Who Installs A Garbage Disposal: Plumber Or Electrician?

If there is a malfunction in the pipe system, we usually call the plumber to fix it. But nowadays, electrical work is integral in the plumbing system of houses.

Most professional plumbers are usually qualified to install a garbage disposal. However, you will also need an electrician if it requires a particular electrical work, such as installing a ground fault circuit interrupter.

This article will talk about the pros and cons of hiring either of the two when installing a garbage disposal.

Do I Need an Electrician to Install a Garbage Disposal?

You need an electrician to install a garbage disposal, provided that the latter is GFCI. Usually, the garbage disposal connects to a 120-volt electrical outlet under the kitchen sink. However, if there is no outlet below the sink, you need to install a separate one.

A person without proper electrical knowledge can’t install a functional electrical system under the sink. Doing so could be both dangerous and tricky. That’s why it’s best to hire an electrician to install a free-standing ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

A power cord is needed to connect the garbage disposal to the ground fault circuiter. This component ensures that the disposal will continue to operate appropriately. Although some garbage disposals have a power cord, most modern ones don’t.

You should install the power cord for the garbage disposal separately from the unit itself in most cases. Doing so will require you to contact an electrician to install it properly.

Do You Need a Plumber to Install a Garbage Disposal?

Unless you want to do it yourself, you will need a professional to install the garbage disposal. Doing it yourself is not that hard and can be done in a short amount of time.

Even though it is relatively easy to do it yourself, it is still essential to take the necessary precautions and ensure that the new garbage disposal installs appropriately. Having a professional help you out is also beneficial as it will allow you to avoid the risk of damaging it.

Before you call a plumber, make sure that you have a working electrical outlet and power cord for the garbage disposal.

Is a Garbage Disposal Considered Plumbing?

One of the most everyday mistakes people make when installing garbage disposal is not knowing how it works. It can be cumbersome to move from one part of the kitchen to another to empty the food waste.

If your garbage disposal will eventually fail, it’s probably time to call a professional to fix it. You might also need to replace it, especially if it’s getting old.

You may also call both an electrician and a plumber if the issue is related to installing the garbage disposal. Also, the disposal requires both skillsets: plumbing and electrical.

When installing a garbage disposal, the work usually falls to the plumbers. Plumbers will do most of the work, and they are more likely to resolve issues that arise during the process.

However, an electrician will not be able to perform the plumbing work during the process. Instead, they will be working on the electrical component, which usually involves installing an outlet under the sink.

Before the professional starts working on the electrical component, they usually want to ensure that the outlet under the sink is working. In most cases, the garbage disposal comes with a pre-built power cord. It ensures that the plumber can easily connect it to the power socket.

If the garbage disposal doesn’t have a pre-built power cord, you might need to hire an electrician to install it. You need to do it if there is no power outlet underneath the sink.

Before you can start working on the electrical component, the professional will also need to have the necessary electrical expertise. This level of knowledge usually comes from following the electrical code of your state.

Electricians usually want to ensure that the outlet under the sink is working. To connect the power cord to the garbage disposal, one needs to open the terminal plate on the lower part of the disposal. Doing this on your own may cause the garbage disposal to malfunction.

The installation of garbage disposal usually requires more plumbing work. And if you have an electrical outlet and power cord, you don’t need to hire an electrician.

If there is damage to the garbage disposal, you should contact a professional to fix it. Since plumbers have the necessary experience to address the issue, they are usually the only ones you should call.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Garbage Disposal?

Depending on the type of garbage disposal that you want, the cost of installing it can vary. For instance, if you want a high-end model, you can expect to pay around $200 to $300, while if you are just lucky enough to have the equipment, you can usually spend approximately $75.

Before you start planning on purchasing a garbage disposal, you must include the cost of the unit, the installation, and the outlet needed to plug in the disposal.

If you can do the electrical outlet installation yourself, you might spend less than if you hire a professional to do it. However, if you’re planning to hire an electrician or a plumber, be prepared to spend over $950.

When you have an electrical outlet in your house, you don’t need an electrician to install it. Sometimes, a plumbing contractor can also handle the electrical work.

You must include the cost of the unit, the installation, and the outlet needed to plug in the disposal. Depending on the brand, you might pay around $100 to $350 for the removal.

If you have a garbage disposal and a kitchen faucet, the installation cost can range from $240 to $1,000. You’ll also need to install a sink with it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Installs the Power Switch for a Garbage Disposal?

It’s common to think that the job of an electrician is to install a power switch. However, this is not the case.

A power switch is a relatively easy task to perform by a professional plumber. You can do it in just a couple of minutes, and it’s essential for the proper disposal of garbage.

They are very experienced in the installation of power switches for garbage disposals. It makes it easier than installing a standard electrical outlet.

You can efficiently do it yourself if you have the necessary skills and knowledge. It’s straightforward to install a power switch for your garbage disposal.

How to Avoid Garbage Disposal Issues?

When it comes to keeping your garbage disposal in working condition, there are a few rules that you should follow.

When running your garbage disposal, make sure to run cold water. Doing so will prevent the buildup of toxic substances in your kitchen sink and pipes.

You can keep your garbage disposal odor-free by shredding or crushing ice cubes and lemon peels. However, do not crush or process other fibrous food items like potato skins, eggshells, and coffee grounds.

If you need new garbage disposal, the installation cost can range from $250 to $500. If you have a warranty, your repairs may be covered by that.


Who installs garbage disposal? A plumber or electrician? It’s usually the plumber because it’s still under its skillset. But, if there is complex electrical wiring work needed, you might need to call for an electrician’s help.

Aside from regular maintenance, a good plumber can also handle issues related to a garbage disposal. They can quickly identify and resolve them.

The cost of installing an appliance depends on the type of work that the contractor will do and the things that you want them to do.