Garbage disposals can save you time and energy while cleaning up the kitchen. They’re relatively inexpensive and get rid of food waste quickly. This guide breaks down the average installation cost once you’ve selected the best garbage disposal for your home.
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Average Garbage Disposal Installation Cost
On average, the total cost to buy and install a new garbage disposal is $400–$500. However, you may pay between $150 and $950, depending on the type of garbage disposal and necessary labor costs. The cost of the garbage disposal itself depends on the following factors.
- Brand: Certain brands cost more than others.
- Disposal type: A continuous-feed garbage disposal costs less than a batch-feed garbage disposal.
- Motor strength: Garbage disposals with more horsepower are more expensive.
Kitchen Faucet and Garbage Disposal Installation Cost
A contractor can usually replace or upgrade your sink fittings while installing your garbage disposal. The typical installation cost for both the faucet and garbage disposal is $410–$1,300.
Kitchen Sink and Garbage Disposal Installation Cost
A contractor can also replace your kitchen sink while installing the garbage disposal, usually for a slight discount. This will add about $400 plus the cost of the sink to your installation.
Garbage Disposal Cost
Garbage disposal costs vary from $75 for the smallest, least powerful unit to $1,000 or more for commercial models. Most homes need a disposal with an average cost of $150–$250.
Garbage Disposal Cost by Motor Strength
Garbage disposal motor strength is measured in horsepower (HP), from one-third HP at the lowest to 2 HP at the greatest. The more people who live in your home and use the garbage disposal, the stronger a motor you’ll need. Most three- to six-person homes do well with a three-fourths HP unit. You’ll need a high-powered disposal if you cook frequently and want to grind up difficult waste, such as fibrous fruits and vegetables or animal bones.
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Garbage Disposal Cost by Disposal Type
There are two types of garbage disposals: continuous-feed and batch-feed. Continuous-feed models are the most popular because they’re widely available and easy to use. You simply flip a switch to whir the disposal into motion and toss in food scraps.
Batch-feed models have more horsepower but are harder to find and use. You must insert food scraps in batches (usually 3 to 5 cups at a time), place the cover over the opening, run the faucet, and twist or push down the cover to turn on the grinder.
Continuous-feed garbage disposals are more expensive to install because they must be connected to your home’s electrical wiring and require an electrician. Batch-feed units are more expensive up-front but have lower installation costs. They’re also safer since the unit must be covered and closed with a stopper before grinding up food waste.
Garbage Disposal Cost by Brand
Waste King is at the low end of the cost spectrum, and KitchenAid is at the high end, though the price doesn’t vary significantly across brands. All the companies listed below sell residential-grade garbage disposals from one-third to 1 HP. Most offer only one or two batch-feed models.
Additional Cost Factors for Garbage Disposal Installation
The following factors also impact the total price of garbage disposal installation.
- Disposal material: A new unit made of aluminum costs less than one made of stainless steel, but aluminum appliances don’t last as long.
- Garbage disposal accessories and upgrades: You can pay more to add the following items to your kitchen.
- Anti-jamming tools: Most new garbage disposals have built-in technology to prevent jams, but some older models require a separate key or wrench ($7–$10).
- Baffle: Installing a baffle ($5–$13) will keep utensils from falling in the sink and waste from splashing out. Some models may also reduce the noise of operating the disposal.
- Dishwasher drain connectors: You can run your dishwasher wastewater through your garbage disposal with a connector fitting system ($9–$15) to prevent clogs.
- Push-button system: You can purchase a kit to install a freestanding button ($40) to activate the disposal rather than using a light switch.
- Labor costs: A handyperson charges $50–$75 per hour to install a garbage disposal. A licensed plumber may charge up to $150 per hour.
- Quiet operation: Garbage disposals with quiet motors or sound-reducing seals cost more.
- Septic assist systems: Garbage disposals increase the amount of solid waste that goes into a septic tank, so homeowners with a septic system should use them sparingly, if at all. Some manufacturers sell more expensive “septic assist” garbage disposals that inject enzymes or chemicals into the waste to break it down further. Septic tank professionals don’t recommend these additives, as they can interfere with the bacteria in the tank.
- Wiring costs: Most garbage disposals require a nearby power outlet. Continuous-feed models must be wired into your home’s electrical system and require a licensed electrician, usually costing $50–$120 per hour.
Garbage Disposal Repair vs. Replacement
Broken garbage disposals can be fixed in some cases, but replacing them is usually cheaper since they’re relatively inexpensive.
Garbage Disposal Repair
Repair may be an option if your garbage disposal’s motor is still functioning. This costs between $50 and $400. Here are some signs that it’s time to call a professional to diagnose the problem:
- Jammed blades
- Repeated clogging
- Small leaks beneath the sink around the disposal unit
- Strong odors that persist after cleaning
- Unexplained or excessive noises
Garbage Disposal Replacement
You’ll need to replace the whole garbage disposal if the motor has died. Disposals have a lifespan of about 10 years, so look for a new one if your unit is older than that or showing one of the following signs.
- Delayed operation when switched on
- Lack of power not explained by an electrical malfunction
- Large leaks
- Slower than normal operation
DIY vs. Professional Garbage Disposal Installation
It’s possible to install a garbage disposal yourself, especially if you’re replacing a disposal with a similar unit or installing a batch-feed model. You can complete the job within an afternoon if there is an available electrical outlet, and you don’t need to alter the plumbing or wiring. You’ll need the following tools:
- Flat-head and Phillips-head screwdrivers
- Needle nose pliers
- Plumber’s putty
- Putty knife
Hire a professional if this is the first time your sink has been fitted for a garbage disposal, you’re upgrading to a larger, more powerful model, or the plumbing or wiring needs modification. Professional installation is also likely quicker and less messy than doing it yourself.
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How To Save on Garbage Disposal Installation Costs
Though garbage disposal installation is relatively inexpensive, there are still some ways to save:
- Install the garbage disposal yourself if you feel comfortable and the job doesn’t require significant modifications.
- Install a similar model to the old garbage disposal unless you need a substantial upgrade.
- Look for a garbage disposal with a good warranty, particularly if you’re purchasing an expensive, high-powered unit.
- Think long-term. A one-third HP aluminum garbage disposal has the lowest up-front cost but can only handle small amounts of soft waste, so you’ll likely have to replace it within a few years.
- If you want to replace your kitchen sink or faucet soon, have it all done at once to save on labor costs.
- Big-box stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s may offer discounted installation with the purchase of a new garbage disposal.
- Perform regular maintenance on your new disposal to keep it working as long as
How To Maintain and Clean Your Garbage Disposal
Though garbage disposals get rid of waste, they require regular maintenance and cleaning to function. Here are a few tips.
- Run a continuous-feed disposal regularly to prevent waste buildup.
- Use a constant cold water flow before, during, and after turning the disposal on.
- Break up large food scraps before grinding.
- Know which food scraps your chosen model can and can’t handle. Low-HP disposals can’t grind fruit pits, fibrous vegetables, bones, or gristle.
- Never pour grease or fats down the sink drain. They can thicken and form clogs.
- Don’t use chemical drain cleaners, as they can damage the disposal.
- Clean your garbage disposal monthly by grinding ice cubes and salt, followed by lemon peels.
It’s often more cost-efficient to replace a broken garbage disposal than to repair it. You can do the job yourself if you don’t need to alter the plumbing or wiring. You can hire a professional for a few hundred dollars if you’re uncomfortable completing the job or have a more complex installation.
How To Hire a Professional
A handyperson can usually install a garbage disposal, but you may need a licensed plumber or electrician in some cases. Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider your options.
- Ensure the technician is bonded and insured and that their license is up to date.
- Licensed plumbers cost more than handypeople, but they can often do the job quicker and handle underlying plumbing issues more effectively.
- Check if the contractor is rated or accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and whether there are any outstanding complaints.
- Look at review sites such as Yelp, Google Reviews, and Trustpilot.
- Get at least three quotes from different contractors to compare prices accurately.
FAQs About Garbage Disposal Installation Cost
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