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Garbage Disposal Installation Cost

No matter how beautiful or functional a kitchen is, they all have one thing in common: cleanup. While robots programmed to do the job instead are still out of the general public’s reach, making kitchen tidying easier and more convenient is less expensive than many people think. In fact, adding a garbage disposal to help chop up kitchen scraps and make the entire cleanup process easier and faster is a common kitchen-improvement technique that many homeowners can do themselves or with the help of a skilled plumber.

Table of Contents

  1. Cost to Install A Garbage Disposal
  2. Garbage Disposal Installation Cost Factors
  3. Cost Comparison: New Installation or Replacement
  4. Types of Garbage Disposals
  5. Advantages of Garbage Disposals
  6. Disadvantages of Garbage Disposals
  7. How to Install A Garbage Disposal
  8. Find A Pro

Cost to Install A Garbage Disposal

Depending on the current setup, installing a replacement garbage disposal can take as little as an hour—it’s a popular DIY job. However, when installing a new garbage disposal, adding elements like electricity under the sink is above many homeowners' abilities. In these cases, hiring a professional is optimal and typically costs between $94 and $174 for labor alone. Once disposal prices are added in, the average professional garbage disposal installation costs about $400 total.

Garbage Disposal Installation Cost Factors

Like any home improvement project, the cost of adding or replacing a garbage disposal can vary significantly based on a number of factors:

Type of Garbage Disposal

There are two types of garbage disposals, continuous and batch feed, as well as two common materials used in their construction, aluminum and steel. Continuous feed aluminum garbage disposals are on the lower end of the price range, while batch feed steel disposals are more expensive.

Additional Features

In addition to the type and materials used for a garbage disposal, additional features, such as a treatment dispenser for a septic system, dishwasher drain connectors and a baffle to protect non-food items from getting ground up or destroying the blades, all increase costs anywhere from $9 to $40 per element added.

Existing Infrastructure

Adding or improving both the plumbing and electrical connections for your garbage disposal directly affects the final price. Adding elements such as a switch for a continuous feed garbage disposal will cost between $5 and $10 in parts and up to $75 per hour in labor. Adding or improving grounded power will cost about the same amount.

DIY Vs. Pro Installation

Hiring a professional plumber or contractor to install a disposal costs more than doing so yourself. However, these pros make sure that the disposal is mounted securely to the sink and check that all functions, including electrical and plumbing elements, are working properly. Pro costs per hour vary based on their specialty and your location, but in general, they range from about $15 to $50 per hour in labor.

Types of Garbage Disposals

Cost Comparison: New Installation or Replacement

Installing a new garbage disposal versus replacing an existing unit is one of the biggest factors affecting total costs. Because new installations require electrical work, such as adding a new outlet or switch, homeowners may need to hire more than one contractor to do the job. In addition, adding features for a different type of garbage disposal (continuous feed vs. batch feed) can also impact the cost. The following chart reviews the average cost of some of the most common garbage disposal installations:

Job Details

Labor Costs

Additional Cost Factors

Replace Existing Disposal with Similar Model

$82 - $162

Ease of removal
Plumbing & electrical repair work

Replace Existing Model without a Switch to New Model with a Switch

$123 - $226

Electrical work may need to be separate
Location of existing wiring 

Installing a New Garbage Disposal Unit

$100 - $183

Addition of an electrical switch (see above)
Home/Kitchen layout

Types of Garbage Disposals

As previously outlined, there are two main types of garbage disposals, continuous and batch feed, and two main materials used to make them, aluminum and stainless steel. Each type of garbage disposal offers homeowners distinct advantages and disadvantages:

  1. Continuous Feed: The most common type of disposal, this allows users to continue to input waste as long as the unit is turned on. Though less expensive than batch feed disposals, water must be running while the disposal is on and the lack of cover presents a hazard for non-food substances.
  2. Batch Feed: Grinds foods in batches with a cover in place, which protects other items from getting caught in the blades. More expensive than continuous feed, batch feed disposals are also less convenient in kitchens that generate a lot of waste.
  3. Aluminum: The least expensive material option, aluminum garbage disposals are, unfortunately, prone to corrosion and denting.
  4. Stainless Steel: Made of a more durable metal, stainless steel disposals will not rust or corrode and are harder to dent. However, the least-expensive stainless steel models are often more expensive than the highest-priced aluminum options.

Advantages of Garbage Disposals

Advantages of Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals are a useful and convenient addition to any kitchen setup that can make cleaning up after cooking much easier. Homeowners with garbage disposals often feel like they can’t live without them. A relatively low-cost kitchen upgrade, adding a garbage disposal can also add perceived value to a home upon resale.

Disadvantages of Garbage Disposals

There aren’t many disadvantages to garbage disposals outside of the initial cost of installation. Like any addition to the home, opting to pay more for a higher-quality disposal is a good way to protect your investment and reduce the need for frequent repair and replacement.

How to Install A Garbage Disposal

As long as the electrical elements are already in place, including a switch for a continuous feed garbage disposal and an easy-to-access outlet, installing a garbage disposal is easy for most experienced DIYers. Simply follow these steps:

1. Set Up the Area

Turn off the circuit breaker to that area of the kitchen and set up a bucket under the P-trap of the sink. Disconnect the drain pipe, and then remove the sink strainer and clean the area around it.

2. Install the New Drain

Apply plumber's putty around the flange of the new drain. Place the drain into position, cover it with a towel and secure it by placing the disposal unit on top.

3. Set Up the Disposal Gasket

Under the sink, stack together the disposal gasket pack onto the underside of the drain flange. Tighten all screws to secure.

4. Prepare to Connect the Dishwasher Drain (If you have one)

Remove the drain plug and attach the wires inside the disposal unit in order to attach the dishwasher drain hose to it once installed.

5. Attach the Discharge Tube

Match up the discharge tube for the disposal to the flange under the drain. Attach it using the provided bolts and screws.

6. Attach the Disposal Unit

Align the disposal with the flange and attach to the mounting ring. Once connected to the drain, attach the dishwasher drain, T-pipes and P-trap to the disposal unit.

7. Test the Unit

Once all connections are secure, reset the circuit breaker and test the disposal unit according to manufacturer's operating directions.

Find A Pro

For homeowners who need the convenience of professional installation, ImproveNet provides free connections to plumbers and other contracting professionals who can offer you a personalized quote. Head on over to our plumbing page today to get started.

Last updated on Aug 18, 2016

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