If you’re on the hunt for the most efficient garbage disposal unit for your home, you will quickly realize that you have a fundamental choice between two different flavors:
• Continuous feed models
• Batch feed models
There tends to be some initial confusion with consumers who are looking for a disposal facility but find the above terms confusing. Once you fully understand the fundamental differences between the two types of models, you’ll be able to narrow down to individual garbage disposal models of either type and avoid wasting time choosing models from both types.
Continuous Feed Disposals: Just the Facts, Please
It is a good thing to note that in North America, the continuous feed disposals are the most popular ones. Because of this, the models we recommend the most are also continuous feed units. The main reason for their popularity is because they’re by far the easiest to operate. Turning on the disposal only usually requires a switch being flipped, the food is fed through the dispenser, and with the assistance of some water flow, the blades grind through the waste.
It is possible to intermittently feed food waste through the disposer as it becomes available, rather than needing to stop to turn it on first. For busy kitchens with a lot of older produce to chew through, the continuous feed model is simply easier and quicker.
Another advantage of this model is that it’s frequent use helps avoid jams and makes maintenance faster too. The separate, grinding sections do their best to avoid clogging up the pipes with their multiple pass approach. Each model offers a different horsepower which allows the homeowner to decide how powerful a disposal unit they require for their home.
The disadvantages of these types of model are several. It has an open neck which allows food waste to come back out if blocked by the teeth or too much waste is fed into it too quickly. A splash guard is sometimes provided that avoids some of these issues. A power cord is not always supplied, so one must be fitted either by the purchaser or a trained plumber. Lastly, for people with small children, the open neck design does carry some additional risks.
Batch Feed Garbage Disposals: The Facts
As mentioned earlier, the batch feed models aren’t the most popular. Either a stopper needs to be placed into the opening, or food waste must be fed inside it before turning the power on. The idea with either approach is that there must be something inside the opening before the unit will start up.
The inclusion of the stopper does well to prevent small children putting their hands into the disposal. It is a multi-step process; they cannot put their hand in and turn on the unit at the same time. The lack of a continual feeding action and the lack of an open neck avoids human accidents more often which makes it a superior choice for anyone with small children in the home.
All batch feed versions come with the power cord, which makes it easier to fit them personally without needing expert help. This saves on the extra cost of paying a professional to come to wire it, even if you can install the disposal unit yourself.
Whether a continuous feed or batch feed model is the right one for your home depends on what you need it for, how much waste you have, and whether there are small children (or disabled people) in the home. After that, it’s all about model choices and their features.