For most of us, our garbage disposal is something that we rarely think about unless there is a problem. Many people are blissfully unaware of how disposal operates, only knowing the absolute basics, such as “don’t put metal in it” and “run the sink while you use it”. Even if you haven’t thought much about your disposal, if you ever have to get it replaced or repaired, you’ll need to know more than just what kinds of material you can put in it. While most disposals are very similar regarding their operation, there is one important classification that can come up when picking a new model: batch feed vs continuous feed. Although most of you probably have a continuous feed model, there is a critical difference between the two. Let’s look at those differences, as well as the pros and cons of each model.
Difference Between Batch Feed and Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal
What is Batch Feed Garbage Disposal?
As the name would suggest, this model of disposal is meant to grind through small batches, one at a time. The way it works is you put the material into the disposal, cover it with the provided stopper, and then turn it on. Unlike continuous feed, you can only turn the unit on when the cover is sealed.
The benefits of a batch feed garbage disposal are:
- Perfect for households with small amounts of waste to process
- Cover eliminates the possibility of “foreign” objects falling in the unit
- Since the disposal only works with the cover on, it can be much safer than continuous feed
Downsides to batch feed disposals:
- Take more time if you have a lot of waste
- Not as many options to choose from when purchasing
- Can be more expensive than a continuous feed model
What is Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal?
As the most popular option between the two, continuous feed disposals are installed in most homes around the country. These disposals are much easier to operate, turning on and off with the flip of a switch. As far as speed and convenience go, a continuous feed garbage disposal is the best option.
Here are the benefits of continuous feed disposals:
- Super easy to operate
- Can grind material as you work
- More options to choose from when buying
- Usually a bit cheaper than batch feed models
Downsides of continuous feed disposals:
- Less safe, since “foreign” objects can fall into the unit while operating
- Can use more electricity than batch feed, especially if you use it while preparing food
- Uses more water than a batch feed, since you have to run the water while operating
When comparing batch feed vs continuous feed disposal, the most important aspect is how often you use the machine. If you dispose of a lot of waste while cooking, then a continuous feed model is probably right for you. However, if you don’t produce that much material to be ground up, you may be better off with a batch feed model. Ultimately, it will boil down to personal preference.