When problems arise, the importance of a garbage disposal is hard to miss although we must admit that it often goes unnoticed until it ceases to function properly. Plugged sinks, pooled dish water, and piercing noises are typical of this situation, and while many of these issues can be alleviated by simple repairs, sometimes replacement is the only practical option. If you’re replacing an existing disposal unit with a new one, the line is a little less clear. In fact, though garbage disposal units are often championed as being good for the environment, some plumbing systems–and even municipal sewage lines–may not be up to the task of handling the shredded waste that leaves a garbage disposer. An important decision to make is to go all a Pro or Do It Yourself? If, as many homeowners do, you decide that the do-it-yourself route simply isn’t for you, you’ll need to hire a professional for this job. For most of us, the knee-jerk reaction is to hire a plumber or to have the unit installed by the company you buy the disposer from. It may be rather beneficial, however, to look to a different kind of service professional for this job. The job will not only require a certain amount of plumbing work, but electrical work, as well. In this scenario, it’s easy to understand why most folks hire a professional for the job. By hiring a handyman service instead of a plumber, you can get all of these small tasks completed in a single visit. This saves you the hassle of calling a different pro for each job, and saves you money, to boot. As they recommend at Consumer Reports: Your local sewage authority may have a policy in place regulating or even discouraging garbage disposer use, so make sure to call before you install if you’re not positive. Some companies offer extensive warranties that cover just about anything that can go wrong for a year or two after the unit is installed.
Comparison shopping. You’ll want to look at a number of different characteristics including physical size, power, energy consumption, and the warranty it comes with. You’ll also need to decide whether you get a continuous or batch feed model, the later being a little more expensive, but safer for households with small children.
Check Warranty. Certainly not the largest investment you’ll make in your home, your new garbage disposal unit is still an item that takes time and money to replace. Some companies offer extensive warranties that cover just about anything that can go wrong for a year or two after the unit is installed; a few will even send one of their own guys to your home to do the work for free. The warranties issues by other companies may not be so comprehensive, and can be voided for any number of reasons. Like the disposal units, themselves, warranties are easy to overlook when everything’s functioning properly. It’s always a good idea, however, to know what you’ll be up against if and when problems do arise.
Repair Vs. Replacement. While it is extremely difficult to say with authority which is the better option for your particular situation, if your garbage disposer has been under your sink for decades, there’s a very good chance that a new model will represent a significant upgrade. Old units require more time to do their job, and waste water in the process. A brand new model will perform its work faster and more effectively while simultaneously using less water and probably less electricity, too.