A new garbage disposal for a residential home in Michigan tends to cost about $500 on average. But installation prices range from as low as $200 or as high as $1,000 depending on the unit installed and how you choose to install it.
Some of the most important price factors of installing a garbage disposal include:
- The motor size
- The material the disposal is made of
- The type of garbage disposal
- The choice to DIY or hire a professional
We’ll cover all four of these price factors in more detail below, so you have as much information as possible before you buy.
Thornton & Grooms has been helping our customers choose and install garbage disposals for over 80 years. If you aren’t sure of the kind of garbage disposal you need but you know you want it professionally installed, then our team is ready to help.
Cost factor #1: Motor size
Do you have a larger family, or have had trouble with your garbage disposal being jammed in the past? If so, a larger motor could be exactly what you need. And, to be clear, the larger the motor size, the more the unit will typically cost.
Garbage disposal motor sizes are measured by horsepower. On the lower end, you have models with ⅓ to ½ horsepower. More powerful units tend to be either ¾ horsepower or 1 horsepower.
Not quite as powerful as a corvette. But it’ll get the job done.
Let’s take a look at how these motor sizes perform in an average home:
- Motors between ⅓ and ½ horsepower offer enough power for a household of 1-4 people. Homeowners who rarely use their garbage disposals will gravitate toward this motor size range. At these power levels, you’ll get the lowest possible prices, but could see issues with jamming if used too frequently.
- Motors between ¾ and 1 horsepower are considered the sweet spot for most residential homes in Michigan. These systems can break down the toughest food materials and can handle household sizes between 2 and 6 people. They’re more expensive than their lower-power counterparts, but they’re tough to jam and have larger capacities.
The material the disposal is made of
Are you after a garbage disposal that’s going to last as long as possible? Or is saving money your top priority? How you answer those questions will help determine whether you want a garbage disposal made of stainless steel or galvanized steel.
Let’s take a look at the differences between these two materials:
- Stainless steel is used in high-end residential garbage disposals and commercial-grade garbage disposals. The material is resistant to rust, resistant to corrosion and can take a beating. As long as the motor and blade hold out, a system made of stainless steel can last 15+ years.
- Galvanized steel garbage disposals are more affordable than their stainless steel counterparts. However, they’re more susceptible to rust and corrosion, which can cause leaks. If rust does take hold, you can expect to get about 8 to 10 years out of the unit.
The type of garbage disposal
What do you want to prioritize more in a garbage disposal: safety or convenience? How you answer that question will determine whether you want a continuous feed garbage disposal, or a batch feed garbage disposal.
What’s the difference between the two types? Let’s take a look.
Continuous feed garbage disposals
Like the name implies, continuous feed garbage disposals will continue to run as long as they’re powered up. The vast majority of homes use continuous garbage disposals because they’re convenient and efficient. They can be turned on when needed and turned off when they’re not.
One unintended consequence of all this convenience however is a lack of safety. If a metal object falls into the sink drain without you knowing, or there are lots of small children in the home, an open garbage disposal poses some safety risks.
Batch feed garbage disposals
Batch feed garbage disposals aren’t turned on by a switch. Rather, they rely on a stopper lid to turn the system on and off. When the lid is removed, the unit switches on. When the lid is placed back on, the system turns off.
This method isn’t as convenient as dropping food into an open drain and hitting the on switch. But what it loses in convenience, it makes up for in safety. With batch garbage disposals, there’s little chance that a metal object will fall into the disposal. And the stopper prevents young children from putting their hand in the disposal while it’s on.
The choice to DIY or hire a professional
Last question, but perhaps the most important: do you want the convenience and peace of mind of a professional installation, or do you want the initial cost savings from performing the install yourself?
A professional installation will increase costs. But there’s a chance that a DIY installation could increase costs after the installation is complete. Here are a few reasons why:
- It could lead to expensive repairs or a replacement: If the connections aren’t secure or if the disposal was installed incorrectly, it could lead to significant damage to the unit.
- It could cause water damage to your cabinets: The unit could break during install without the homeowner knowing it. That could cause a leak and possible water damage to the home.
- It could void the manufacturer’s warranty: Every store bought garbage disposal will come with a manufacturer warranty. But that warranty can be voided if the homeowner makes a mistake during the installation.
These issues are almost non-existent with a professional installation. We can’t speak for every plumber out there, but we know that here at Thornton & Grooms, our plumbers have installed hundreds of garbage disposals. Plus, we complete every install according to the manufacturer’s exact specifications, every time.
While we’re on the topic of professional installations...
Thornton & Grooms has over 80 years of experience installing garbage disposals in Michigan homes. Not only do we protect our customers with 14 different guarantees, we also offer a 1-year labor warranty on all garbage disposal installs. So if anything goes wrong, you’re protected.