How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last?

Obviously not all home appliances last forever. Daily wear and tear takes a toll and eventually they need all to be replaced. However, it can be difficult as a homeowner to determine when an appliance needs to be replaced rather than simply repaired.

In the case of garbage disposals, there are a few key tellers to help make it easier for you to determine when you should get a replacement rather than a repair. Believe it or not, a lot of it has to do with the age of your disposal.

Lifespan of a Garbage Disposal

The typical garbage disposal lifespan for an appliance that has been well maintained is about 15 years, though some can last as few as eight. How long do garbage disposals last on average depends entirely on how often it is used and how well it is maintained. Understanding your garbage disposal life expectancy can help you determine if it’s worth repairing or replacing when an issue arises. 

If your appliance is new, then it may be better to repair any issue that arises rather than to replace the appliance entirely. However, if it’s reaching the end of its garbage disposal lifespan, then a replacement might end up being cheaper than a repair in the long run.

When researching “how long do garbage disposals last,” be sure to note when yours was installed, especially if you live in an older home. Newer garbage disposals tend to be more long-lasting than older ones, so if you live in an older home, you could expect to replace your garbage disposal sooner rather than later. Additionally, use and maintenance have an impact on your garbage disposal life expectancy.

Signs You Should Replace Your Garbage Disposal

1. Stubborn Smells

If there’s one thing you should know about mixing old food with water and then letting it sit in a moist environment is that it will very quickly start to smell. Always be sure to rinse your drain with water after putting food in the disposal to prevent the buildup of smells.

Keep in mind that garbage disposals are meant to help prevent smells, but sometimes there are sink smells that are unpleasant anyway. If foul odors persist despite your efforts to freshen it (rinsing out your sink and drain, using cleaners, making sure the disposal is clear of food waste and debris, etc), then there could be an issue with your garbage disposal. There may be food particles trapped or your disposal may be broken and in need of a replacement.

2. Unusual Noises

Garbage disposals make noise by nature, and while there are some ways to make your sink quieter, there are some sounds broken garbage disposals make that you should never ignore. In fact, any peculiar sound coming from your garbage disposal that is different from normal is reason for concern. 

Metal grinding against metal, buzzing, humming, and other noises coming from your garbage disposal are a clear sign that your appliance is malfunctioning. Try shining a light down your drain to see if you can see a utensil or some other object trapped in the blades. If you’re not able to find anything, then you should call in a professional plumber to get your garbage disposal checked and perhaps replaced.

3. Frequent Clogs

There are a few ways you can be sure to take good care of your garbage disposal: always run water while using your disposal, and allow the water to run for at least 20 seconds after use; and only put food items approved by your garbage disposal manufacturer into your disposal after cutting them up into small, manageable pieces. 

If you’re doing these things yet frequently needing to unclog your garbage disposal, you could have a serious issue on your hands such as dull blades, a bad motor, or a variety of other issues. It may need to be replaced.

4. Dull Blades

If you’re noticing that your garbage disposal is taking way longer to grind than normal (or you keep getting clogs), you could have dull blades and your garbage disposal might need to be replaced.

5. Garbage Disposal Won’t Turn On

This is an obvious sign that something is malfunctioning with your garbage disposal. Try resetting your disposal to see if that resolves your issue, and you can also double-check your circuit breaker to be sure it’s getting power. If neither of these things resolves your issue, then your garbage disposal most likely needs a replacement.

6. It Needs to be Reset Often

It’s not unusual for you to need to hit the reset button on your garbage disposal after you’ve resolved a clog or put large amounts of food waste down your disposal. However, if you’re constantly resetting your garbage disposal for it to work then the motor is likely failing and your disposal needs to be replaced.

Resolve All Your Garbage Disposal Issues With Ease

Garbage disposal issues can be frustrating, smelly, and put a halt on many kitchen tasks. Never attempt to fix garbage disposal issues yourself as you can cause serious harm to yourself or damage your appliance if you don’t have the necessary tools or skills. 

Be sure to call in a licensed, professional plumber to resolve your garbage disposal issues when they arise. This will ensure your safety and protect the longevity of your appliance. If your garbage disposal is giving you concerning or continual problems, call } or contact the John C. Flood certified HVAC technicians online now. We’ll provide the services you need as well as expert recommendations on whether your garbage disposal should be repaired or replaced.

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