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Garbage disposals are a common appliance in many homes, but their lifespan is often a mystery to homeowners. While some people may assume that a garbage disposal will last forever, this is not the case. With proper maintenance and care, a garbage disposal can last for several years. However, neglecting maintenance can result in costly repairs or replacement. In this article, we will explore how long garbage disposals last, factors that affect their lifespan, and tips for proper maintenance.
How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last?
The lifespan of a garbage disposal depends on various factors, including usage frequency, maintenance, and the quality of the unit. The average lifespan of a garbage disposal is between 8 and 15 years, but some can last up to 20 years with proper care.
Factors that Affect Garbage Disposal Lifespan
Several factors can affect the lifespan of a garbage disposal, including:
1. Frequency of Use
Garbage disposals that are used more frequently will wear out faster than those that are used less frequently.
2. Type of Waste
Some types of waste, such as bones and fibrous foods, can cause damage to a garbage disposal over time.
3. Quality of Unit
Higher quality garbage disposals tend to last longer than lower quality units.
4. Proper Maintenance
Proper maintenance, including regular cleaning and avoiding harsh chemicals, can extend the life of a garbage disposal.
How to Extend the Life of Your Garbage Disposal
Proper maintenance is key to extending the life of your garbage disposal. Here are some tips for keeping your garbage disposal in good working condition:
1. Run Cold Water
Always run cold water when using your garbage disposal to prevent overheating and damage.
2. Avoid Certain Foods
Avoid putting bones, fibrous foods, and other hard or difficult-to-grind items in your garbage disposal.
3. Clean Regularly
Clean your garbage disposal regularly to prevent buildup of food particles and odors.
4. Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Avoid using harsh chemicals, such as bleach or drain cleaners, in your garbage disposal.
5. Schedule Professional Maintenance
Schedule professional maintenance and repairs if you notice any issues with your garbage disposal, such as strange noises or leaks.
- How often should I clean my garbage disposal? It is recommended to clean your garbage disposal at least once a week to prevent buildup of food particles and odors.
- Can I put eggshells in my garbage disposal? Yes, you can put eggshells in your garbage disposal, but it is recommended to break them into small pieces first.
- What should I do if my garbage disposal is leaking? If your garbage disposal is leaking, turn off the power and contact a professional for repairs.
- Can I put grease in my garbage disposal? No, you should not put grease in your garbage disposal. Grease can solidify and cause clogs.
- How can I prevent odors from my garbage disposal? To prevent odors, you can run cold water and a small amount of dish soap down the disposal while it is running. You can also grind up citrus peels or ice cubes to help clean the disposal and eliminate odors. Additionally, avoid putting certain types of food waste, such as meat and dairy products, in the disposal, as these can produce strong odors.
- How do I sharpen my garbage disposal blades? You do not need to sharpen garbage disposal blades. They are designed to grind food waste, and over time, they will naturally dull. If you notice that your garbage disposal is not grinding food as effectively as it once did, it may be time for a replacement.
- Can I use my garbage disposal with a septic system? Yes, but it is important to choose a garbage disposal that is specifically designed for use with a septic system. These units have special features to help break down waste and prevent damage to the septic system.
- What should I do if my garbage disposal is clogged? If your garbage disposal is clogged, turn off the power and avoid using harsh chemicals to clear the clog. Instead, try using a plunger or a plumbing snake to remove the blockage.
- Can I install a garbage disposal myself? It is possible to install a garbage disposal yourself if you have plumbing experience, but it is recommended to hire a professional plumber to ensure proper installation and prevent damage to your plumbing system.
- How long does it take to replace a garbage disposal? The time it takes to replace a garbage disposal can vary depending on the complexity of the installation and the type of unit being installed. In general, the process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.
Garbage disposals are a convenient and useful appliance for kitchen cleanup, but they do require proper maintenance to ensure longevity. By following the tips in this article and being mindful of the factors that affect garbage disposal lifespan, you can extend the life of your unit and save money on costly repairs or replacement.
Remember, the average lifespan of a garbage disposal is between 8 and 15 years, but with proper care, some units can last up to 20 years. Regular cleaning, avoiding harsh chemicals, and scheduling professional maintenance can help keep your garbage disposal in good working condition for years to come.
So, if you're wondering "how long do garbage disposals last?" the answer is that it depends on several factors. But by taking care of your unit and being mindful of what you put in it, you can enjoy a well-functioning garbage disposal for many years.