Ballpark Estimate: $150 to $250 without installation; $350 to $450 with installation
In the past, many people considered garbage disposals to be a luxury, but today, these have become commonplace as people understand how efficiently they can get rid of their perishable waste.
A Controversial Kitchen Aid
You might not think that something as simple as a garbage disposal would be controversial, but there have been many arguments both for and against them in recent years. In fact, garbage disposals have been outlawed in some municipalities because officials believe that the water pipelines can’t accommodate the waste they generate. Yet other people feel that garbage disposers are important for the environment, since they reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills. As a result, some communities actually require that garbage disposers be included in all new home construction.
If you’re not familiar with how a garbage disposer works and its advantages, just think of the discards from your dinner that you will need to get rid of, such as fruit and produce peels, meat bones, and left over food. Instead of sticking this waste in your garbage can where it will decay and attract bugs, if you have a garbage disposer you can just put it into your sink drain. There it will be chopped up with the garbage disposer’s sharp blade, then will work its way through your pipes and eventually be directed to your local wastewater treatment plant.
Variations That Exits
If you’re shopping for a garbage disposer, there are two different styles from which to select. The first is a continuous-feed model, which allows you to flip the power switch to operate the mechanism. Once garbage disposal unit is on, this means you can continually fill the drain with your waste and watch it be ground up. This is the most convenient model, but it also poses some risks, since it operates with the opening of the garbage disposer completely accessible. As a result, when you’re reaching into the drain to put more garbage in, your fingers can easily be cut with the blades. The force of the motion can also propel bits of the waste up and this can hit you in the face. These two things can make this dangerous, particularly if you have children in your home.
The second type of garbage disposer is a batch feed style, which is more cumbersome to operate but also can be used more safely. This style relies on a stopper that you stick in the drain in order to make the motor run. The way it works, you put your waste into the drain, then put the stopper in and hold it down to allow it to get the job done. This can take a little more time to load and use as it requires you to hold the stopper through the entire process, but it eliminates the risk of cutting a finger or having shards of garbage hit you in the eye.
Stainless steel is usually recommended for a garbage disposal because it resists rust better than other materials. You can also decide whether you want the blade to rotate or remain fixed, and how fine you want your blade to chop the waste. Some garbage disposal units also provide an auto reverse mode that allows the blades to reverse direction when the disposer unit becomes jammed. If you plan to use the garbage disposer often, this can be an important feature to have.
The size you select will affect the performance, with larger garbage disposal motors handling more waste and being more durable. A unit with 1/3 horsepower is the most basic model and should be able to handle very light waste, but most plumbers would suggest selecting a garbage disposer with a stronger motor, such as ¾ to 1 horsepower, for regular heavy use.
Some garbage disposers come with a warranty, which can range from a year to several years or even longer. Since a good garbage disposer unit may last for as long as 10 years or more, some people believe the warranty is worthwhile to protect their investment in case something goes wrong during this time. Just be sure to read the fine print so you’ll know exactly what’s covered and for how long.
How to Use
When you’re grinding food discards in your garbage disposal, you’ll be able to hear the motor working. It gets very loud when the blade is in motion, then once the waste is pureed, the sound should become quiet again. It’s important to run your tap water while this process is occurring so that it can wash the garbage right down the drain. Once the food is gone, the experts say that you’ll want to continue running the water for another 20 or 30 seconds so that the water can move all of the way through the drain line and out to the sewer. Also keep in mind that if you have a septic system, you’ll need a disposer that can work with your system. These usually have special cartridges that help to break down the waste that need to be replaced periodically.
Where to Buy
If you’re shopping for a garbage disposer, you can find them at home improvement stores such as Lowes and Home Depot. You can also often buy a garbage disposal through kitchen supply houses, hardware stores, and other distributors of plumbing supplies. The popular brands to consider include InSinkErator, Kitchen Aid, Waste King Legend, and General Electric.
What It Costs
Garbage disposers come in different qualities and price ranges. Keep in mind that at the lower end of the scale, you’ll get a very basic unit that will grind the minimal amount of waste but probably won’t be strong enough to handle bones, tough fruit rinds, and heavier table scraps. Therefore, if you cook regularly and generate a decent amount of varied waste, your best bet is to spend more for a better quality garbage disposal model that has more horsepower and is less likely to get jammed. An added bonus is that some of these better models can also be quieter to operate.
Garbage disposers can start off at a price as low as $75 to $150 and go on to a price of about $500, depending on what features you select. Most people end up buying a garbage disposer somewhere in the middle, with a cost of about $150 to $250 for their unit. This is usually adequate for general needs.
Garbage disposers can cost $75 to $500 for residential units, with most people spending somewhere in the middle of the range with a cost of about $150 to $250 for the unit uninstalled.
If you do extremely large quantities of cooking at home (such as if you run a full-scale catering business), or you’re purchasing a garbage disposer for a restaurant, a top-of-the-line commercial grade garbage disposer can cost as much as $2,500.
The Hook Up
Many people try to hook up their own garbage disposal units. If you’re particularly handy with home repairs, if you have the necessary existing plumbing, and are just switching out the unit to a new one, you will probably be able to accomplish this task in an hour or two. Otherwise, you’ll need to hire a plumber to come in and do the garbage disposal installation for you. This can cost $200 or more, depending on your set up and what model you select.