Garbage disposals are a staple in more than half of U.S. kitchens, diligently working to keep our drains free from clogs and food waste. Despite their prevalence and usefulness, these unsung heroes are often taken for granted. Neglect can significantly shorten their lifespan and reduce their efficiency and effectiveness. So, how long should a garbage disposal last, and what factors influence its longevity?

In this brief article brought to you by Proline Rooter, we dive into the lifespan of an average garbage disposal and the factors involved. If you’d like to consult with a trained plumber, then call Proline Rooter to schedule an appointment or request urgent assistance.


How Long Does a Garbage Disposal Last?

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What’s Normal? Setting the baseline.

On average, a well-maintained garbage disposal can last anywhere from 8 to 15 years. This wide range is influenced by several factors, including the quality of the unit, frequency of use, and how well it’s maintained. High-end models from reputable brands tend to have longer lifespans due to better build quality and more durable components.

Key factors influencing the life expectancy of your unit

The quality of the garbage disposal as well as the installation will set the foundation for the life expectancy of your unit. High-quality disposals typically feature stainless steel components, which are more resistant to corrosion and wear. Investing in a reputable brand and model might cost more upfront, but it often translates to a longer lasting and more reliable appliance.

How often you use your garbage disposal also directly impacts its lifespan. Naturally, a disposal in a large household with frequent cooking will see more wear and tear compared to one in a smaller household. Regular use can also help prevent rust and corrosion by keeping the components moving, but excessive use without proper care can lead to faster deterioration.

Then, there’s the type of waste you put down your disposal. While disposals are designed to handle a variety of food scraps, certain items can cause damage or clogs. Avoid putting fibrous foods (like celery), hard items (like bones and fruit pits), and grease or oil down the disposal. These can lead to jams, dull blades, and blockages.

Finally, regular maintenance and proper cleaning are critical for extending the life of your garbage disposal. Periodically running cold water and a small amount of dish soap through the disposal can help keep it clean. Grinding ice cubes and citrus peels can also clean the blades and reduce odors. Avoid using harsh chemical drain cleaners, as they can damage the disposal's components.

Signs you need a new garbage disposal

Even with proper care, your garbage disposal won’t last forever. Here are some signs that it might be time for a garbage disposal replacement:

  • Needs Frequent Resets
  • Persistent Clogs
  • Leaks at the Base
  • Grinding or Rattling Noises
  • Poor Performance

Concerned about your plumbing? Call Proline Rooter

If you are concerned about your garbage disposal unit, or your plumbing system as a whole, then call Proline Rooter to arrange reliable and affordable plumbing repair service. Our trained and uniformed plumbers are on standby to take your call or message today.


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