People often think of the garbage disposal in their kitchen sink as an appliance that will never need to be replaced. To them, it’s just a part of the structure of the kitchen, and until the day the kitchen gets a major renovation, the garbage disposal will hang around and keep doing its job.
This isn’t true, of course. No mechanical appliance can last forever, and a garbage disposal handles an immense workload, operating almost every day. Although a broken disposal can be fixed, at a certain point it will no longer be worth repairing and it’s best to have a new unit installed.
The question is, how long can you expect your garbage disposal to last?
First, “dull blades” aren’t the reason to replace a disposal
We want to get this misunderstanding out of the way. A disposal will wear down with time and use, but not because the blades in it have become dull. That’s because there aren’t any blades in a garbage disposal! If you look at a cut-away image of a disposal, you’ll see that it works by using blunt impellers to hurl food waste into an outer grind ring. A garbage disposal loses efficiency because of a failing motor.
Average disposal life expectancy
Now we can get to the raw numbers. The average kitchen sink garbage disposal will last from 8 to 15 years before it needs to be replaced. The wide range in life expectancy is because of the difference in how often people use their disposals and how well they treat them. If you often put objects down the disposal that shouldn’t go down it, you’ll shorten its service life. As a quick reminder, keep the following out of the disposal:
- Actual garbage, like paper and plastic. Only food waste goes down the disposal.
- Fats, oils, and grease.
- Fruit pits, meat bones, and any food waste that you can’t chew with your teeth. If you can’t chew it, the disposal can’t grind it.
- Pasta and rice, which absorb water and expand.
- Stringy vegetables (celery, asparagus) and onion skins.
With a moderate amount of use and proper care, you may be able to get your disposal to the upper range of that 8 to 15 years.
How to know when the disposal is finished
If your garbage disposal is in the retirement age range, watch for indications that it’s coming to the end of its service life:
- The kitchen sink is clogging often.
- The disposal is making a racket each time it runs.
- The disposal frequently trips its circuit breaker (the reset button on the bottom of the unit).
- The disposal makes a humming noise.
- Water is leaking from the disposal.
- The disposal is running slower.
Please don’t attempt to replace the disposal yourself. You want a skilled plumber to handle any work for your garbage disposal in Glendale, AZ. Call our plumbers when you think you’re ready for a new disposal, and we’ll take care of everything.
The Trusted Plumber serves Glendale, AZ and the surrounding areas. Schedule service with a trusted plumber today!