How Much Does Garbage Disposal Replacement Cost?

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Reviewed by Jeff Botelho
Updated February 14, 2022
Photo: snyferok / Getty Images

Highlights

  • It’ll cost between $150 and $950 to install a new garbage disposal, or half that to DIY.

  • Your current sink set up, warranty options, and labor rates will factor into your final price.  

  • A local handyperson could install the disposal, but a professional plumber is best. 

  • It may be time to replace your garbage disposal if you notice a bad smell, leaks, or malfunctioning parts.

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Garbage disposals are incredibly useful for getting rid of last night’s not-so-popular veggie side dish, but they can quickly become a problem if they stop working. If yours is nearing the end of its five- to 10-year lifespan, replacement is almost always the best option.

The average garbage disposal replacement cost typically ranges from $150 to $950. For skilled DIYers, you could pay as little as $75 for a new unit and the tools to install it. Prices vary based on which unit you choose, as well as who you hire for the project.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Garbage Disposal?

The average cost to install a garbage disposal is around $150 to $950, or as low as $75 if you can do it yourself. Final prices depend on the unit you purchase and the price of labor.

If you buy a disposal at your local hardware or appliance store, talk with your plumber first so you don’t accidentally buy the wrong thing (been there). Or, your contractor can recommend options that are best for you.

Cost to Replace a Garbage Disposal Yourself

If you’re up for the task, you can DIY your garbage disposal replacement for a cost of around $75 to $365. Replacing the disposal yourself can potentially save you $90 to $250 in labor costs.

Before you roll up your sleeves, be sure to research how to install a garbage disposal. Replacing your disposal requires some know-how, so it may not be a great idea if you aren’t a seasoned DIYer.

Plan on budgeting around $25 to stock up on basic tools if you don’t already have them. If your garbage disposal doesn’t include the necessary wiring or your home setup needs additional work, you might need to set more funds aside.

Tools Needed*Average Cost
Hacksaw$6
Screwdriver$3
Silicone Caulk$6
Pliers$7
Plumber's Putty$2
Total$25

*Depending on the unit and your current setup, you may require additional tools.

Along with the price of tools, the disposal unit itself generally costs $50 to $340. There are a ton of options to choose from, with costs varying by brand and model. Below are some of the most popular brands and the price ranges for their products.

BrandAverage CostFinal Cost (Incl. Tools)
Waste King$50 – $170$75 – $195
Moen$90 – $240$115 – $265
GE®$105 – $285$130 – $310
InSinkErator$100 – $340$125 – $365

You’ll need to factor in the cost to hire an electrician (an additional $50 to $100 per hour) if you don’t already have a garbage disposal or you need electrical rewiring. You might be shocked (literally) to discover electrical work is extremely dangerous and requires professional expertise. Often, the money you save by DIYing simply isn’t worth the risk.

What Factors Influence Your Garbage Disposal Replacement Cost?

If your garbage disposal is making terrible noises or spitting food back up, you’ll first need to decide between garbage disposal repair and replacement. Unless you’ve got a newer unit, warranty coverage, or a combination of both, replacement will usually offer the best bang for your buck. Below are the top factors that will affect your price.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

The biggest factor in your garbage disposal replacement cost is choosing whether to DIY or hire a professional. If you can do your own installation, you could save around $90 to $250 in labor costs. But if anything goes wrong, you might end up dealing with residual expenses that could drive your costs way up.

Hiring a local garbage disposal installer eliminates the risk of improper installation—and water mixed with your toddler’s rejected dinner leaking into your home.

“I always recommend hiring a professional for any plumbing work, but a capable homeowner can typically handle a like-for-like disposal replacement,” says Jeff Botelho, Angi Expert Review Board member and Massachusetts-licensed journeyman plumber. “Some manufacturers offer multiple units that will fit the same footprint, often allowing you to upgrade to a slightly larger or more powerful unit. It’s another easy way to get a little more bang for your buck.”

Your Current Setup

Your disposal replacement cost will include removing your old disposal and connecting the new one. Some professionals charge by the hour, so any problems that crop up will increase the cost. Any damage to your old disposal or connection site may affect the time it takes, too.

Also, chances are your new disposal won't match your connection site perfectly. That means your plumber will need to provide parts or fittings at an additional cost.

Finally, if any electrical rewiring is necessary, then you’ll need to hire an electrician. Whether you’re DIYing the project or hiring professional help, prioritize your safety and don’t skip this important step.

Labor Cost to Replace a Garbage Disposal

When choosing who you’re going to hire, you can either go with a plumber or a handyperson. A handyperson may cost less than a plumber, but plumbers have the specialized know-how to handle a larger array of projects.

Also, many places require a licensed plumber to perform plumbing work. Not all disposal replacements require plumbing, but if the drain needs to be altered in any way, this should only be done by a licensed pro and not a handyperson. 

Handyperson Cost to Replace Garbage Disposal: 

Most common handyperson prices are around $60 to $125 per hour, plus the cost of materials. In many cases, this could be a cheaper option for labor. 

Plumber Cost to Replace Garbage Disposal: 

Plumbers typically charge around $45 to $200 per hour, plus the cost of materials. While they usually have a slightly higher rate, they might be better equipped to take on more complex installations. 

Warranty and Care

You might usually click the “decline” button when it comes to extended warranties, but in this case, it’s wise to reconsider. Choosing a garbage disposal with an extensive warranty will give you the best Plan B if something goes wrong. Many models include a two-year warranty that covers most damage, but you might want to pay for additional coverage if you know you’ll use your disposal a lot.

FAQ

Is a garbage disposal necessary if I have a dishwasher?

Many homeowners with dishwashers wonder whether a garbage disposal is necessary. After all, many dishwashers are powerful enough to handle bits of food with no issues.  

Still, your dishwasher should not act as a replacement for a disposal. Subjecting your dishwasher to continuous leftovers could lead to major clogs (and headaches). If you don’t want a garbage disposal in your kitchen, simply scrape away any extra food into your trash can or compost pile.

How do I know when it’s time to replace my garbage disposal?

Unlike other household appliances, loud and guttural noises are signs your disposal is in healthy operating condition. Once it slows down or stops working altogether, though, you might have a dying unit on your hands. Keep in mind the average lifespan is around five to 10 years, so it might just be reaching its expiration date.

Here are a few other signs to look for:

  • Awful odors permeating from the sink—even when you’ve done all you can to unclog the unit.

  • Leaks from the bottom often point to a damaged seal inside the unit, which calls for total replacement.

  • Delayed starts after you flip the switch could mean your blades have dulled beyond repair.

How can I maximize the lifespan of my garbage disposal?

Your garbage disposal can last up to a decade if you treat it right. Knowing what not to put down a disposal is a huge part of its care, along with regular maintenance.

Here are a few more ways to keep your disposal running longer:

  • Always run water while your disposal is operating.

  • Don’t overload the disposal.

  • Choose cold water over hot water.

  • Run your disposal regularly.

  • Throw one to two ice cubes in to clean and sharpen the blades every couple of weeks or after periods of heavy use. If your disposal smells less-than-fresh, toss in a few wedges of citrus fruits, too.

As with many appliances, proper maintenance is key for maximizing your garbage disposal’s lifespan. If everyone in your household is on board with proper care and maintenance, you should get plenty of years out of your unit.

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