Garbage Disposal Repair, Replacement & Installation

Repairing a garbage disposal

The Garbage Disposal, Unsung Hero of the Kitchen

Fridges and ranges get all the glory. They’re sculpted in stainless steel, studded with smart gadgets, and featured in every lifestyle shot of your award-winning, newly remodeled 1,000-square-foot kitchen with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.

The humble garbage disposal, in contrast, labors in obscurity, tucked under the stainless steel sink, activated by a flip switch, and barely noticed — until the sink backs up from coffee grounds, orange peels, and whatever else may have slipped down the drain.

No biggie if you have a functioning disposal. But if you don’t, it’s just like the song: “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”

Signs of a Failing Garbage Disposal

Most disposals last about 10 years — less if you’re rough on them and more if you treat them with kindness.

Eventually, all disposals go to the great recycling center in the sky. Signs of trouble include:

  • No visible or audible signs of power
  • Water backs up into the sink when you turn on the disposal
  • The sink clogs regularly or takes a long time to drain
  • The disposal leaks
  • The disposal makes unusual or loud noises
  • The disposal hums but doesn’t rotate
  • The disposal smells bad
  • The unit needs frequent resets
  • The disposal performs badly

If your garbage disposal shows any of these symptoms, it’s time for a repair or replacement.

A leaking garbage disposal

Garbage Disposal Repair: Do-It-Yourself or Call a Pro?

You’re standing in front of the sink, looking at the disposer and thinking, “I can fix this myself.” After all, how tough can it be? Just pop off the cover, tighten a couple of screws, and voila! Done.

But think again. Unless you have experience with plumbing — and specifically garbage disposals — you’re probably better off calling a professional. Here’s why:

  • Replacing a garbage disposal is not as simple as it looks. In addition to disconnecting the plumbing and electrical wires, you also have to remove the sink flange — the part that attaches the disposal to the sink. And then there’s dealing with disposals mounted under the countertop, which can be even trickier.
  • Chances are, you don’t have the right tools — and even if you do, one wrong move could mean a flooded kitchen. Water and electricity don’t mix!
  • It’s not worth the risk to your home and your health. So unless you’re unshakeably confident in your do-it-yourself skills, we recommend calling a pro.

When to Repair vs. Replace Your Garbage Disposal

  • If your garbage disposal is relatively new (five years or less), repairing it may make more sense than replacing it. In many cases, a professional can fix a disposal in less than an hour, often for less than the cost of a new unit.
  • However, if your disposal is older or showing multiple signs of trouble, it may be time to replace it. A new garbage disposal typically costs between $100 and $250, depending on the model and brand, plus an installation fee.
  • If you’re not sure whether to repair or replace your disposal, our experts can help you make the best decision for your home.

Garbage Disposal Installation: What to Expect

If your garbage disposal needs to be replaced, a Chief technician will:

  • Inspect your sink for signs of damage or leaks
  • Remove the old garbage disposal
  • Install a new garbage disposal of your choice
  • Reconnect the plumbing and electrical wires
  • Test the garbage disposal to make sure it’s working correctly
  • Clean up the work area
  • Haul your old disposal to the recycling center

The whole process usually takes less than an hour.

Why West Coast Chief for Installation & Repair?

  • Chief specializes in appliances. We don’t do anything else!
  • So we know our stuff when it comes to disposals. Plus, we’re a family-owned business that’s been around for more than 30 years, so we know a thing or two about customer service.
  • You’ll always talk to someone happy to help when you call us — not a machine. We understand how vital your appliances are to your home, so we’ll do our best to get them running ASAP.
  • We also believe in doing things right the first time, so all of our technicians are highly trained and experienced. We’re so confident in their work that we guarantee it for 90 days minimum.
A garbage disposal under the sink

Types of Garbage Disposal Units We Install

You didn’t know you had a choice, did you, other than brand and horsepower? Well, we’re here to tell you that garbage disposals have evolved, just like toasters and TV sets.

Every sink garbage disposal works on the same principle: whirring blades mash organic food waste and flush it down the drain.

But beyond the basics, there’s a bevy of cool options.

If you’re looking for a disposal that can handle lots of tough waste, we recommend a septic-safe unit with high horsepower.

On the other hand, if you have a smaller household or want to be more eco-friendly, we suggest a compact, space-saving model.

Some disposals even come with built-in technology to reduce noise and minimize vibrations. And if you want to get fancy, some units have sensors that automatically start and stop the blades when an object is detected. Other units have built-in lights obviating the need for a flashlight when you inadvertently drop a peach pit into the grinding chamber.

Continuous Feed Disposals

The most common garbage disposals, continuous feed, are turned on and off with a switch. They’re usually less expensive than batch feed models, but they’re also noisier and require more running power.

Batch Feed Disposals

With batch feed disposals, the grinding chamber must be covered before the unit will turn on. This makes them a little more expensive than continuous feed models, but they’re also quieter, safer, and easier to install.

Our Service Guarantee

No one fixes a garbage disposal like West Coast Chief!

  • We warranty labor for a full 90 days after the repair.
  • Replacement parts remain under warranty for up to one year.
  • We install only brand new, factory-recommended components that match the make and model of the unit in your home.
  • Call us before noon for a same-day appointment (depending on availability).
  • We charge the same affordable rates regardless of the day or time of day. We never charge a travel fee.
  • We honor all manufacturer warranties and insurance plans that cover appliances.
  • We’ll help you set up a regular maintenance schedule to keep your disposal and all kitchen appliances in prime working order.