and safety approval.
The process included input from all the major manufactures of disposals and kitchen appliances. As a group, it was their responsibility to establish, approve and maintain product standards. Since this was the first garbage disposal footswitch to make such a request, there were no defined standards. So, a standard needed to be written that all domestic garbage disposal foot switches would need to meet to be legally installed in a home. The process was challenging and took a couple of years to finalize. ToeKickswitch became approved as the safety tested kitchen standard.
In the end the input I received from UL and the major manufactures was invaluable. I needed to go through this process for a couple of reasons, first I knew it would make the switch better. Also, as building inspector, I have seen a fair amount of folks that have had unlisted and untested products in their homes or businesses that were required to be removed.
On a side note, I am seeing more untested and unlisted products installed in homes due to folks being able to order products online from all over the world some of which have been quite dangerous.
ToeKickswitch is very convenient to use, imagine yourself bellied up to the sink washing dishes...toes tucked nicely under the cabinet when you want to simply slide the foot of your choice foot outward and lift your toes skyward. The disposal will come to life while you continue to scrub and rinse. To turn off the disposal, just release the upward pressure. Soon activating the switch will become second nature to use.
Being married to an artist for almost 30 years I have become aware of the importance of visual appearance and design function. ToeKickswitch has the added benefit of being tucked in the toe kick space of the sink cabinet. It is discrete and does not detract from the look of your countertop as a wall switch or a countertop switch would. I recently saw a very expensive fossil stone countertop with a sleek elegant look until the eye caught a run of the mill disposal button. A hole drilled right through the beautiful countertop to accommodate it. Fuel for change.
We've made every effort to consider design, function and safety and hope you find the Toekickswitch to be as great solution for your kitchen as well.
If you have any questions/comments about the ToeKickswitch or you want some feedback regarding plumbing and mechanical codes contact me either by calling, email firstname.lastname@example.org or respond to the blog.