5 Reasons You May Need To Buy A New Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are certainly convenient, but did you know they are also environmentally friendly? According to Consumer Reports, when you put food waste in the garbage, that decomposing matter releases greenhouse gasses. Using a garbage disposal keeps scraps of food out of the landfill and sends them to a wastewater processing plant where they are more efficiently converted to biofuel or fertilizer.

There are two types of garbage disposals: continuous feed and batch feed. The best kind of disposal for you depends on your specific needs. Continuous feed garbage disposals do exactly as their name implies. You can continue to place food scraps in the unit as long as there is enough running water to keep them from clogging up. Since this type of disposal does not require storage space for scraps, they are generally smaller and better for homes with limited under-sink space. 

Batch feed disposals are larger and can handle more food waste at a time. This type of disposal is less common in homes than continuous feed, even though they are safer to use and only require an electrical outlet. To operate a batch feed disposal, you place everything you want to be processed in at once, close the stopper, and turn it on. According to Build with Ferguson, the stopper must be closed for this type of garbage disposal to operate, making it safer for homes with children.

Broken garbage disposal

There are many reasons to buy a new garbage disposal, but the most common is that the old one has broken. There are several signs to look for that will help determine if your garbage disposal is on its last legs, according to Magnolia. Strange sounds coming from the unit are a telltale sign that something is wrong. Before you buy a replacement, be sure to check that there are no non-food items blocking the blades.

Another sign your disposal is broken is a lack of power. If it shuts off mid-process or does not turn on at all, it could be a problem with the electrical system or the unit itself. First, check your fuse box to make sure the circuit has not blown. If your disposal still will not run, it is likely that the motor has failed. An electrician should be able to identify the cause of a power issue.

Water under the sink

Leaking garbage disposals are a common problem. If you notice standing water under your sink, it could be coming from the disposal. Plymouth Plumbing & Heating states that leaky disposals are often caused by worn-out seals inside the unit. Because these can usually not be repaired, this kind of damage requires buying a new garbage disposal.

There are a few places to check for leaks under your sink before you purchase a replacement unit. If water is dripping from the bottom of your garbage disposal, then the unit is likely the problem. Leaks from the top are commonly caused by a bad seal between the sink and disposal, in which case, you just need to replace the seal. If water is coming from the side of the unit, the seals between the garbage disposal and either the dishwasher drain tube or the main drain line could be the problem. To determine where the leak is coming from, place a stopper in your sink and fill it with water. Then release the stopper and let the water drain as you watch each connection. Use a flashlight to make sure you can see the entire under-sink space clearly.

Poor performance

Eventually, garbage disposals just get old. Mr. Rooter Plumbing states that with proper maintenance, a garbage disposal can last up to 15 years. The lifespan of a unit depends on several factors. A disposal that has not been treated properly will not last nearly as long as one that has been regularly maintained. For example, if the unit has been overused or overworked, the motor may burn out, likewise, if items like spoons or other non-food items are accidentally placed in the disposal, the blades can dull or break.

Regardless of the cause, performance-related issues are a good reason to buy a new garbage disposal. A sign your unit is not doing its job is a stinky kitchen. Do you suddenly notice the smell of rotten food? It could be coming from your garbage disposal. When the blades get dull and the motor gets old, food is not chopped and processed efficiently, leaving it to sit and rot inside the garbage disposal. If this is an ongoing issue, it may be time for a replacement.

It's time for an upgrade

Although garbage disposals can last up to 15 years, you may just want a newer one with more features. Just because you've done everything right and your old unit is still humming along, does not mean you cannot replace it. Newer garbage disposals are quieter and more efficient than their older counterparts. According to American Home Shield, high-quality disposals are quieter than cheaper options because the grinding chamber has more insulation. Other available options include anti-splash features to keep food from flying out when you use it.

Another reason to upgrade is if the unit you have is not meeting your needs. Maybe you need a more powerful motor or you want to switch from a continuous feed to a batch feed style to keep your family safer. Whatever your reason for upgrading, make sure you research the available options so that you get the right type, size, and power to meet your needs for a long time.

New installation

Have you lived without a garbage disposal for years? Have you just moved into a new home without one? Either way, it may be time to upgrade your kitchen and add a new unit. There are many reasons to install a garbage disposal, states South End Plumbing. Of course, disposals are convenient, and as stated previously, they are eco-friendly, but they also keep food waste from sitting in your kitchen trash, stinking up your space.

Not only is rotting food in the kitchen odorous, but it also attracts pests. The longer food waste sits, the more likely you are to attract fruit flies, roaches, and even mice. A garbage disposal eliminates the need to take out the trash immediately after dinner to prevent problems. Being able to scrape leftover bits of food into the sink instead of the garbage is also a huge benefit to pet owners. If you have ever left the house only to return to find your garbage strewn all over your kitchen, you know how nice it is not to worry about that happening again.