What’s the Difference Between Continuous Feed vs. Batch Feed Disposals?
If you are currently searching for a new garbage disposal, then you have more than likely noticed that they come in one of two varieties: continuous feed models and batch feed models. If you have ever wondered what the difference between the two options are, you aren’t alone.
Understanding the differences between continuous feed disposers and batch feed disposers is what will help you determine which option will work best for your household. Let’s take a closer look at what each type has to offer:
Continuous Feed Garbage Disposals: What You Need to Know
Continuous feed garbage disposals are currently the most popular type of garbage disposal in North America. Most of our recommended models are continuous feed. Its popularity is due, in part, to how simple it is to use. Food is simply placed in the disposer, the unit is powered on (generally via a flip switch), and the disposer grinds up and disposes of the food waste.
Even while it is running, you can easily add more food waste to the waste disposer, which translates to faster cleanup times and an efficiently run kitchen. If you have large amounts of food waste to dispose of, being able to keep the disposal running means that you will get the job done faster.
These units require a minimal amount of maintenance, and cleaning them is a simple process. Modern garbage disposals are sold with multiple grinding chambers, which significantly reduces the chances that a clog will develop in your home’s plumbing, and different horsepower motors are available depending on the amount of grinding power your household requires. In terms of pricing, these units are more affordable than their batch feed counterparts.
For all of the benefits they have to offer, continuous feed garbage disposals are not without their cons. Depending on the specific brand you purchase, your unit may or may not come with a power cord, which means that you will have to purchase one separately or hire a professional plumber to hardwire the disposal.
Likewise, you must take into account that continuous feed food waste disposers have an open filler neck. There is always a slight risk that debris may come out while the unit is running, but most manufacturers do include a splashguard with their units, which solves this issue. If you have small children in your home, you will need to take precautions to ensure that they do not stick their hands into the garbage disposal’s opening.
Batch Feed Garbage Disposals: The Lowdown
Of the two types of garbage disposals, batch feed models are less popular; however, this does not mean that they are any less efficient. While continuous feed models start up with the simple flip of a switch, batch feed models require a few additional steps. With this particular model, you must place a stopper into the disposal’s opening and then turn it on.
The stopper is what triggers the switch that gets the unit’s motor up and running. The primary downside to this model is that you must place the waste inside the garbage disposal before turning it on. If you are making a purchasing decision based upon convenience alone, then a continuous feed garbage disposal will win each time.
What batch feed garbage disposals lose in terms of convenience, it more than makes up for with regards to safety and other advantages. For example, the disposal’s included stopper provides a foolproof method of preventing foreign objects from falling into the disposal. It also prevents curious small children from placing their hands in the waste disposer. This unit is particularly well suited for homes that have small children.
For many homeowners, it can be tempting to fill a batch feed disposer’s grinding chamber with food waste and wait to grind it up until the chamber is full or he or she has the time to grind it. However, this creates a potential health hazard as the food waste begins to decompose. Not only does it attract bacteria, but it may also attract insects.
It should be noted that batch feed and continuous feed garbage disposals grind and dispose of food waste equally well. Batch feed models are available in the same horsepower and grinding chamber configurations as their continuous feed cousins; however, they do gain in advantage in ease of installation. Almost all batch feed models come with an included power cord, which means that most homeowners will be able to install the unit themselves – without having to hire a costly professional plumber.
Ultimately, which model you choose for your home is going to depend on three primary factors: safety, cost, and the amount of waste you routinely dispose of. Of these three factors, you will need to decide which is most important to you.
Not sure which one to buy? Check out our comparison table below: