How Long Should A Garbage Disposal Really Last?

Garbage disposals are one of those Holy Grail appliances that elevate your experience in the kitchen. Much like with dishwashers, if you don't have a garbage disposal connected to your sink, then you immediately begin to feel its absence. After all, no one likes to take wet food out of the drain! 

Because the appliance is such a handy helper, many home owners try to keep up with their unit's maintenance and to avoid doing things that can damage this precious piece of equipment, but what is the general life expectancy of a garbage disposal? These appliances have planned obsolescence baked into their designs, so they don't tend to last a lifetime, but there is a difference between having a cheaply made garbage disposal that fails after a few years and having a garbage disposal that's lasted the entirety of its expected lifespan. Keep reading to find out how long a garbage disposal should really last.

Signs your garbage disposal needs to be replaced

A garbage disposal's average life expectancy is 10 years, according to DisposalXT, a waste receptacle review platform. After 10 years, you should reportedly upgrade to a disposal with more innovative technology, higher efficiency, and newer parts.

There are a couple of telltale signs of a failing garbage disposal. According to DisposalXT, the first is a lingering odor that hovers around the sink even if you regularly wash the drain or have tried other garbage disposal cleaning hacks. A persistent odor can signal wear and tear to your unit. It indicates that your garbage disposal is no longer properly grinding up food and instead leaving particles to hover in the drain pipes. If there isn't a smell, but your food takes longer and longer to grind, Plumb Line Services warns that this could be an indicator of a weakening motor or failing blades — both of which could be related to the age of your disposal and its years of use. Another sign of a failing disposal is persistent leaks under the sink. These leaks indicate that there are either cracks inside the disposal or that parts of the unit have worn down to the point of water dripping, per Hunker.

If your unit is exhibiting any of these troubling signs, then it might be time to replace your garbage disposal.