When Should I Replace My Garbage Disposal?

Replace My Garbage Disposal

Chances are you probably don’t think about your garbage disposal too much until something goes wrong. The garbage disposal is a small appliance with a big job. Most of the time, with proper care and maintenance, a garbage disposal can last up to 15 years. However, we see many of our customers replacing their garbage disposals early due to improper care. If you’ve been curious about a new appliance, or asking, “should I replace my garbage disposal,” read on to find some answers.

How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last?

On average, a garbage disposal can last between 8 and 10 years. We know that’s a large stretch, but that number depends on different circumstances. What make and model you have, who installed it, and how you take care of it are all factors. With proper upkeep, newer models, such as the ones used at Bell Brothers, can last up to 15 years.

Warning Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Garbage Disposal

Oftentimes garbage disposals start to fail in small ways that many homeowners can’t recognize. These small problems can add up until the whole appliance fails. If you experience any of these issues it might be time to replace your garbage disposal.

  • Frequent Clogs – It’s easy to associate clogs with something else in the plumbing system. But, over time a disposal can’t break down food as well as it once was able to. This can cause frequent backups and clogs.
  • Dull Blades – Once the blades start to dull, your garbage disposal won’t break down food as effectively. If you see your food not breaking down as well as it used to, it might be time to look into a new system.
  • Strange Sounds – If you hear a grinding noise, first turn off the system, and then make sure nothing is stuck in the blades. If a small piece of silverware or something else is down there, pull it out. When you turn it on again, if you still hear a sound, it’s time to call the plumbing experts at Bell Brothers.
  • Odd Odors – Smell something funky? It’s normal for food waste to have a bad odor and sometimes particles can get trapped in your garbage disposal. If there’s a smell you can’t get rid of and your garbage disposal is older, then it is probably time for a new one.
  • Leaks – When we talk about leaks, we don’t mean leaking from a tube or connector, we mean leaking from the disposal itself.
  • Frequently Hitting Reset – One of the most obvious signs it’s time to replace your garbage disposal is if you find yourself constantly hitting the reset button.

The Care and Keeping of Your Garbage Disposal

Want to ensure your disposal lasts as long as possible? There are a few things you can do to help lengthen the timeline of this important appliance.

  • Turn on the Disposal Every Few Days – Do you ever go for a few days without using your disposal or sink? We’ve all had those weeks when we rely on takeout. If you’re doing this don’t forget to run the disposal with water every few days. This practice ensures everything stays in good working order and makes sure anything that might be lingering gets flushed out.
  • Watch What You Grind – Far too often we see homeowners use the disposal as a secondary trash can. Just because something can fit down the drain doesn’t mean it belongs there. Being mindful of what you put into the disposal is one of the most important ways to take care of it. Hard seeds, such as cherry or peach pits, and bones can dull the blades and get jammed. Fibrous foods like celery stalks, artichokes, or onion skins can get tangled around the garbage disposal and cause a backup in your plumbing system.
  • Clean with Natural Products – One of the worst things you can do for your garbage disposal and plumbing system, is to put harsh chemical cleaners down the drain. Chemical drain cleaners actually cause more harm than good as they can corrode your pipes. Instead, if you smell something funky coming from your disposal, put an orange or lemon peel in there and grind it with cold water.

Need a New Disposal? The Experts at Bell Brothers are Here for You

Are you noticing any of the signs we talked about? Then it might be time to consider a new garbage disposal. If you’re worried abut a large decision, don’t be! The plumbing specialists at Bell Brothers are ready for any question you may have. We have been in the business of bettering homes for over 20 years, so we understand what Sacramento homeowners want and need. To meet your own plumbing specialist, call the number at the top of the screen.