Garbage disposals are a popular addition to many kitchens. They create an easy way to dispose of food scraps lingering in the sink without having to scrounge each tiny particle out. However, garbage disposals wear out like all mechanical devices after a while.
When it comes time to replace your garbage disposal, you should know a few things. Keep reading to learn more!
In This Article
How Much Does A Garbage Disposal Cost To Install?
You can buy a new garbage disposal to replace your old one at your local home improvement store, like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Generally, a replacement costs anywhere from $150 to $380. The average cost of the total installation is around $260.
If you hire a plumber or a handyman to replace and install the unit, the cost of labor may range up to a few hundred dollars. On average, it costs about $105 for labor alone. If you tack the cost of the garbage disposal on, you end up with a price of around $260 or so.
Can Garbage Disposals Be Repaired?
If the prospect of buying a whole new garbage disposal and paying for installation sounds daunting, consider repairing your old garbage disposal. Of course, sometimes the unit is beyond repair, and doing so would be more trouble than it’s worth.
With that said, if there isn’t any structural damage to the unit, a plumber can probably fix it. Depending on the problem at hand, the repair may cost you anywhere from $75 to $100.
How Long Do Garbage Disposals Usually Last?
Most garbage disposals require replacement after about ten years. They can last up to 15 years with proper maintenance. After over a decade, the internal parts begin to wear out, leading to issues with the entire unit.
How Do I Know When It’s Time To Replace My Garbage Disposal?
A few telltale signs indicate it’s time for an upgrade. A few of these indicators include:
- Strange noises: If your garbage disposal makes abnormal noises, you need to determine what’s causing it. It could be silverware that meandered into the disposal, causing horrible noises when the disposal turns on. In some cases, the disposal’s components become misaligned, causing them to grind together when the disposal is on.
- Inexplicable clogs: It’s common knowledge that garbage disposals can only handle small amounts to avoid clogs. If your garbage disposal seems to be clogging for no apparent reason, there could be a malfunction in the device. Or, you might just need a higher capacity model.
- Frequent resets: Most garbage disposals have a reset button to assist recovery from abnormal occurrences, including clogs or abnormally large loads. If the disposal is in good condition, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you have to reset the disposal frequently, your disposal may be reaching the end of its lifespan. Alternatively, there may be loose wiring causing the issue. If that’s the case, you’ll need the assistance of a plumber or electrician.
- Strong, persistent odor: The odors wafting from your garbage disposal aren’t particularly pleasant. Most of these smells should quickly dissipate with the help of regular rinsing and cleaning. Still, if your garbage disposal continues to give off a pungent odor, you might need professional help. Trapped particles could be causing the issue, resulting from a worn-out blade or clogs.
- Failing performance: Generally, garbage disposals whisk through loads quickly. If your garbage disposal seems to take a while to dispose of the particles, it may be a sign of dull or aged blades. In extreme cases, blade deterioration requires the replacement of the entire unit.
- Leaks: Impromptu water leaks are a nightmare, especially when you’re unsure of the origin. Over time, your garbage disposal may spring a leak, causing puddles in the cabinet below. In some cases, the unit requires total replacement.
- Humming when it turns on: If the garbage disposal simply hums when you turn it on or doesn’t even turn on at all, the unit may be on its last leg. You could call a plumber to take a look and see if it’s a quick fix, or you could replace the whole thing.
Can I Replace My Garbage Disposal Myself?
Certainly, you can replace your garbage disposal. With the right tools and a little know-how, you can easily replace your garbage disposal. Before calling a plumber to handle the broken unit, consider replacing the unit yourself.
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If you have a few DIY projects under your belt and aren’t afraid of tackling a project that involves essential tools, including screwdrivers, pliers, and plumber’s putty, you’ll do just fine. Usually, the job takes a few hours from start to finish.
Sure, you can hire a plumber to handle the project. It can be a daunting task, particularly if you have little to no experience with DIY projects. Depending on how long it takes your plumber, it could cost you a few hundred dollars since the average cost is $100 per hour.
Is It Difficult To Replace A Garbage Disposal?
It’s not necessarily challenging to replace a garbage disposal. If you already have the essential tools on hand necessary to complete the project, you could spend as little as the total cost for the replacement.
Even if you’ve only dabbled in plumbing DIYs, like installing a kitchen/bathroom sink or removing the gigantic, nasty clog from the shower drain, you should be fine. As long as you have a general grasp of basic tools and can read directions, the project should be straightforward enough.
However, if you have absolutely no clue what you’re doing and DIY projects aren’t your thing, you’re probably better off hiring a plumber.
In addition, replacing a garbage disposal requires a considerable length of time spent up close and personal with the inner workings of your kitchen cabinet. It’s not a comfy spot, considering you have to spend hours crouched down beneath the sink to access the small area where the garbage disposal resides. If your back isn’t feeling up to the extended crouch, you might want to consider hiring a plumber.