How much does it cost to repair a garbage disposal?

Knowing the cost before getting an estimate can equal big savings

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a repairman fixing a garbage disposal

Garbage disposals can be relatively cheap kitchen appliances that save time and help eliminate waste, but they can become a major problem if they stop working. If your unit is reaching the end of its five- to 10-year life span, it might be time for repairs or even a replacement.

Repair costs depend on several factors, but the average replacement cost, including parts and labor, is $550. Read on for some helpful tips on saving money on repairs and replacements.


Key insights

The average cost to replace a garbage disposal is $550.

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The cost of repairs depends on the material and horsepower of your unit.

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Most home warranties provide coverage for garbage disposals.

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Garbage disposal repair costs

Repair costs for garbage disposals usually depend on what parts you need and the horsepower of your system. Generally, most repair technicians will tell you that it is cheaper to just replace your garbage disposal than to repair it.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $400 for a new garbage disposal. The average price of replacing a garbage disposal is around $550 but can range from $200 to $625, including $50 to $100 in labor.

Garbage disposal repair and replacement costs by type

Garbage disposals usually come in two major types: continuous feed disposals, which cost around $75 to $1,000, and batch feed disposals, which cost anywhere from $75 to $300.

Additionally, garbage disposal repair and replacement costs depend on the size of the motor. Most systems for smaller families have a one-third or one-half horsepower motor, which costs around $50 to $225, while larger families typically have a 1-horsepower motor, which ranges from $200 to $400.

Garbage disposals are typically made out of aluminum or stainless steel. Aluminum units are usually cheaper and cost around $75 to $300, while stainless steel systems are more expensive and may cost anywhere from $400 to $1,100.

Here are the average ranges for replacing a garbage disposal depending on the type:

Additional garbage disposal costs

If you have never owned a garbage disposal and are thinking about installing one, you may have to pay an electrician to install a GFCI outlet. However, most installations are pretty straightforward and quick, so you’ll only pay for the unit and about an hour of labor. It’s important to remember, though, that most plumbers and electricians charge a $75 to $150 service fee to come to your home.

Can you DIY a garbage disposal replacement?

If you are looking for a cheaper option than calling a contractor, you could potentially replace your garbage disposal yourself. Replacements are relatively simple and typically only take an hour or two. You'll only need a pipe wrench, a wrench, plumber’s putty, a hammer, a flathead and a Phillips screwdriver.

However, if home repairs and unit replacements aren’t for you, calling a contractor will cost around $50 to $100 an hour for labor plus the cost of your garbage disposal.

When should a garbage disposal be replaced?

Garbage disposals usually last for five to 10 years, so if your unit is reaching this age, it might be time for a new system. Additionally, if your system is jamming, leaking, making a strange noise or has a strong smell, your garbage disposal probably needs repairs or a complete replacement.

Does your home warranty cover garbage disposal repair and replacement?

Home warranties cover a variety of appliances and systems for normal wear and tear, including garbage disposals. This coverage is usually provided in the company's appliance plan, but home warranty companies sometimes include it with plumbing systems. Some companies also offer garbage disposals as an add-on for an additional fee.

Most home warranties cover repairs for all garbage disposal's mechanical and electrical components. If the company can’t repair your unit, they will typically replace it with a similar system. However, it’s important to remember that home warranty plans have coverage caps and exclusions, so it may be worth double-checking your policy.

Quick and easy. Find a home warranty partner now.

    FAQ

    How long does a garbage disposal last?

    Most garbage disposals last five to 10 years, but higher-quality stainless steel disposals can last up to 15 years. However, avoiding putting items like bones, peels, eggshells and pits into your garbage disposal can help it last even longer.

    Do I need to have my garbage disposal serviced regularly?

    To extend the potential life span of your garbage disposal, you should perform regular maintenance, such as descaling, cleaning and sharpening the blades. Grinding a few ice cubes can help sharpen the blades, and letting a cup of vinegar sit in your system for about an hour will descale and clean it.

    Does garbage disposal have a warranty?

    Most garbage disposals come with a one to five-year manufacturer warranty, depending on the brand.

    Bottom line

    If your garbage disposal is leaking, jamming, making a strange noise or is within five to 10 years old, it might be time for repairs or a replacement. Replacing a garbage disposal yourself can be a pretty straightforward job, but if you decide to call a professional, expect to pay $50 to $100 an hour for labor.

    If you are looking for a cheaper option and don’t want to pay out of pocket, check to see if your home warranty plan covers repairs and replacements on garbage disposals.


    Article sources
    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. Angi, “How Much Does Garbage Disposal Replacement Cost?” Accessed May 1, 2024.
    2. Home Warranty of America, “Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips.” Accessed May 1, 2024.
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