How Much Does It Cost to Install a Garbage Disposal?

by Team eLocal
garbage disposal

Old disposal grinding your gears? Maybe it’s time for a new one. But who wants to spend a bunch of money on a new appliance?

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Knowing what you’re getting yourself into as far as price can help soften the blow. The total you spend on garbage disposal installation depends on several factors, including the type of machine you choose.

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How Much Does a Garbage Disposal Cost?

You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $380 or more for a residential garbage disposal. The size of the garbage disposal can determine the price of the machine. Depending on the size of the motor, you can expect to pay the following:

  • 1/3 horsepower motor: $50 to $115
  • 1/2 horsepower motor: $120 to $350
  • 1 horsepower motor: $150 to $380

You can save money by going with a smaller motor size if you have a small family or don't use your garbage disposal frequently. If your garbage disposal gets a lot of use — or you need it to tear through pretty gnarly scraps — going with a larger motor can prevent jams.

How Much Does Installation Cost?

For professional garbage disposal installation, you can expect to pay between $30 and $150 per hour to hire a handyman. The job will take one to two hours, so you could spend $30 to $300 on average for basic installation. If you hire a plumber to install a new disposal where there wasn't one before, you could spend between $100 and $450 for the installation. To have a grounded outlet installed by a licensed electrician, expect to pay between $70 and $250. Another potential electrical expense is adding a dedicated circuit, which will cost around $150 to $250.

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What Factors Can Impact the Overall Project Price?

The type of garbage disposal you buy and how complicated the installation is can impact the overall garbage disposal installation cost. Some of the factors that can affect the cost include:

  • Motor size: Larger motors make the machine itself more expensive, which increases the overall garbage disposal installation cost.
  • Machine size: If the new unit is larger or smaller than the old one, you'll need to make changes to the plumbing lines to make them fit. This can increase the installation costs.
  • Feed type: Continuous feed disposals, which you control with a switch on the wall, are the most common and typically cost less. Batch feed disposals use a stopper lid to activate the machine, preventing it from running when your hand is in it. They cost more than continuous feed models.
  • Material: Galvanized steel construction makes a garbage disposal unit more affordable, but it often isn't as durable as the more expensive stainless steel models.
  • New or replacement: If you're simply replacing an old unit, professional garbage disposal installation is usually much cheaper. It's just a matter of disconnecting the old one and installing a new one. If you're adding a disposal when you didn't have one before, the plumber will have to do more work. You might also need electrical work done by a licensed electrician to connect the power supply, which increases the overall costs.
  • Features: Some garbage disposals include extra features that make them easier to use or more functional, such as advanced grinding, anti-jam features and quiet operation. A model with more features comes with a higher price tag than a more basic model.
  • Brand: High-end brands cost more, even if they have a similar motor size and features. Read reviews on different brands to see if the extra money is worth it for a longer-lasting product.

Saving money on the garbage disposal can keep the project budget-friendly, but splurging on a more durable, higher-powered disposal that meets your needs can make it more cost-effective in the long run.

DIY Vs. Professional Garbage Disposal Installation

DIY garbage disposal installation can save you hundreds of dollars on installation costs, but sometimes it's worth it to hire a professional. Replacing an old garbage disposal with a similar type is the easiest situation for a DIY installation. You typically just need to disconnect the old unit and connect the new unit in the same way. The new model should come with a set of instructions for installation. If you need to change plumbing or electrical components or you've never had a disposal on the sink, the job becomes more complex.

Hiring a professional can keep you safe and ensure the installation process is done correctly. Evaluate your DIY skills with plumbing and electrical work before you decide if you should try it yourself. You might end up needing to hire a professional to fix your work if you don't install it properly.

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