Although sometimes repairs are smart and most cost effective the problem may be too big, and it might be smart to replace the unit entirely. A good rule of thumb is if the cost to repair is more than 50% of the cost of a new unit, a new unit is probably your best bet. Here are some things to look out for:
Frequent Clogging: If your disposal is constantly clogging it may be time for a new disposal. It may also be smart to get a bigger disposal because the current disposal is having trouble keeping up.
Press the Reset Button A Lot: If you find yourself constantly having to press the reset button your motor is most likely failing, and it is time for a new disposal.
Can’t get Rid of Odors: If you find yourself having tried everything to get rid of the odors coming from the sink, the smell may be trapped in the drain lines or the unit. Meaning, the smell is irreversible, and the unit needs to be replaced.
Blades have Become Dull: If you notice food takes a long time to grind and the disposal clogs frequently, your blades are dull, and it is time for a new unit.
Leak that cannot be fixed: If there is a leak in the sink flange or other part of the unit it is often more cost effective to get an entirely new disposal rather than trying to fix it.
Replacing Sink or Dishwasher: Although it is not always necessary to get a new garbage disposal while getting a new sink or dishwasher, it may be smart as you already have professionals coming to your house. It is also smart to consider if your unit is 10+ years old.
Again, a good rule of thumb when considering replacing or repairing is if the cost of repairs is more than 50% of the cost of a new unit, a new unit may be the most cost effective.