How long do garbage disposals last?

Even though we use them every day and make them work a lot, garbage disposals can be considered one of the most reliable appliances in our homes. They are true workhorses of the kitchen. They may sometimes break down, but the amount of work we get from them and their lifespan is considerable.

A garbage disposal can last over ten years if you take care of it well. Although the durability will depend on the manufacturer, you can expect to get a good number of years on your disposal before having to replace it.

Generally speaking, the life expectancy of InSinkErator or Waste King garbage disposals is good. Their warranty coverage period is one of the longest in the industry. They are reliable brands you can expect to use for 10 to 15 years without replacing, needing only minor repairs and maintenance. With other brands you can expect a good 5 to 10 years.

How to maintain your garbage disposal

There are a number of ways you can extend the life of your garbage disposal.

One of the most important things you can do is keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh. This may seem insignificant, but a foul smelling disposal is a sign that there is lingering food and bacteria in your disposal that can cause your disposal to malfunction. Any leftover food in your disposer can cause it to smell and when it decomposes it can create an acidic environment and cause your disposal to rust.

The other thing you can do is clean it regularly. You can do this by putting a bit of soap in the disposal and turn it on with a bit of water running through it. You can also grind up some iced vinegar cubes which will especially help keep the propellers clean. While we don’t recommend using harsh chemical cleaners, you can also put a bit of baking soda in your disposal once in a while to clean it. Baking soda will also deodorize it.

Perhaps the best thing you can do to prolong the life of your garbage disposal is to avoid putting things that are not food into it. Despite its name, a garbage disposal is not for garbage. It is for food scrap only. Do not put cigarette butts, grease, oil, animal fat, metal, plastic, paper, glass, or even fibrous vegetables into it.

When to replace a garbage disposal

If you take good care of your disposal, you shouldn’t have to replace it for years. It might need resetting once in a while or minor repairs, but nothing major.

Still, there are signs that tell you when you should consider replacing a garbage disposal. The first is a leak. We’re not talking about a pipe leak that you should be able to fix by tightening or replacing your pipes, or a sink flange leak that can be fixed with a fresh coat of putty, but a leak coming from the body of the garbage disposal. This is a sign that your garbage disposal has rusted or cracked and it’s time to replace it.

The other sign is an electrical problem. If your garbage disposal doesn’t turn on and you’ve done all the steps to diagnose and fix it to no avail, then it’s a sign that the motor is burned out or you have a sort of electrical problem with your unit. This is usually quite pricey to fix. So it’s probably a better idea to get a new disposal so you’ll have a completely new body and motor.

If you need to purchase a new one, here are some of the best garbage disposals on the market today:

Our Recommendations
5-Star Rating Review Price
KitchenAid KCDB250G garbage disposal

KitchenAid KCDB250G (1/2 HP)

4.6 Read our review
Moen GX50C garbage disposal

Moen GX50C (1/2 HP)

4.5 Read our review
Waste King Legend 3200 garbage disposal

Waste King Legend 3200 / Waste King Legend 9940 (3/4 HP)

4.5 Read our review
InSinkErator Evolution Compact garbage disposalInSinkErator Evolution Compact (3/4 HP) 4.7 Read our review
InSinkErator Evolution Excel garbage disposalInSinkErator Evolution Excel (1 HP) 4.7 Read our review

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