We Carry & Install InSinkErator Garbage Disposals

There’s no denying the many pros of having a garbage disposal installed. Disposals make post-meal cleanup much easier, reduce food waste in your trash can, and they can keep kitchen odors under control, too. But if your unit is broken down? Well, then it can have the opposite effect, increasing odors and making your life more difficult overall.

If your garbage disposal doesn’t seem to be working as well as it once did, it may be time for a replacement. The average lifespan of these units is typically around 6-10 years, which means that, if yours is on the older side, you’re likely due for something new (especially if it sees a lot of use).

Signs You Need a New Garbage Disposal

What should you watch for that might indicate it’s time to replace your old garbage disposal?

  • It seems extra noisy. Garbage disposals aren’t exactly known for being quiet, but they shouldn’t be so loud that they cancel out any other noises around either. If yours seems louder than unusual, there’s likely a bigger problem that needs addressing.
  • It’s leaking. Have you noticed leaks coming from the unit? It could be that something’s loose or maybe the seals need some attention. These can sometimes be repaired, but certain leaks indicate that the inside has deteriorated, in which case a replacement will be needed.
  • It makes a humming noise. Humming noises usually indicate that something is jammed up. Basically, the power is still going, but the impellers and blades aren’t spinning.
  • It runs slowly. Is your system not giving quite as much oomph as it once did? This is a good indication that it’s simply getting worn out, which means it may be time to invest in a new one.
  • It won’t run at all. This may seem like an obvious one, but if you flip the switch and nothing happens, then well… your disposal may be done for.
Garbage Disposal Before Service - Residential Plumbing2
Garbage Disposal After Service - Residential Plumbing

How Can I Extend the Life of My Garbage Disposal (& Keep My Pipes Safe, Too)?

Now, 6-10 years is a wide range, which means that, by using your system appropriately, you may get close to double the length of use out of it. If you have an active household, yours may wear down sooner, despite how well you treat it, but even then, avoiding certain practices will be sure to extend its lifespan.

Avoid disposal damage (and keep your pipes cleaner while you’re at it) by keeping the following items out of your disposal:

  • Egg Shells: Egg shells don’t break down very well, which means they’re likely to cause clogs and buildup to occur in your pipes. One or two shells now and then won’t hurt, but overall, egg shells should always go in the garbage.
  • Uncooked Rice & Pasta: Rice, pasta, and other starchy foods are known for expanding when they get wet, which means sending them down the disposal can lead to some eventual clogging.
  • Fats, Oils & Grease: Fats and oils tend to harden and congeal when they cool down, which means they’ll eventually solidify in your pipes and cause problems. Grease can also affect the blade’s effectiveness at breaking down any other foods you send into the disposal. 
  • Dog & Cat Food: When wet, pet food tends to expand, which eventually leads to clogs in your drain.
  • Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds may seem harmless enough to the disposal itself (it’s not like they have any trouble going down), but they tend to group up in the pipes, and might cause them to back up down the line.
  • Fibrous Foods: Celery, banana peels, asparagus, broccoli, potato peels, artichokes, and many other types of high-fiber foods are known for their stringiness. These don’t break down easily and can wind up causing issues with the motor and blades if they get too wrapped up.
  • Other Non-Food Items: We’ve addressed the more common culprits of this category (dog food, egg shells, and coffee grounds), but just remember that, if it’s not something you would eat, it shouldn’t go in your garbage disposal. Other offenders tend to include plant clippings, sponges, twist ties, cigarette butts, bigger bones, and shrimp/clam shells.

Our Experts Are Here to Help

At Residential Plumbing, we’re passionate about bringing homeowners in Aurora, Naperville, Oswego, and more the highest level of care possible. Give us a call at 630-978-9696 with any questions or book online with us today.

Even a simple drain cleaning needs to be done by someone who knows what to do. Our bathroom and kitchen experts are the ones to call on today.