What Is A Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposals are a must-have in many kitchens throughout the nation. They’re a great way to cut back on the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills, and instead rerouting it to the sewage system for decomposition. When it comes to choosing a garbage disposal for your kitchen, you’ll have two options, one of which is a continuous feed disposal.

So, what is a continuous feed garbage disposal? How is it different? If you’re debating between the two types, continue reading to learn more!

What Is The Point Of  A Garbage Disposal?

If convenience is the name of the game, you probably have a garbage disposal in your home. Garbage disposals are standard in many households throughout the nation. They offer a quick and easy way to dispose of food scraps that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

The garbage disposal has impellers that shred the food into tiny bits, allowing them to easily pass through the drain and the plumbing that follows. They’re also handy for tackling odors that develop between trash days. Food waste that is left to rot in the garbage can lead to unwelcome smells in your kitchen. 

A garbage disposal helps mitigate the amount of food waste that ends up in the trash, helping eliminate the pungent odors of rotting food.

What’s The Difference Between Batch Feed And Continuous Feed Garbage Disposals?

Waste King Legend Series 1 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal with Power Cord - (L-8000)

There are two types of garbage disposals: batch feed and continuous feed. Although we’ll spend most of this article examining continuous feed garbage disposals, let’s take a quick look at the differences between the two appliances. 

The primary difference in the continuous feed garbage disposal vs. batch feed disposal debate is in the names: batch feed and continuous feed. As the name implies, batch feed disposals operate in batches. You have to put a special magnetic stopper in place to run these garbage disposals. This helps prevent random objects from falling into the disposal while it runs. 

With batch feed garbage disposals, you grind food waste in batches. Once the canister is full, cover the drain with the stopper to engage the mechanism. These garbage disposals are a popular pick for scenarios where adding an electrical switch for control isn’t feasible. 

How Do You Use A Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal?

So, if the batch feed garbage disposals operate in batches via a magnetic stopper, how do continuous feed models work? Well, these garbage disposals work via an electrical switch. The system is powered and controlled by a wall switch, sink-top switch activator, or a cord to a power outlet near the sink. 

With these disposals, you can run them as long as the switch is in the ‘on’ position with these disposals. You can continuously feed food waste into the disposal as it runs, hence the name. Continuous feed disposers tend to be the more popular pick of the two types. 

Pros Of Continuous Feed Garbage Disposals

Like any product, continuous feed garbage disposals come with a unique set of pros and cons. To help you decide if this type of garbage disposal is right for your home, let’s review a few of the main pros and cons. 

Waste King 1 HP Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, Food Waste Disposer for Kitchen Sink, L-8000
  • HIGH-SPEED MOTOR: The garbage disposal’s 1 HP, 2800 RPM permanent magnet motor is sound-insulated...
  • EASY INSTALLATION AND CLEANING: EZ Mount for a quick and easy kitchen sink installation, removable...
  • NO ELECTRICAL EXPERTISE NEEDED: Pre-installed power cord, no electrical work required
  • DURABILITY: Compact and lightweight garbage disposer with all stainless steel grind components

Efficient Operation

It only takes a few minutes to blaze through the food scraps on hand. Unlike batch feed disposals, you can scrape food waste into the sink continually instead of in batches. These garbage disposals will grind as long as the switch is on. 

If you generate quite a bit of food waste, a continuous feed garbage disposal may be a good choice for you. 

Easy To Maintain

Continuous feed garbage disposals feature a simple design, making them easy to clean. The open-mouth design allows you to clean it without taking it apart. Due to the simple maintenance demands, these garbage disposals are user-friendly.

Wide Range Of Models

GE Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal, 1/2 Horsepower, Good for Grinding: Beans, Potatoes, Peels, & Cooked Meat, Easy Install Kit Included, Non-Corded, Recommended for 2-4 Person Homes

Compared to batch feed garbage disposals, continuous feed garbage disposals are available in numerous options. Due to the popularity of these disposals, manufacturers have risen to meet the demand. You can find continuous feed models in varying sizes, prices, and shapes. 


Generally, continuous feed disposers are easier on the wallet than batch-feed options. From the cost of the system to installation and replacement part costs, these garbage disposals tend to be less expensive overall. 

Cons Of Continuous Feed Garbage Disposals

On the flip side, there are a few drawbacks to continuous feed garbage disposals. Here are a few things to keep in mind. 


Since they don’t have a magnetic cover, continuous feed disposals tend to be rather noisy, particularly compared to batch feed varieties. The magnetic cover allows batch feed garbage disposals to operate much quieter.

No Drain Cover

InSinkErator Garbage Disposal with Cord, Badger 5, 1/2 HP Continuous Feed

Another downside to the lack of a magnetic cover is that it leaves the drain open during operation. If something were to fall in the disposal, like a piece of silverware or a small dish, it could damage the disposal. 

Or, if you accidentally went to grab something that wasn’t supposed to go down the drain, you could injure your fingers. So, while the continuous operation is convenient, you need to be careful. 

High Running Costs

Since these systems run continuously, they consume more energy than their batch-feed counterpart. It consumes the same amount of energy, whether it’s grinding food or entirely empty. While we don’t think you’d accidentally leave it on (they’re not quiet by any means), make sure you turn it off when it’s not in use. 

Water Consumption

For smooth function, you need to run water while running the disposal. This leads to higher water waste, as it requires a continuous water source. Depending on what you’re grinding, you may need to run warm to hot water, while other items may do better with cold water. 

Splashing Waste

Without the cover on the opening, like with a batch feed model, food waste may splash up as it grinds. Usually, this isn’t an issue unless the chamber is extremely full or if there’s a temporary blockage in the grinder. You can buy a splash guard to combat the problem if you’d like.

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