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How Long do Garbage Disposals Last?

May 27, 2024

Have you ever wondered what the lifespan of your garbage disposal is?

The short answer is – these kitchen workhorses can last several years, depending on how often you use them and how well they’re cared for.

In the next sections, we’ll go over their expected lifespan, when it’s time for an upgrade, and more. So be sure to keep reading!

The Expected Lifespan of Garbage Disposals

expected lifespan of garbage disposalThe average garbage disposal will last between 8 to 15 years. However, this number isn’t set in stone; it depends on usage patterns, maintenance habits, and the quality of the unit’s components.

High-end garbage disposal systems, for instance, tend to last longer than their lower-quality counterparts.

Factors That Influence Garbage Disposal Longevity

Regular maintenance is key if you want to prolong your appliance’s lifespan.

For one thing, you want to clean it regularly. How often you use it and the type of food scraps you put in can also influence how long it’ll last. For example, frequent use can lead to quicker wear and tear and eventual replacement.

Similarly, you want to avoid putting certain items into the disposal such as oils, seafood shells, corn husks, and bones.

Hard or fibrous foods like seeds, peach stones, and vegetable stalks can also jam the blades, affecting the efficiency of the disposal.

Recognizing Signs of a Failing Garbage Disposal

Knowing when your garbage disposal is on its last legs is just as important as maintaining it. Recognizing the signs of a failing unit can save you from a potential kitchen disaster and unnecessary repair costs.

Some signs that your garbage disposal may be failing include:

  • Loud or unusual noises
  • Taking longer than usual to grind food
  • Leaking water or other fluids
  • Emitting a foul odor

If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to consider replacing your garbage disposal unit.

Other telltale signs include loud humming noises, which may indicate a dead motor, and persistent leaks at the bottom of the entire unit, which generally indicate interior cracks resulting from normal wear and tear, signaling the need for replacement.

The Journey of Food Waste: From Kitchen Sink to Disposal Unit

garbage disposal impellerModern units utilize a high-torque electric motor that spins a turntable and uses impellers to fling food residue against a grind ring. This shreds and pulverizes food scraps into tiny pieces, which can then be flushed away through the pipes.

However, not all garbage disposals are the same. Some disposal units are powered by water pressure, which use an oscillating piston with blades to effectively chop fibrous debris.

The Role of Garbage Disposal Blades in Efficiency

The spinning blades of a garbage disposal unit are designed to:

  • Break down food properly
  • Ensure smooth operation
  • Prevent clogs and jams
  • Maximize the lifespan of the unit

When the blades are not properly maintained, it can impact the unit’s performance and potentially shorten its lifespan.

Interestingly, some garbage disposals have a third stage in the grinding process with an undercutter disc that further chops food waste, optimizing the disposal’s efficiency.

The Impact of Cold Water and Hot Water on Disposal Operation

It’s highly recommended that you run water while using the garbage disposal. But did you know that the temperature of the water can also make a difference?

Cold water is particularly beneficial when running the garbage disposal as it helps solidify fats; it also allows for better chopping, which helps reduce the likelihood of clogs.

Proper Maintenance: Keeping Your Garbage Disposal in Top Shape

active garbage disposal cleanerWe highly recommend using ACTIVE Garbage Disposal Cleaner Tablets once a month to prevent odors and gunk buildup. Simply place one tablet into the sink drain while running cool water, then turn on the disposal – the tablet will automatically foam up and work its magic.

But remember, maintenance isn’t just about cleaning. You also want to be mindful of how you use the unit. For example, cold water should always be used to prevent grease from liquefying, which can stick to the blades.

Cleaning Techniques with Baking Soda and Ice Cubes

Baking soda and vinegar can be used to remove food particles. Not only that but they will also deodorize the unit.

For a more thorough clean, you can also use a combination of ice cubes, baking soda, and a slice of lemon.

The ice cubes will help break apart any remaining food, while the powder and lemon will clean, leaving behind a fresh scent.

Professional Services vs. DIY: When to Call a Plumber

While regular cleaning and maintenance can be done at home, there are times when professional services may be necessary.

For instance, if water is dripping from the garbage disposal, there may be crack in the unit and that would warrant professional plumbing services.

When it comes to replacing garbage disposal units, professional plumbing services may also be the best option.

Upgrading Your Kitchen: Selecting a New Garbage Disposal

There are several factors to consider when choosing a new garbage disposal These include the type of model, including continuous-feed or batch-feed, as well as the type of grinding chamber.

You also want to choose a unit with an appropriate horsepower that’s suitable for the volume and type of food waste your household generates.

InSinkErator Garbage Disposals and Other Top Brands

When choosing a new garbage disposal, you also want to take into consideration brand reputation. Some top-selling garbage disposal brands in the market include:

  • InSinkErator
  • Waste King
  • Moen
  • Waste Maid

Each brand offers specific features that cater to different needs. For example, models like the InSinkErator Evolution boast a durable build, a strong motor, and a protective LeakGuard liner. On the other hand, the Waste Maid WM-658-3B is applauded for its durability, and the Moen GXS75C Host Series is distinguished by its long warranty.

Installation and Removal Considerations

garbage disposal installationOnce you’ve chosen your new garbage disposal, the next step is to install the new unit. While some handy homeowners might be tempted to install the unit themselves, it’s often recommended to enlist a professional to avoid potential issues like leaks, water pressure complications, or water temperature inconsistencies.

However, if you do decide to take on the task yourself, remember that it requires:

  • Basic plumbing and electrical wiring skills
  • Tools like a hammer, screwdrivers, and a putty knife
  • A compatible kitchen sink and cabinet

Home Warranty Coverage and Garbage Disposals

Home warranties typically cover the cost of repair or replacement for a garbage disposal unit due to normal wear and tear, assuming regular maintenance has been performed.

Having a home warranty can easily save you from significant out-of-pocket expenses when it comes to replacing or repairing your garbage disposal. All you need to do is file a claim, which is usually a simple process with a home warranty company.

Understanding What’s Covered Under Home Warranties.

Your Service Agreement will detail all the conditions, limitations, and any exclusions of coverage. Make sure to read the document thoroughly to avoid any surprises when you need to use your warranty.

Navigating Claims and Service Calls

Filing a claim for your garbage disposal under a home warranty is usually straightforward. You can log into an online homeowner portal or call the warranty provider to file a claim and schedule an appointment with a contractor.

Typically, the process involves diagnosing the problem, dispatching a contractor, and paying a service fee.

The Lifespan of Modern Garbage Disposals

Understanding the lifespan of your garbage disposal, recognizing the signs of a failing unit, and knowing how to maintain and clean it can significantly extend its life and efficiency.

When it’s time for a replacement garbage disposal, consider factors like model type, material composition, horsepower, and compatibility with septic systems. Finally, don’t overlook the importance of home warranty coverage, which can save you significant costs in repairs or replacements.

Key Takeaways

  • Garbage disposals typically have a lifespan of 8 to 15 years, which can be extended through proper usage and regular maintenance
  • Signs of a failing garbage disposal include frequent resets, unusual noises, slow grinding, leaks, and foul odors
  • Proper maintenance, such as regular cleaning with ACTIVE Garbage Disposal Cleaner Tablets, avoiding certain types of food waste, and using cold water during operation, can significantly improve the performance and lifespan of a garbage disposal

Life Expectancy of a Functioning Garbage Disposal – FAQs

How long do garbage disposals last?

how long do garbage disposals lastGarbage disposals can last anywhere from 8 to 15 years under optimal conditions, on average.

What are the signs of a failing garbage disposal?

If you notice frequent resetting, loud humming noises, persistent leaks, or unusual noises or clogs, your garbage disposal may be failing and require a replacement.

How can I clean my garbage disposal?

ACTIVE Garbage Disposal Cleaner Tablets is the best option. Not only is it easy to use but it’s also highly effective at eliminating odors and gunk buildup.

You can also clean your garbage disposal using a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, or ice cubes.

What should I consider when choosing a new garbage disposal?

When choosing a new garbage disposal, consider the type of model, material composition of the grinding chamber, horsepower, and compatibility with septic systems.

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Ethan Clarke

Ethan Clarke is a seasoned expert in appliances and household waste systems. Referencing his extensive experience as an appliance repairman, Ethan shares his invaluable knowledge through detailed maintenance & troubleshooting manuals. Ethan’s insights help homeowners understand and maintain their appliances efficiently, ensuring longevity and optimal performance. He’s here to provide practical, easy-to-follow advice for all your appliance needs.

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