When you’re ready to install a new garbage disposal, the big question is who should do the job: a plumber or an electrician?
Your garbage disposal is an electrical component in your kitchen sink drain, requiring the knowledge of both tradesmen. In this blog post, we’ll break down the answer so that you call the best person for the job.
Plus, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to install a garbage disposal yourself, just in case you decide to take on the project!
In this PlumbingNav guide, we will cover:
- Should you call a plumber or electrician to install a garbage disposal?
- What to know about installing a garbage disposal replacement
- How to install a garbage disposal (five-step guide)
- Maintaining your garbage disposal
|What's In This Guide?
Should You Call a Plumber or Electrician to Install Your New Garbage Disposal?
So, who installs a garbage disposal: a plumber or an electrician? The answer may surprise you. According to most experts, the job of installing a new garbage disposal should actually be left to a plumber. Here’s why:
Plumbers are trained in how to properly connect all the plumbing lines that are necessary for a garbage disposal to function. This includes the drain line, the power supply, and any other connections that may be necessary.
Plumbers can also help you when you notice plumbing problems attached to the garbage disposal, such as a drain clog or foul odors coming from the pipes.
Electricians, on the other hand, are not typically trained in how to make these types of connections. As a result, they may not know how to properly install a garbage disposal.
Additionally, electricians typically charge more per hour than plumbers, so it may end up costing you more to hire an electrician to install your garbage disposal.
With that being said, you may need an electrician for garbage disposal repair if the unit isn’t getting power or keeps blowing a fuse from an excess of power. An electrician can also help you if you notice old or damaged wiring attached to the unit.
What To Know About Installing a Garbage Disposal Replacement
A garbage disposal grinds food remains into easily transportable waste that will travel out of your home through the drain line and sewer line. Garbage disposals are placed in between the sink drain and the trap.
Did You Know? Roughly 50% of Americans don’t have a garbage disposal. However, garbage disposals can significantly reduce food waste in landfills, and they aren’t overly expensive. Getting new garbage disposal installation can reduce your carbon footprint.
There are two types of garbage disposals to choose from: batch feed and continuous feed.
Batch feed garbage disposals don’t use as much water as continuous feed disposals. However, they can only handle a small amount of food waste at a time. While easier to run, continuous garbage disposals also require a substantial amount of water. You also need to have enough food waste to run the disposer or risk damaging it.
Your garbage disposal has a motor. Most residential units operate well with a ½ HP motor. A garbage disposer in a commercial kitchen may require a stronger 1 HP motor to prevent food jams.
When dealing with commercial plumbing, you want to take extra precautions regarding new garbage disposal installation. You may need to pass both an electrical safety inspection and plumbing inspection, so you probably want to stick with a professional installation to ensure you pass all building code requirements and avoid expensive repairs and fines.
Tips For Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal
After you install your new garbage disposal, the work is just beginning.
Learn what food waste you cannot put down the garbage disposal. Never put hard-to-grind items, such as shells, bones, and pasta, or fibrous materials, such as celery, down the disposal. You also want to avoid putting coffee grounds and everyday trash down your garbage disposal. These items can damage the blades and lead to a garbage disposal clog.
Regularly run cold water while the disposal is running to keep food items moving through the blades. You can also put ice cubes or citrus peelings in the garbage disposal. The ice cubes keep the blades sharp, and the citrus ensures a pleasant, fresh scent.
Finally, perform consistent drain cleaning before blockage occurs. Start by cleaning food waste out of the garbage disposal before it gets the chance to make its way too deep down your drain. If you can’t reach certain items, you may want to use the best plumbing snake for your fixture type and location to reach a local clog.
If your drain needs it, you can use a drain cleaner to eat at any material accumulating inside of the pipes. Avoid putting harsh chemicals down your drain too often, as it can lead to advanced corrosion. Use a drain cleaner that’s safe for garbage disposals.
If you don’t have the time or plumbing know how to maintain your disposal yourself, schedule garbage disposal services from a plumbing service in your service area.
FAQs On Who Installs a Garbage Disposal
How long does a garbage disposal last?
Garbage disposals generally last at least 10 years, depending on the quality of the unit and how well the homeowner maintained it over the years.
Can a plumber wire a garbage disposal?
Plumbing installation inevitably connects to other aspects of your home in many places, including connecting to your electrical system at your garbage disposal. Plumbers learn every aspect of plumbing fixture installation, including how to set up the electricity. A plumber can absolutely install a garbage disposal (and usually for less money than an electrician).
Can I install a garbage disposal myself?
You don’t need to hire a plumber or an electrician. Legally, you can install your garbage disposal yourself, assuming you already have existing rough-in plumbing in place throughout your kitchen. You do not need a permit or a plumbing license. While not especially difficult, beginner DIY plumbers may want more hands-on experience before attempting a garbage disposal install.
Meet Your Plumbing Navigator
About Plumbing Navigator
We’re passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, “how-to”, and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!
Learn More Plumbing Tips
Want to tackle more plumbing projects? Check out these helpful guides!