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How Long Will a Garbage Disposal Last?

white question mark on blue backgroundYou probably use your kitchen sink garbage disposal every day, and that kind of appliance becomes easy to take for granted. Even though a disposal uses a powerful motor and does the action of grinding down food waste, people often make the assumption that a disposal will just keep running without the need to replace it. 

Of course, this isn’t true. In fact, the average life expectancy of a garbage disposal is about 10 years. After that point, although the disposal may continue to run when it turns on, it will have worn down enough that it will start to clog more frequently because it can no longer grind down food as effectively.

We can help you with your garbage disposal in Northbrook, IL when it comes time to repair it or replace it, as well as help you determine which is the best choice.

How to Tell You’ve Got an Over-the-Hill Disposal

Age alone isn’t the best determining factor for when to get a new garbage disposal, although we strongly recommend watching for signs of deterioration after the 10-year mark. Below are several ways to tell you have a disposal getting close to retirement time.

  • Clogs are common. When using the disposal, always keep the water running long enough to wash down all the food waste, otherwise you risk having clogs. But if you’re diligent about doing this and the drainpipe continues to clog or jam up the disposal, you either need a higher capacity disposal (if it’s still relatively new) or you need to replace it.
  • It’s making weird noises. Strange sounds from any mechanical device are not a good sign. With a garbage disposal, you want to watch out for metallic sounds. The first time you hear such a noise, check that something isn’t caught in the disposal, like a piece of silverware. If this isn’t the case, call for repairs. The grind rings may be misaligned or the disposal worn down.
  • You have to reset it often. The reset button on the bottom of the disposal is a local electrical breaker switch that trips to prevent the motor of the disposal from overheating. You’ll probably have to reset it a few times during its service life—this is normal. If you’re hitting the reset button a few times a week, or even each time you try to use the disposal, that’s a strong sign of a disposal that’s too old.
  • Foul odors. This is another warning of a garbage disposal that can no longer handle its basic job as well as it once did. If the odors continue to come back no matter how much baking soda and vinegar you pour down the disposal, the unit may be trapping too much food waste in its mechanisms due to age. 

When in doubt, give the Reliance Plumbing team a call. We can take care of any repairs that will restore your disposal, or we’ll help you get a great new unit in place. 

Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. serves the Northshore and Northwest Chicagoland area. Call us 24/7 for emergency service.

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