A garbage disposal is a very convenient way to get rid of smaller portions of food waste instead of dropping it into the garbage and allowing it to end up in a landfill. A garbage disposal will grind the waste up into tiny pieces that you can flush into your sewer or septic system without worrying about clogging it. You may wonder what the average garbage disposal cost is since it mounts under your sink and catches the waste before it hits your pipes because this seems like a complicated installation process. You also have to factor in that you can pick out manual models or models that work automatically with a switch.
These disposals are nice since they are usually very unobtrusive, and anyone who looks won’t know that they’re installed by looking at your sink. They make kitchen cleanup a lot easier and quicker, and your installation process is relatively straightforward, contrary to popular belief. This is especially true when your sink is sturdy enough to anchor it firmly in place, and your current plumbing setup and wiring are ready for this new disposal. This can all cut down on your overall garbage disposal costs.
This system will come in many sizes that you can easily customize to suit your needs, and there are several features to consider like a quiet operation. These things will influence your final garbage disposal cost. Installing it usually costs anywhere from $250 to $400, with most people paying $300 to install an aluminum disposal with a new P-trap and a ½-horsepower motor. If you have an existing trap and install a ⅓-horsepower motor, your garbage disposal cost will fall around $200. On the high end of the price spectrum, expect to spend $1,500 to install a new P-trap and GFCI outlet for a commercial-grade 2-horsepower disposal made out of stainless steel.
If you’re savvy with DIYing, you can install it yourself to lower your total garbage disposal costs to around $75.00. It’s a good idea to hire a professional though if you’re not 100% confident in your abilities or if you don’t have the correct tools. If you’re wondering what the average garbage disposal cost is, this is for you. We’ll break down all of the biggest price points you should consider with this project, and this will help you create a budget and get a good understanding of everything it entails.
Installing a garbage disposal is best left to the professionals unless you’re 100% confident in your abilities because there are so many things that can go wrong. It could cost more to have a professional come out and fix any mistakes you make. 266/365: No Cracks! By bradleypjohnson / CC BY 2.0
How Feed Type Impacts Your Garbage Disposal Cost
One of the first things you have to do is decide on the feed type you want for your new disposal. They come designed to work one of two ways, and both ways are highly effective. Timing is the biggest difference between the feed types. They work through a continuous feed where you fill the unit while it runs, or they run through a batch feed system where you fill the unit, cover it, and then let it run.
Batch Feed System
This is considered to be a safer type of garbage disposal to install during your kitchen remodel. When you install this type of unit, you’ll fill it and cover it before you switch it on. If the unit gets full, it can take time to clear through the batch. If you forget pieces of waste, you’ll have to wait until the unit runs through the current batch before you add it and run it again. Since you cover it before you switch it on, it’s not possible to accidentally drop something inside.
It’s also important to note that you’re not able to reach inside when it’s running and hurt yourself. This system is great for people who don’t use the unit a lot and only run it when you get a full batch. A lot of these units come priced according to size, speciality features, and horsepower instead of type. Your garbage disposal cost will range from $75.00 and $300.
Continuous Feed System
You don’t need to cover this system when you turn it on, and it will run continuously. You’ll need to have your water running constantly when it’s on, and this can lead to wasting a lot of water. Once you switch the unit on, you need to keep adding waste to it as it runs through the first batch you put in. This allows you to get rid of a large amount of waste at one time at a quicker speed.
This type of system is hazardous to your fingers or anything you may accidentally drop into it since it doesn’t have a cover. If you have heavy waste at mealtimes or if you’re part of a big family, this unit is good. Your garbage disposal cost will depend on the horsepower, size, features, and materials, and most people will spend between $75.00 to $1,100 for it.
Prices for Different Sized Garbage Disposals
Your motor size for your garbage disposal will come listed on the package in HP or horsepower. This rating corresponds directly with how much waste your disposal can handle at one time without clogging or burning out. Bigger motors drive your garbage disposal cost up, both to buy and to run. They can burn out quicker over time too, so you want to buy the smallest unit that will still meet your needs and fit in your kitchen cabinets under your sink. The following sizes are for the unit only, based on family size:
- ⅓-Horsepower – This is a smaller unit that is good for one to two people. It can’t handle a huge amount of waste at once, and your garbage disposal cost will range from $75.00 to $150.
- ½-Horsepower – If you don’t mind spending between $75.00 and $200, you can get a ½-horsepower unit. This is strong enough to handle the average food waste of one to four people.
- ¾-Horsepower – For three to six people, you’ll want to get a disposal that comes equipped with at least a ¾ horsepower motor. It will cost between $100 to $250 for the unit by itself.
- 1-Horsepower – Bigger families need larger motors to keep up with the waste products, and your garbage disposal cost for this size will range from $200 to $500. It can handle waste from five to eight people.
- 2-Horsepower – Any family that has eight people or more in it should consider a unit with a two-horsepower motor. This will drive up your garbage disposal cost between $300 and $1,100, but it’s essential for handling all of the waste products without burning out.
Price Points for Different Materials
You’ll find that you usually don’t have a lot of material choices when it comes to your garbage disposals because the majority of them feature either stainless steel or aluminum. Both materials come in batch or continuous feeds in different speeds and sizes. These materials are popular because they’re less likely to rust or corrode with exposure to moisture, but your garbage disposal cost will go up more with stainless steel since it’s more durable.
This is a much more budget-friendly option of the two materials. However, aluminum can’t withstand constant water exposure or acid from food without forming leaks or eventually corroding, so you may find yourself replacing them much sooner than a stainless model. They typically have a lifespan that will last around a decade, so this garbage disposal cost still makes it very popular.
Aluminum is popular for a lot of single-person households or smaller families. You can choose from both bath or continuous feed models. On average, your garbage disposal cost will run between $75.00 to $300, including models with more features on them.
If you’re willing to pay a little more, consider getting a stainless steel disposal. There is no risk for leaking or corrosion, and they can last a lot longer than aluminum. You’ll find these units in higher-volume households that contain eight or more people, and they’re also popular in commercial settings or for people who like to entertain out on their patios or porches.
Almost all stainless steel units are continuous feed designs, but you will be able to find the odd batch feed system if you look around. This will increase your garbage disposal cost for the unit because they last longer, and you can expect to pay between $400 and $1,100.
The material you pick out will have an impact on your garbage disposal cost because one type of material is much more expensive, but it can also last longer and be more durable to save you money in the long run. Last caress by garann / CC BY-SA 2.0
Garbage Disposal Brands and Costs
You can choose from several well-known brands when it comes to your garbage disposals, and each company offers features and attributes that can make it attractive for your home. Going with a well-known brand will help ensure that you get high-quality materials and a solid build that will last, and a few of the most common brands are:
This is one of the most well-known and oldest garbage disposal manufacturers around. If you were someone who had a garbage disposal during the early years, you most likely had this brand. You can choose from a large range of units, including speciality picks that offer varying speeds and sound-dampening features to help the unit run efficiently. They come in continuous and batch feed systems, and the average garbage disposal cost with this brand runs from $100 to $200.
This is a very common brand in the plumbing industry, and this is the brand that most plumbers will recommend if you ask them. You’ll get a full range of types, styles, and sizes with this brand, and they have a lot of nice features. Some disposals will have sound reduction and power cords, and this allows you to keep your garbage disposal costs lower since you don’t need an electrician during installation. The costs start at $80.00 and go up to $300.
These garbage disposals come designed to be easy to use and install, and you can pick from many different sizes. Each model has a built-in plug that allows you to install it without hardwiring the unit. A lot of them have a minimum five-year warranty attached to them, and this ensures that you get consistent performance. They have continuous and batch-feed models available, and the unit’s size will determine your garbage disposal cost. It can range from $75.00 to $400.
How to Install a Garbage Disposal
On average, installing a garbage disposal can take between two and four hours. The time will depend on whether your existing plumbing is set up for the disposal, the disposal size and type, the current plumbing conditions and sink, and whether you have an electrical receptacle or outlet nearby. It may be a good idea to run a drain cleaner through before the contractor gets to your home to help prevent problems.
During the installation process, your contractor will shut off water and electricity to the area. They’ll remove the old sink flange and plumbing before cleaning it of any old putty. Next, they’ll install a new mounting ring on the bottom of your sink before getting the disposal ready to install. This is the time they’ll set it up for electricity and hook up your dishwasher if you need it.
Once they complete these steps, they’ll connect the drain before hooking the disposal to the mount. Then, they’ll reconnect the rest of your plumbing to the dishwasher and disposal. They’ll hook the electricity up before testing everything to ensure it works. Finally, the contractors will seal against leaks. Your garbage disposal cost for labor will run between $200 to $1,500.
Installing a Kitchen Sink with a Garbage Disposal Cost
When you install a new kitchen sink like a stainless steel option, you should consider either updating your current disposal or adding one if you don’t have one in place. Kitchen sinks come in a huge range of installation styles, sizes, and shapes, and they can make your garbage disposal cost fluctuate. If you have an undermount sink, it’s not possible to install the disposal on the same day. The plumber will have to make a second trip back to your home 24 to 48-hours after the initial installation to hook up the disposal because this will give the epoxy time to cure. You can hook the disposal up the same day with a surface-mounted sink.
On average, your new kitchen sink installation will run around $400 for a drop-in model. If you add in your garbage disposal cost, this brings the total to around $700. If you install both, your plumber may offer you a nice discount.
For an undermount sink, you’ll also have to add an additional travel charge into your garbage disposal cost because the plumber comes back a second time. Some plumbers may not charge an extra fee, so double check. If they do, add between $20.00 and $50.00 to your total garbage disposal costs.
Installing a garbage disposal can take one or two professionals, depending on whether you need electrical work or just plumbing. If you bring in two people, be prepared for your costs to go up each hour they’re working. New garbage disposal by dr.coop / CC BY-NC 2.0
Price for the Garbage Disposal Mount
The garbage disposal goes right under your sink’s opening. When you look down into your sink, you’ll see the sink’s flange and the mounting hardware on the side. The ring gets attached to your sink and screwed very tightly into place. This is where your disposal gets installed. The unit will come with a ring included in your purchase, but you’ll have to replace it eventually due to average wear and tear. This will add to your garbage disposal costs by $15.00 to $25.00 a replacement.
Price to Replace Your Current Garbage Disposal
On average, most garbage disposals will work between 10 and 12 years before you need to replace it. They can eventually fail for a number of reasons. For example, you may notice that you have to press the reset button frequently to get it to work or you have a problem with clogs. If so, it may be a sign that it’s time for a new unit.
When they install the new one, a lot of plumbers remove the old unit at the same hourly rate. Depending on the amount of time needed to install the new unit and the project’s complexity, your garbage disposal costs can start to rise. The pipes’ condition will also play in, but most removals only cost between $25.00 to $50.00. If they have to replace more pipes, it will cost more.
If the electrical or kitchen sustains damage when you replace the disposal, you might have to pay more for an electrician or contractor to come out and fix it. They may have to repair very minor electrical connections, restore or replace your cabinets or counters, or resurface the backsplash or walls.
To have a professional contractor come out, it’ll increase your total garbage disposal costs by $60.00 to $90.00 an hour for basic plumbing, construction, or cleaning projects. They can repair damage to your kitchen walls or restore your cabinets or counters. If you have bigger electrical issues, you’ll need a licensed electrician. This will cost between $40.00 to $120 an hour.
Cost to Repair a Garbage Disposal
Even though your garbage disposal can last for years, they can easily develop problems over time like jams, clogs, or cracked mounts. Your garbage disposal cost to replace a cracked mount is typically around $100 in labor and $15.00 to $25.00 for the piece. A jammed or clogged unit typically falls around $50.00 to fix. However, if they have to dismantle the unit to fix the clog or jam, this price jumps to $100 to $150. If the unit leaks, it might be time to replace it, especially if the housing cracks.
How to Maintain Your Garbage Disposal
The amount of money your garbage disposal cost ends up being for maintenance depends on the age of the unit, how often you use it, and the type of items you run through it. You want to run it frequently to keep it free of clogs and clear, and you should always run water before, during, and after continuous feeds.
You should never put whole, large, or solid items into the unit because this can cause clogs. Make a point to check under the sink frequently for leaks. You can also clean the unit periodically by pouring in a half cup of baking soda and then a half cup of vinegar before running it and then rinsing it with water.
Optional Features and Prices
There are several optional things you can add to your disposal to make it more convenient to use, but they can all drive up your garbage disposal costs. The more popular items are:
- Anti-Jamming – Newer disposals come equipped with anti-jamming technology built in at no additional costs. This feature can help prevent clogging and keep the unit running in top shape. Some older units will need a special wrench or key, but you can purchase this for around $7.00 each.
- Baffle – You can put a baffle around your drain in your sink to stop items from falling into your unit on accident like silverware. They’ll increase your garbage disposal cost by around $15.00.
- Dishwasher Drain – You can easily route your dishwasher to your garbage disposal for around $12.00. This will get waste and debris out of the pipes that the dishwasher would push through normally. It reduces strain on your plumbing.
- Push Button Safety Feature – Some disposals run on a light switch and others use push buttons. Your garbage disposal cost will increase by around $100 for the entire system, and you can mount it on the sink, counter, or cabinet. You can buy a push button kit for around $40.00 that gives you a sink top switch to operate the disposal.
- Scent Release Flange – If you have an unpleasant smell or odor coming from the disposal, you may want to invest in a scent release flange. This will seal the disposal’s cover to block the scents from coming through. They cost around $30.00 at most home improvement stores.
- Treatment Dispenser – Disposal treatments will help get rid of unpleasant odors coming from the disposal. You’ll pay around $8.00 a bottle.
Where to Find Garbage Disposal Installation Experts Near You
When it comes to installing your garbage disposal, it’s important that you pick out a professional company to help you with this project to ensure there are no problems. You can find them here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Asking questions when you start to get into this project will give you a good understanding of why it costs what it does and the labor involved. Each project is slightly different, so be prepared for fluctuations. Sink by Dean Hochman / CC BY 2.0
1. Do you need an electrician or plumber to install your new garbage disposal?
Almost any plumber you contact will be qualified to install your new garbage disposal. However, you’ll need to bring in an electrician if they have to install a new GFCI outlet to plug the disposal into.
2. How long does it take to install a garbage disposal?
Generally speaking, it takes between one and three hours to complete this project. However, it can go longer if you have to modify your current plumbing under the sink.
3. What should you avoid putting in the garbage disposal?
You don’t want to put solid or whole items into the disposal. You should also avoid dropping inorganic matter or bones into it since this can cause clogs or jams.
4. Can a garbage disposal go under any sink?
You don’t want to use a garbage disposal if you have a fireplace sink. This unit can cause the sink to crack and leak.
Your garbage disposal costs will depend on several factors, and knowing which ones apply to you will help you create a working budget. It also gives you a good scope of the project for when you call plumbers in your area to get quotes. Once you get it in place and up and running, you can reduce your waste and speed up your kitchen cleanup.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.