Garbage Disposal Repairs vs Replacements

Confusion is pretty common when it comes to garbage disposal trouble. What is that awful grinding sound?! Should I repair a broken garbage disposal or just replace it? Homeowners deserve answers when it comes to the efficiency of their kitchen plumbing systems. With that in mind, let's take a look at a couple of warning signs that point to garbage disposal repairs or replacements on the horizon, and what you should do if/when yours starts acting up.

A cat on a kitchen counter by the sink and garbage disposal.

Should I Have My Garbage Disposal Repaired?

Garbage disposal repairs are actually fairly rare. Why? The repair process just tends to be more expensive than it's worth. In the event that a garbage disposal does begin to seriously malfunction, it's almost always more cost-effective to simply replace it.

Of course, if a garbage disposal had to replaced every single time it clogged, no one would ever use one again. Kitchen sinks DO get backed up with food scraps and other debris, but a clogged disposal doesn't necessarily need replaced. A good plumber may be able to get you "unstuck" without a full replacement.

Looking to handle that garbage disposal clog yourself? Check out these DIY safety tips for clogged disposals.

A mom and daughter washing broccoli in the kitchen sink.

Do I Need a Garbage Disposal Replacement?

While garbage disposal repairs may be uncommon, situations that call for a full replacement are more plentiful. If you hear any of the following when you turn your disposal on, it may need to be replaced:

  • A humming sound from the motor
  • A grinding sound from the motor

Quick Tip: Garbage disposal not turning on? If a disposal's motor doesn't make a sound or otherwise respond when you turn the unit on, try flipping its reset switch (located on the bottom of the unit).

Should I Install a Garbage Disposal Myself?

In short, probably not. That's not to say we're against folks taking their home's plumbing responsibilities into their own hands on occasion. In fact, we offer a bunch of DIY plumbing tips for less involved projects. When it comes to garbage disposal replacements, however, there are several good reasons to avoid taking on the work alone.

Put simply, garbage disposal replacement can turn into a bigger-than-expected project for a non-professional. Kitchen sinks are made up of parts that deteriorate like anything else. Sometimes, for example, repiping may be required. Other times, a part may need to be tracked down unexpectedly.

Truth be told, even plumbers don't always know what we're going to encounter on a job. But while the unwinding diagnostic mystery of a broken garbage disposal can certainly cause problems for an unprepared DIY-er, a well-trained plumber can pivot as needed in situations like these to find the best solution.

A woman cleaning a square skillet in a kitchen sink.

Please Don't Make It Worse!

Let's say that instead of calling a plumbing company, a couple of DIY-ers with a bad disposal decide to spend a Saturday replacing it themselves. They disassemble the problem sink just fine... only to discover that they're in over their heads and unable to locate a crucial part.

Fast forward past a lot of grumbling in a crippled kitchen, and guess what? Some plumber somewhere will still get that service call. Moreover, they may get a bigger payday now than they would have prior to the botched DIY work.

Here's another great reason to get a plumber's perspective: it's entirely possible a replacement is completely unnecessary — you might just have a particularly stubborn clog. Why pony up for a full disposal replacement when a plumber can clear the debris and restore functionality? A professional will be able to assess the situation and share your best options with you.

Explore 5 Reasons Your Disposal Is a Dangerous DIY Project

The bottom line is this: homeowners who try replacing a garbage disposal themselves may end up in deep water. If a grinding or humming noise emanates from the unit, it's wise to call a plumbing pro.

What Does a Garbage Disposal Cost?

The average cost of a garbage disposal installation is $266 (HomeGuide). This average includes all labor and unit costs. Of course, a variety of factors can influence the out-the-door cost of a garbage disposal installation. Location, supply chains, and unit horsepower are just a few examples that will likely affect what homeowners can expect to pay for a new garbage disposal.

Questions About Garbage Disposal Repairs & Replacements?

We love to hear from you all, so please let us know any questions you may have on garbage disposals or any other home plumbing topics. If you have concerns about your own disposal unit, please give us a call ASAP. Plumbing One is a trusted industry name with decades of experience behind us. We look forward to speaking with you and continuing to meet the plumbing needs of our Central Ohio community.

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A plumber working on the pipes on the underside of a bathroom sink.

Contact Our Team

Plumbing One is a family owned and operated plumbing company. Our A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau demonstrates the level of quality and integrity we bring to every job site. Regardless of how big or small your residential or commercial plumbing job may be, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Call us or fill out the online form to get in touch with a plumber from our team.

A plumber working on the pipes on the underside of a bathroom sink.