Replacing a garbage disposal might seem tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. How long a garbage disposal replacement takes can vary based on a few things, like the type of unit and the state of your plumbing. Whether you’re doing it yourself or calling in a professional, knowing the time frame can help you plan better.

We’ll look at what affects the replacement time, so you can be ready for a quick and easy garbage disposal replacement.

What Affects Replacement Time?

Choosing the Right Garbage Disposal Unit

Selecting the right garbage disposal unit can significantly impact the replacement time. Factors to consider include:

  • Size and power: Before you buy that unit, make sure it matches your kitchen’s needs. Larger units with more power might take longer to install but offer better performance.
  • Compatibility: Check if it fits your current setup. Some models may require additional adjustments or new connections.

Checking Your Current Plumbing

Your existing plumbing plays a crucial role. Key points to review:

  • Pipes and connections: Look for wear or damage that might need fixing. Old or damaged pipes can complicate the installation and extend the time required.
  • Space: Ensure there’s enough room for the new unit. Tight or awkward spaces might need extra work to accommodate the new disposal.

DIY vs Professional Installation

Deciding between doing it yourself or hiring a pro can change how long it will take.



Doing it yourself can save you the expense of labor costs. This can be a valuable learning opportunity and give you a sense of accomplishment as you experience it first-hand.


If you’re not experienced, it can take even longer to complete the installation. Without professional knowledge, there’s a higher risk of errors that could lead to future problems or even damage.



Expert technicians have the skills and equipment necessary to complete the job quicker and more effectively. They can handle any unexpected issues that arise and ensure the installation is done correctly.


Hiring a professional comes with labor costs that can increase the overall expense. You’ll need to arrange a time that works for both you and the installer, which might not be immediate.

These factors will help you better understand what affects the time needed for a garbage disposal replacement, ensuring a smoother process.

Time Frames to Consider

How Long Professionals Take

Professionals typically complete a garbage disposal replacement in about 1-2 hours. This process includes assessing the current setup, removing the old unit, and installing the new disposal. They ensure everything is compatible and working perfectly before they leave.

Hiring a professional guarantees a smooth and quick process with minimal hassle, making it a convenient option for those looking to avoid the complexities of DIY projects.

DIY Replacement: Time Estimates and Challenges

If you decide to do the replacement yourself, be prepared for a more time-consuming process. Start by spending 1-2 hours gathering tools and reading instructions. Removing the old unit might take another 1-2 hours, especially if there are issues like old plumbing or tight spaces.

Installing the new disposal could take 2-3 hours, depending on your familiarity with plumbing. Finally, you’ll need an additional hour for testing and making any necessary adjustments to ensure everything runs smoothly.

DIY replacements come with their own set of challenges. Unexpected issues such as old plumbing or compatibility problems can arise, adding to the time and effort required. The process can be significantly time-consuming, as even simple steps may take longer without experience. There’s also the risk of making mistakes, which could lead to leaks or improper installation. Being aware of these potential challenges can help you manage the DIY process more effectively.

Post-Replacement Maintenance Tips

Preparing for a Successful Replacement

Before the replacement, ensure you have all the necessary tools and parts ready. Clear out the area under your sink and provide adequate lighting for the installer. This preparation minimizes delays and ensures a smoother process.

Taking Care of Your New Garbage Disposal Unit

Once installed, follow these tips to maintain your garbage disposal:

  • Use cold water: Running cold water while using the disposal not only helps solidify oils and grease but also keeps the motor cool during operation, prolonging its life and efficiency.
  • Avoid hard items: Avoid putting hard items like bones or fruit pits into the disposal because they can dull the blades or even cause jams, leading to potential repairs.
  • Clean regularly: Regularly flushing the disposal with cold water and baking soda helps remove odors and prevents a build-up of food particles to keep it fresh and efficient for longer.

By following these simple yet effective practices, you can keep your garbage disposal running smoothly and efficiently for years to come. With a little care, your garbage disposal will continue to handle kitchen scraps with ease, making cleanup a breeze!