No matter what kind of home you live in, the kitchen will always be your most important room. And one kitchen appliance that can affect all of your cooking and food prep tasks and general cleanliness is a garbage disposal. Here are some of the more common signs of failing garbage disposal. 

  1. Slow drainage
    It’s a well-known fact that a garbage disposal can speed up water drainage in your sink. Therefore, it’s natural to expect slow drainage when your garbage disposal is slowing down. This, however, is not the only sign that your disposer is about to fail. There are many other signs that you should watch out for.
  2. Water Leaks
    If you have heard water leaks from under your kitchen sink lately and you have already ruled out any possible leaks from elsewhere in your home, then it’s worthwhile to assume that these water leaks are coming from the disposal and its pipes. A garbage disposal can develop leaks from the bottom, side, or top. In most cases, a leak from the bottom is the easiest to spot as water will just be dripping down on the floor of your kitchen.
  3. Persistent odor
    If you have been noticing an unpleasant smell coming from your sink recently, then there might be another reason for this other than overflowing dirty dishwater or a blocked pipe. Your garbage disposal may be the source of the odor. For this to happen, you would have had not to clean your disposal for months. If your disposal smells, it is time you should stop throwing food scraps into it.
  4. Frequent resets
    The only reason your garbage disposal needs frequent resets is that it has been clogged with food scraps that are no longer small enough to pass through its grinding unit. It may also indicate that the power is being supplied irregularly, so it needs resetting more often than usual.
  5. Abnormal noises
    The sound of running water that you hear when you press the disposer button is a normal noise that it makes. However, if you have heard a loud noise from your kitchen disposal lately, this could be a sign that something is amiss. You shouldn’t hesitate to get rid of your disposal if it makes loud noises or grinds unusually slowly for an extended time.
  6. Poor performance
    Suppose your garbage disposal isn’t performing well the way it used to before. In that case, there are chances of other issues being involved in its malfunctioning, and these might also be indicated in some of the other signs listed here in this list.
  7. No power
    Failing garbage disposals are also known not to supply enough power to grind the food within the grinding unit thoroughly. If your disposal does not provide enough power, it may be best to replace it with a new one. However, if this is not the case and you can use your disposer without encountering any of these signs, it may still be worth replacing the garbage disposal.
  8. Inexplicable clogs
    If your garbage disposal is working fine but gets clogged for no apparent reason, then you may have to move out of that property because it may be haunted. No, seriously. That’s one of the reasons why garbage disposals can get clogged. Another reason would be having too much grease in them, which might lead to the jamming of the grinding unit. If you are not sure if this is causing the jamming, check the other signs listed here in this list.

How Long Does Garbage Disposal Last?

Garbage disposals are likely one of the most convenient appliances in your kitchen, letting you grind up all your food scraps with ease. But how long do they last? The answer is, unfortunately, not too long. Disposals use moving blades to chop up whatever you throw into them. These blades are sharpened by grinding against the rest of the garbage that’s inside the disposal before being expelled back out. The more often you put stuff down there, though, the faster those blades will dull and need to be replaced.

In addition to the wear from food, the components of your disposal will wear out over time. Your grinding plate, for example, is a very thin strip of metal that’s designed to quickly dull and flatten. The springs in your unit may weaken over time as well. Disposal may last anywhere from three to five years before you’ll need to replace it. If you use it often enough, though, you might only get a few years out of it before having to get a new one.

Do Home Warranties Cover Garbage Disposals?

Warranties don’t cover disposals, so if your disposal fails while you’re still on the manufacturer’s warranty, you may receive some sort of replacement. However, these warranties are often very limited in what they cover, so be sure to ask specifically about your warranty before purchasing your new unit.

Should You Get a Commercial-Grade Garbage Disposal?

If you plan on using your disposal frequently or have a lot of food scraps to pass through it, consider buying one of the commercial-grade models. These disposals are designed with even more powerful motors and can grind up food scraps many times more efficiently than your regular model. They also have features designed to protect your disposal from jams and other issues. But if you don’t plan on using your garbage disposal often or have a low-volume daily load of scraps, the average homeowner can likely get away with a less expensive model. In fact, many people choose to save space and money by buying a second-hand disposer themselves

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Garbage disposals are great devices to have in your kitchen. However, if they are not well taken care of, they can also cause some problems at home. Above are the signs that indicate that your garbage disposal is about to fail.


Q1. What is the average lifespan of a garbage disposal?
A1. Garbage disposals are quite handy devices to have in the kitchens of every household. However, they are also quite delicate. This means that you might need to replace them at some point in time. The average garbage disposal lifespan is between 5-8 years, depending on the usage you give it and your general maintenance habits. If your garbage disposal is not acting up, it could be because of overuse or a worn-out seal or casing.

Q2. Can you overheat garbage disposal?
A2. Yes, you can overheat a disposer. It is pretty easy to do so if you are not careful while using it. For instance, if you continue grinding food while the device is struggling to turn or while it shuts off repeatedly to cool down, this could cause a fire in your kitchen. Therefore, you should avoid putting too much pressure on your disposal and give it enough time to process the items you want to dispose of before grinding more food into it.