A garbage disposal is a household appliance that is installed under a kitchen sink and is designed to shred food waste into small pieces that can be easily flushed through the plumbing system. When you turn on the garbage disposal, a motor inside the unit spins a disc that has sharp blades attached to it, which grind up the food waste.
Garbage disposals can handle a variety of food waste, including fruit and vegetable scraps, meat, poultry, and fish bones, eggshells, and coffee grounds. However, there are some items that should not be put in a garbage disposal, such as grease, oil, fat, and fibrous foods like celery or corn husks.
Using a garbage disposal can help reduce the amount of food waste that goes into landfills, and can also help reduce odors and pests in the kitchen. However, it is important to use the disposal properly and follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damage or clogs in the plumbing system.
Regular maintenance of the garbage disposal, such as cleaning the unit and regularly sharpening the blades, can help extend the life of the appliance and prevent problems.
When do you need to replace a garbage disposal?
There are a few signs that may indicate that it is time to replace your garbage disposal:
- Frequent clogs: If you find that your garbage disposal is frequently clogging, even after attempting to clear it, it may be a sign that the unit is no longer functioning properly and needs to be replaced.
- Unusual noises: If your garbage disposal is making strange noises, such as grinding or rattling sounds, it may indicate that the blades are dull or damaged, which can prevent the unit from functioning effectively.
- Leaks: If you notice water leaking from your garbage disposal, it may be a sign of a crack or other damage that requires replacement.
- Age: Garbage disposals typically have a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. If your unit is approaching this age range or has been in use for a long time, it may be time to consider replacing it.
When considering whether to replace your garbage disposal, it is important to consult with a licensed plumber or appliance repair technician. They can help diagnose the issue and determine whether repair or replacement is the best option for your specific situation.