How Much Does Garbage Disposal Replacement Cost?

Lawrence Bonk
Written by Lawrence Bonk
Updated December 1, 2022
Photo: snyferok / Getty Images

The cost to replace a garbage disposal starts at $150 and depends on factors like materials, size, and labor

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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 life span, 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.

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Garbage Disposal Replacement Cost Breakdown

The primary cost here is the disposal itself, and prices fluctuate according to power, size, and construction materials. Labor also plays a part in determining your final tally, more so in the case of unique installations. 

Garbage disposal replacement costs, including labor, with unit costs ranging $50 to $340

Garbage Disposal Unit Type

When it comes to the wacky world of garbage disposals, you have two major types to choose from. There are continuous feed disposals, which cost $75 to $1,000, and batch feed disposals, which cost $75 to $300. Each type has multiple features that help determine whether it falls on the low or high end of the price range. Below, we focus on both types, who they are for, and any associated pros and cons. 


The garbage disposal’s primary construction material also impacts the overall replacement cost. Most disposals are made from either aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum is the cheaper and more popular option, as aluminum garbage disposals cost $75 to $300, depending on power and size. Aluminum disposals, however, are prone to leaks and corrosion, with a shortened life span of under 10 years.

Stainless steel garbage disposals cost more, at $400 to $1,100, but offer increased durability and minimal risk of corrosion or leaking. Stainless steel disposals are often found in high-volume households and commercial institutions.

Motor Size

A disposal’s motor size dictates how much food debris it handles simultaneously. Obviously, larger and more powerful motors cost more, so choose the right-size motor to suit the needs of your specific household to avoid overpaying. A small household of one or two people needs only a ⅓ or ½-horsepower motor, which costs anywhere from $50 to $225. A larger household of five to eight people benefits from a garbage disposal with a 1-horsepower motor, which costs $200 to $400.


Replacing an existing garbage disposal is a fairly straightforward job that should take a technician just an hour or so and cost $50 to $100 per hour. The installation process requires some leveling, making a few simple connections, affixing the exterior, and testing. However, if you are putting in a garbage disposal for the first time, the process likely requires a new electrical outlet, at the very least. It may also necessitate cutting and shortening the pipes beneath the sink to allow the unit to fit. Hiring a local electrician costs $50 to $100 per hour to get started.

Garbage Disposal Pricing by Type 

As previously mentioned, homeowners choose from two main types of garbage disposals, each with its own cost range and preferred use case scenarios. 

Continuous Feed

This is the most common style and what you likely picture when you think of a garbage disposal. These units are controlled via a wall-mounted switch and, as the name suggests, they continuously run as long as that switch is turned on. They have a tried-and-true design with decades of happy customers, but there are some safety concerns, as both utensils and hands can easily slip into the opening and cause major damage. Continuous feed disposals work quickly and efficiently and cost $75 to $1,000, depending on construction materials and motor size. 

Batch Feed

Batch feed garbage disposals are less common than continuous feed designs but have increased in popularity in recent years due to the emphasis placed on safety during use. These disposals won’t turn on until a stopper is placed into the opening, protecting utensils, hands, and anything else. They process waste in small batches, thus the name, which makes them much slower than the competition. A batch feed disposal costs between $75 and $300.

Additional Costs to Consider

While components and labor make up the lion’s share of costs, some additional factors impact any estimates you accrue. 

Electrical Wiring

Garbage disposals require a grounded electrical outlet to receive power. This is no big deal when replacing an existing unit, as the outlet already exists. However, starting from scratch requires an electrician to install a grounded outlet for $120 to $165. This is not an overly difficult job, so count on just an hour or two of labor and minimal costs for parts. 

In rare cases, garbage disposals plug into a pre-existing grounded outlet originally installed for the dishwasher, allowing homeowners to skip this step. Discuss this with your pro to ensure the circuit can handle the increased power needs. 


There are several well-regarded garbage disposal manufacturers out there, with more arriving all of the time. Some of the most renowned brands include Waste King, InSinkErator, and Moen. Waste Kind specializes in budget-friendly models starting at just $75, while InSinkErator’s garbage disposals cost $100 to $300. Moen models top off at around $300. Shop around for deals both online and at local big-box hardware stores. 

Removal/Disposal of the Existing Unit

In most cases, pros will scoop up the existing unit as part of the overall estimate. Since they are removing it anyway to make room for the new unit, it is not a burden to have them haul it away, as they are well-versed in local facilities that accept faulty garbage disposals. However, if there are accessibility concerns, such as a corroded unit that won’t move, the technician charges for the time spent getting to the garbage disposal for removal. At worst, this leads to an uptick of $50 to $100.

Repairs vs. Replacement

Garbage disposals last an average of five to 10 years, with some stainless steel models running for as long as 15 years. If your disposal is near the end of its life span, a replacement is the better option to avoid future service calls.

However, if your disposal is on the newer side and the maintenance issue is not overly complex—say it’s jammed or won’t turn on—a repair is the better bet, as replacement components are cheaper than a brand-new model. Talk to your pro to see if repair is an option or if they recommend picking up a new garbage disposal for a replacement. 


Most garbage disposals ship with a manufacturer’s warranty of at least two years, with many extended to three or even five years. However, disposals last for five, 10, or even 15 years, so consider purchasing an extended warranty to offer coverage beyond what the manufacturer provides. This should help cover some or all of the replacement costs so long as the repair issue occurs while the disposal is still under warranty. Keep up with regular maintenance to ensure the warranty provider has no reason to deny your claim.

Cost to Replace a Garbage Disposal Yourself

This is a DIY-friendly job for someone with a modest level of plumbing experience, particularly if you have spent some time underneath your sink. Doing it yourself saves you $100 to $400 on labor costs, depending on the complexity of the installation. You will, however, need some specialized tools to fit the disposal underneath the sink, such as a hacksaw to cut down pipes, pliers, caulk, and plumber’s putty. The job is easier if you are replacing an existing unit with the exact same model or one with similar dimensions. 

Cost to Install It Yourself vs. Hiring a Pro 

While possible for amateurs, this is not an especially easy job, so contacting a local garbage disposal technician is a good idea for a number of reasons. Not only will they have plenty of experience to get the job done quickly and correctly, but they will also notice any other issues while underneath the sink, such as leaky pipes. Additionally, pros are insured and certified, so you are covered if anything goes wrong during the installation or even within a reasonable period after the job is completed. 

How to Save Money When Replacing Your Garbage Disposal 

Here are some common-sense tips to ensure you make the most of your budget for a garbage disposal replacement.

  • Buy used: Garbage disposals are hearty appliances, so used models are not too risky, particularly if they were taken out of service for reasons other than repairs. Buying a used model saves up to 50 percent, but have your technician inspect the unit before going ahead with the purchase. Better yet, have them source it for you.

  • Repair if possible: Repairs are cheaper than replacements so long as the issue is minor. If your disposal is jammed, for instance, it likely requires a simple unclogging. If it won’t power on, it could just be a matter of an accidentally pressed reset button. Talk to your pro to discuss budget-friendly repair options. 

  • Start small: The size of the motor is a primary cost factor when buying a new garbage disposal. Start small to save some money here. If you live with just one or two people, go with the smallest option available, which costs $75 to $200. 

  • Prepare the area: Any work you complete ahead of time saves you on labor costs. In other words, clear the immediate area so the disposal is easily accessible. If you have the experience, remove the faulty disposal ahead of time. 

  • Gather multiple estimates: Component prices are fixed, but labor is not. Get several estimates to find a pro that meets your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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