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In this post, I’ll compare the continuous feed vs batch feed garbage disposal to show you the main differences and advantages of each type.
Any kitchen requires efficient garbage disposal to maintain the environment clean. If you’re looking for a new garbage disposal for your kitchen, you’ll quickly figure out that there are different types of garbage disposal to pick from.
The two main types of garbage disposals are:
- Continuous feed
- Batch feed
The main difference between continuous feed vs batch feed garbage disposal comes in the functionality.
Continuous feed works continuously without stopping, unlike the batch feed which has to grind the waste in batches. When the batch feed disposal is working, you cannot insert more waste.
Quick Summary: Batch Feed vs Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal
Understanding these differences will ensure you get the perfect garbage disposal in your kitchen. In aspects of price, the two types also differ due to their built quality and mechanisms.
|Continuous Feed||Batch Feed|
|Availability||Very popular and easy to find||Harder to find, less options|
|Ease of install||Great if you have an outlet||Best for no electrical connection|
|Efficiency||Most efficient||Takes longer|
A continuous feed disposal is best for…
- On a budget – Continuous feed disposals are cheaper so if you’re trying to save money, this is the choice for you!
- Big families – These units will dispose of food the fastest so if you have a large family or a lot of waste, get a continuous feed.
A batch feed disposal is best for…
- Safety – Batch feeds require a stopper before they can run, so this prevents little hands from finding their way into the disposal while it’s on.
- Climate conscious people – These disposals utilize less electricity and less water because they are not constantly running.
Overview: Continuous Feed Garbage Disposals
As the name suggests, the machine keeps grinding waste until it is switched off. With these types of garbage disposals, you can throw food waste in between the grinding without the need for a stopper.
Continuous feed disposals are far more common than batch feeds because of how easy they are to operate.
The big issue with continuous feed disposals is that they require a power source to run. Most models will come with a power cord that you can plug into the wall, but if you have an older home, you may not have an outlet nearby.
When we bought our house in 2018, it didn’t have a garbage disposal. We decided that adding a continuous feed was worth the effort, so we had an electrical outlet installed under our sink.
How do continuous feed disposals work?
The continuous feed garbage is the easiest to operate because all you need to do is turn on the machine. Inserting of food wastes can be done anytime while the machine is running. When the process is complete, you can turn off the machine.
It runs continuously so while it’s running, you can add food to it without pausing. This means it’ll dispose of food much more efficiently.
I recommend running the water while this disposal is running since it helps flush the food down to the septic or sewer system.
Pros and Cons of Continuous Feed Disposals
- Cost: Continuous type of disposal machines are cheaper and affordable compared to the batch feed garbage disposal. They come in a compact design, lighter which makes their cost lower.
- Speed: The continuous disposal grinds waste in few minutes and continuous grinding makes the task easier as well as faster. Once the machine is turned on, it grinds without any stoppage saving time.
- Flexible & Efficient: The fact the machine is open and you can insert food wastes while the machine is running allows multitasking. It saves you a lot of time having to multitask using the machine and also can grind large amounts of waste.
- Easy to Clean & Maintain: The design of a continuous feed disposal with an open mouth makes the cleaning easy. The machines require less maintenance which makes them friendly to use.
- Availability: Popularity of continuous garbage disposal are available in different models and sizes from various top manufacturing companies. They come at different prices, shapes, and sizes giving plenty of variety to choose from.
- Keeps the kitchen counter always clean: While preparing food on the counter, it’s easy to throw the wastes to the garbage machine immediately for grinding. This ensures your counter is clean at all times.
- Less Safe to use: Due to the drain always being open while the machine is running, it can cause accidents easily. Random objects may fall inside damaging the machine. Also, one can injure the fingers if not keen on the process.
- Uses more electricity: Continuous feed disposal is designed to run until you turn it off. This may consume more electricity than necessary if running without grinding large amounts of waste or none. Many people get around this inefficiency by treating it like a batch feed disposal, by only running it after filling it up with waste.
- Excessive use of water: The manufacturer recommends the presence of water while the machine is running. It’s good to save water even if you have no rationing.
- Food splashes back: The food waste sometimes shoots back out due to blockage while grinding rigid wastes. The open mouth can’t prevent the splashing but there is a splash guard that helps to prevent splashing.
If you end up going with a continuous feed, this is the one we recommend: Moen 3/4 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal with Sound Reduction
Overview: Batch Feed Garbage Disposals
This type of garbage disposal machine works differently than the continuous feed disposal machine. To operate the batch feed machine, you have to put the stopper in the disposal’s entrance before turning it on.
Batch feed disposals are much less common because they require a few extra steps to operate.
How do batch feed disposals work?
With a batch feed disposal, you insert food into the disposal, cover it with the stopper, and then turn it on.
You can only place limited amounts of food in at once, so if you have a lot of food waste, you have to run multiple “batches”. Unlike the continuous feed disposal machines, you can’t insert more waste while the machine is on.
This process can take much longer to dispose of your food. Most batch feeds are limited to 3-5 cups at a time.
The good news is that these are safer. The disposal will not run unless the stopper is inserted so there’s no risk of accidentally dropping items down while it’s running. If you have small children, this can be a much safer pick.
It’s best to not let food store up in your disposal or else it can attract bugs, start to smell, or spread unhealthy bacteria.
Pros and Cons of Batch Feed Disposals
- Safety: It’s designed to operate only when the stopper is placed correctly. If you have children there is no chance of them injuring themselves as the machine cant start without a stopper. There is also no chance for random objects dropping in the disposal machine while it’s running.
- Low Noise Level: The noise is reduced by the mouth covered with the stopper offering quiet operations. Some models come with noise dampening technology to reduce noise levels.
- Water & Power Saving: Batch feed disposal machines grind waste when the machine is full so you’ll end up using less water. Also, you get to save on electricity bills.
- Easy Installation: Installation of batch feed disposal machine is easy which can save you paying for experts to install it.
- DIY friendly: Comes with a plug-in electrical cord to enhance the connectivity.
- More Expensive: Batch feed garbage disposals come with more features including a powerful motor which makes them expensive. The presence of noise dampening technologies makes them more costly than continuous feed garbage disposal.
- Time-consuming: The grinding of food waste in batches takes up some time and can be tiresome.
- Inconvenience: Without the stopper in place or in case it is damaged, the batch feed disposal won’t work.
- More space – These disposals require 2-3 more inches of vertical space underneath your sink to accommodate the hopper where you place the food scraps.
If you end up going with a batch feed, this is the one we recommend: Waste King L-5000TC Batch Feed Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, 3/4 HP.
Do make a note that a batch feed disposal is not the same thing as a food compactor. While a batch feed disposal does somewhat compact food before sending it out as waste, it is not meant for the same purpose.
Common Questions on Garbage Disposals
A continuous feed means that the disposal can run constantly. You can add food continuously and it will dispose of it. A batch feed means you have to add food in batches.
No, not all garbage disposals are continuous feed, but that is the more popular and available type of disposal. There are also batch feed disposals, which are less common.
The two types of garbage disposals are continuous feed and batch feed.
Batch feed garbage disposals require a stopper to lock in the food before turning it on. The stopper reduces noise. A continuous feed is “open” to your sink so they are much louder.
Verdict: Continuous Feed Vs Batch Feed Garbage Disposal
This comes down to your personal decision to choose between the continuous feed vs batch feed garbage disposal for your household.
There are plenty of factors that influence the decision to purchase a garbage disposal unit. For example:
- Space of the Under-sink
- Noise level
Both types come with powerful motors to grind waste efficiently and consist of great features. If safety is a concern, the batch feed disposal is better. For more convenience and time-saving disposal, the continuous feed unit is better.
The continuous feed disposals are cheaper and available varieties to choose from which gives an upper hand.
Now you know the major difference between continuous feed vs batch feed garbage disposal, it’s time to choose the best garbage disposal and get rid of food wastes in the kitchen.