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How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last?

Your garbage disposal is designed to take food waste and grind it up before it runs down your drain and into your sewer line. As such, it is an important kitchen appliance that helps you reduce the occurrence of clogs and buildup in your sewer line. The average garbage disposal will last for around ten years if well maintained.

Signs It Is Time to Replace Your Garbage Disposal

A troublesome garbage disposal can be frustrating. But, how do you know when it’s time to replace the disposal vs. repairing it? In addition to seeking guidance from a professional plumber, there are a few signs that your garbage disposal is on its way out.

You should consider replacing your garbage disposal if you notice any of the following issues:

  • You are struggling with frequent jams or clogs
  • The disposal makes a lot of noise and shakes while operating
  • You are dealing with frequent leaks under your sink
  • The disposal has broken down, and the costs of a repair exceed the price of a new unit

Choosing a new garbage disposal is relatively simple. However, you want to make sure you select a model that is properly sized for your sink and will suit your needs. It is also important that you have your garbage disposal professionally installed. If you are in the market for a new garbage disposal, reach out to Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for guidance. Our plumbers can help you with everything from selecting the right model to a professional installation.

How to Keep Your Disposal in Good Condition

Garbage disposals have become ubiquitous in American kitchens. In fact, they are one of the most frequently used appliances in our homes. Consequently, we have come to rely on them. When they stop working or becomes less effective, we notice right away. However, with proper care and a little TLC, you can expect to get the most out of your garbage disposal for at least a decade.

Below we provide three helpful tips on how to keep your garbage disposal working well for years to come. Keep reading to learn more.

Tip #1: Know What You Can Put Down the Disposal

The first step in keeping your garbage disposal in good condition is knowing what you can and cannot put in it. Generally speaking, disposals are designed to handle a small amount of food waste or scraps that go down the drain when rinsing dishes or plates. They are not a substitute for the garbage can, and large quantities of food scraps should not be put down them.

You should avoid putting the following items in your garbage disposal:

  • Bones
  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Fibrous vegetables
  • Fruit pits
  • Oils and grease
  • Tough peels and skins, including banana, potato, and avocado peels

It is also recommended that you always use cold water when running your disposal.

Tip #2: Keep Your Disposal Clean

It may be surprising, but you do need to clean your garbage disposal from time to time. While your disposal does a good job of grinding and flushing away food scraps, it can be susceptible to buildup just like your pipes are. You may also start to notice foul odors. However, you want to be careful when cleaning your disposal and never use chemical drain cleaners. These can be highly corrosive and can damage your disposal and your sewer line.

A simple, DIY way to clean your disposal is to place a generous handful of ice cubes, a tablespoon of baking soda, and a few thin slices of lemon in the disposal. Turn the disposal on and let it run until the grinding stops (with the faucet turned off). Then, with the motor continuing to run, turn your faucet run and flush the disposal for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This will help clean and refresh your disposal. It is recommended that you clean your disposal at least once a month or more often if you use your disposal frequently.

If you are still having issues with buildup or bad odors after cleaning your disposal, reach out to our plumbers for professional guidance.

Tip #3: Use Your Disposal Regularly

Even if you rarely have a use for your garbage disposal, you should still run it every so often to ensure that it is still working and that the disposal’s blades do not become rusty or stuck from lack of use. Every few days, run your disposal with the tap on and cold water running down the drain. This will also help ensure that any remaining food scraps from the last time you used the disposal have been cleared.

Keeping your garbage disposal in good working condition can be simple, quick, and easy. However, if you are in a situation where your disposal needs a repair or replacement, don’t hesitate to call our team of professional plumbers. We are always standing by to help.