A disposer’s service life depends on what items it grinds, the foods’ composition and how long the unit is operating. These systems can last as little as 3 years up to 20 years. The average service life is about 5 years for units that are properly cleaned and maintained.
Batch-feeding food waste into disposers blocks water and causes the dreaded drain line clogs. To clear the line, fill a 5-gallon bucket with cold water and run it through the disposer to push waste through.
Do not use these systems to dispose of fat, oil or grease. To minimize jams, keep nonfood items like plastics, straws and silverware away from the disposer.
To ensure small particles push properly through to the main sewer line, operators should allow cold water to run for 10 to 20 seconds after feeding product through the disposer. Avoid hot water since it can melt and solidify fat, which will block the drain line.
Putting inappropriate food waste down disposers can clog the drain and grease trap, which is difficult to empty out. For example, potato skins can build a layer inside the unit and dull the blades quicker. This can also turn into a paste that drags motors down.
For a longer service life and high-volume use, it helps to start and stop the unit as much as possible since the blades go in different directions when power is interrupted.
For good contact, operators should make sure the contactors on the control box are tight. All disposers are sealed, so there is no way to physically oil the unit.
If the grinding becomes really loud, this could signify the need to replace the bearings. Also, leaking out of the disposer’s bottom means the shaft seal is compromised. This will sometimes, but not always, impact the motor.
Increased grind time caused by blades wearing out, motor failure or smoke, cracks, unusual or excess noise, and frequent repairs serve as indications that the disposer may need replacing. Also, disposers with leaks in seals or shafts should be retired.