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Is it time to replace your garbage disposal?

person trying to fix garbage disposal

If you have a garbage disposal installed in your sink, you know how it saves you from emptying your trash unnecessarily. If you rely on it to keep your kitchen functioning smoothly and minimize odors, it can be painful when you realize it's not working as it should. Since the limited manufacturer warranty doesn't cover much, it’s important to know what to look out for before you’re stuck with expensive repairs or replacements.

This is also where an extended warranty for your garbage disposal can really come in handy. A protection plan like MulberryCare covers damage beyond manufacturer defects, like accidental damage, mechanical and electrical issues, even damage from a power surge. With the Mulberry extension, you can get great protection plans and low-cost extended warranties to cover your garbage disposal and the other appliances you rely on to keep household duties manageable.

How long do garbage disposals last?

Studies show that the average garbage disposal should last for up to 12-15 years—as long as it was installed properly and isn’t subject to more than average wear and tear. If you're above average, you'll probably want to add an extended warranty. But if you're not afraid of a little DIY maintenance, you can help to extend it’s life by knowing what signs to look out for and how to clean your garbage disposal to prevent an early demise.

Signs that it might be time to replace your garbage disposal

  1. Your garbage disposal is making strange sounds

    Some noise is normal depending on what you're grinding up, but you know what it’s supposed to sound like. If your unit is making any unusual noises, shine a flashlight down the disposal and try to check for any blockages (or foreign objects). You might be surprised to discover that a piece of silverware or small object fell into it by accident.

    Always be careful when removing anything and be sure the garbage disposal is off before any retrieval efforts are made! If you don’t see anything creating a blockage, there is likely a larger issue with your disposal.

  2. There’s a lingering smell that won’t go away
    The worst. One of the biggest benefits of a having a disposal is that you don’t have to leave food sitting in a trash bag for a day or longer in your kitchen. However, if the unit isn’t working properly, it could lead to a buildup of odor and cause a lingering smell.

    If this happens, try thoroughly rinsing the disposal to remove any trapped particles. You can also purchase cleaning tablets to help rid the odor and clean your garbage disposal. If you’ve exhausted your options and can’t get rid of the odor, you'll probably want to get it checked to make sure there isn’t a larger issue. If the unit itself is old, evaluate the cost of purchasing a new disposal before you call for a repair. If you have an extended warranty like MulberryCare, make the call because the damage will be covered by your protection plan.

  3. Your garbage disposal is leaking water
    Wear and tear are normal and no appliance lasts forever—especially appliances that we use every day. It’s normal that after a significant amount of time these units will form cracks or leaks. You won’t want to bother with a costly repair for this though; you’re better off putting that repair money toward a garbage disposal replacement.

  4. Your garbage disposal won’t turn on
    There are a few different things that could be preventing your garbage disposal from turning on. First, check your circuit breaker and make sure everything is good to go on your home electrical panel. If the problem persists, try hitting the reset button on your unit and see if that gets it to turn on. If neither of these options work, you will more than likely need to contact a professional for their opinion. If you don't have an extended warranty, make sure you know what you'll be paying for a technician to come evaluate the damage. It may be more cost-effective to purchase a new garbage disposal.

  5. You have to reset the unit often
    As mentioned above, the reset button on your garbage disposal is only meant to be used as a last resort when the unit is malfunctioning (or not functioning at all). Sometimes it really does just require a reset, and with that quick fix your problem doesn’t return. However, make sure you pay attention to how often you need to use the reset button, especially if it’s for the same issue repeatedly. That's a definite warning sign that your garbage disposal is nearing its end of life.

Why you need an extended warranty for your garbage disposal

If you're already asking yourself how much does it cost to replace a garbage disposal, it's the right time to consider an extended warranty option like MulberryCare. For a nominal upfront investment, you can protect your new garbage disposal for years to come. If you purchase a $95 InSinkErator garbage disposal, it will only cost you $6.99 to add a 3-year MulberryCare extended warranty. With repair technician visits starting at $50 just to assess the problem, you can't afford not to add an extended warranty. You won't pay any deductibles or service fees beyond your initial $7 investment. Now that's money well spent.


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Kim Miller

About the author

Kim Miller is the Head of Consumer Marketing at Mulberry. She is passionate about building products and brands that make consumers happy, save them money and make their lives easier. Have an innovative idea for Mulberry you'd like to share? Give her a shout! She'd love to chat about anything from fintech and UX to gardening and antiquing.

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