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InSinkErator Badger 500 vs Badger 900: Differences Explained

Badger 500 and Badger 900 garbage disposals are made by InSinkErator. Here in this article, I am doing a comparison of these two models highlighting their differences and similarities.

The main difference between Badger 500 and Badger 900 is the motor power. Badger 500 is powered by a 1/2 HP motor, whereas Badger 900 is powered by a 3/4 HP motor. In addition, Badger 900 has a warranty of 6 years which is much longer than the 3-year warranty of Badger 500.

But these are not the only differences between these garbage disposals. Here is the side by side comparison of their specifications and features;

SpecificationsBadger 500Badger 900
Made byInSinkEratorInSinkErator
Power1/2 HP3/4 HP
Speed1725 RPM1725 RPM
Overall height11.5 inches12.625 inches
Overall width6.3125 inches6.75 inches
ConstructionGalvanized SteelStainless Steel
Grind chamber capacity26oz26oz
Feed typeContinuousContinuous
A side by side comparison of InSinkErator Badger 500 and Badger 900 garbage disposals

Comparison of performance

In terms of performance, InSinkErator Badger 900 is ahead of Badger 500 by a mile. Badger 900 is powered by a 3/4 HP motor, while the Badger 500 has a 1/2 HP motor. This means Badger 900 has much more power at its disposal for grinding food wastes when compared to Badger 500. I think the comparison of performance is unfair because these two garbage disposals are at different power ratings.

The Badger 900 is a good choice for a larger household with 3 to 5 people, while Badger 500 is best for a smaller household with 2 to 3 people. Even though the power rating of their motors is different both garbage disposals cannot dispose of fibrous or hard food items.

Both InSinkErator Badger 500 and 900 are continuous feed type garbage disposals where you can continuously add food wastes while running the units. This makes it easier to get rid of the garbage faster.

Even though both Badger units have different motors, their chamber capacities are the same 26oz. This means that both units take almost the same time to get rid of food waste. The chamber capacity is not much relevant here because these are continuous feed type disposals however it limits the volume of food scraps you can shove into the units without jamming them.

Both Badger 500 and 900 use DuraDrive induction motors, and both of them run at the same speed despite the difference in their power ratings. The speed of 1725 RPM cannot be called fast when compared to that of many competing models but that is enough to grind food scraps into pulp.

Comparison of dimensions

The overall dimensions of InSinkErator Badger 500 and 900 are slightly different.

Badger 900 is larger than Badger 500. The former has an overall height of 12.625 inches and a width of 6.75 inches, while the latter has a height of 11.5 inches and a width of 6.3125 inches.

The shipping weight of Badger 900 is around 16 lbs, whereas that of Badger 500 is around 11 lbs. This difference in weight and dimensions is due to the difference in motor size. Since Badger 900 has a bigger motor, it needs to be bigger than Badger 500 even though the chamber capacities of both units are the same.

While the dimensions of both disposals are different, the heights of the disposals from the sink flange to the center of the drainpipes are the same. So is the length from the center of the unit to that of the elbow. This means that you don’t need to make any changes in your plumbing to replace Badger 900 with 500 or vice versa.

Comparison of construction

The build quality of Badger 900 is better than that of the InSinkErator Badger 500. Badger 900 is constructed using Stainless steel. Its grinding components and grinding chamber are made of this metal, while those of Badger 500 is made of Galvanized steel. As you know, stainless steel is more resistant to wear and tear than galvanized steel in most cases, so Badger 900 ought to be more durable than the other.

The designs of both garbage disposals are different. InSinkErator Badger 900, to my eyes, looks better than Badger 500 because it has a cleaner, minimal design. But that is just my opinion. In fact, people shouldn’t even look at the design of these things because they will be hidden away under the countertop, so I don’t see any sense in paying extra for a better-looking disposer. However, many people do it, which is why they aren’t made ugly even though that would be more economical.

Installation of Badger 500 vs 900

Both Badger 500 and Badger 900 are installed the same way. They use the same 3-bolt mount to connect them to the sink. It is a type of twist-and-lock system which makes the installation easier. It has stainless steel construction and has zero chances of leaking as it is durable against corrosion.

Can you replace an InSinkErator Badger 500 with a Badger 900?

Yes, a Badger 500 garbage disposal can be replaced with a Badger 900 and vice versa because they use the same mounting assembly and the length of the drain tubings, as well as the drain outlet’s position for both the units.

A comparison of the dimensionsof Badger 500 and 900
The drain height of Badger 500 and 900 are the same

Let me clarify, as you can see in the above picture, the height of the drain pipe from the sink is 6 inches for both InSinkErator Badger 900 and 500. Also, the length from the center of the garbage disposals to that of the elbow is the same 5 inches for both units. This means that there is no need to make any changes in the plumbing to replace one of these garbage disposals with the other. In short, it is pretty easy to replace a Badger 500 with a 900 or vice versa.

Warranty & price comparison

The warranty coverage offered for Badger 900 is 6-years whereas that for Badger 500 is 3-years. This difference may be owing to the better build quality of Badger 900.

The warranty covers the costs of labor and parts, and the technician will come to your home at no cost. So basically, if any of these units have problems within the warranty period, they will be repaired or replaced without any additional costs. Please note that this warranty is only for residential use of the garbage disposer units.

The price of the Badger 900 is slightly more than that of the Badger 500. Both Badger 500 and 900 are exclusive models made for HomeDepot so you can buy them only there.

InSinkErator Badger 500 or 900: Which is a better choice?

Badger 900 costs more than Badger 500. However, its better construction, longer warranty and extra power are well worth that additional price. I would recommend anyone to go with a Badger 900 if you can spend a little extra money.

Additional reading:

My name is Thomas Anderson, author of DisposalQA. I have 15 years experience working as a plumber in CA, and this is where I answer common questions about garbage disposals.

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