The holy grail in kitchen cleanup? A garbage disposal. Located under the sink, garbage disposals are machines that collect and pulverize food particles that go down the drain in order to allow for proper draining. It can be a great addition to your kitchen when used properly, but years of wear and tear may leave it as more of a headache.
The average lifespan of a kitchen sink garbage disposal is roughly 10 years. However, if not properly cared for, you may be looking to replace your garbage disposal sooner rather than later. Signs that might determine it’s time for a new one include:
Meal prep and dirty dishes often leave scraps of food in the kitchen sink. When cleaning up, it’s likely these food particles will trickle down the drain before you even notice, and if you don’t run the garbage disposal daily it’s possible you’ll smell a very unpleasant stench. Simply run your garbage disposal with cold water to tackle any left over food particles that may be sitting in the drain. However, if you’ve already cleared the disposal and are still experiencing a smelly garbage disposal, this may be an indication that it’s time for a new machine. Over time garbage disposal’s impellers (the parts that appear as blades) may break down or not spin as fast, resulting in pieces that are left within the drain, causing the odor.
Garbage disposal humming means that it is properly working, but clanking metal or other sounds indicate the machine is in distress. First, it’s important to make sure no utensils have fallen down the drain— this happens more often than you may think! While the disposal is off, reach into the drain to feel if there are any objects or large food particles that should not be in the garbage disposal. If the machine is clear and still making abnormal noises, call your local plumber to have a technician come troubleshoot.
The garbage disposal is mounted under the kitchen sink and connected to pipes for drainage. When not operating smoothly, you may notice puddles of water collecting underneath. To troubleshoot initially, run the disposal and assess where the leakage is occurring. It’s possible food has built up within the drain which is causing water to overflow. However, if everything is normal and there is still water pooling underneath, it may be a sign for a new garbage disposal.
It’s not normal to have to continually hit the reset button on your garbage disposal, or constantly find your garbage disposal clogged after running it multiple times. If this is happening to your kitchen sink, it may be time to call a plumber and see if you’re due for a replacement.
As a friendly reminder, here is a list of items that can and cannot go down the garbage disposal:
Foods to Avoid
Fruit and vegetable peels
Coffee grounds or eggshells
Soft foods or liquid (except for grease or oils)
Fruits or Vegetables
At PlumbV, we’re trained to handle plumbing issues, so you don’t have to. If your garbage disposal is acting up, give us a call and we’ll come check it out.