Garbage disposal units are designed to break down food scraps, among other things, to ensure that the sink remains clean and the drainage stays unclogged. However, after extended use, these units can start acting up.
According to the “International Association of Certified Home Inspectors,” garbage disposals can last for at least 12-years. However, life expectancy differs from model to model. Apart from that, regular upkeep also adds a good few useable years to your garbage disposal.
So, do you want to know how long do garbage disposals last? Read on!
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What Impacts The Life Of Garbage Disposals?
Though many factors impact the life of garbage disposals, the following three elements matter the most:
How Long Do Garbage Disposals Usually Last On Average?
The number of years garbage disposals last before they are beyond repair differs primarily based on several factors. These include but aren’t limited to usage frequency, type of grinding, the kind of waste, and whether the manufacturer’s recommended upkeep procedures are being followed or not.
Nevertheless, the average garbage disposer should last anywhere around 10 to 12-year for a normal-sized home that focuses on frequent cleaning and upkeep of the appliance. Of course, this doesn’t account for households allowing items barred from placing into the unit, such as celery, grease, bones, etc.
However, you can extend the lifespan of your appliance by taking certain steps. For example, with proper maintenance and care, you can increase the lifespan of your garbage disposal to anywhere between 15-20 years.
Wondering how long do InSinkErator garbage disposals last?
Well, the lifespan of an InSinkErator garbage disposer is better than other brands; plus, they are backed with generous warranties. Being a premium, and reliable garbage disposal brand, typically, their units can last between 10-15 years and may require only minor maintenance and repairs.
How To Extend The Life Of A Garbage Disposal Unit
It’s a given: with proper maintenance, you can extend the life of garbage disposal. But how exactly?
Here are three practical ways all homeowners can use:
Make sure to use your unit regularly. That’s because frequent usage can minimize debris build-up, particularly when soap is used while it functions.
Every week, fill the sink with clean cold water. When the kitchen sink gets full, remove the drain plug so that the water flows down the drain. This way, you can clear away all sorts of unwanted, lingering materials from your appliance.
Monthly garbage disposer maintenance includes a three-step process:
- 1Drop some ice into your sink, and let it sit for a while. After that, wash it down with ice-cold water, enabling ice to permeate the drain so that it can melt away slowly
- 2Take out the drain baffle, in case you’ve one. Clean it carefully and thoroughly before putting it back
- 3Pour half a cup of vinegar as well as baking soda into the grinding chamber. Then top it with boiling water
All in all, if you regularly clean your garbage disposal and keep it, you’ll enjoy years of flawless performance.
When Should You Replace Your Garbage Disposal? (Signs Of Failing Disposal)
Functioning garbage disposals help keep the sink as well as pipes clean and clear. However, if the unit acts up, it can affect how you cook, do the dishes, and keep the kitchen clean.
With that said, some garbage disposer issues can be addressed, whereas some problems may lead to complete replacements. There are certain tell-tales of failing garbage disposals like frequent resets, bizarre clogs, jams, etc.
Are you still wondering how to know whether your broken-down garbage disposal requires replacement or not? If so, read on!
Abnormal Loud Noises
Garbage disposers can be quite loud when they have pieces of silverware within them. Therefore, inspect by hand when you hear a clanking sound and use a flashlight for better visibility; fish around for an evident source such as the lost spoon.
If no apparent obstructions are there, chances are the garbage disposal’s parts are misaligned. In such instances, a quick modification can address the issue.
Overall, it’s crucial to resolve new garbage disposal sounds quickly as the motor can be impacted.
The appliance’s ‘reset’ button gets activated when uncommon situations occur, such as large clogs or loads. However, if the waste disposer is in top shape, there is no need to reset the unit.
But if frequent resets are required, it means the unit is aging out. Apart from that, another common reason for repeated resets is ‘loose wiring.’ To address it safely, call in an electrician or a plumber.
To avoid potential clogs, always crush food scraps into tiny particles before putting them through the disposal unit. But, regardless of how tiny the particles are, they eventually begin blocking the drainage.
In some instances, clogs can signal that you need a higher-capacity appliance. In other cases, these jams may suggest a breakdown in the garbage disposal.
No Power/Won’t Turn On
If the garbage disposer refuses to switch on or shuts off automatically while operational, you should check whether the related fuse has blown.
If the electrical system is not at fault, schedule an inspection of your unit. Typically, these inexplicable power problems suggest a defective motor — either it’s blown out or on borrowed time.
Persistent Odors/Bad Smell
Typically, garbage disposal units tend to have unpleasant odors originated from the crushing of food scraps. But, many of these odors can be removed with some gentle cleaning and rinsing.
If nothing appears to do justice, call a professional who would take the unit apart to seek the source and remove it. It’s vital to remember that you shouldn’t resort to using chemical cleaners while operating the disposal. Because using such solvents can damage your unit’s components and blades.
Most loads should go through the disposal quickly. However, if they’re taking excessive time, the blade may need to be sharpened or replaced.
In some instances, if blades report being excessively decayed, the entire unit may need to be replaced. Therefore, consult a professional on what should be done.
Water Is Leaking
Over time, you may witness water seeping through some garbage disposal parts used to connect it with the plumbing system. If not addressed in time, you may need to buy a new unit.
These leakages may leave puddles under the kitchen sink and by the cabinet. Also, there are good chances that you mistake a sink or dishwasher leakage for a garbage disposal leak. Thus, call a professional plumber to find the source.
Furthermore, if you happen to notice a combination of the above signs such as abnormal loud noises, frequent resets, inexplicable clogs, along with water leaks, immediately call a plumber for assessment.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Can you still use the sink if the garbage disposal is broken?
Yes, you can use the sink if the garbage disposal is broken, however, with a few cautions. Because your dishwasher also depends on the garbage disposer for draining. Even if the disposal is broken, it’s attached to the drain and enables greywater from your dishwasher to flow through it into the drain.
How much does it cost to replace a garbage disposal?
Garbage disposals typically range between $55 to $255 and up based on the brand and size you choose to replace and install. Nevertheless, along with labor charges, be ready to pay anywhere between $110 to $550.
How long does it take to replace a garbage disposal?
Replacing garbage disposals may take anywhere between 3 to 5-hour on average, based on:
Do home warranties cover garbage disposals?
Yes, home warranties cover garbage disposals. Home warranty companies offering garbage disposers typically protect every component of the unit. In addition to that, if your appliance breaks down and involves some plumbing issue, the warranty remains applicable.
On average, garbage disposals should last anywhere between 10 to 12 years. However, with proper care, cleaning, and maintenance, you can extend your unit’s lifespan up to 15 to 20-years.
Nevertheless, the lifespan of garbage disposals varies and depends on many things such as usage frequency, items placed into the unit, quality of the disposer, etc.
Josh enjoys researching, testing and diving into home improvement & DIY products. He has a passion for tools, learning new skills and fixing the everyday problems that arise around the house.