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Is It Time to Replace Your Garbage Disposal?

water-down-sink-drainFall is a time when we often recommend people have drain cleaning done to help prepare for a season when their kitchen plumbing in Tucson, AZ undergoes the most stress. One plumbing appliance in the kitchen that needs special attention is the kitchen sink garbage disposal, a motor-powered device that can make or break a kitchen during the end of the year.

We’ve previously offered advice about how to best manage your disposal so it gives you many years of steady, trouble-free work. Today, we’re going to look at the point when “disposal management” becomes “disposal replacement.”

The Life Expectancy of a Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is a mechanical device with a small, powerful motor—and any device like that has a limit on how long it can operate before repairs are no longer useful and it needs to go to the junk heap. Most garbage disposals can last for around 12 years, although lack of maintenance and throwing items down there that shouldn’t go down there can shorten that span, while meticulous care can lengthen it. However, if you have a disposal that’s 12 years older or more, it’s time to think about replacing it.

Age Is One Sign—Here Are Others

There are several signs to watch for that will warn you it’s time to replace your old garbage disposal:

  • Frequent drain clogs: The main job of a garbage disposal is to grind food waste so it can go down the drainage system rather than go into the trash. When the disposal starts to wear down, it won’t grind the food effectively, and this will lead to many more clogging issues.
  • Longer running times: How long does it usually take for your garbage disposal to grind down the food? When the time starts to get longer, it either means the unit needs to be repaired (if it’s still under 12 years old) or that it needs to be replaced.
  • You have to reset the unit constantly: A garbage disposal has its own circuit breaker that will trip and stop the unit if the motor begins to overheat. You can reset it by pressing the button on the bottom of the unit. This may happen occasionally—but if it’s happening regularly, then the disposal is probably close to finished.
  • The disposal is noisier than before: The disposal shouldn’t be making rattling and shrieking noises, and if it starts to become extremely noisy, it’s probably too far worn down to keep.
  • Leaks: Is the bottom of the disposal leaking? This often indicates the unit’s interior is cracking. This can’t be effectively repaired—the unit needs to be replaced.

You Need Professionals to Replace the Disposal

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all garbage disposal to put in your kitchen as a replacement. You need to match the right horsepower motor to your kitchen, and you’ll also need professionals to handle the work so the new disposal does what it’s supposed to. Our plumbers are here to see that you get the best new system and that it works for a dozen years or more.

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