Garbage disposals can range from $70 on the low end to $380 on the high end -- and generally speaking, you get what you pay for. A less expensive unit is likely to produce more noise, require more water, and clog more easily than a higher-end model. Likewise, a more expensive unit will be faster, quieter and less likely to malfunction than a lower end model -- and it will be lighter-weight and offer greater capacity as well. The average cost of a garbage disposal installation with a one-year manufacturer’'s warranty is $185. The average amount of time taken to install a garbage disposal, including cleanup, is three hours. The hourly cost for labor will range from $20 to $40 -- $28 on average.
For any major issues with the garbage disposal, you should leave the job to a professional plumber only. Reaching your hand into the drain is dangerous, even if you believe the power is shut off. A plumber can help you evaluate the state of your disposal, and decide whether or not you need a new unit. Upgrading to a faster disposal unit with a higher horsepower can help to protect your pipes and make cleaning up after meals even easier.
Leaks from the bottom of the garbage disposal (often from the reset button) commonly indicate that at least one seal on the interior shell of the unit that protects the motor has deteriorated, or that the shell itself has cracked. These vulnerabilities can cause water from the sink to seep into the shell of the disposal and leak out of the base of the unit. In an old garbage disposal, one compromised internal seal is often accompanied by others, so your best bet is to install a new one.
In the United States, almost all garbage disposals on the market are manufactured by a handful of companies; although, many are branded under different names. For example, out of the top ten highest rated models on the market, InSinkErator makes eight of them. Whirlpool and WasteKing are the other two most well-known brands in the U.S. There are a wide range of models to choose from, ranging from basic $50.00 models to models equipped with all of the latest bells and whistles that can cost as much as $600.00. In most cases, you get what you pay for in terms of quality. Here is a brief overview of the top brands in the U.S.
Lift the sink flange from the top of the sink. Use a plastic putty knife to scrape off the old plumber’s putty around the top of the flange, then wipe off any putty residue with a damp rag. Grab a palmful of plumber’s putty from the container and roll it into an eighth-inch to quarter-inch-wide “rope” with a length roughly equal to the circumference of the flange. Wrap the rope of putty around the top of the flange like a collar, then insert the flange into the sink drain opening until snug. Re-install the mounting assembly and mounting ring (taking care to securely tighten the mounting bolts on the mounting assembly), then re-attach the garbage disposal, drain pipe, and dishwasher hose in the reverse order you detached them.
Knowing the difference between what can go down the disposal and what should go into the trash can save you an emergency call to the plumber. This is especially pertinent during the holidays when the kitchen is filled with people and the sink with dirty dishes. Practice these three everyday maintenance tips to help you maximize the lifespan of your garbage disposal.
If some bad odors are coming from your disposal, it can mean that it is not chopping up the food finely and there are drainage issues. Try putting lemons peels (not wedges, y’all) through it first and see if that removes the odor. If that doesn’t help or if the smell returns frequently, that may be telling you that that the disposal isn’t swallowing and chopping up your leftovers correctly.
The snap ring fits into a groove on the lower end of the sink flange. When you’re working under the sink, it prevents the upper mounting bracket from falling off. Removing an old snap ring can be frustrating-unless you know this trick: Starting at the break in the ring, insert a thin-blade screwdriver between the ring and the flange. Pull down on the ring with the screwdriver’s blade and walk the blade around the ring. The ring will pop right off.
Prior to testing the garbage disposal for leaks, unplug it at the wall outlet and turn off the power from the breaker box to prevent electrical shock. Then insert a watertight sink stopper into your sink drain and wipe the unit dry with a clean cloth. In any handy container, mix a few drops of food coloring into a few cups of water, and pour the dyed water onto the sink stopper to help you locate the leak.
Before your garbage disposal installation appointment, please have on hand the garbage disposal you purchased, including all screws and other pieces that came with it. If the job isn't a standard garbage disposal installation project, and requires additional parts or labor to complete the service, additional fees may apply to cover the cost of the garbage disposal parts and the garbage disposal installation work.
In the event that you do not have a grounded outlet to power the garbage disposal, you will need to install one. Adding a grounded outlet may cost as little as $5 when existing electrical wiring is placed a short distance away, plus an additional $75 for the electrician's labor. If a new grounded outlet needs to be added and electrical wiring does not yet exist, it will likely cost around $90, depending on labor and parts. If your project requires the addition of a new switch and wire, plan to spend an average of $5 to $10 on materials, plus about 30 minutes of labor at an average cost of $75 an hour.
Energy usage is not high; typically 500–1,500 W of power is used, comparable to an electric iron, but only for a very short time, totaling approximately 3–4 kWh of electricity per household per year. Daily water usage varies, but is typically 1 US gallon (3.8 l) of water per person per day, comparable to an additional toilet flush. One survey of these food processing units found a slight increase in household water use.
If water is leaking from the disposal it more than likely needs a seal replaced but also could be a more serious problem. A leak can occur at the rings that are installed around the sink’s drain hole, called the sink flange. In that case, it can either be that the rings need to be tightened or that the plumber’s putty is faulty and needs to be reapplied correctly.
Disposals can leak at a couple different places. Start by turning off the disposal at its base. Then, find the disposal mount and remove the unit by turning it counterclockwise from the bottom. Once the disposal has been removed from the mount, you should be able to see the three mounting bolts. Tighten these bolts to make sure they’re not leaking.
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Don’t you wish good things could last forever? You’ve been there. We have, too. But the reality is that things don’t usually go the way we plan. When you least expect it, life throws a curve ball your way. The way kitchen appliances work is no different, and that especially means the ones we use every day. Garbage disposals are an essential kitchen convenience for most homeowners that are used pretty much every day. Prepping food and cooking becomes much easier when peels and other scraps can just be tossed into the sink and straight down the drain, but over time, all that will take its toll.
Lowe's offers garbage disposals like the InSinkErator Evolution and Badger garbage disposals in various horsepower options. Models with lower horsepower tend to become jammed easily. What if your garbage disposal jams? No problem. Simply locate the hex socket in the center of the underside of the disposal. Grab a hex wrench, put it in the socket, and work it back and forth until you feel the blades loosen up. Once the blades are spinning freely, press the garbage disposal reset button. It's that easy.