May 02

How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last?

Overflowing kitchen sink due to broken garbage disposal

Typically, garbage disposals last for ten years. Some might fail earlier, while others can operate for 15 years. Factors affecting a garbage disposal service life include frequency of use, items placed in it, and the unit’s quality. Avoid putting nuts, bones, and other hard objects down the garbage disposal to increase their lifespan. To avoid plumbing problems, you should also keep grease, oil, and non-food items away. Many homeowners still ask us, “How long do garbage disposals last?” If you see these symptoms, your garbage disposal might need a repair or replacement.

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Is It Time For A New Garbage Disposal?

Read on to learn more about how long a garbage disposal’s lifespan is. This also includes some of the symptoms that indicate the need to replace your garbage disposal. They are as follows:

Unusual Noises From The Garbage Disposal Unit

A constant hum from your garbage disposal means it is working as it should. If you have owned a unit for some time, you might be familiar with how it works. You also know the noises it makes when shredding various foods. If you hear an unusual sound like a metallic clang or a loud racket, use a flashlight to check if a spoon or other utensil slipped inside. Misaligned parts can cause this disturbance and damage the motor. Consult a plumber to investigate and make adjustments when needed.

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A Persistent Foul Odor From The Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are frequently exposed to water and organic matter, making them prone to developing foul smells. However, cleaning them regularly should take care of this issue. If you clean it diligently, but it still smells bad, it could have a deeper problem. Some people might use harsh chemicals to eliminate this problem, but it isn’t recommended. The chemicals can damage the garbage disposal’s parts, blades, and plumbing pipes. Contact a plumber to help you. They will take the unit apart to determine the source of the foul smell. The likely culprit behind this problem is trapped food particles.


A Nonfunctional Garbage Disposal

A dead unit is one of the most apparent symptoms of something wrong. The appliance might not move even after you turn it on. This can be caused by a problem with the motor, circuits, or wiring. The unit might also automatically switch off while in the middle of its task. This needs to be handled carefully, so don’t attempt a DIY repair. Have an expert plumber come and check your garbage disposal immediately.

Cracks And Leaks Around The Garbage Disposal Unit

Plumber fixing a garbage disposal

Mechanical stress can put a strain on your garbage disposal. It can cause cracks that result in kitchen leaks. You will notice puddles on the floor near the sink. An untrained eye might not distinguish whether it was caused by a disposal leak or a sink leak. A plumber can correctly diagnose the issue. The problem is easier to fix after pinpointing its source.

Needing To Reset The Garbage Disposal All The Time

The garbage disposal’s reset button is handy in letting the unit bounce back quickly from difficulties. For instance, it is helpful when dealing with heavy loads or clogs. Keep in mind that resetting isn’t standard. A fully functional machine doesn’t need to be reset often. If you notice that you depend on resets all the time, ask the help of a qualified professional to diagnose the underlying issue.

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Jamming Despite Small Garbage Disposal Loads

The motor can easily shred food when it is given in small loads. Consider reducing how much food you place in the unit if it gets jammed. This should help keep everything flowing smoothly. If the disposal still gets jammed despite the small loads, it could point to an issue with the machine. It could be a capacity or quality issue if it is a newly installed disposal. If it’s an old device, it could malfunction and need repair.

Noticeable Reduction In Garbage Disposal Performance

image of a garbage disposal thats broken and causing kitchen drain odors

The disposal should operate quickly with reasonable loads. You know what to expect when using the device. It likely has dull blades when the unit runs with less efficiency than before. The fastest solution is sharpening, but this isn’t always sufficient. If there is widespread damage, it is best to replace the garbage disposal and start anew. If you are unsure of what to do, call your local, trusted plumber to help you.

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An Aging Garbage Disposal Unit That Needs A Refresh

A garbage disposal can last for over a decade, with wear and tear becoming more prominent down the line. The unit can give more headaches than owners can handle, including recurring clogs, leaks, and breakdowns. It is recommended that you let your aging unit retire and replace it with a brand new one before this occurs. This could be included in your task list if you are planning a kitchen makeover.



Garbage disposals are beneficial devices that can break down food as they go down the pipes. They reduce the likelihood of clogs and keep the sink clean. Owners can depend on them to serve for ten years. However, they are still machines made of moving components that can fail at any time. Contact a plumber to assist you with repairs and replacements.

Call Skylands Energy Service For All Of Your Plumbing Requirements

image of skylands energy service logoCall Skylands Energy Service when you need reliable plumbing services. Rest assured, our company is one of the most trusted plumbing companies in Central New Jersey. We offer excellent plumbing services, including garbage disposal repairs and installations, water heater replacements, water leak repairs, toilet repairs and replacements, and more. We provide various solutions when possible for any plumbing repairs. This way, you can choose the best options that best fit your budget and home.

We guarantee that we have the best and most affordable plumbing services in the Central New Jersey area. Our plumbers are equipped with the expertise and proper licenses to ensure your satisfaction. Call Skylands Energy Service today and book your free estimate.

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