Continuous-feed garbage disposers are the most common, and are what most builders standardize with. This type of disposer is inexpensive and convenient -- you merely flip a switch to turn it on and off, and as the name implies, you can continuously add food scraps to the disposer. Continuous-feed garbage disposals also allow water to flow down the drain while the garbage disposal is operating, which can reduce the chance of jamming. A flexible rubber splashguard covers the drain hole to prevent food from flying back out. If the splashguard is removable, it's easier to look or reach into the drain hole and locate a blockage (or rescue items that may have accidentally fallen in).
Batch-feed garbage disposals cost more, but they don't have the added expense of installing a wall switch. Because the drain hole must be covered to activate the blades, these units are considered safer to operate. Owners say there are a few drawbacks to batch-feed garbage disposals, however. They may malfunction and not turn off when the cover is removed, and the cover is an additional piece of equipment to keep track of.
If you have a septic tank it may not have the capacity to handle the added debris from using one of these regular garbage disposals. As long as it won't void the warranty on your septic tank, you might consider a special type of garbage disposal, like the InSinkErator Evolution Septic Assist, which releases bacteria into the septic tank to help break down food waste more quickly.
Editors at HomeDepot.com say, "Installing a garbage disposal requires average plumbing and mechanical skills, and usually takes between 1 and 2.5 hours to complete." The fastest jobs involve installing a replacement disposal unit that works with the existing sink flange and drain pipes. A professional may be a better option for installations that require a power outlet under the sink to plug the garbage disposal into and/or a switch to activate a continuous-feed garbage disposal.
In addition to type and ease of installation, experts and owners suggest looking for the following when choosing a garbage disposal: