How much does a garbage disposal cost?
Ans: $50 to $400
Well, it depends. That question has a really broad answer. I can say a normal household garbage disposal costs anything from $50 to $400.
The cost of a disposal depends on a lot of things including;
The cheapest garbage disposals are powered by a 1/3 HP motor. The most expensive one is powered by a 1 HP motor. Then there are disposals with ½ Hp and ¾ HP motors, the latter costing more than the former. As you can see more power comes with a higher price tag. If you are single a 1/3 hp disposal is enough. If you have 2-4 people in your home you will need one with ¾ HP or more power. So if you are going for a powerful disposer considers whether you really need it.
Like any product, a garbage disposal with many features will cost a lot more than one with only the necessary tools. You may think what features a disposal can possibly have, to your surprise the list is quite long. Some most expensive features include multiple grinding stages, noise insulation, auto-reverse technology and a septic assist. You can do well with a disposal that doesn’t have any of these features, so how much you need to spend depends on whether you really need so many fancy features.
Most common accessories for a disposal include a power cord, a hex Allen wrench and an air switch. Some disposals come with a preinstalled power cord while for some it needs to be bought separately. Same is the case with the hex key. An air-switch, though not necessary, is recommended for the safe operation of the disposal. All of these together can cost you around $50 in addition to the price of the disposal.
There are two types of disposal mountings; 3-bolt and EZ mount. A disposal with a 3-bolt mount is costlier because the mount is mostly made of stainless steel which adds to the price factor. On the other hand disposals with EZ mount are cheaper. Both systems have their own pros and cons which you can read in detail here (3-bolt vs EZ mount) but considering the price point, the ones with EZ mount are a little cheaper.
The build quality of a product plays an important role in its pricing. Naturally, any product with superior build quality is costly. This applies to garbage disposals as well. A disposal made fully of stainless steel is considered to be of superior quality since SS is resistant to corrosion. But in practice, there isn’t a much large difference between the longevity of such a disposal when compared to a mid-range one. I have nothing against going for a better looking, superior quality disposal but it doesn’t mean that is a financially wise choice.
Noise insulation feature can be seen in disposals in mid and top price ranges. A disposal can really get on your nerves when it is loud and grinding. Noise insulation feature is merely a few layers of insulation between the body of the disposal and its grinding chamber but having this feature makes disposals pricey. This feature doesn’t have anything to do with performance but it is recommended especially if the disposal is a powerful one.
A product made by a popular brand will cost more. But luckily in the case of garbage disposals, the competition between the two leading brands is so high; I believe such kind of pricing practices are not followed. But in any case, I recommend going for a known brand.
A cheap garbage disposal cost from $50 to $100. They usually have no features, no sound insulation and have a 1/3 hp motor. They are also small in size, have the minimum build quality and are suitable for a household with 1-2 people. Most of them are covered by a warranty period of 1 or 2 years.
A decent mid-range garbage disposal costs $70 to $120. They usually don’t have any fancy features or sound insulation. Most of them have a power of 1/2Hp or 3/4hp which is ample for a household of 2-3 people. They have a medium build and come with 2-6 years of warranty.
An upper mid-range disposal costs $120 to $250. Most of them come with a ¾ hp motor and have features like noise insulation and multi-stage grinding. These garbage disposals are suitable for a family of 2-4 people. They are well built and have longer warranties ranging from 6-10 years.
The top range garbage disposals cost anywhere from $250. They are usually cramped with features. Some of the features include noise insulation, auto-reverse technology, jam resistance and multi-stage grinding. They are available in power ranges 3/4hp to 1.25hp. These disposals also look much better and have superior build quality. They also come with longer warranty periods.