Garbage disposals are the workhorses of many kitchens, laboring away tirelessly until they falter or fail. Then comes the question of whether or not to fix the unit or replace it. Here are four signs you should replace your garbage disposal instead of repairing it. We’ll also explain why these issues are best solved by replacement instead of trying to repair it.
It Is Hitting Retirement Age
Garbage disposals last ten to twelve years if properly maintained. If your garbage disposal is ten years old or older and in need of repair, save yourself the time and hassle and have it replaced now. If you’ve been using it rather heavily, haven’t been maintaining it and it breaks down, assume it needs to be replaced. If the garbage disposal is taking longer to do the same work as before, it is wearing out and should be replaced. If the garbage disposal sounds like metal grinding on metal when you try to run it, call for service immediately before it sends shrapnel flying and have a new one put in.
The Little Fixes Aren’t Working Anymore
Sometimes the solution to the garbage disposal’s hard stop is as easy as a push of a button. You can reset your garbage disposal by pushing the button on the bottom of the unit. Regular clogging could be a sign of plumbing problems or problems with the garbage disposal itself. If you find yourself having to continually reset garbage disposal or regularly engaging in “little” fixes, the unit is either in need of a major repair or close to a total failure, so go ahead and replace the garbage disposal. If your little fixes like pushing the reset button fail outright, it is time to replace the garbage disposal.
The Repair Cost Is Going Up
If the repair cost is less than half of the cost of a new unit, you should usually choose to repair the garbage disposal. If the cost to repair it is going up each time, have the unit replaced before you need yet another repair that is past the threshold where it is better to replace it. If the cost to repair the garbage disposal is 70% or more of the cost of a new unit, just get the garbage disposal replaced. And if you’ve had a series of repairs in the past year that totaled the cost of a new unit, even if each individual repair is well below the “replace it” threshold, replace your garbage disposal because it is becoming a money sink.
The Bad Air That Won’t Clear
You’ve run drain cleaner through the pipes and used several deodorizer tablets in the garbage disposal, but that nasty smell won’t go away. First, check the drain gap from the dishwasher in case the food debris that the dishwasher cannot send to the garbage disposal is actually the issue. Then check for leaks in the dishwasher drain hose and leaks in the seals around the garbage disposal. If none of these issues are the cause of the bad odor coming from the sink and dishwasher area, the issue could be the garbage disposal’s vent pipes. This problem is easier solved with a new disposal than trying to fix the existing one. If you have multiple leaks from around the garbage disposal creating bad odors, you’re better off having it all replaced as well.
These are just some of the signs that it’s time to get another garbage disposal unit. If the little fixes are getting annoying, becoming more frequent or not working anymore, the garbage disposal needs to be replaced. If the cost to repair the garbage disposal is increasing each time or is more than half the cost of a new one, get a new one. If the garbage disposal is creating odors you cannot get rid of, have it, and whatever related plumbing is leaking, replaced.