How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last?
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How Long Does a Garbage Disposal Last?

How Long Does a Garbage Disposal Last?

If you’re making a list of some of the hardest-working appliances, there’s a good chance that garbage disposals are on it. Garbage disposals take a beating each day, grinding up food scraps, ice and other items.

Although well-maintained garbage disposal systems are durable – like all appliances – they do have a shelf life and need to be replaced eventually.  In our most recent blog, the licensed plumbers at Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric discuss how long garbage disposals last and how to get more life from your unit. For all your plumbing needs, including garbage disposal repair and replacement, contact Ravinia Plumbing today.

How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last on Average?

If you are wondering how long garbage disposals last, the answer is typically about 8 to 15 years, with 10 years being the average lifespan.

This may seem like a wide range, but there are several factors that affect the longevity of your garbage disposal, including:

The Type of Garbage Disposal

Like all appliances, you get what you pay for, and that’s also true for garbage disposals. The quality of the disposal and its components impacts how long it lasts. The plumbers at Ravinia Plumbing can find the right garbage disposal for your needs and install it for you. With new technology, today’s garbage disposals are typically more durable than older models.

How Often Is the Disposal Used

The frequency with which a garbage disposal is used also plays a vital role in how long it lasts. For example, if you have a large family and cook meals daily, you’re going to use your disposal more frequently to grind up food particles and scraps. On the other hand, if you live alone or frequently order takeout, then you probably won’t use your garbage disposal very often.

How Do You Use Your Garbage Disposal

We’ve replaced many garbage disposals prematurely because of improper usage. For example, putting questionable items down the drain such as fibrous foods and non-food items can put excess strain on the unit, causing damage that may lead to early replacement. 

Aside from only putting the proper items down the drain, make sure you don’t overfill the garbage disposal, and always run water while the disposal is turned on.

What Can You Put Down the Garbage Disposal?

It’s always a good reminder to know what should and should not go down the garbage disposal. Avoiding putting the wrong items down the disposal can increase the lifespan of your unit and prevent you from spending money prematurely on a replacement.

What Can Go Down the Garbage Disposal

  • Fruit scraps such as banana peels, apple cores and orange peels
  • Corn cobs
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Ice
  • Leftover food waste
  • Cooked meat
  • Small bones

What Should Not Go Down the Garbage Disposal

  • Non-food items such as silverware and plastic
  • Oil and grease
  • Large amounts of vegetable peels
  • A large number of eggshells
  • Artichokes
  • Clam or oyster shells
  • Corn husks

Proper Maintenance for Garbage Disposals

Another way to prolong your garbage disposal lifespan and avoid garbage disposal problems is with regular maintenance. Regular maintenance includes the following:

  • Running the disposal unit periodically. Don’t let the disposal sit unused for long periods of time. If you don’t use your disposal very often, run water down the drain and turn the unit on to keep all the components in good working condition.
  • Clean the garbage disposal regularly. Clean the unit every couple of weeks. It’s a simple task that involves filling the entire kitchen sink up with cold water and then removing the plug to allow the water to go through the unit.
  • Perform a monthly thorough cleaning. Fill the drain with ice cubes and add a cup of rock salt. Turn the unit on for about a minute until all the ice is crushed, and then flush it with cold water. Finally, pour a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar down the drain to kill any bacteria. 

Contact Ravinia Plumbing for Garbage Disposal Installation

Ravinia Plumbing proudly provides homeowners in Chicago’s North Shore and Chicago’s Northwest suburbs with quality plumbing services, including garbage disposal maintenance, repairs and replacement, and installation service. 

We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical companies in the Chicagoland area. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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