21 May Top 5 Signs It’s Time for a New Garbage Disposal Installation
When your garbage disposal is functioning well, it helps keep your pipes—and your sink—clean. But when it starts malfunctioning, it can affect the cleanliness and sanitation of your kitchen. It can even impact how you cook, if the problem is quite serious. Some garbage disposal issues call for only minor repairs, but there are others that could require a whole new garbage disposal installation.
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, a garbage disposal unit should last up to 12 years. Like other appliances, though, how you use it can make it last much longer—or much shorter—than its projected lifespan. That said, how will you know you’re dealing with any specific problem so you can call a professional as soon as possible?
Here are a few signs to look out for.
It’s Making Unusual Noises
Let’s assume you know how your garbage disposal usually sounds. If so, you should know when it isn’t making its typical sounds—whether it’s humming loudly (instead of whirring softly) or giving off an ominous metallic clanging that it didn’t make before.
In the case of loud clanging or banging noises, remember to err on the side of caution and turn the unit off before inspecting the pipe for a cooking tool or a utensil like a fork or knife. If it’s humming but isn’t turning on, your problem might be a dead motor. Such a case definitely calls for a new garbage disposal installation.
There’s A Smell You Can’t Get Rid Of
Since your garbage disposal grinds up food, there’s no escaping the occasional unpleasant odor as food breaks down. The thing is, such odors usually disappear with gentle, thorough rinsing and cleaning. If nothing you do seems to be working, you may need to call a professional who can take the appliance apart and check if any food particles are trapped anywhere, thus causing the issue.
If you’ve noticed that the bottom of your unit is leaky, it usually points to a crack – or cracks – within the unit itself. This can happen over time thanks to regular use and normal wear and tear, and unfortunately, there’s no do-it-yourself fix for this problem. You’ll need to schedule garbage disposal installation to have the whole unit replaced.
You Need to Reset It Often
Normally, you won’t have to reset your garbage disposal unless its motor overloads and trips the circuit breaker, or else you need to help the unit recover from unusually large loads or clogs. In other words, if your garbage disposal is in good shape, you shouldn’t need the reset button all that often.
If you find yourself pressing it more and more frequently, that’s a sign your unit’s motor is getting weaker and will soon need replacing.
It Often Clogs
There are two main reasons your garbage disposal could clog – either the blades are getting dull, or the disposal is too small.
Dull blades mean that they can’t break down food properly, and these large food particles can clog the disposal itself or form a clog further down in your sink’s drain pipes.
As for the size of a garbage disposal, remember that its size depends on its horsepower, and a bigger household means more food waste, which calls for more horsepower. The higher the horsepower, the more food the disposal can break down.
Before you schedule a new garbage disposal installation, make sure you choose one that can handle your household’s food waste. A good rule of thumb to follow is 1 horsepower for every 8 people, so if you live in a 4-person household, ½ horsepower is enough.