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Evaluating the Condition of Your Garbage Disposal Unit

Many homeowners can’t live without their garbage disposal unit because it makes their lives far easier. But, like any hard working appliance, it will need a replacement sooner or later. Knowing the ideal time to replace the unit is beyond the scope of this article, but we can give you some advice on signs to look for and some maintenance tips.

How Long Should a Garbage Disposal Last?

When a garbage disposal unit is well maintained, it should last 8-15 years before a replacement is needed. The older or poorer quality units tend to be at the lower end of the scale and vice versa. When a garbage disposal is too old, the blades become dull, and the unit is essentially useless. Modern garbage disposals are meant to last longer, but you still need to maintain them if you want them to endure.

4 Signs of an Impending Replacement

When your garbage disposal begins to fail, there are four common signs to look out for, they are:

  1. Dull Blades

When the blades are dull, they cannot chop up the food debris effectively. This may lead to more frequent clogging issues, and the drain may be sluggish. The blades cannot be fixed, and you will need to replace the entire unit.

2. Strange Noises

A garbage disposal has mechanical moving parts that can become loose over time or damaged. This is a hard working appliance; if you can hear banging or rattling, turn the unit off. Shut-off the power as a precaution, and take a look in the disposal with a flashlight. You may see a large chunk of debris that’s causing the problem, and removing it will stop the noise. But, if you can’t see any debris and the sound continues, it’s time to contact your local plumber for advice. It’s likely that the garbage disposal is broken, and you may need to buy a new unit.

3. Strange Leaks

If you notice leaking, it can be an easy fix, just look for a disconnected line and re-attach it in the logical location. But, if you can’t see where the leak is originating from, it may be necessary to replace the unit. Certain leaks are in hard to reach locations, and this typically means that they cannot be fixed.

4. Foul Odors

If you can smell a foul odor coming from your garbage disposal, it could be a sign that you have a major problem. It’s possible that bacteria is growing inside the disposal or the drain line. You can attempt to clear this up with some simple homemade cleaning products using baking soda, vinegar, and hot (not boiling) water. In many cases, this will work well, but if the odor remains, you can repeat the process multiple times. There are many homemade disposal cleaning recipes online; try a few and stick with the one you like.

If you have a problem with your garbage disposal unit or you need some essential maintenance, contact your local certified plumber today.