How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Garbage Disposal?

Find out how much you need to invest for a garbage disposal replacement

Cost to replace a garbage disposal

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One of the more common kitchen appliances is the garbage disposal. This unit is typically installed below one sink in the kitchen, allowing for quick disposal of citrus fruits, vegetables (without peels), and other soft or liquid foods. You can also use ice cubes to help loosen food residue that is stuck to the blades or you can put in frozen citrus peels to improve the smell of the garbage disposal.

There are also many food items that should not be put into a garbage disposal because they can cause damage to the disposal and plumbing system. Avoid putting meat, bones, starchy foods, shells, nuts, grease, oil, cooking fat, coffee grounds, and fibrous vegetables that are difficult to ground up, like celery, kale, lettuce, and asparagus.

If the garbage disposal fails, there are several steps you can take to try to repair the unit, but if minor fixes won't resolve the problem, then you may need to replace the garbage disposal. Typically, a garbage disposal replacement costs about $150 to $950 or an average of about $450. However, the cost can vary depending on a variety of factors. Use this guide to get a more detailed understanding of how much it costs to replace a garbage disposal.

When to Replace a Garbage Disposal

Not every issue that occurs with your garbage disposal is serious enough to warrant a full replacement of the entire unit. In fact, most garbage disposals will last for at least five to 10 years before nearing the end of its life. With this in mind, it's recommended to try to repair the garbage disposal before committing to the replacement of the unit.

Leaks, power problems, and even dull or seized blades can typically be troubleshooted and repaired by an experienced DIYer. Hitting the reset button on the disposal can help resolve intermittent power problems, similar to restarting your computer. For physical obstructions and clogs, use a hex key tool to rotate the impeller and break up any items that are preventing the blades from rotating. Replacing gaskets or tightening seals can fix minor leaks in the disposal, though major leaks may be an indication that the disposal needs to be replaced.

If the frequency of problems or the severity of the issues affecting the disposal increases, then this is generally a sign that the entire unit is beginning to fail. Consider saving toward a replacement unit before your current garbage disposal gives out entirely.

Professional Garbage Disposal Replacement Cost

Completing the garbage disposal replacement yourself can save you between $100 to $400 on labor costs, but unless you have significant plumbing experience, then the best option for garbage disposal replacement is to contact a professional plumber to complete the job. While this does mean that the cost of replacement increases, you can be certain that the work will be completed to your satisfaction when you employ a pro. However, the cost of the disposal and the labor involved varies, depending on the garbage disposal type, material, and motor size.

You may have a continuous feed or a batch feed disposal. Continuous feed disposals are the most common option. They are controlled with a wall-mounted switch and run continuously as long as the switch is on. On average, continuous feed garbage disposals cost between $75 to $1,000. Batch feed disposals won't turn on until a stopped has been placed into the opening, increasing the safety of the unit. They also cost less, with an average price that falls between $75 to $300.

If you have an aluminum garbage disposal, the cost ranges from $75 to $300, but stainless steel garbage disposals have a higher price. You can expect to pay between $400 to $1,100 for a new stainless steel garbage disposal. As mentioned, the motor size also affects the price. A ⅓ or ½-horsepower (HP) motor may cost anywhere from $50 to $225, while a more powerful garbage disposal may have a 1 HP that can cost about $200 to $400.

It's also necessary to consider the labor costs to replace a garbage disposal. Typically, a disposal technician or plumber will charge about $50 to $100 per hour in labor costs. The time it takes to complete the work depends on whether you are installing a garbage disposal for the first time, replacing an old disposal with a similar product, or replacing an old disposal with a different type of garbage disposal. Keep these factors in mind when you are researching potential professional garbage disposal installers for your home.

Additional Costs

There are some additional costs that fall outside of the expected garbage disposal replacement price, including electrical wiring installation, removal and disposal of the existing unit, warranties, and brand costs. The average cost for an electrician to install a grounded outlet for the new garbage disposal ranges from about $120 to $165, while the removal and disposal of the unit can cost an extra $50 to $100.

Service warranties may be included with the purchase of the unit, but in some cases you will have to pay an additional fee to purchase an extended warranty or to increase the coverage beyond what the manufacturer provides. Another factor to keep in mind is the difference in price between brands. Budget-friendly models with uncommon brands, like Waste King, can cost as little as $75, but similar products may cost as much as $300 simply because they are made by well-known brands, like Moen. Consider the price difference between products and discuss your options with the installer before deciding on the right disposal for your home.