Professionals can install garbage disposals in homes for the first time or replace existing disposals. Homeowners can either purchase the new disposal themselves and provide it to the professional for installation, or let the installation professional purchase the disposal and include it in the overall cost. The average cost of installation depends on the type of garbage disposal, whether it’s a new disposal installation or replacement of an old model, and any necessary electrical connections or plumbing work.
Type of garbage disposal
There are two kinds of garbage disposers: continuous feed and batch feed. Continuous feed disposals are less expensive and more common, and cost $80-$200 on average (depending on the size and model). Continuous feed disposals are easy to operate: you run water, flip a switch, and feed the disposal with table scraps and compostable waste. With this type, however, bottle caps, silverware and other metal debris can sometimes get accidentally caught in the blades. Batch feed disposals are more expensive (the average cost is $100-$350 depending on the size and model) but less common. They are safer to use but not recommended for households that generate a lot of waste. Instead of a switch, the batch feed garbage disposal is activated by putting a stopper in the drain.
Garbage disposals can be made of either aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum is less expensive but more prone to leaking and corrosion. Stainless steelblades are also more durable. People with a septic system will need to check with the septic system installer or manufacturer to find out which garbage disposal models are compatible with the system.
Capacity and noise
While garbage disposals aren’t expensive, you get what you pay for. In general, the higher the price, the quieter the disposal, the greater the horsepower and the higher the capacity. Higher-priced disposals are also less likely to clog and usually require less water to run. Some more expensive models can recognize potential jams and automatically reverse the blades to prevent damage, or provide overload protection to keep the unit from overheating. If your existing garbage disposal is temperamental or more than 10 years old, installing a new garbage disposal could pay for itself in water and noise savings.
Most garbage disposal installers charge an hourly rate and can set up a garbage disposal in a couple of hours. Removing an old garbage disposal does take additional time, but all the necessary plumbing and electrical wiring will already be in place for installing the new one. The average cost of labor for a garbage disposal installer across the U.S. is $90; you are likely to spend between $55 and $145, depending on where you live and the specific project details.
Electrical and plumbing
A garbage disposal needs electrical power and a switch to turn it on. If power is not readily accessible via an outlet, a switch is not conveniently located or a new circuit is required, an electrician will need to set up the wiring. Parts for this task are cheap, but hourly labor is relatively expensive. However, the job shouldn’t take more than an hour or two at most. In addition, a plumber may need install the correct sink drain before a garbage disposal installation; they also usually charge by the hour.
Professional garbage disposal installers can add some interesting garbage disposal features for an additional cost. For example, the dishwasher can be connected to the garbage disposal so that dirty dishwater goes into the disposal. Added baffles can prevent silverware from entering the garbage disposal. Push-button operation avoids the need for an electrical switch in the wall. All of these upgrades are relatively inexpensive.
- The electrical and plumbing work involved in garbage disposal installation make the job potentially hazardous. That’s a great reason to hire a professional installer.