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Do you have Insinkerator Cover Control disposal?

March 29, 2012

I thought I posted this hours ago, but as far as I can see it's not in the forum, so apologies if this turns out to be a duplicate.

We have two kitchens in our remodel, one in the main house and one in a small rental unit. We were planning to install Insinkerator Evolution Essentials garbage disposals with air switches (metal buttons that are installed on the countertop instead of the old "light-switch" style switches) in both units; in fact, we have already bought one.

But I just became aware of a different type of garbage disposal that is called a "cover control." It doesn't have any kind of an external switch. Instead, for safety, it only turns on when you put its cover on and twist it closed. This idea appeals to me for safety, even though no children are likely to be living in either unit.

If you've used this cover control type of garbage disposal, do you see any downside to it? I'd like to hear about any experiences. Thanks.

Comments (21)

  • zartemis

    The more general term for these types of disposals is 'batch feed' (as opposed to 'continuous feed' the more common kind).

    Try this search to pull up many gardenweb discussions about them.

    We put one in, both to avoid yet another switch (air switch or otherwise), and because we thought it would be safer for our family. I like it quite a bit. We got the Kitchenaid branded 1HP version, which I believe is made by Insinkerator. It's surprisingly quiet.

    Some things to keep in mind:

    You will need to keep the stopper handy to run the disposal.

    Batch feed disposals are typically wider and shorter than continuous feed (though models vary). Plan for it in your under sink plumbing clearances.

    There have been rare reports of the batch feed getting stuck on. Some folks put a kill switch under the sink just in case.

    It works magnetically, you'll need to use it with the sink flange it comes with or one made to work with it -- it likely won't work to swap it out for third-party designer ORB or copper flanges.

    If you have family members with limited dexterity who will be using the disposal they might find it harder to use.

  • nycbluedevil

    I have had a batch feed for years. We are remodeling now and I would never consider anything else. The thought of an accident with other types is way too scary. The only downside (and maybe newer models have fixed this) is that because it works magnetically, sometimes the magnet doesn't catch right away and the twist function can be a bit temperamental if something gets stuck in the stopper. Popcorn kernels seems to be a frequent culprit. That said, I would never do anything other than a batch feed for the sake of safety.

  • remodelfla

    Have a batch feed now (Franke) and love it!

  • clubtrump

    I loved my batch feed, and will be installing another on Saturday. I love the safety of it. Having no switches on the wall or extra holes in my counter, priceless!

  • k9fan

    Thanks for the follow ups! I'd like to extend my question a bit to ask whether you think a batch feed disposal is desirable even in a household without children? It occurs to me that there will be a bit of a learning curve every time a new adult wants to use the disposal.

  • brickeyee

    "The thought of an accident with other types is way too scary."

    There are no actual blades in a GD.
    The food is macerated between slingers on the rotating disk and the side walls of the GD.

    The moving parts in a continuous feed are well below any contact except purposely putting you hand in the thing.

  • jscout

    I've had both and count me in as another fan of the batch feed.

  • la_koala

    I had a batch feed in a house I was renting, and when we bought our house and planned the kitchen reno, that was the first "definitely" I put on the list.

    We're sans kids also. :-) What I like is that the batch feed forces me to think before I turn it on--and I have one more chance to check to see if there are any teaspoons down there and keep them from getting munched! At my parents' house with the regular switch disposal, sooner or later, a spoon gets munched because someone just switches on the switch, thinking it's the over-sink light switch.

    We got the WasteKing 1HP Batch Feed. It works well, though I was surprised the control is heavy-duty plastic. (When we were renting, the house had a commercial-grade one because the landlord also owned restaurants, and it had a metal control). I do like that the plastic control has a way that you can keep it in place, and the water still drains. Or you can use it to stop up the sink.

    We've only been back using our kitchen for a month, so I don't have any longevity advice for you. We are thrilled to even have a garbage disposal at all, after living in our home for 5 years without one and constantly keeping stuff from going down into the drain. :-)


  • marcolo

    I don't see how a batch feed achieves what I view to be the primary purpose of a GD--clearing out water sitting in a sink due to gunk. You now have to stick your hand into the gunky water anyway.

  • 2LittleFishies

    So glad this ? was asked! I was trying to find out more about these!

    Our current disposal is continuous feed and I'm SURE it doesn't work correctly. (It's old) If you run water into our sink for more than, idk, 10 seconds it doesn't go down! Not b/c it's clogged but the water stays on top of those black triangle flanges. In order to get the water down I either have to put the switch on for a couple of seconds OR I have to stick my hand into the sink & open up the flanges so it drains down.

    I was thinking that with Cover Control I'd have to stick my hand into dirty water to put the lid on! Does that ever happen? That would be a big reason to stick to continuous flow, if so. But like I said I'm sure my sink isn't working properly...

  • a2gemini

    I grew up with batch feed and now have continual feed. I wouldn't go back to batch feed.
    Knock on wood - I have not sent anything down the disposer that wasn't supposed to go.
    Yes - sticking your hand into icky water is a possibility.
    In any case - go with 1 HP! It is worth the extra $$
    Good luck!

  • taggie

    Batch to continuous convert here too. It's so much easier to just leave it on with water running while disposing of all kinds of stalks and rinds when doing a huge fruit / veggie prep. I could never go back to batch; much more of a hassle imo.

  • remodelfla

    my batch feed must be different...it's the only one I"ve ever had so I don't know any different. I never ever have to stick my hand into junky water. The top has a notch and a handle to hold. I just hold the knob/handle and slip the notch over an interior "nub". The water still drains through and it's powerful as can be. There is no chance of utensils slipping in since while using it; it's covered.

  • la_koala

    remodelfla, yours sounds exactly like mine re slipping the notch over the hub.

    marcolo, et al., my experience might be different re the "gunky water" because I don't fill my sink with water. I have a single large sink, and a dishtub on one side that I fill with water. I fill the whole sink if I'm washing something huge (like my giant stock pot or large cookie sheets)--and on those occasions have already dumped out the garbage-laden "stuff" down the drain prior to filling the sink.

    So, it does seem that answers to "what you'll be happy with" is going to need to be 'informed' by your typical use of your sink. :-) Without that background, it'll be hard to know whether "to batch or not to batch"!


  • beasty

    I have this type of disposal and I like it. I find it's inevitable that every so often I have to fish a spoon or something out of the disposal, and with the cover control I'm less stressed that it will get turned out by mistake and chop up my hand. I still worry a little, but less so.

    I guess I'm in the minority because I grew up with a continuous feed and prefer a batch feed, even with only adults in the household. I may have been scarred as a kid, though, because I have very distinct memories of being terrified as a kid of the disposal turning on while I or someone else had their hands in it.

    WIth mine, sticking your hand in backed up water is sometimes necessary. Doesn't really bother me, but I do keep an eye on it and run it pretty regularly.

  • marcolo

    Sure, you have to stick your hand into water, if you use your sink for prep. Stuff clogs.

  • msl511

    I grew up with batch feed and that's what I have now. I do feel like it's safer. I don't ever find myself sticking my hand into a sink full of yucky water and so I'm not sure why people find themselves in that position. You run the thing regularly and you don't end up with a sink all backed up.

    However, I will say this about the current Insinkerator approach to batch feed. They didn't used to be magnetic, they used to be mechanical, ie, you turned the cover and when tab A slid into slot B (or whatever) it went on. I hate, hate, hate the magnetic model. I find it collects little bits of steel wool that are hard to clean off and I find that disgusting. Every so often, it sticks to a utensil, which is mildly annoying. And it doesn't turn on as easily or reliably as the old style. Also, the plastic coating over the magnet will eventually wear out and and then it stops turning on all together. No, I have no idea why. Mine stopped working a couple of days before Thanksgiving last year. Of course, I was hosting and I NEEDED my garbage disposal. I called Insinkerator and was told that my unit was still under warranty and they'd be happy to replace the cover for free (yay!) but it would take some preposterously long time to get it to me, maybe a week and a half. I offered to pay for expedited shipping, but apparently putting it in a fedex box and sending it to me overnight was beyond their capabilities. I found a third party supplier on the web that sold the item I needed and had mastered the arcane art of overnight shipping, so I bought it from them. Of course, I had to pay for all of that. I also let Insinkerator ship me one for free, so now I have a back up for when the cover fails.

    Now, the unit itself works just fine. I grew up with Insinkerator and have always automatically bought Insinkerator. But between the annoying and idiotic magnetic design, the fact that the cover fails in ordinary usage in something far less than the life of the unit (the old covers used to be just metal and lasted the life of the unit) and the fact that they're uncooperative morons who couldn't or wouldn't overnight me a package, I will probably be looking at another manufacturer the next time I need to buy a garbage disposal.

  • Kai Lam

    msl511 took me a while to find but I could not agree more. The magnetic stopper is a dealbreaker and I've had to deal with Insinkerator's miserable customer service to try and get a replacement too after it wore out 3 years ago and now that replacement is showing it's age--why???!!! Very frustrating but not yet brave/energetic/rich enough to rip it out and replace it with something that doesn't have a magnet stopper. Insinkerator's design on this really fell through.

  • mamiller1056

    The Waste King brand batch feed does not have a magnetic stopper. It is a "notch style" as described above. When you push the lid down, there is a notch on the side of the lid that pushes a small lever inside the disposal throat that turns it on. Pull the lid out, the disposal turns off.

    A disposal should always be 3/4 hp or 1 hp, not smaller. The Waste Kings have longer warranties than Insinkerator. Mine has 10 years warranty.

    The Waste King batch feed also doesn't have the rubber flange. Those things get gross, and I am happy to be able to look down into the disposal without the flange in the way and without me having to touch it to pull something out.

    Everyone has different preferences. Pros and cons of each type batch feed or continuous. No wrong choice.

  • PRO

    My batch feed Insinkerator stopper works just fine. It's now nearly 1 year old. I have no idea if it's magnetic or notched - it just works and quite well at that!

  • mayflowers

    Mine is five years old and I've never had a problem with it. You do have to clean under the rubber flange and that's not fun. But I preferred the American made Insinkerator to Chinese made Waste King.

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