Dealing with food waste can be a headache as the wasted bits can quickly jam the plumbing pipes if you are not careful.
That’s the reason many homeowners have opted for sink garbage disposals. They free you from the burden of storing the waste in a garbage can and keep your sink fresh-smelling by ridding it of the issue of stuck food bits. These compact machines break down food into tinier pieces so that the plumbing line can carry them smoothly to the sewer system. If you have never used one, you may wonder where these appliances sit. Well, you can spot one under the kitchen sink. You get many options in these units, and different labels use different materials. The range is vast, so you want to explore it carefully before finalizing anything.
Those who already have one may ask if these devices need replacement. While most people want to avoid it, machine items tend to have a certain life expectancy and may give up over time due to heavy use or long wear and tear. If you replace your old model, your installation cost for the new unit can amount to USD $400. However, the cost of the appliance may begin from USD$150. Hence, it can be necessary to understand the cost involved in buying and installing a food waste disposal at your home. Here are some insights into this context.
Things to consider while calculating the installation cost of a food waste disposal unit
Type of unit feed
You come across two main models or functions in these appliances – continuous-feed and batch-feed. The first choice is more common because of its easy installation process. As evident from the name, the device will grind the food waste continuously once you turn the switch on. The price of this unit type may vary from USD$75-1100. But you can expect to get an excellent product within USD$200. The other unit involves a few operational steps, from adding food waste to the grinding chamber, covering it with the lid, and switching the device. It may not be a suitable choice for busy homes for two reasons: 1) personal involvement and 2) longer processing time. You can find this model for up to USD$300, though.
Body of the unit
Premium quality material will increase the product’s price, which should not surprise you. Anyway, you have two options: stainless steel and aluminum. For starters, you can find both types of units using these materials across different sizes. Aluminum disposal units usually cost USD$75-300, making them affordable. However, the challenge is you cannot expect them to last long due to the issues of corrosion and leaks.
It makes sense to select the stainless steel model if you don’t want to put up with the risk of corrosion and leaks. It can be expensive. But you can get great deals with some trusted labels, which offer choices within USD $200.
Another factor that adds to the higher price tag of this unit is the motor size. As you know, garbage disposals serve both household and commercial kitchens. You should choose only a residential unit if you need it for personal use. Else, you may end up paying an additional amount. Also, motor size can be easy to describe by the range of horsepower. If you are a small family of one or two people, a unit with ⅓ or ½ horsepower can be enough. But for a large and busy family, it will be good to go for a 3/4 HP garbage disposal. You also get a higher range than this, but these can become more expensive.
Any replacement work of this kind usually has a reasonably similar rate, regardless of the place. The person has to first disconnect and remove the old appliance before raising the new one at a level and securing it with a proper connection. They test its function, and the job gets done. You can expect to pay a basic amount for this work. However, new installations can be pricey compared to the replacement as the person has to work with pipes and outlets. Then, complicated tasks may attract higher costs due to the extra hours of work involved. You can estimate this to fall between USD$50 and USD$200, excluding the unit’s price and other materials.
A new unit may also demand a new electrical outlet installation for power supply, pushing your overall cost a bit up. If one has to create a new grounded outlet, it may cost up to USD$165. However, you can save some if you don’t have to build a new outlet. It is possible only if you can share the dishwasher’s outlet. Anyway, the electrician will test the circuit capacity to ensure there will not be any risks.
Additional insights on garbage disposals
Many people don’t know that these appliances can be repairable. Repairing can cost less because it doesn’t need all the materials. It can only shoot up when the technician spots any severe issue. And you cannot leave out this possibility; after all, it is just another machine. Because you get modern and advanced versions at cost-effective prices, your contractor can recommend replacement to have a long run with your appliance. The old unit will have signs of wear and tear that may hint at the need to replace it. Some standard warning signals include abnormal noise created during the operational state, the odorous smell coming from the unit, frequent overloading and tripping issues, etc.
Buying and installing a garbage disposal unit can also be an important environmental decision. If you don’t use this appliance, the wasted food particles will end up in the landfill, releasing harmful methane gas into the atmosphere. You can decrease your carbon footprint by reducing the waste problem. So, give it a try. Ask your building authorities if you can install one as the plumbing lines also need to support this. By installing this device, you will get rid of dealing daily with food waste and its foul smell.