How Much Does Garbage Disposal Repair Cost?

Typical Range:

$70 - $400

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated July 27, 2022

Reviewed by Jeff Botelho, Licensed Journeyman Plumber.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Garbage Disposal?

Most garbage disposals cost about $250 to fix, including labor. This total ranges from $70 to $400. Labor for a plumber runs around $80 an hour but varies between professionals. Individual parts have various price points, but they all cost much less than total replacement. An entirely new unit will run around $150, for materials alone.

Garbage disposals are a handy tool to quickly remove waste from your dinner plate, but they can sometimes cause trouble. This guide will help you determine your average cost and whether it’s a quick DIY repair or a job for a professional.

Average Cost to Repair a Garbage Disposal

Low Cost Average Cost High Cost
$70 $250 $400

Garbage Disposal Repair Cost Factors

the average cost to repair a garbage disposal is $250 or $70 to $400.

Garbage disposal repair costs vary widely based on:

  • Damage: Extensive damage may require electrical work or structural repair for after a bad leak. “Depending on local code requirements, your new disposal may require the installation of a means of disconnect,” says Jeff Botelho, Angi Expert Review Board member and Massachusetts-licensed journeyman plumber. “Many cities and towns require this means of disconnect on all electrical appliances, and it can be costly to make these changes, especially in older buildings.”

  • Age of home: More expensive in an older home with difficult-to-access wiring/plumbing

  • Plumber’s rates vary based on:

    • Location: Travel fees may apply

    • Special rates: Holidays, weekends, and emergency work may be more expensive

    • Experience level: Apprentice: $16-$25 Journeyman: $25-$40 *Master: $25-$75

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Common Reasons Why Your Garbage Disposal is Not Working

  • Leak: $150-$700. Usually caused by an old seal. You can replace the part, but you might as well replace the unit, as this may be a sign it’s getting old.

  • Clog: $150-$200. You may need to clear the pipes or plumbing further down than the sink or shower drain.

  • Jam: $0-$100. Try to clear it yourself by cleaning the garbage disposal. If that doesn’t work, call a handyperson.

  • Won’t turn on/off: $0-$100. For this issue, try:

    • resetting the breaker

    • pushing the outlet test button (if it has one)

    • switching the unit’s red reset button under the sink

    • plugging the unit into the other plug on the outlet to see if this controls the switch

    • calling a disposal repair technician in your area if none of these fix the problem.

Garbage Disposal Replacement Costs

The cost to replace the entire garbage disposal unit will be between $50 and $350, with an average unit going for about $150. These totals do not include labor, which will be between $20 and $200 for the whole project. It takes a skilled plumber or handyperson about one hour to complete the job.

You can replace the unit yourself if you have plumbing experience, but additional materials will run about $25 if you DIY. This price is similar to the cost of a simple, professional installation.

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DIY vs. Hiring a Plumber to Fix My Garbage Disposal

With enough internet research, a handy homeowner could repair the unit themselves, but there are a few situations in which we suggest a professional do the work. These include:

  • When fixing it yourself isn’t working or it’s more complicated than expected

  • If there are more extensive plumbing, electrical, or structural repairs

  • You are not the “handyperson type”

On the other hand, if you have successfully completed similar work in the past, you may be able to fix it yourself. Before hiring a pro, ensure the following are switched on: circuit breaker, test button on the outlet and reset button on the unit under the sink. Some simple DIY solutions to problems include:

  • Small clogs repairs: follow this disposal repair guide to troubleshoot issues

  • Smells: grind up some citrus and/or ice cubes to reduce odors

“Most issues with garbage disposers are caused by a lack of regular maintenance or improper use,” says Botelho. “Some easy tips to avoid service calls for a garbage disposal include:

1. Always use cold water when running the disposal. This makes the food waste you're grinding stay in separate pieces rather than becoming sludge and keeps solids flowing through the drains.

2. Always run the water for a few seconds with the disposal running before you start putting food waste, and continue running the water for at least 15 seconds after you finish putting garbage into the disposal.

3. Never put the following foods through any garbage disposal: onions, potatoes, pasta, rice, bread, pastries. These foods are all known to cause difficult clogs and should be disposed of in the trash.”


What's the average price per-hour to hire a plumber for disposal repair?

The average cost to hire a plumber to repair a disposal is roughly $45 to $200 an hour. This ranges from $20 to $200 an hour. Some also charge a flat rate for minor work ranging from $100 to $400. Additionally, some charge a minimum rate, which means you will pay this amount even if it only takes 15 minutes.

Do I need an experienced plumber for garbage disposal repair, or can I hire a cheaper handyperson?

If you know the work is not highly complex (a clog or jam), you can hire a handyperson or plumber with little experience. Make sure they are certified or otherwise insured, in case the repair fails. Hire an experienced professional for full replacements, leaks or electrical problems.

How long does a typical garbage disposal last?

A newer model of garbage disposal will last about 8-15 years. This varies with usage type and frequency, cleaning, and model type.

How much does a new garbage disposal cost?

The cost to install a garbage disposal is somewhere between $150 and $950, not including installation. “If possible, it’s a good idea to replace your disposal with the same brand, provided it’s a reputable manufacturer and you’re otherwise happy with how the old one performed. This is because most manufacturers have kept their units' dimensions relatively close to the same so that a new unit can be easily retrofitted to your space. This makes replacement with a newer version a very simple DIY project,” says Botelho.

When should a disposal be replaced?

You should replace your disposal if you notice some common issues such as:

  • Leaking

  • Slower than normal processing of waste

  • Frequent clogs and problems

  • Excessive noise

Repairing and replacing a garbage disposal is a minor expense when it comes to common homeowner expenditures. What kind of problems have you experienced with your unit, and how have you chosen to address them?

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