If you take good care of your garbage disposal, it should last 10 to 12 years. However, just like any appliance, there will come a time when you need to replace it. Here are the signs your garbage disposal is nearing the end of its lifespan.
It clogs frequently.
This is a sign that the blades are getting dull. When this happens, the disposal can’t grind food as effectively, so clogs either form in the disposal itself or further down the plumbing.
If your disposal has clogged frequently since day one, it could be undersized, meaning the horsepower isn’t sufficient for your needs. When you go to replace it, consider getting one with a more powerful motor.
It jams or overheats often.
Jams can occur if you put in something too tough for the blades to break up, such as a fruit pit or animal bone. The unit can also overheat if you keep it on while it’s jammed or if you operate it without running water. However, if your disposal jams or overheats under normal conditions, the motor could be weakening and nearing the end of its lifespan.
Food takes too long to grind up.
After years of using your garbage disposal, you have an idea of how long it takes to grind up an orange peel or a bag of rotten lettuce. If you find yourself running the unit much longer than usual to break up the same amount of food, this could mean the blades are getting dull or the motor is wearing out. Either way, the disposal can no longer handle the workload you have for it, so you should replace it soon.
The disposal hums but doesn’t turn on.
Sometimes, if the motor doesn’t start, all you need to do is push the red reset button on the bottom of the unit. If the disposal has overheated, you’ll also need to wait five minutes for it to cool down.
If the humming continues, but the unit still doesn’t turn on, schedule garbage disposal repair. It could be that the motor has died. Since a new motor often costs as much as a new unit, it’s usually best to replace the entire disposal.
The unit is leaking.
Regularly check under your kitchen sink for puddles that indicate a plumbing leak. If you notice any water, track down the source. A pipe joint could be loose, or the faucet could be leaking. If the water is dripping from the garbage disposal, it may have cracked. The only remedy for this problem is to replace the unit.
Bob Hoegler Plumbing provides comprehensive kitchen plumbing services in Monroe Township, including garbage disposal repair and replacement. We’ll fix your disposal quickly, safely and effectively if we can. And if the unit is beyond repair, we’ll install a new, top-of-the-line disposal in its place. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at 732-521-0133.