What are the different types of Garbage Disposals?

A garbage disposal, also called a waste disposal unit (WDU), grinds up food waste to dispose of it more quickly and efficiently than simply throwing food scraps into the trash can.

How many different kinds of garbage disposals are there? There are many different kinds of garbage disposals, but the most common are the continuous feed and batch feed disposals. Let’s look at some of the differences between the two different types of disposals.

Batch Feed Garbage Disposal

The most common garbage disposal is a batch feed model. It’s exactly what it sounds like—after you turn on your faucet, you drop food waste down a drain, and once it passes through your blades and into your pipes, you turn off your sink. The great thing about batch feed garbage disposals is that they can handle nearly any kind of food waste. You won’t have to separate out fats, proteins, or fibrous material from your scraps if you use one of these garbage disposals.

And because all-butterfly models will grind up just about anything (including bones), even delicate materials aren’t likely to cause problems for batch feeders. In addition to being easier to clean than continuous-feed units, many reviewers say these garbage disposals are much quieter than other kinds as well. 

Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal

The most common type, and it’s also great for small kitchens is called a continuous feed, which is controlled by an electrical switch or button located on top of its housing.

To operate it, you simply press and hold down a button to start grinding up food waste, then release to stop. The more pressure you apply while pressing down with your hand or foot, on top of how full the disposal is, will determine how fast and coarsely ground your food waste gets chopped up. If there’s too much resistance, let go of the button and turn off power; if that doesn’t help, take off all new sink connections until you figure out where clogs might be occurring.

Once everything’s cleaned out, use tongs (or pliers) to grab any large bits of food from inside pipes so they don’t keep causing trouble in future meals.

Undercounter Garbage Disposal

An undercounter garbage disposal is a small device that can be installed underneath your kitchen sink, near an existing drain line. This is one of the more expensive options for installing a garbage disposal, but it does have some significant advantages.

Because you’re not cutting into walls or ceilings to install them, they are often easier to install than other kinds of garbage disposals. They’re also very quiet when in use; many people who buy undercounter garbage disposals find them much quieter than even their dishwashers and washing machines.

Manual Garbage Disposal

This type of garbage disposal requires no electricity to run, but it’s not very effective at grinding down your food and can be quite hard work. These have mostly been replaced by automated models today. These usually include a power cord that you plug into an outlet and allow you to easily switch on and off as necessary. They also tend to be much more powerful than their manual counterparts.

Different Ways to use a Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is a great invention that grinds up food and other organic waste. These devices come in all shapes and sizes, but they typically share three basic components: an electric motor, a grinding ring and a switch. Most work with ordinary tap water. The motor spins while blades inside cut up food into small particles that can then pass through pipes to a wastewater treatment plant or septic system for disposal. 

Garbage disposals help you reduce your kitchen’s environmental impact by cutting down on waste and conserving water, both of which contribute to cleaner air and healthier soil. You’ll also save money in disposal fees by putting less waste in landfills and reducing trips to incinerators and dumps. So what are you waiting for? Upgrade your sink today!

What is the Lifespan of Different Garbage Disposals?

Although it’s hard to tell how long your garbage disposal will last you, most homeowners can expect to get 10 years out of their unit if they treat it right.

The lifespan depends on several factors, including frequency of use and maintenance. It’s important to understand how a disposal works so that you can take care of it properly.Once everything’s cleaned out, use tongs (or pliers) to grab any large bits of food from inside pipes so they don’t keep causing trouble in future meals.

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More on Garbage Disposal Installation & Repair


If you're looking for more info, see our Garbage Disposal Installation and Repair Q & A or more Garbage Disposal Installation & Repair Blogs below!