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How Long Does A Garbage Disposal Usually Last?

Published on August 29, 2023
Written by daniel
how long does a garbage disposal last - full speed plumbing

Many of us take our garbage disposal units for granted. It’s an easy-to-use, environmentally friendly, convenient, practical, and low-maintenance appliance.

Like all machines that work hard, your garbage disposal is bound to reach a point when replacement is necessary. In this blog, we will examine the lifespan of a typical trash disposal unit. We will also break down the factors influencing it and give you tips on maximizing its longevity.

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “How long will a garbage disposal work?, you’ve come to the right place.

Continue reading to get started.

How Long Does a Garbage Disposal Last? — An In-Depth Guide for Homeowners

On average, a well-maintained garbage disposal unit can last anywhere between 8 to 15 years. This may seem like a wide range, but there are several factors that can influence the lifespan of your unit.  

Here are some key factors to keep in mind if you’ve been wondering, “How long does a garbage disposal last?”:

  1. Usage: The frequency and manner in which you use your garbage disposal unit significantly affect its longevity. Regular but moderate use helps maintain the unit’s efficiency. Overloading or frequently disposing of hard waste can lead to faster wear and tear.
  2. Maintenance: Proper maintenance and care can extend the lifespan of your garbage disposal unit. Routine cleaning and running cold water after each use can prevent build-up and corrosion.
  3. Quality of the Unit: Not surprisingly, the quality and make of the unit itself is a factor. Premium models tend to have a longer garbage disposal lifespan, while budget options may need replacement sooner.
  4. Installation: Correctly installing your garbage disposal unit is crucial. Poor installation can result in more frequent breakages and a shorter lifespan.
  5. Water Quality: Water quality can influence the longevity of your disposal unit. Hard water contains significant levels of minerals and can cause build-up and corrosion over time.

By understanding the answer to the question, “how long does a garbage disposal last?”, you can take confident steps to prolong the life of your garbage disposal unit and ensure that it remains a convenient and reliable tool in your kitchen for years to come.

What Can You Do To Make Your Garbage Disposal Last Longer?

Here are some straightforward steps you can take to ensure the overall longevity of your garbage disposal unit:

  1. Avoid Overloading: Consistently overloading your garbage disposal can lead to unnecessary strain and quicker wear and tear. Instead, feed waste in small amounts and allow the unit to grind and clear before adding more.
  2. Run Cold Water: Always run cold water during and after every use. This aids in the grinding process and helps transport waste through the pipes, decreasing the chance of blockages and build-up.
  3. Avoid Hard or Fibrous Waste: Hard items like bones or fibrous materials like corn husks can damage the blades or clog the system. Try to compost such items or dispose of them in your regular trash.
  4. Clean Regularly: Regular cleaning prevents build-up and keeps the unit running smoothly. You can use a combination of ice cubes, rock salt, vinegar, and baking soda for a natural cleaning solution.
  5. Annual Inspection: Have a professional inspect your unit annually to address potential issues before they escalate and ensure it runs optimally.

By implementing these steps, you can help maintain efficiency, avoid unexpected repair or replacement costs, and prolong the lifespan of your garbage disposal.

What Foods Should You Avoid Putting in Your Garbage Disposal If You Want It to Last Longer?

While garbage disposals are designed to grind food waste, not everything belongs in them. Here’s a list of foods that you should avoid putting down in your garbage disposal unit if you want it to last longer:

  1. Grease and Fats: These can solidify in the disposal and pipes, leading to blockages. Instead of pouring fat down the garbage disposal, collect it in a jar and dispose of it once hardened.
  2. Coffee Grounds: While they may seem harmless, coffee grounds can accumulate in the drain and pipes over time, causing clogs.
  3. Eggshells: It’s a common misconception that eggshells sharpen disposal blades. In reality, the thin membranes can wrap around the shredder ring, leading to blockages.
  4. Pasta, Rice, and Bread: These items expand when exposed to water. When dumped into the disposal, they can swell and stick to the walls, causing blockages.
  5. Bones and Seafood Shells: These hard items can damage the disposal blades or get stuck, leading to a jam.
  6. Fruit Pits and Apple Cores: These are too hard for the garbage disposal to grind and can damage the motor or blades.
  7. Fibrous Vegetables: Items like celery, asparagus, onion skins, and corn husks have fibers that can tangle around the disposal blades, leading to blockages.
  8. Potato Peels: The starches in potatoes turn into a thick paste when ground, which can stick to the blades and cause a clog.
  9. Non-food Items:It should go without saying, but items like plastic, metal, glass, or paper can damage your disposal and pipes.

Understanding what not to put into your garbage disposal can help keep it in optimal working condition, extend its lifespan, and save you from costly repairs or replacements.

How Long Does A Garbage Disposal Usually Last? — Conclusion

The lifespan of a garbage disposal unit can vary significantly depending on a number of factors. Your unit can last many years with proper care, regular maintenance, and thoughtful usage. Contact us at Full Speed Plumbing; we can help you with your garbage disposal. 

Our expert plumbers are always available to provide the best service, including installation, maintenance, and repairs. Contact us today to get the most from your garbage disposal unit.

Avoid overloading your unit, run cold water every time you use it, and do not put any fibrous or hard waste in the disposal. Avoid dumping grease, coffee grounds and eggshells, pasta, rice, seafood shells, and bones, fruit pits, and apple cores in your unit.

By following the steps above and keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure that your garbage disposal unit will continue to work smoothly for many years.

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