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Corded vs Non-Corded Garbage disposals: Comparison

This article compares garbage disposals that come with and without preinstalled power cords.

Some garbage disposals come with a pre-installed power cord, while some don’t. Why is that so? And if you are buying, which is the better option for you? What is the advantage of corded disposals over non-corded ones?

Garbage disposals with preinstalled power cords are easier to install, and they are handy if you are using an air switch. On the other hand, non-corded garbage disposals are slightly cheaper than their corded versions.

Corded and non-corded garbage disposals each have their own set of pros and cons. Knowing the difference can help you choose the best one for your kitchen needs. So what exactly is the difference between a corded and non-corded garbage disposal? In this article, I’ll go over all of that and more.

What is the difference between a corded and non-corded garbage disposal?

There are two ways to connect garbage disposals to the electric power supply. You can hardwire them into a dedicated circuit directly or use a power cord to plug the disposal into a wall outlet that is usually present in the cabinet under the sink.

While it sounds easier to plug the disposal into the wall outlet, not all garbage disposals come with a power cord!

So, as the name suggests, corded garbage disposal has a pre-installed cord at the time of the purchase, while non-corded garbage disposal doesn’t have a pre-installed cord.

If you want to hardwire your garbage disposal, you don’t need a power cord. But if you’re going to plug it into an outlet, you have two choices. Either you can reuse the cable from your old garbage disposal, or you can buy a new one for the new disposal. So, if your new disposal does not have a pre-installed cord or you are buying a garbage disposal for the first time, buy the power cord with your disposal, as you wouldn’t want to make another trip to the market!

Advantages of corded and non-corded garbage disposal

These days, most garbage disposals come without a pre-installed power cord, while cords are sold separately. Corded and non-corded garbage disposals both have their specific advantages. You can choose the one that is more suitable for your needs and the type of wiring under your sink.

The main advantage of corded disposal is that you don’t need to hire an electrician if you already have an outlet under the sink. It saves you the labor charges of a plumber or electrician.

Installation differences

Many new DIYers find it challenging to install a non-corded garbage disposal. On the contrary, garbage disposal with a pre-installed cord is easier to install as you just have to plug it in the outlet, and you are done!

But if you want to install corded disposal and don’t have a power outlet, I recommend you hire a licensed electrician to install an outlet. DIYing can lead to problems if the outlet isn’t installed correctly.

However, even with a pre-installed power cord, you sometimes have to hardwire the garbage disposal. For example, a faulty outlet can be a reason to hardwire corded garbage disposal.

On the other hand, you must install a power cord with non-corded disposal. You can use the cord from the old disposal, saving you the expense of buying a new cord. But, if you are not very handy with electrical work, you have to hire an electrician to do the job for you.

In addition, if you are using a wireless switch or an air switch to operate the garbage disposal, it should have a power cord. Otherwise, your only option is to hardwire the disposal to the mains.

Cost differences

The prices of corded and non-corded disposals are primarily based on the features they offer rather than the inclusion or exclusion of a power cord. However, corded garbage disposals are a bit pricier than their non-corded versions.

For example, the price of InSinkErator Badger 5 with a pre-installed power cord is more than that of its non-corded version.

Which brands sell corded, and which ones sell non-corded disposals?

InSinkErator, Waste King, and Moen are America’s three top garbage disposal brands. Out of these three, Waste King and Moen offer pre-installed power cords. So there isn’t a need to purchase a cord separately. While InSinkErator doesn’t include a pre-installed power cord, they do offer an option to purchase a power cord.

Let’s take this opportunity to see which popular models have a pre-installed power cord and which models don’t.

Examples of corded disposals

There are several models with pre-installed power cords, and choosing just a few is a great challenge. I am listing two waste disposals based on my personal preference and their popularity among the users.

Waste King L-8000

It is one of the best and most expensive disposals that Waste King offers. This exceptional waste disposal has a 1 HP ultra-powerful motor and comes with a pre-installed power cord. It means that you can plug it in the outlet and start using your disposal instantly.

Moen GXS75C

At a medium-range price, GXS is reliable kitchen equipment. This model has an impressive ¾ HP Vortex permanent magnet motor. The pre-installed power cord makes the installation very straightforward. 

Some non-corded disposal

I will briefly discuss two InSinkErator models that don’t come with an attached power cord. In my opinion, these disposals have unique features, so being non-corded is a minor shortcoming.

InSinkErator Evolution Excel

InSinkErator Evolution Excel garbage disposal

This model has a high price tag, but its quality and performance are unmatched. An extra-powerful 1 HP induction motor with auto-reverse grind system does its job efficiently. Its 7-year warranty makes up for being non-corded!

Read my complete review of Evolution Excel for more details.

InSinkErator Badger 500

InSinkErator Badger 5 garbage disposal

InSinkErator’s badger series is a superb quality range, and Badger 500 is no exception. It has a ½ HP motor sufficient for everyday grinding tasks for a medium-sized household. It does not include a power cord but works effortlessly. Moreover, its price is very affordable when compared with disposals of similar specifications.


If you’re looking to buy garbage disposal, it’s crucial to weigh all your options before deciding. Besides choosing between corded or non-corded disposals, consider other features as well.

If you’re simply replacing old hardwired garbage disposal with a new one, however, it makes sense to buy disposal without a pre-installed cord. This way, you can just hardwire the new one using the old cord. But, if you are buying disposal for the first time and have an electric outlet under your sink, then buying one with a pre-installed cord is more logical.

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.