For anyone who has ever used the garbage disposal, the thought of having to stay without one is just absurd. It makes your work way easier. It will keep the sinks clean, the local landfills free of too much waste.
Traditionally, you would have left the garbage to compost or waited for the garbage collectors to collect the trash. Both of these methods take more time than when you are using the garbage disposal.
How Long Does A Garbage Disposal Last
So, for anyone new to the garbage disposal world asking how long it lasts is as realistic and legit as it can get. Although many of us want a clear answer, many factors will determine the length of stay. So, let’s keep going to understand it
Is A Garbage Disposal an Appliance?
To handle the question, you need to know what an appliance is.
An appliance is a mechanical or electrical machine that you use to perform a particular task. The gadgets work to achieve a set function wherever they are set. For the household appliance, these gadgets make it easy to obtain an established role in the household.
The garbage disposal must get rid of the waste, thus making sure you have a safer environment to live in. While some people don’t think it’s an appliance it is. Consider the fact that it’s an electrical machine that is set to perform a particular function.
In the household, it’s classified under the handy kitchen appliance. In fact, if you go shopping for the device in the stores like home depot you will find it set amongst other household appliances. So, to answer the question is, yes, it’s an appliance.
How Long Will the Garbage Disposal Last?
As we have clearly said, many factors will determine how long the garbage disposal will last. The primary factor is the brand you bought and the care and maintenance you employ. It should take you between 8-15 years on average.
How long do Insinkerator garbage disposals last?
This is one of the two most popular brands in the garbage disposal sect. It’s one of those that you are sure if taken proper care of will last between 10-15years. Mostly though, they last for at least 12 years. The other three years, depending on how much attention you gave them.
More Reading: Waste King Vs. Insinkerator
This fact is true for even the Waste King disposers. You can use them for longer than you would with other brands. The other brands may last for between 6-12 years. I bet you’ll understand why the two last longer; because the two brands have been improving their units for ages.
How to Tell If Garbage Disposal Is Bad?
If you have been using the disposal, you should tell when it’s not operating right. It’s just like someone you live with or even a baby you will know that they aren’t okay even though they don’t say.
The good thing is that most of the problems you can fix alone. In other instances, the disposer has gotten damaged and needs replacement. Below are the signs to tell you that you need a new one.
Does the disposer refuse to shut on or it always shuts itself off while still in use? This is the first indicator that it’s faulty. But, before you discard the disposal, confirm that the circuit is okay and it hasn’t blown off. Because that’s always a possibility for its shutting down as well.
Otherwise, if the circuit is fine and it keeps shutting off still or won’t start totally, this is an indication that you have a faulty disposer. The problem might be because the motor is on its last service days.
This appliance is one of the noisiest types in the kitchen. But you should note the kind of sound it makes when in operation. Most Insinkerator garbage disposals, in fact, will make no noise at all. They mostly hum, thus if you notice a loud noise, it will indicate that the disposer is faulty.
Have you ever accidentally dropped the small utensil in the disposal? It makes the loudest noise when you start running the disposer. If you here such noise and still you confirm that you haven’t dropped the utensils in, you should know that it’s getting bad.
However, you can make adjustments to make it work properly. The metals may be grinding on each other, thus adjust the metal blades. Make sure you attend to it immediately you notice the noise to stop further damage.
Clogs is almost a common problem you will have with the garbage disposal and other drainage systems. Not many people will even tell that clogs are way too many. But even before you start operating the disposer, you are told that you should try to avoid clogs.
You should only use very tiny pieces of the food waste to help in the grinding. If you notice that it keeps jamming and clogging even when you have done everything possible to prevent the clogs, know that there’s more problem than meets the eyes.
There are situations where the clogs show you that the appliance has suddenly become malfunctional.
Another indicator that the disposer might have gotten faulty is the endless odor. The fact that the disposer handles waste and sometimes even food waste that has gotten stale makes it susceptible to odor. But with a gentle and regular cleaning, you should combat this problem.
If you have tried to get rid of the odor, but you can’t make it, then it may be time to call the plumber. They will let you know if the disposer is faulty. If it’s a simple particle causing the smell then the plumber will get rid of it.
The need to frequently reset it
You know the essence of the reset button is to make it reverse its operation to start it over again. It particularly helps when there’s a jam or clog. Now in case that the disposer is working fine you won’t have to reset anyway.
Some garbage disposal requires that you reset them frequently. You will switch it on and still need to use the reset button for it to start. Such disposers are damaged, and you need to get a new disposer.
The water leaks
Another common problem is leaks. The leaks are usually minimal, but if its extensive you should know that the disposer is faulty. Although if you realize this problem soon you can seek the plumber’s help.
The Garbage Disposal Maintenance
While the garbage disposal is a workhorse in the kitchen, it certainly is not the garbage can. When you know this, you won’t throw every other waste in it to keep is safe.
Garbage Disposal under sink
Notice that, the garbage disposal serves you as much as you like, but when it breaks down you will hassle to revive it.
The following are the preventive maintenance tips to maintain daily to keep it safe.
Water water and water
When using the disposal, use enough or more water. This will prevent any form of clogs that are caused by food waste blocks.
Before you begin running the garbage disposal run some water.
While the grinding is going on continue running the water
Once it’s done grinding run even more water. Leave the water running for a few more seconds. The water that you are running will clean off the food particles that could be stuck on the disposer.
Notice that for the disposer its advisable to only use the cold water, not the hot water. Often the hot water may liquefy fats and grease. While it will wash away some of it, some will stick to the blades and walls. This form’s build-up and eventually clogs or jams are inevitable.
You shouldn’t forget to clean the disposal. You can use the dishwasher soap after grinding, especially the ones that will get rid of grease. This will keep it free of clogs and build up that may lead to clogs.
Also, you can use the deodorizing cleansers to get rid of bad odor. Remember to give the disposer a deep cleanse every once in a while. But within the fifteen years, you should call the plumber every after two years for professional cleaning.
Just don’t use any harsh chemicals for the process, especially if you are using the septic system. Consider using the ice or vinegar and baking soda instead. You can also use the borax among others.
Since cleaning is the most important when it comes to maintenance, you should spend a little more time here. Remember to clean your garbage disposal weekly. However, if you are careful what you put in it, you can cleanse it every once in 2-3 weeks.
Also practice the good habit when you are leaving the house for a long time, to clean it. The tongs and pliers will help in getting the stuck object.
Check the food you throw in the disposer
Of course, you will throw the food waste in the disposer but, you won’t throw every kind of food waste. Most of the food waste can be handled by the disposer. First off, the garbage disposal will only grind the food waste.
Keep off of fibrous foods and hard bones.
If possible, don’t even throw oil, fat, and grease in it.
Potato peels are a no no. Often, they grind to form a starchy paste. This can then clog the drainage. Banana peels are the same, but they go on to add the stringy fibers to the mixture.
Coffee beans and grinds are also bad for the disposer. They often form tiny particles that will stick on as sludge. They are another reason to form clogs.
Only put tiny pieces of waste
The disposer is not such a big machine, especially the ones used at home. This means that you shouldn’t put food waste in bulk form. Not only will they overwork the impellers, but they also make the processing slower.
Therefore, if you have large pieces of food waste, you should break them down. It will help the disposer breakdown the waste quickly and easily.
When you have the disposal, you should operate it regularly but also check its operation. This will help you repair it sooner when there’s need. If you leave it with the tiny problem over a prolonged time, it might damage it entirely.
Such actions will influence the length of stay of the garbage disposal. If for example, you force the disposer to work with the weird noise, you might just damage the impellers ultimately.
In summary, for the maintenance, you should troubleshoot the problem before it becomes a menace. The good thing is that it’s easy to troubleshoot the garbage disposal’s problem. Most importantly avoid clogs and jams.
When buying the garbage disposal always consider the warranty. You can go for the home warranty option. It can cover some of the repair and maintenance needs. It’s almost inevitable that most of the garbage disposals like other appliances will frequently need repair.
If they are older, it will need even more repair than new appliances. If you got a home warranty policy, this would serve you better. This keeps you safe to only cater to the service charge of at most $100.
The warranties will only cover the charges if you have been maintaining the appliance. Thus, you should always check it every so often. Remember, this is the choice you make to cover your gadgets. Read the warranty policy though to ensure it’s what you want.
I know you may ask why to go for the home warranties when the company gives you the warranties. My concern is that the warranty expires over time. Most of the brands give you between 2-7 years warranty.
It’s only Waste King that gives you a lifetime for some of its disposals. But even then, you will have conditions to follow for you to earn the warranty. One important point to note is that if you mishandle the disposer, the brand will never cover it.
When to Replace the Garbage Disposal
Most of the times with the signs above of bad garbage disposal, you would know its also time to replace it. But below are the additional ones for you to know you don’t have the option of asking how long it lasts.
It has lasted almost 15 years
When you notice that your disposer is malfunctioned, remember when you bought it. If it has been more or nearly 15 years since you purchased it, this should tell you that it’s failing.
Did you notice that it’s operational but it’s quite slow?
Is it leaking profusely?
Is it absurdly noisy or quiet?
Won’t it even start on some days?
Has it suddenly jammed or it just doesn’t run?
These are all indicators that the disposer may be malfunctioned. It has religiously served you for many years so it may be time to get rid of it.
When you are moving or remodeling the kitchen
Well although you may have used the garbage disposal for just a short while when you decide to move or remodel the kitchen, you may consider changing the disposer too. There are people who want everything new and fresh.
However, it’s not mandatory to make the changes, but only if you have had the appliance for more than ten years. It doesn’t make sense for you to live it on when you are remodeling the kitchen. It’s cost-effective to make the changes.
You don’t have to wait until it has failed to change it. It will cost you less when you wish to replace it cost than when you need to repair.
· Electrical problem
When the garbage disposal has a problem turning on all the time, maybe it’s time for a replacement. This is especially true if you have been trying to repair it, but it just doesn’t work.
Sometimes you even call the electrician and still it won’t run. Therefore, getting rid of it is the only solution. Sadly, you may spend so much trying to fix the problem. For those who know the garbage disposal more, its best to replace it.
The other indication that you need the replacement is usually the leakages. There are some of the leakages that you may fix, and they typically include:
Pipe leakages which you can fix by simply tightening the pipes. You can replace the pipes too.
The sink flange leak is another one that you can fix using the plumber’s putty.
However, when the body of the disposer is leaking it will be more than you can fix. When this happens, you will need to replace it. For the most part, the body will have cracked or it’s rusted.
Do Garbage Disposals Need to Be Emptied?
Under normal circumstances, the garbage disposal empties itself automatically. But sometimes it will get so filled that it needs emptying. You might have dropped something in it that you shouldn’t thus need emptying. Therefore, sometimes you must empty it.
So, as you can see, how long the disposal will last is something you can decide. With proper care, you enhance the lifespan, and when you mishandle it, then you reduce the lifespan.