I have always had an existing garbage disposal in my kitchen and so I really never gave too much thought to exactly what to pay for one. Now I am looking at garbage disposals to go into my renovated kitchen and I want to be sure I get a disposal that can handle the needs of my family (preschool aged boys included) while at the same time being sure I don’t overpay.
Thankfully there is quite a range of disposal options as well as lots of factors that determine the cost of purchasing and installing a garbage disposal.
If you're in the market for a new disposal, checkout our roundup of the best garbage disposals, which gives you a wide range of pricing to choose from.
We'll look at the cost of labor and the cost of the unit itself.
Cost of Labor
One of the primary factors of cost is the installation process and the time to do the install. Obviously we applaud the efforts of our DIY readers as we share a common love for rolling up our sleeves and getting home projects done on our own time (with or without blood, sweat and tears). And this route can be a great choice for many especially if you are not new to home projects and are replacing an existing disposal.
Installing the garbage disposal yourself becomes less cut and dried and more “dicey” however, (no pun intended) if your sink has never been outfitted for a disposal. In that case you may want to step away from the pipe wrench and the wire nuts and call in a professional.
As per usual when talking about service industry professionals exactly what you will pay can vary greatly depending on location and the time spent on labor. A general rule of thumb however is that installing a brand new disposal will take about 2-3 hours and can range from $120-$150.
Another factor to consider when deciding on making this a DIY project or one for a pro is whether you have a septic system. If you do, you need to make sure the kind of disposal you purchase is compatible with your system.
Here are several of the best garbage disposals for septic systems you might want to consider.
Cost of the Disposal Unit
Now that the issue of labor has been addressed you need to look at the actual cost of the disposal. Not surprisingly these little food waste wizards come with a range of price tags depending primarily on their horsepower (HP).
What else can impact price?
Some other factors that affect cost are things like an automatic shut off when the unit starts to overheat as well as a button to turn the disposal on instead of wiring a switch to the disposal. And of course the material used is a factor in price. I recommend going with stainless because of its rust resistance. As for the automatic shut off and the special button those are personal preferences and can be determined by how much you are willing to pay.
The most common type of disposal is a continuous feed model which basically means the disposal can stay on while waste is fed through the opening at a continual rate. A batch feed disposal accepts waste in batches and has a lid for the opening of the disposal making it more appealing to those with safely concerns although this type is slower than the continuous feed.
Most Typical Price Ranges
The cost of home disposals (as opposed to industrial models) can range anywhere from $50 all the way to $380. The less powerful disposals with 1⁄2 HP start at about $50 and go up to $115. On the other hand, a disposal with 3⁄4-1 HP will run you anywhere from $120-$380. Beyond that the price point goes up but only for industrial strength models not typically recommended for home use which can cost $2500.
No matter your choice of disposal as well as how you decide to have it installed I know your won’t regret putting such a hardworking little appliance in your kitchen. Food waste doesn’t stand a chance when up against a garbage disposal and you will get to spend less time on clean up which is a choice always worth making.
Molly is a mom of two, DIY enthusiast, real estate investor, and a fan of modern kitchen decor.