Corded vs. Non-Corded Garbage Disposal: How To Pick The Right One

When it comes to choosing the right garbage disposal for your home, one question that often arises is whether to opt for a corded or non-corded model.

Corded garbage disposals come with a power cord pre-installed for an easy plugin, offering a straightforward setup process.

Non-corded units require the installation of a separate power cord, which might demand greater attention to detail and additional time.

Understanding Corded and Non-Corded Garbage Disposals

Corded Garbage Disposal

Corded garbage disposals are a popular choice for homeowners since they are easy to install and use.

They come with a power cord preinstalled, connecting them to an electrical outlet. A major advantage of corded garbage disposals is the convenience of not needing to purchase a separate power cord during installation.

They are generally more affordable than their non-corded counterparts, making them a budget-friendly option for many households.

Here are a few bestselling corded models on Amazon:

InSinkErator Badger 5 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, Standard Series 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Food...
InSinkErator Badger 5 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, Standard Series 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Food…
Zinc stopper holds back water and will only turn on the disposal when manually activated; 1/2 horsepower motor is quiet, efficient, and reliable
Amazon Prime
InSinkErator Badger 5XP Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, Standard Series 3/4 HP Continuous Feed...
InSinkErator Badger 5XP Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, Standard Series 3/4 HP Continuous Feed…
Galvanized steel construction provides more durability; Zinc stopper holds back water and will only turn on the disposal when manually activated
Amazon Prime
InSinkErator Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, Badger 1, Standard Series, 1/3 HP Continuous Feed,...
InSinkErator Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, Badger 1, Standard Series, 1/3 HP Continuous Feed,…
Zinc stopper holds back water and will only turn on the disposal when manually activated; 1/3 horsepower motor is quiet, efficient, and reliable
Amazon Prime

Non-Corded Garbage Disposal

Non-corded garbage disposals, on the other hand, do not come with a built-in power cord. Instead, they require a separate power source, which can be purchased and installed separately.

This offers several advantages, such as the flexibility to choose between hardwiring the disposal directly to the electrical circuit or using a plug-in power cord, depending on individual needs and preferences.

Here are a few bestselling non-corded models on Amazon:

Non-corded disposals can have a higher upfront cost, as the power cord and installation must be factored into the overall expense.

When deciding which type of disposal to install in a kitchen, homeowners should consider factors such as:

  • Budget constraints
  • Installation preferences (hardwired or plug-in)
  • Maintenance and servicing requirements
  • Safety considerations

Key Differences

Power Source

Corded garbage disposals come with a power cord pre-installed, allowing them to be plugged into an electrical outlet directly, while non-corded disposals require wiring directly to an electrical source by an electrician.

With corded disposals, you get increased flexibility since they can be moved to different outlets, whereas non-corded units offer a more permanent and streamlined solution.

Installation Process

The installation process for corded and non-corded garbage disposals differs slightly:

  • Corded Disposals: Installation is often quicker and requires fewer tools than their non-corded counterparts. Since they come with a power cord, all you need to do is plug them into an outlet after installing the disposal unit under the sink. This makes it a more convenient option for those who prefer a DIY installation.
  • Non-Corded Disposals: These units require a more complex installation process since you’ll need to hardwire them to your home’s electrical system. This typically involves hiring an electrician, which can add to the overall cost and time required for installation.


When it comes to prices, corded garbage disposals generally cost less than non-corded units. This is mainly due to the included power cord and simpler installation process.

However, keep in mind that hiring an electrician for a non-corded disposal installation may increase the overall cost.

Nonetheless, both disposal options have a wide range of pricing depending on the brand, model, and features, allowing potential buyers to find a suitable option within their budget.

Energy and Power Outlet

Moen GXS75C Host Series 3/4 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal with Sound Reduction, Power Cord Included

When considering garbage disposals, one of the essential aspects to think about is their energy source and power outlet requirements.

Corded garbage disposals come with a power cord already attached and are generally considered easier to install. Simply plug the disposal into a nearby power outlet, and it’s ready to use.

However, this convenience comes with the requirement for an accessible power outlet under the sink.

Non-corded garbage disposals offer flexibility. Non-corded disposals require homeowners to hardwire the appliance directly to their home’s electrical system. This approach can be useful for those without a power outlet near their sink or those who wish to minimize visible wiring.

When it comes to energy consumption, both corded and non-corded garbage disposals typically require the same amount of power to operate effectively.

The difference in energy use between the two types is usually negligible.

  • Corded Garbage Disposals:
    • Easy installation by just plugging in the cord
    • Requires a power outlet under the sink
  • Non-corded Garbage Disposals:
    • Offers flexibility in installation
    • Requires hardwiring into the electrical system

Maintenance and Use

InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Badger 5XP, Power Series, 3/4 HP Continuous Feed, Black

Corded garbage disposals and non-corded garbage disposals have some differences when it comes to maintenance and use.


For both corded and non-corded garbage disposals, proper maintenance is essential for their longevity and functionality.

Some common maintenance tasks include:

  • Cleaning: Regularly clean the disposal by running cold water and a small amount of dish soap through it. This helps avoid build-up and odors.
  • Sharpening Blades: To keep the blades sharp and efficient, grind ice cubes or small bones from time to time.
  • Deodorizing: Combat odors by running citrus peels or a mix of baking soda and vinegar through the disposal.

However, corded garbage disposals may require additional attention since the power cord can be a potential hazard.

Ensure the cord is not frayed or damaged and is securely placed away from water sources to avoid electrical issues.


When it comes to using your garbage disposal, there are certain recommendations that apply to both corded and non-corded units:

  • Run cold water while operating the disposal to help flush waste through the pipes.
  • Gradually add food waste instead of overloading it, which can cause clogs or damage.
  • Avoid fibrous vegetables, such as celery and corn husks, which can wrap around the blades and hinder performance.
  • Do not pour grease or oil down the disposal, as it can solidify and cause blockages.

In terms of ease of use, corded garbage disposals offer the benefit of being ready to use right out of the box. They simply need to be plugged into a power outlet. Non-corded units require hardwiring during installation, which may pose challenges for those not experienced in electrical work.

Choosing the Right Model

When deciding between a corded and non-corded garbage disposal, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each type.

By considering factors such as the installation process, homeowners can find the perfect garbage disposal to suit their needs.

Corded garbage disposals:

  • Simple installation: Just plug it into an outlet, and the unit is operational.
  • Easier replacement: If the unit breaks down, unplugging it and replacing with a new model is a breeze.
  • Cost savings: In many cases, corded models tend to be more affordable.

Non-corded garbage disposals:

  • Cleaner appearance: No visible power cords contribute to a streamlined, clutter-free kitchen.
  • Greater safety: Hardwired disposals remove the risk of accidentally unplugging the unit during use.

Regardless of the chosen model, it’s crucial to consider a few other factors in the decision-making process:

  • Horsepower: Garbage disposals come in different power levels, ranging from 1/3 to 1.5 horsepower. Choosing the appropriate level of power depends on the household’s usage and the waste materials thrown away.
  • Noise level: Some models offer advanced noise-reduction technology for a more peaceful kitchen environment.
  • Size: The size of the unit should fit comfortably beneath the sink without creating a cramped space.

Lastly, always remember to check for compatibility with the kitchen’s plumbing and electricity systems.

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