How much does it cost to replace a garbage disposal? I took quotes from 122 plumbers in 48 states of the USA for replacing a garbage disposal, and here is what I found!
The average cost to replace a garbage disposal in the USA is $476. This cost varies from state to state, the highest being $612 in New York and the lowest $440 in Mississippi. It includes the cost of the new garbage disposal, labor charges, and materials required for the replacement.
Given below is a table that lists the average cost of replacing a garbage disposal in each of the 48 mainland US states.
|State||Average cost of replacing a garbage disposal|
To get these costs, I called 2 to 4 plumbing companies from each state on this list and received a quote for the job. Finding these companies was simple. I Googled for plumbing companies in each state’s major cities. I made a list of these companies and requested a quotation from each of them.
I asked for quotes for the replacement of a 1/2 HP garbage disposal in the local area. The quotations received also included the cost of the new garbage disposal, which was approximated to be $120.
These figures do not include the cost of any electrical works or extra power cords.
How much does a new garbage disposal cost?
A household garbage disposal costs anywhere between $40 and $500 depending on its size, brand, and features. The garbage disposals by the brand Waste King tends to be cheaper when compared to those of InSinkErator.
Garbage disposals are available in 1/3, 1/2, 3/4, and 1 HP sizes. The 1/3 HP ones are the cheapest, and the 1 HP ones are the priciest. Their average pricing is as follows;
- 1/3 HP: $76
- 1/2 HP: $92
- 3/4 HP: $160
- 1 HP: $220
The prices also depend on the quality of the material the garbage disposals are made of. Those made of galvanized steel are cheaper compared to those made with stainless steel.
Also, there are two types of garbage disposals based on feed type; batch feed and continuous feed. Batch feed garbage disposals cost more than continuous feed disposals of the same horsepower rating. The former type costs an average of $220 while the latter type costs $170 on average (source).
Another important factor that drives up the cost of garbage disposals is their features. Garbage disposals that have noise insulation tend to cost more. Some InSinkErator models that come with MultiStage grinding and other similar features cost as much as $400 and above.
In most cases, if you hire a plumber, the labor charges will cost more than the garbage disposer itself. Garbage disposals are simple to install, and good DIYers can do it themselves, saving a large chunk in labor costs. However, if you decide to hire a plumber, their hourly charges can be anywhere from $50 to $300. It will take around two to three hours to install a garbage disposal, including the plumbings. As per the estimates I received, the average cost in labor charges to replace a garbage disposal is $318.
If you want to install the disposer yourself, here is a good instructional video;
Cost of pipes and fittings
Replacing a garbage disposal also requires you to make changes in the plumbing. Some garbage disposal models can be simply swapped with each other without any changes in the plumbing; however, that is not the case of most. All garbage disposals have a 0.5-inch outlet. However, the height of the drain from the bottom of the sink may be different for the new garbage disposal, so the plumbing will need alteration.
You can buy everything for this as a kit, and it costs less than $20.
Other optional costs for installing a garbage disposal include the cost of an air switch and installation tools.
An air switch will cost around $42, plus installation charges. It can take around half an hour to install this alone. You can also opt to use a wireless switch instead of the air switch, which will cost around $45. Wireless switches are easier to install if you have a power outlet under the sink and so you can save on labor charges. (Suggested read: Garbage disposal switch options)
Some DIYers use installation tools like Dr.Disposer to hold the garbage disposal in position during the installation. These tools can cost $13 to $25.
Reasons to replace a garbage disposal
Garbage disposals are machines that do not need much maintenance. However, if they stop working or start leaking, there isn’t much to do to fix them. The only solution is to replace them.
The most common reason to replace a garbage disposal is rust. Many low-end garbage disposals have galvanized steel construction. This material will rust after a few years of working. This can create holes in the grinding chamber, and the disposer will start leaking from the bottom. Rust can also make the blades of the garbage disposals blunt, thus failing to grind food wastes. There are many methods to clean a garbage disposal of rust, but these methods won’t work after some time.
Another common reason is the motor being damaged. The motor can burn out of the garbage disposal is overloaded. There is an internal electrical circuit to cut off the power in such cases, but this can still happen. If this happens under the warranty period, most companies will replace the motor at no additional cost. But if the motor fails after the warranty period, the cost-effective solution is to replace the entire unit.