A properly functioning garbage disposal is an essential part of a modern kitchen. However, like other similar appliances, garbage disposals have a life expectancy. So how long does a garbage disposal last? As a homeowner, knowing the answer to this question can help when planning on future repair and maintenance costs.
Garbage Disposal Lifespan
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the average lifespan of a typical kitchen garbage disposer lasts for 12 years. This estimated lifespan is based on the normal wear and tear of the unit, without considering neglect or overuse of the disposer.
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As the homeowner, there are three ways you can extend the service life of your garbage disposal units:
- Daily maintenance- Simply using the garbage disposal regularly can reduce the build-up of debris in the unit. This is especially when you rinse soapy water through it while it operates.
- Weekly maintenance- Fill your kitchen sink with clean, cold water and pull the drain plug to allow the water to rush through the unit. This helps clear any unwanted materials from the garbage disposal.
- Monthly maintenance- Dump a tray of ice cubes into the sink and then rinse with cold water, letting the ice fill the drain line so it can melt away slowly. If you have a drain baffle, remove it and clean it before putting it back. Afterward, pour ½ a cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar into the grinding chamber, allowing the mixture to foam. Finally, pour boiling water down the drain.
While your garbage disposal unit should perform flawlessly and for many years when you follow this routine maintenance process, sometimes even well-maintained units can have troubles every now and then. It is up to you as the homeowner to read the signs that your garbage disposal is old or has problems. They help you know when to replace garbage disposal or do the necessary repairs to keep the unit perform optimally.
Signs That a Garbage Disposal is Old
An old or failing garbage disposal usually gives signs that tell it is time to consider a repair or replacement service. If you were wondering how to tell if a garbage disposal is bad, these are the signs to look out for. They include:
- Excessive clogging
- Foul odors
- Leaking water
- Poor performance
- Loss of power
- Strange sounds
When your garbage disposal is not working as it should, it is not only an inconvenience but also leads to poor sanitation and poses a health risk. To ensure that doesn’t happen, routine repair and maintenance are essential. Knowing the average lifespan of the unit and when to replace it also helps avoid such issues.
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