Is Installing a Garbage Disposal Worth the Cost? A Breakdown of Expenses

The garbage disposal installation cost is one small detail that often slips through the cracks when outfitting your new home. Garbage disposals make it easy to get rid of food waste so that it doesn’t take up space in the garbage can or create an odor in the sink.

Depending on the home’s plumbing system, these small appliances shred food into tiny bits that end up in a sewer system or septic tank. 

Garbage disposals are available in various sizes and materials. Because there are several options, homeowners need to consider the cost when choosing a garbage disposal that suits their needs.

What Is the Average Cost of a Garbage Disposal Installation?

So, how much does it cost to dispose of garbage? Various factors influence the cost of installing waste disposal equipment. For example, the unit’s size and the material used to build the unit are essential considerations in determining the ultimate installation cost.

Plumbing improvements and new electrical outlet installation might affect the cost when labor is included. When replacing a disposal, homeowners may utilize the following variables to estimate the cost.

Unit Feed Type

Continous & Batch Feed Garbage Disposals
L- Batch Feed; R-Continous Feed

Homeowners can select from two types of waste disposals. A continuous feed is the most popular, and a wall-mounted switch controls it and, as the name implies, constantly runs when turned on. Continuous-feed garbage disposals range in price from $75 to $1,100.

On the other hand, a batch-feed system necessitates a few more operating procedures. To use this type of disposal, you must insert the food scraps in batches and turn on the disposal by inserting a stopper into the aperture. This makes the device safer for both fallen utensils and little hands, although waste processing takes a little longer. The cost of a batch-feed disposal ranges between $75 and $300.

Material of the Unit

The material of a waste disposal unit has a considerable impact on the device’s cost. Garbage disposals are typically made of two materials: stainless steel and aluminum, and both are available in various sizes and designs, including continuous and batch feed.

Aluminum disposal models range in price from $75 to $300. While they are less expensive, they have a shorter lifetime (around ten years). They are also susceptible to corrosion and leakage. Stainless steel units cost between $400 and $1,100. A stainless steel disposal may be more expensive, but these systems can withstand the demands of high-volume homes without rusting or leaking.

Brand of the Unit

Insinkerator Garbage Disposal
Insinkerator Garbage Disposal

Like other kitchen equipment, the finest garbage disposals are available from various manufacturers, providing homeowners with several options in various pricing ranges. The garbage disposals often used include InSinkErator, Waste King, and Moen. Waste King has units ranging in price from $75 to $400, and InSinkErator offers units between $100 and $200, while the price for Moen disposals ranges from $80 to $300.

Motor Dimensions

The size of the motor has a considerable impact on the cost of waste disposal. Garbage disposals are available in a wide range of sizes, with the smallest suitable for single-family homes and the largest for commercial kitchens. To prevent paying too much or overworking a motor, homeowners should attempt to choose a unit appropriate for their household size.

A garbage disposal with a 1/3- or 1/2-horsepower motor, which sells between $75 and $200, is sufficient for a one- or two-person family. While a garbage disposal with a 1-horsepower motor, which ranges from $200 and $500, is sufficient for a 5-8 household.


The procedures for replacing the original unit are very standard. The device has to be unplugged and removed. Then, you can install the new device and plug it into the power source. The job is done after the testing is an appliance. This procedure generates an essential labor cost.

However, when installing a garbage disposal for the first time, lines may need to be cut, or an outlet installed. Homeowners may expect to spend more on labor costs for a much more sophisticated task requiring more labor hours. After purchasing the garbage disposal unit and supplies, average labor expenses range between $50 and $200.

Electrical Installation

Grounded power outlets typically power garbage disposals. A new disposal installation may necessitate the installation of a new outlet, which might raise the entire installation cost. A new ground outlet installation will cost between $120 and $165.

Provided an outlet has already been installed (for example, for a dishwasher), it is permissible to operate a disposal from the same outlet, but only when the two appliances do not surpass the circuit capacity. If a new outlet is required, homeowners must remember that installing a brand-new outlet is a job best left to an expert electrician.

Geographical Area

The average labor cost varies according to geographic area. A garbage disposal installer’s hourly wage in the United States is $75, and the average cost of installing a disposal for a house in San Francisco, California, is $140. Homeowners in the Washington, D.C., region should expect to spend more—up to $250 for the same job—while those in Chattanooga, Tennessee, can anticipate paying far less, at $125.

Additional Fees and Others to Consider

Garbage disposals make supper cleanup easier while protecting a home’s plumbing system. While they provide several benefits and can save a household from blocked pipes or stinky problems, they do not endure indefinitely. But how much does a garbage disposal replacement cost? Here are a few more cost-affecting considerations for households to consider when evaluating garbage disposal repair costs.

Replacement vs. Repair

A waste disposal may sometimes be fixed rather than replaced. If this is the case, a fast repair will almost certainly cost less in components than a new appliance for replacement. A basic fix, on the other hand, might quickly spin out of control if more problems are detected.

A garbage disposal, like other appliances, has a limited lifespan. Given the low cost of trash disposal units, a specialist can advise replacing one instead of having it repaired to save money over time.

Installation of an Extra Outlet

It’s typical for there to be an outlet under the sink in kitchens with dishwashers. If using both concurrently won’t blow a fuse, you may also utilize the same outlet for a garbage disposal. You will have to add a second outlet if the power needed by a disposal unit is too high. If no outlets are present, you must construct one. Both circumstances might increase the disposal installation cost by $120 to $165.


Aside from the materials and motor size of the garbage disposal, homeowners may choose from a wide range of modifications and amenities. A sink baffle, for example, adds $55 to $75 and helps reduce the harsh sound a disposal may generate.

Anti-jamming technology might potentially boost a unit’s price. A drain connector will add roughly $12 to the price of a new trash disposal if a homeowner wishes to run the dishwasher’s water through it. Sink flanges that prevent smells cost roughly $30.

Warranty Protection

A garbage disposal machine is typically covered by a two-year warranty, which safeguards the homeowner from manufacturing flaws. However, given that the average lifespan of a garbage disposal is 12 years, it may be worthwhile to pay for an extended warranty on a unit, which usually raises the cost of replacing garbage disposal units.

Remembering routine maintenance is advised even with an extended warranty since it may help a garbage disposal last longer and avoid frequent problems.

How to Save Money on Garbage Disposal Installation

Saving money on disposal installation does not mean sacrificing quality but selecting the best equipment for a given budget and carefully servicing it once installed. These pointers should help you save money on installation while extending your device’s life. Homeowners may save money over time by maintaining and safeguarding their investments.

1. Purchase a device with anti-jamming or auto-reverse capabilities. A device is less prone to deteriorate and needs to be replaced if blockages are reduced.

2. Before installing a garbage disposal, get multiple bids from plumbers or electricians. Make sure the quotations are split down by labor and materials so you can identify who has greater access to low-cost units and who costs more for labor.

3. Purchase a device with a reset button. If a device with this function clogs or overheats, it will shut down immediately, sparing the parts and motor from undue wear and tear.

4. Look around for the best device pricing. Investigate numerous vendors to get cost-effective pricing when buying a device from a big-box retailer rather than a contractor. Purchasing secondhand is another alternative, but remember that these systems rarely come with a guarantee.

5. Purchase a device with a reset button. If a device with this function clogs or overheats, it will shut down immediately, sparing the parts and motor from undue wear and tear.

6. Look around for the best device pricing. Investigate numerous vendors to get cost-effective pricing when buying a device from a big-box retailer rather than a contractor. Purchasing secondhand is another alternative, but remember that these systems rarely come with a guarantee.

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