Who Installs a Garbage Disposal: Plumber or Electrician?

A plumber stands next to a garbage disposal unit in a modern kitchen, ready to fix it.

Ever wondered who is the best professional for installing a garbage disposal – a plumber or an electrician? Most often, licensed plumbers are hands-on with such installations. This article aims to demystify your queries and provide detailed insights into which professional is better suited for this task and why.

Stay tuned as we dive deep into the world of garbage disposals!

Key Takeaways

  • Garbage disposal installation requires the expertise of both a plumber and an electrician.
  • A plumber is responsible for fitting the garbage disposal, connecting pipes, and ensuring proper functionality.
  • An electrician handles electrical connections, such as wiring and installing a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).
  • It’s crucial to hire licensed professionals to ensure safety, compliance with codes, and warranty protection.

Who Should Install a Garbage Disposal: Plumber or Electrician?

When it comes to installing a garbage disposal, it is important to consider the expertise of both plumbers and electricians.

Plumber’s expertise in garbage disposal installation

A plumber knows a lot about garbage disposal fitting. This is part of their job. Most plumbers can do this work on their own. They know how to hook up the pipes and use tools right.

So, if you need to put in a new garbage disposal, a plumber is a good choice.

Electrician’s role in electrical connections

An electrician plays an important role in the installation of a garbage disposal by handling the electrical connections. They are responsible for ensuring that the disposal is properly connected to the power supply and that all wiring is done safely and up to code.

If a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is required, an electrician will be able to install it correctly. Their expertise in electrical work ensures that the garbage disposal functions properly without any electrical hazards.

It’s important to hire a licensed electrician for this task, as they have the knowledge and skills needed to handle these types of electrical connections safely.

Considerations for Garbage Disposal Installation

When considering garbage disposal installation, it is important to take into account both plumbing and electrical requirements.

Plumbing requirements

To install a garbage disposal, you’ll need to consider the following plumbing requirements:

  • Ensure that you have a properly sized drain line for the garbage disposal to connect to.
  • Make sure there is enough space under your sink for both the garbage disposal and its plumbing connections.
  • Check if you have a suitable electrical outlet nearby for powering the garbage disposal.
  • Verify if your existing plumbing system can handle the additional load from the garbage disposal.
  • If needed, consult with a licensed plumber to make any necessary adjustments or upgrades to your plumbing system.

Electrical requirements

To install a garbage disposal, you need to consider some electrical requirements:

  1. Power source: A garbage disposal needs electricity to run. Ensure that there is an electrical outlet near the installation area.
  2. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI): In some cases, a GFCI may be required for safety reasons. This device helps protect against electric shock. If your local electrical code requires a GFCI, hire an electrician to install it.
  3. Electrical wiring: Make sure the existing electrical wiring can handle the power demand of the garbage disposal. If unsure, consult with an electrician.
  4. Switch installation: You will need a wall switch to control the garbage disposal’s power supply. Hire an electrician if you don’t have one already installed.

Hiring a Professional for Garbage Disposal Installation

Hiring a licensed plumber or electrician for garbage disposal installation ensures expert knowledge and adherence to safety standards.

Benefits of hiring a licensed plumber

  • Expertise: Licensed plumbers have the knowledge and experience to correctly install a garbage disposal, ensuring it functions properly.
  • Efficiency: Plumbers can complete the installation quickly and efficiently, saving you time and hassle.
  • Safety: Plumbers are trained to handle plumbing systems safely, reducing the risk of accidents or damage during installation.
  • Warranty: Hiring a licensed plumber ensures that the installation is done correctly, which may help protect any warranties on your garbage disposal.
  • Compliance: Licensed plumbers understand local building codes and regulations, ensuring that the installation meets all necessary requirements.
  • Peace of mind: By hiring a licensed plumber for garbage disposal installation, you can have peace of mind knowing that it will be done right and up to industry standards.

Benefits of hiring a licensed electrician

Hiring a licensed electrician to assist with the installation of a garbage disposal can have several benefits. Here are some of the advantages:

  1. Safety: Electricians are trained to work with electrical wiring and connections safely. They have the knowledge and expertise to handle any potential electrical issues that may arise during the installation process.
  2. Proper Electrical Connections: Garbage disposals require electrical connections to function properly. An electrician can ensure that the wiring is installed correctly and safely, minimizing the risk of short circuits or other electrical problems.
  3. Compliance with Codes and Regulations: Licensed electricians are familiar with local building codes and regulations. By hiring one, you can ensure that your garbage disposal installation meets all necessary requirements, preventing any potential legal or safety issues down the line.
  4. Troubleshooting Skills: In case of any electrical problems or malfunctions, an electrician can quickly identify and resolve issues related to the garbage disposal’s electrical components. This expertise can save time and prevent further damage.
  5. Peace of Mind: Hiring a licensed professional gives you peace of mind that the job will be done correctly and efficiently. You can rely on their expertise to handle any electrical aspects of the installation, allowing you to focus on enjoying your new garbage disposal.

DIY Installation of Garbage Disposal

When considering DIY installation of a garbage disposal, it’s important to prioritize safety and follow the necessary steps for proper installation.

Safety considerations

When installing a garbage disposal, it’s important to prioritize safety. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:.

1. Turn off the power: Before starting any installation work, make sure to turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker or fuse box. This will prevent any potential electrical accidents while working on the disposal.

2. Use protective gear: Wear gloves and safety goggles to protect your hands and eyes during the installation process. This will help prevent injuries from sharp edges or flying debris.

3. Follow manufacturer instructions: Read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully. Each garbage disposal may have specific guidelines for installation, so it’s crucial to adhere to them for both safety and proper functioning.

4. Be cautious with plumbing connections: When connecting plumbing pipes, ensure they are secure and leak-free. Use plumber’s tape or pipe joint compound where necessary to create tight seals.

Steps for DIY installation

Here are the steps for installing a garbage disposal yourself:

  1. Gather all the necessary tools and materials, such as a screwdriver, adjustable wrench, plumber’s putty, and electrical tape.
  2. Turn off the power to the garbage disposal at the circuit breaker to ensure safety.
  3. Disconnect the drain pipe from the sink by loosening the slip nut with an adjustable wrench.
  4. Remove any existing garbage disposal unit by disconnecting it from the mounting bracket under the sink.
  5. Attach the mounting assembly for the new garbage disposal unit to the mounting bracket under the sink using screws or bolts provided.
  6. Place a ring of plumber’s putty around the flange on top of the new garbage disposal unit.
  7. Lower the new unit into position, aligning it with the mounting assembly and ensuring a tight seal using plumber’s putty.
  8. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten the mounting collar onto the bottom of the new garbage disposal unit.
  9. Reconnect and secure all necessary plumbing connections, including reattaching the drain pipe to both ends with slip nuts and ensuring proper alignment.
  10. Connect any electrical wires according to manufacturer instructions, using wire connectors and electrical tape as needed.
  11. Restore power at your home’s circuit breaker and test your newly installed garbage disposal by turning it on and running water down the drain.


In conclusion, when it comes to installing a garbage disposal, it is most often the job of a plumber. Plumbers have the expertise and knowledge needed to properly install and connect the plumbing components of a garbage disposal.

While electricians may be required for certain electrical connections, overall, plumbers are the go-to professionals for garbage disposal installation. So if you’re considering getting a garbage disposal installed in your home, reach out to a licensed plumber who can get the job done right.


1. Who installs a garbage disposal: Plumber or Electrician?

Both plumbers and electricians can install your garbage disposal, depending on the type of work needed.

2. Can I hire a professional handyman for my garbage disposal installation?

Yes! A professional handyman who offers both plumbing services and electrical installations can handle the job.

3. Where else can I get a local plumber for this task?

You can find plumbers for garbage disposal in places like Home Depot, appliance stores or plumbing contractors that offer home improvement services.

4. What kind of electric work is required with installing a GFCI for my garbage disposal?

Electric work may include GFCI installation and electrical switch replacement to ensure safe use of your appliance.

5. How much does it cost to have someone install my kitchen’s waste management system?

The cost of your garbage disposal installation depends on the complexity of household maintenance, kitchen remodeling needs, and individual service rates.

6. Can fixing broken disposals be done by the same people as those who do installations around my house?

Yes! The same experts handling kitchen fixtures and home appliances also deal with things like repairs after plumbing installations if there are problems later.

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