Who Installs Garbage Disposal: Plumber or Electrician?

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In many households, a garbage disposal is the most used appliance in the kitchen. With so much use, it could be a good idea to check for potential problems. So who installs it when you need a new one?

Plumbers are the most effective when it comes to installing garbage disposals. Usually, there will be a GFCI outlet under the sink where the plumber will plug in the garbage disposal. If there is no such outlet, then you may need to call an electrician for installation.

Is Garbage Disposal Considered Plumbing?

One thing that may remain confusing is the installation of garbage disposal. Garbage disposal is a life savior for most kitchens. It comes in handy when cleaning utensils, and you do not need to move to and from the trash can to empty the food remains.

You can be sure that the garbage disposal will fail at one point, which requires you to repair it. Or maybe you need to replace it with a new one, especially when it starts aging. So at this point, will you call a plumber or an electrician to fix it?

Well, you may call both depending on the issue. Also, you need to know that the garbage disposal is a mix of electrical and plumbing. So, when installing it, you may need to call both a plumber and electrician but most times, one of them should fix the issue.spo

Usually, when installing a garbage disposal, the plumber will do most of the work, and such lies within their field of work. Even when solving issues that may arise with the garbage disposal, you can trust the plumber does so much of it, and they are more effective than the electrician. So, you can consider garbage disposal as plumbing.

However, during the process, you need an electrician, but they will not do the plumbing work. Their work is to install an electrical outlet that is usually under the sink and attach the garbage disposal. So if there is a GFCI outlet, the plumber should plug in the garbage disposal; therefore, you need not call an electrician.

Usually, before the plumber comes to install the garbage disposal, they will first want to find out if the outlet under the sink is there. In rare cases will you find that there is no this outlet. And most times, the garbage disposal will come with a pre-installed power cord, making it easy for the plumber to connect it to the power socket.

If the garbage disposal does not have the pre-installed power cord, you may need to hire an electrician to install it first. Such also applies to when there is no power outlet under the sink where you will be installing the garbage disposal.

Installing such equipment requires some level of electrical expertise, which requires that you follow the electrical code of your state, which the plumber may not know.

When installing the power cord, one needs to open up the terminal plate on the lower side of the garbage disposal. Then connect the power cord to the terminal plate. This part you can do yourself, but installing an outlet will need an electrician, and doing it yourself may damage the garbage disposal.

Garbage disposals require more plumbing work than electrical. The only time you need an electrician is when there is no power cord and an electrical outlet to plug in the garbage disposal. But if you have these two, you can even install them yourself.

If there is damage to the appliance, you should call a plumber since they have more experience dealing with garbage disposal issues. The only time you should call the electrician is when there are issues with electricity within the appliance. But if there are any other issues, the plumber should easily diagnose them.

Who to Call for Garbage Disposal Repairs

When garbage disposal stops working, then it might mean you halt all your kitchen activities first to fix it. It is such a vital element in most kitchens and will eventually fail no matter how good you take care of it. But, if you fail to take care of it, then it not working well happens as soon as you start using it.

If the garbage disposal stops working, the most effective person to call to fix the issue is the plumber. Plumbers can fix any issue related to the garbage disposal, be it the plumbing works or the minor electrical works. They are more effective since they are most likely to be the ones who installed the garbage disposal in the first place.

For this reason, any issue regarding the garbage disposal will be easy for them to identify and fix.

Some of the garbage disposal problems might include clogging and leakage, which produces so much noise and jamming. In such cases, the electrician may not know what to do.

You technically require someone who can locate the issue with maybe the clogging and fix it instantly. Plumbers will know the most effective way to clear the clogging. If it is an electrical issue, the plumber might know what the problem is and fix it.

Still, it is hard for an electrician to fix any issue relating to garbage disposal other than electrical work.

So, even when you know that the garbage disposal is not working as it should due to an electrical issue, always call the plumber first. They have more experience revolving around garbage disposal than electricians have. Even though you may need an electrician to help you fix the problem, call him when the plumber cannot fix it.

Also, some of the problems regarding garbage disposal may not need you to call the plumber. You can try to diagnose the problem and fix it yourself before calling the plumber, but you can proceed to call the plumber if they are beyond your know-how.

Some of the troubleshooting you can do to see if the garbage disposal will work again is resetting it, discharging the pipes, checking if any objects obstruct the drainage, and much more.

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Garbage Disposal?

The cost of installing garbage disposal varies depending on what you want. You should expect the process to cost you between $200 at a minimum and a maximum of $1500. Usually, the national average cost is $300, but if you are lucky enough and can do the installation yourself, you can even spend about $75.

When accounting for the total cost you will spend, you should include the price for buying the unit, the cost of hiring a professional to do the installation, and that of installing an outlet for plugging in the garbage disposal.

If you can do the installation yourself without hiring a plumber or an electrician to create the outlet, you tend to spend lower. On the other hand, if you consider the cost of hiring a plumber and an electrician during the process, be ready to spend close to $950 or more.

If your house has an electrical outlet and comes with a plug-in cord, you need not hire an electrician. You only need a plumber to do the installation for you. Sometimes, plumbers are also able to handle even the electrical works.

To get the total cost you will spend, start by accounting for purchasing the garbage disposal. You can expect that it will be anywhere between $100 and $350 or more, depending on the brand. Also, you may need to purchase other accessories to go with the garbage disposal, which makes the cost higher.

If you install the garbage disposal together with the kitchen faucet, the cost may range between $240 to over $1000. You may also need to install a sink with it, which may cost about$400. Then the kind of plumber you hire to install all these will be different depending on their level of expertise and what you want them to install.


Any work that revolves around garbage disposal is mainly for the plumber to handle. Plumbers can quickly identify and resolve issues relating to garbage disposals, and they can even handle electrical issues in the garbage disposal.

The amount you will spend installing the appliance depends on the plumber you hire and what you want them to do when installing.