Garbage disposals, life expectancy of

harriethomeownerJanuary 26, 2009

We are replacing our laminate counters with granite, and our drop-in sink with an undermount. We have a disposal that's nine years old, a 3/4 HP KA. It works fine, and we don't give it a lot of heavy use. The granite place told us that they would not guarantee reinstallation of an old disposal (against leaks, etc.) and recommended that we get a new one. I hate to throw out a perfectly good appliance if it's not necessary.

So my question is, how long do these things usually last? If we can get another 5 years or more out of it, it seems like we should keep it, but if it's almost at the end of its useful life, we might as well get another one now.

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Fori is not pleased

They can last a long time, and it doesn't take much skill to reinstall one without leaks (or fix leaks if your granite guys mess it up). I know this because I've done it and I am unskilled. (A malfunctioning soap dispenser behind a really deep sink in a corner cabinet with a disposal--ug!)

I'd almost wonder if those guys sell garbage disposals! But maybe they just don't like dealing with stinky old stuff. It's easier to use all new parts of course, but pretty darn wasteful.

The disposer will be fine and I'd risk having to tighten it up myself. Those guys are full of it! If they can't attach a disposal, how are they going to attach...never mind. You know how I feel! Might want to check the plumbing forum. Maybe I'm missing something... :)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 1:08PM
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You have a good quality disposal there. Sometimes people write in with this same question, but have old "Badger" style disposers that are small and aren't stainless steel (unlike yours). Perhaps the granite place is thinking about those kind of disposals so their kneejerk reaction is to want to replace it with a new better one. But you have a good one that should give you 5 more years, and so I am with Fori and say keep it.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 1:24PM
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I agree. What does the disposal have to do with granite? It twists on to the sink drain/flange, and from there it's plumbing, which if it leaks should be fixed by a plumber.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 2:24PM
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And I had just convinced myself that we should buy a new one!


1. Let the granite guys reinstall the one we have. If it's fine, this would cost us the least. If it leaks, we'd have to pay a plumber to come and fix it.

2. Hire our own plumber to reinstall the old disposal for the cost of a new one.

3. Spend about $100 on a new one and have the granite guys install it.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 2:28PM
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Fori is not pleased

If the granite guys can't install an old one, I wouldn't trust them to install a new one. But they will probably have no troubles and just want the extra cover in the event it does fail.

I'd do number one, but you won't need a plumber unless they damage pipes, in which case I think they WOULD be responsible for the repairs.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 4:57PM
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My garbage disposal is 20 years old so they can last a very long time. I'm married to a plumber so maybe him drilling into my head to make sure the water is running when using it has something to do with this?

Are the granite installers also installing your faucet and drain lines if the new sink doesn't match up to the old? Or are you bringing in a plumber to do that?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 12:16PM
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The old cheap ones like the builder grade GEs and Badgers really don't take "transplanting" well. One of the first things that goes is the grinding chamber, which rusts out. Removing and reinstalling the old disposal seems to dislodge the rust holding it together and it then leaks. This is one of the reasons our counter fabricators will always recommend the purchase of a new disposal instead. Most people that have this type of disposal will just replace it with anothe $100 cheapie anyway, so it's not a big expense when added to a counter total.

Now, if you have a quality disposal with the stainless steel grinding blades and grinding chamber (the ones that retail around $300+) then those are basically "lifetime" disposals and are absolutely worth reinstalling. But, no fabricator will warrant the usability of ANY used items being installed. Period. America is sue happy, and that's what's created the disclaimers.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 1:18PM
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If you have the space I would move-up to a 1 hp model (e.g. Evolution Excel). We did, and when I mentioned to a relative that we were doing so he promptly ask if he could have our existing unit; we moved-up and he was happy too. The 1 hp models are so much better, quieter, and worth it.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 2:23PM
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The ISE disposal in our kitchen was from 1986 and never had any problems. In 2006 we had the kitchen remodeled with new wood cabinets, granite counter tops, and new appliances. We went with the KitchenAid 5/8HP disposal as it came with a 4 year manufacture warranty. Last summer (after 2 years of use) the motor stops working. KitchenAid sends out their repair tech (A&E) and the say the internal seal leaked water into the motor, which shorted it out.

They request a new disposal from KA and say it will take 2 weeks. After waiting 2 weeks, nothing gets delivered, so I call A&E. They said that KA denied the warranty because the 5/8HP model is now discontinued. I called KA and get a 'song and dance' story saying that the model is discontunued and I have to wait 6-8 weeks for them to build me a new one! I ask why can't they just replace it with a similar like-model, and was told that they have to get approval from their 'product advisory board'. A week later they call and say the board denied the claim and I just have to wait 6-8 weeks for them to build one. I contacted A&E services and explained the situation to them. They went into the system to see if they could get mine relaced the a current 3/4HP model. Two days later it was delivered, no charge.

The KA warranry clearly states that if a unit needs to be replaced, that they can repalce it with the same-or-like model. KA could have repalced it with the 3/4HP model from the start, but instead had me wait 2 weeks for something that was never delivered and then wanted me to wait another 8 weeks for them to build one. I pray nothing happens to this disposal, and If I ever need to repalce it with another brand, it won't be Kitchen Aid!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 11:55PM
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Doesn't sound like you're leaning towards replacing it, but in case you do, check out the 1hp WasteKing, which you can buy at for $99 inc. shipping. We had one in our last house and loved it!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 10:46AM
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We have an ISE going on 15 years with nary a problem (knock on wood). Don't think we even selected it when we built; builder probably decided for us. Sounds as though you have a good one, surely not at the end of it's useful life at 9 yo. Also sounds as though the granite folks are trying to cover their behinds. Given the current state of affairs, I'd hang on to the KA. Not much hassle if it does go bad soon, at least, it's not like your hot water heater that you would need immediately.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 5:32PM
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