Deciding which Garbage Disposal is Best for You Featured image

Most of us already know what garbage disposal is, but many do not know there are actually two types of disposals. If you’re wondering which garbage disposal is best for your kitchen, this article will shed more light on the subject to make this decision a lot easier.

The Difference Between Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals models

In the world of garbage disposals, there are only two distinct models that are offered. There is continuous feed disposal and batch feed disposal. What makes them different is obviously their function for the most part.

Continuous feed garbage disposals

The continuous feed garbage disposals sound just like the name implies since food waste is added to the disposal continuously while the water and machine are in operation. Water is the main additive that helps keep the machine running smoothly. As the disposal is turned on, you can add food waste as you like until you’re finished. After this, the disposal is turned off along with the running water.

Running water also helps wash down food waste as it’s mulched into tiny particles. These particles are then washed down the drain and out to a septic tank or drain pipe connection leading to the sewer. This model is more common since it’s cheaper and easy to operate as you need. And though continuous feed disposal will be ideal for adding as much food waste as you like, some models define how much it can handle this task.

Batch feed garbage disposals

Unlike the continual feed version, the batch feed garbage disposal is designed to be filled once and uses less water to turn food waste into pulp within a few minutes. It also has a safety feature that makes it ideal for kitchens where children might be near the garbage disposal when it’s operating. This machine works when a special stopper is placed over the sink drain and locked into place.

It’s good when you have a specific amount of waste to grind away and doesn’t overuse water when it’s turned on. The sound of the batch feed disposal is drastically reduced due to the stopper plug compared to the standard continuous disposal. It also helps save on electricity bills since the time spent grinding waste is also reduced. The only setback is the size and power of a model to grind a select amount of waste at a time.

Differences In Disposal Power And Size

Disposal Power And Size Illustration

Let’s talk about power when it comes to garbage disposals and this is translated to horsepower. There’s no need to buy a garbage disposal that is sporting way too much horsepower than you actually need. So this comes down to a very simple premise based on how much food waste you’re looking to mulch at any given moment. This is also according to how many members in a household there happen to be based on food waste.

Now, there is also a little bit of suggestive usage that also goes with owning disposal since the needs will also depend on cooking and food preparation habits. Some people are preparing food for others or simply need more power to handle the amount of waste that goes with kitchen tasks. With that in mind, here is a simplified breakdown of what each horsepower category can handle.

1/3 Horsepower

Official charts often advise that 1/3 hp is good for 1 or 2 people or those who live in a small flat or apartment. It’s a very simple amount of power that’s not meant to be overfilled. Since this is also the most commonly sold, it’s good for light-duty grinding and nothing more. This also makes it more prone to jamming which can be a real pain if you overstuff this size disposal.

½ Horsepower

This is better for homes where there are at least 3 to 6 people and will be perfect for larger apartments or small homes. Because it has more power it can handle more food waste within reason of what’s put into the disposal. It can still jam if too much food is put into it and needs a constant flow of water to keep it from backing up. Batch disposals will also have a limit to how much can go inside likewise.

¾ Horsepower

This version is more fitting for families from 3 to 8 people and is the workhouse of disposals due to the power behind it. It can also handle larger and heftier food scraps that are holiday meal-sized. There is a limit once again since this is a larger machine since the space under a sink does need to match the specs if you have a tight kitchen design. The advantage is these machines are built to be quieter due to their design and sound buffering.

1 Horsepower

When there are upwards of 8 people in a household, you need to bring in the big guns. This is when a 1 hp garbage disposal will save the day and can easily handle items including chicken bones without a blink. When this size motor is used it will be more common that sensors and anti-jam and grind settings are more common. The price will obviously reflect the upgrade for this model, not to mention enough room under your sink to fit this disposal unit.

Which Model Is Right For You?

Continuous feed vs Batch feed garbage disposals

Now that you have a better understanding of garbage disposals, the next step is deciding which kind of disposal will work for your household. Keep in mind that the larger the horsepower that garbage disposals offer, the longer the warranty will allow. Some considerations include models meant for homes with septic tanks additionally. These special versions will have added features that help with further breaking down food wastes.

In most cases where a direct sewer line is being used, ground-up food waste is simply washed down the drain and into the sewer line for processing. Aside from that little detail, deciding on power and disposal type is better to know than anything else.

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