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How Long Does a Garbage Disposal Last? 6 Maintenance Tips

how long does a garbage disposal last

Garbage disposal is a machine that grinds up food scraps into tiny pieces. These machines are generally installed under kitchen sinks and used to reduce the amount of waste in landfills.

They are typically made from stainless steel, cast iron, or copper with metal impellers to help move the food through the blades.

There are many factors that can affect how long your garbage disposal will last.

In this blog post, we'll go over how long does a garbage disposal last you can prolong its life by following some simple maintenance tips!

How Does a Garbage Disposal Work?

Garbage disposals are household appliance that is installed under a kitchen sink. But have you ever wondered how it works? Essentially, waste disposal unit consists of a garbage chamber and a garbage grinding chamber.

The garbage chamber is where the garbage is first deposited. The garbage grinding chamber is where the garbage is broken down into smaller pieces.

Garbage grinder typically has a garbage grinding chamber that is made of stainless steel.

And that's all there is to it! With just a few simple components, a garbage disposal can make short work of your kitchen garbage.

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Leaking?

If your garbage disposals are leaking, it may be due to a cracked or damaged disposer, a loose connection, or a problem with the drain line.

If you have a cracked or damaged disposer, you'll need to replace it. If you have a loose connection, you'll need to tighten it.

If you have a problem with the drain line, you'll need to repair or replace it. There are 5 main factors that can cause leaks in your disposal system.

Sink Flange

The sink flange is the part of the sink that connects it to the disposer. Over time, the sink flange can become loose, allowing water to seep into the disposer and causing leaks.

Another factor that can cause leaks is a cracked sink flange. Finally, an improperly installed sink flange can also cause leaks.

Worn Seal

Your compost is made up of two different parts: the grinding chamber and the drain.

These parts are sealed together with a rubber gasket. Over time, the gasket can become worn, allowing water to leak through.

Loose Drain Line Connections Or Worn Gaskets

Over time, the vibration from the disposal can loosen the connections, allowing water to seep through. Another common cause of leaks is worn gaskets.

The gaskets are responsible for keeping water from leaking out around the edge of the disposal unit. If they become worn or damaged, they may need to be replaced.

Loose Screws

One of the most common factors that can cause leaks in your disposal system is loose screws. Over time, the screws that hold the disposal unit in place can become loose, allowing water to seep out.

In some cases, the leak may be small and barely noticeable. However, if left unchecked, it can eventually lead to a more serious problem.


Clogged drains are one of the most common causes of disposal leaks. When drains become clogged, water pressure builds up behind the blockage, eventually causing the pipes to burst.

Another common cause of leaks is corrosion. Older disposal systems are particularly susceptible to corrosion, as the metal pipes slowly degrade over time.

In addition, tree roots can also cause problems, as they can break through the pipe and cause a leak.

How Long Should a Garbage Disposal Last?

Your compost is one of the most hardworking appliances in your kitchen, so it's no surprise that it eventually wears out. But how long should garbage disposal last?

With proper care and maintenance, most disposals will last up to 15 years. However, there are a number of factors that can affect a garbage disposal lifespan, including how often it's used, what type of foods are put down the drain, and whether or not it receives regular maintenance.

Need to repair your disposal unit? Get Our Garbage Disposal Service

6 Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips to Extend Its Lifespan

Just like any other appliance, a garbage disposer needs to be maintained to function properly and extend its age.

Whether you use it once a week or multiple times a day, there are a few easy things you can do to keep it running smoothly.

1. Avoid Clogs

One of the most common garbage disposal problems is clogs. For a homeowner to avoid clogs, be selective about what you put down the drain.

Avoid putting stringy or fibrous foods like celery, onion skins, or chicken bones down the disposal.

Here are some of the things to avoid putting down your drain:

  • Large bones of animals
  • Coffee grounds
  • Grease
  • Oil
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Eggshells
  • Rice
  • Potatoes peel
  • Pasta
  • and seafood shells.

With proper care and maintenance, your garbage disposal should give you years of trouble-free use.

2. Run Cold Water While Disposing

One of the most important things you can do is run a damper. Hot water can actually cause grease and fat to harden, which can then lead to clogs.

So, even if you’ve just finished cooking a greasy meal, resist the temptation to pour hot water down the drain. Cold water will help to keep things moving and prevent clogs from forming.

3. Keep oil and grease out of the garbage disposal

One thing to keep in mind is to avoid putting oil and grease down the sink's drain pipes. These substances can harden over time and cause clogs that can lead to expensive repairs and have a bad smell.

Instead, dispose of oil and grease in the trash or in a container that can be properly disposed of.

4. Reduce Waste Produced

Garbage disposals, like all appliances, likewise require assistance. When you have a lot of food waste to put down your garbage disposal, break it down into small bits for efficient grinding down the drain.

5. Properly Clean

Like any appliance, they require some maintenance in order to keep them running smoothly. One of the most important things you can do is to clean your garbage disposal regularly with cold water. Remember to rinse with hot water

This will help to remove any build-up of food particles that could cause clogs or bad odors. You can clean your disposal by running it with vinegar and baking soda, hot water, and a small amount of dish soap.

6. Non-food items do not go in the garbage disposal

In order to keep your disposal running smoothly and extend its age, there are a few things you should avoid putting down the drain. Non-food items like paper, plastic, or metal can damage the blades or clog the motor.

Signs Your Garbage Disposal Needs to Be Replaced

Garbage disposal is a handy kitchen appliance that can make meal prep a breeze. But like any piece of machinery, it will eventually need to be replaced.

Here are a few signs that it may be time for new garbage disposal:

  1. The unit is leaking water: If you notice water leaking from your garbage disposal, it could be a sign that the unit is worn out and needs to be replaced.
  2. It's making strange noises: A well-functioning garbage disposer should operate relatively quietly.
  3. It's not draining properly: If water starts to back up into your sink when you run the waste disposal unit, it means that the unit is no longer able to effectively grind up food waste and even after using the reset button.

If you're starting to notice any of these problems with your garbage grinder, it's the best time to replace the unit before it completely fails. Call our experienced plumber today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a garbage disposal stop working?

There are a few different things that can cause the garbage disposal to stop working. The most common problem is a clog and electrical issue. Too much food waste can build up and jam the blades, or grease and fat can harden and clog the motor.

Do garbage disposals just stop working?

In most cases, garbage disposals will give you some warning before they completely stop working. For example, you may notice that the unit is making strange noises or leaking water. A hard reset to the unit can help it start working again

How long does the average garbage disposal last?

The average garbage disposal will last for about 10 years with proper care and maintenance.

How much does it cost to replace a garbage disposal?

The cost of replacing garbage disposals will vary depending on the type of unit you purchase.

However, you can expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $950 on the new garbage disposal installed.


When it comes to how long do garbage disposal last, there are a few things you can do to help extend its lifespan. We've outlined six tips that will help keep your disposal running smoothly.  Always make sure the unit is plugged in.

However, if you're starting to notice any common problems with your unit, it's best to replace it before it completely fails.

You can also call a professional plumbing service to help you with the installation, replacement, or repairing of your kitchen appliance. Call now to schedule an appointment.

About The Author:

Scott Reyes, our proficient Managing Editor and a true plumbing aficionado with over 10 years of dedicated expertise. With an in-depth understanding of the plumbing industry, Scott is your go-to source for all things plumbing-related. His wealth of experience ensures that our content is not only informative but also a reliable resource for your plumbing needs. Dive into Scott's articles to tap into his extensive knowledge and insights.
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