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How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last?

How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last?

Having a garbage disposal in your house is a necessity, but do know how long garbage disposals last? Let’s take an in-depth look at their lifespan to find out.

Garbage disposals last approximately 15 years on average. However, the type of disposal, when it was made, and how often it is used may affect its lifespan.

Want to find out why garbage disposals last as long as they do? Well, keep reading and see what makes them durable options and how to find a good replacement when you need one. 

How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last? 

The lifespan of your garbage disposal will depend on a few different factors which will all affect the condition of it. However, the most important thing is the build of the garbage disposal. 

The durability of the blades and the motor will decide how long the disposal will last, so having an option that comes with tough blade material and a strong motor will be the best choice. 

With new options that offer better materials and longer-lasting builds, the average lifespan for modern choices is around 25 years. This can vary depending on how much you use it, and how well you take care of it. 

Also, if your garbage disposal is an older model, then this means that it will not last as long as the newer options. This is because of the tougher materials that are used for manufacturing, which makes them better and more long-lasting options. 

However, whether you have an older model or not, one of the main things to remember is that maintaining your garbage disposal will make a big impact on the longevity of the item.

How to Know if it’s Time to Replace Your Garbage Disposal?

Most people don’t notice when their garbage disposal is ready to be replaced, and it is not something that people often check. So, how do you know when it’s time to replace it? 

Well, here are some of the main things that you should look for so you know the warning signs, and can replace the disposal quickly. 

You Hear Strange Noises 

When it comes to appliances, it is never a good sign to hear a weird sound coming from it. This could be several different issues within the disposal, including something being loose. 

This could make it not work as well, and it often has a loud noise that comes with it. However, a part being loose doesn’t mean that this is the only thing that could be wrong. 

So, when you start hearing your garbage disposal making strange noises, it is time to replace it. 

Bad Odor 

Garbage disposals handle food and chop it up before it goes down the drain, and this means that it can sometimes smell a bit funky. This can be a normal thing, and a bit of cleaning will get rid of the smell. 

Tip: Place an orange peel in the disposal to try to freshen it up!

However, when there tends to be an odor that just won’t seem to go away, then this could be a sign that something bigger is wrong. This can mean that your disposal is not working properly and not draining the chopped-up food as usual. 

This means that your disposal is no longer working as it should, which shows you that you need a replacement right away. 

Won’t Power Up 

An obvious sign that you need to replace your current garbage disposal is if it doesn’t turn on anymore. This could mean a few different things, one of which is that the electrical system is not connected properly. 

However, if the fix isn’t a small one that can be done easily, then you might as well get a whole new system.

Getting it fixed could be done, but if there is anything wrong with your garbage disposal, it is better to get a new option that will last instead of fixing the current one that isn’t working well.

Water Leakage 

If you see any signs that water is starting to leak from a part of your garbage disposal, then this is a sign that you need a new one.

This could mean that somewhere in the disposal there is a crack allowing the water to flow through the hole. 

The amount that you will have to pay to fix it will be close to what you would pay to get a whole new system. So, it is a better idea to replace the one you have and be able to have a working one for a long time. 

Constantly Restarting the Unit 

Using the reset button is something that you will do every once in a while, but this shouldn’t be a normal thing. If you have to press it sometimes to get it to work, there might not be a big problem. 

However, if you tend to press it often, then this could be a sign that the unit is breaking down. It will likely not last much longer, so opting for finding a new one will be a better option than waiting for it to break down all the way.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace? 

The cost of replacing garbage disposals can cost anywhere between $100 and $700. This depends on the model that you choose and who you have to install the unit in your kitchen.

On average, most people will spend about $400 to get the job done. This includes the price of the unit itself and the cost of labor for the person who will be installing the garbage disposal for you. 

Labor is the most expensive part of the cost because you need someone who knows what they are doing to ensure that you have the garbage disposal installed correctly. If it isn’t done right, then you will have another system that doesn’t work right. 

Doing the Work Yourself 

If you want to cut costs by doing it yourself, then you could absolutely give it a try. However, this is something that you don’t want to mess up. 

So, if you haven’t dealt with this before, then you will want to get some experience by looking at tutorials online and reading all the instructions that come with the unit. 

Youtube has some great resources.

If you feel like you can’t finish the job at any point, then calling in a professional is always an option. 

Tips for Maintaining Your New Garbage Disposal

If you want to find a few ways to help maintain your current garbage disposal so that it lasts longer, then these tips will allow you to make it last as long as possible.  

First, you should run water through the garbage disposal every time you use it. This will keep any small pieces of food from getting stuck and causing any unwanted odors. 

You can also use a small number of ice cubes to put in the drain, then run some water over it until it melts. This will also help clean the unit out.

If you think that there is still is some more cleaning needed, then using a degreaser is a great option. Scrub the outside of the drain with a sponge, then pour some inside the unit and let the water run through it to allow it to get through the pipe.  

Another thing that you can do to clean it without using unnatural cleaners is to use lemon as a natural option. This will give the unit a nice citrus-smelling scent that won’t be harsh on any of the units, while also cleaning the inside of the garbage disposal and the plumbing.

If you use any or all of these maintenance tips, then you will be able to keep your garbage disposal clear of items and smelling nice and clean. 


Garbage disposals are not the most glamorous part of your home, but they are necessary for keeping your plumbing system working smoothly. So, now that you have the maintenance tips you need to make your disposal last, hopefully, you won’t need to replace it soon.

However, if you do, then at least you now know how much the project will cost you and what you can expect from the job. And, if you are brave enough to do the work yourself, then you will be able to cut down on the total cost a bit. 

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.