How Many Years Does a Garbage Disposal Last?
The amount of time that a garbage disposal will last before wearing out beyond repair varies based on a number of factors such as frequency of usage, the type of food debris that goes down the drain, and whether or not proper care and upkeep procedures are used throughout the lifespan of the disposal.
A good rule of thumb is that a waste disposal should last for around 12 years for an average-sized household that does occasional upkeep, cleaning, and maintenance of the unit. This number doesn’t take into account households that allow objects that shouldn’t be placed in the disposal to go down the drain. Things such like bones, celery, or grease can disrupt the functionality of the garbage disposal and knock years off of its lifespan.
How to Extend The Life of Your Waste Disposal
There are some steps that you can take today to help stop your garbage disposal from failing prematurely. With proper care and maintenance, you may be able to help your food disposal last far beyond the average 12 years that most people can expect. In fact, you may be able to boost the life of your unit to 15 or even 20 years.
It’s a good idea to use a snake or other plumbing device specifically designed for garbage disposals every two years or so to clean out any food or debris that has collected in the unit. This helps to prevent buildup from reaching levels that could inhibit the operation of the internal blades and mechanisms.
Often, backups and drainage issues are caused not by the garbage disposal itself but by food and particles that get stuck further down the pipe. Before resorting to harsh chemicals to remove these types of blockages, consider plugging the drain hole and filling the sink with cold water. Pull the plug, and allow the pressure of the water to help remove the blockage.
If the water method doesn’t work, you may need to purchase a stronger chemical to help dissolve the stuck material in the pipes. Make sure that whatever product you buy is safe for use with garbage disposals, as some chemicals are not meant for use in conjunction with disposal units.
Other Ways to Improve the Longevity of Your Unit
There is no single way to make sure that your food waste disposal unit will last for a long time, but using a combination of preventative care and cleaning practices you can help ensure the maximum functional lifespan. Consider having a certified plumber take a look at your disposal and underlying pipes every 3-4 years, and follow any recommendations that they have for maintaining your setup. Having a qualified plumber look examine your sink periodically can prevent serious problems from going unnoticed before it’s too late and will prevent major headaches later on.
If your garbage disposal breaks, you may be unable to use your sink for a couple of days, or, in some cases, weeks. This is why it is crucial that you maintain and clean your waste disposal regularly.
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