When Should I Repair vs. Replace My Garbage Disposal?

August 21, 2023 Published by Leave your thoughts

When Should I Repair vs. Replace My Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposals are essential kitchen appliances that make our lives easier by grinding food waste and preventing clogged drains. However, like any other appliance, they can wear out or break down over time. When faced with a malfunctioning garbage disposal, you might find yourself wondering whether it’s best to repair or replace it. This blog post will guide you through the decision-making process to help you determine when to repair or replace your garbage disposal.

Assessing the Issue

Before deciding whether to repair or replace your garbage disposal, you need to assess the problem. Is the disposal completely inoperable, or is it experiencing minor issues such as clogs or odd noises? Understanding the severity of the problem is crucial in making an informed decision.

Minor Issues – Repair

If you are experiencing minor issues with your garbage disposal, such as clogs or unusual sounds, repairing the appliance is usually the most cost-effective solution. These issues can often be resolved by following a few simple steps. First, ensure that the disposal is turned off and unplugged before attempting any repairs. Then, check for any obstructions that may be causing the clog or unusual noise. You can use a wrench or pliers to manually rotate the grinding plate to dislodge any stuck or jammed items. Finally, once the problem is resolved, run water and turn on the disposal to ensure it is working properly.

Leaks – Repair or Replace?

If your garbage disposal is leaking, you need to determine the source and severity of the leak. If the leak is minor and caused by loose connections or worn-out seals, it can often be repaired. A simple tightening of the connections or replacement of faulty seals can fix the problem. However, if the leak is large, persistent, or stemming from a crack in the disposal unit, it might be more cost-effective to replace the entire unit. Major leaks indicate structural damage that can be difficult to repair and may lead to further issues down the line.

Motor Issues – Replace

When your garbage disposal’s motor fails or becomes inefficient, it is often more practical to replace the entire unit rather than attempting repairs. The motor is the heart of the disposal, and if it’s not functioning properly, the appliance will not work efficiently. Signs of motor problems include an appliance that is not turning on, grinding slowly, or emitting burning odors. Professional repair of the motor can be expensive, and in some cases, it may even cost more than replacing the entire unit.

Age and Condition

The age and overall condition of your garbage disposal are important factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace it. On average, a well-maintained garbage disposal can last approximately 10-15 years. If your disposal is nearing the end of its lifespan and requires significant repairs, it might be wiser to replace it entirely. Older models might also lack modern features or energy-efficient technologies, making a replacement a more attractive option.

Budget and Long-Term Costs

Another key consideration is your budget and the long-term costs associated with repairing or replacing your garbage disposal. If the repair costs are relatively low and the appliance is still within its expected lifespan, repair might be the more affordable option. However, if your disposal is old, requires frequent repairs, or suffers from major issues, investing in a new, more efficient model can save you money in the long run. Newer models often come with warranties, enhanced features, and improved energy efficiency, offering greater value for your investment.


Knowing whether to repair or replace your garbage disposal can save you time, money, and unnecessary stress. By carefully assessing the problem’s severity, considering the age and condition of the appliance, and evaluating your budget and long-term costs, you can make an informed decision. Remember, minor issues can often be repaired, while major problems or aging appliances might warrant a replacement. Ultimately, the choice depends on your unique circumstances and the best outcome for your kitchen and wallet.

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

Welcome to Crews Appliance Repair. We are family owned and operated, and service customers within a 40 mile radius of St. Peters, MO. With over 35 years of experience, we are confident that we have the right skills needed to repair any of your major household appliances. We specialize in the repairs of washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, garbage disposals, and more. We provide estimates, and every customer receives a free service call with repairs over $69. Crews Appliance Repair warranties all of our repairs for 100 days. We stand behind our work. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!

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