There’s something especially disheartening about opening your kitchen cabinet to a puddle of water. If you find your garbage disposal is leaking, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, grab a flashlight, and investigate. we’ll break down the potential causes and solutions to help you tackle this messy problem head-on.
What to Do When You Find Your Garbage Disposal is Leaking
If your garbage disposal is leaking it could be leaking due to a variety of reasons, but don’t worry just yet. Here are the main culprits and how to address each of them. Make sure your power is disconnected before attempting any of these repairs.
Damaged Hoses or Piping
How do you fix a leaking garbage disposal? The first thing to look at is the hoses. The hose connecting your garbage disposal to your dishwasher routes food waste to the sink drain. A leak may occur at the junction between the hose and the dishwasher. While you’re checking for damage, check to see if the garbage disposal is clogged, as that can also cause leaks.
Cause: If your garbage disposal is leaking, it could be due to an insecure clamp on the hose or a cracked hose itself.
Fix: Check the clamp on the hose and tighten it if necessary. If the hose is cracked, you’ll need to replace it.
Loose Fittings on Garbage Disposal
Accidental nudges or bumps to the garbage disposal unit over time can cause the unit to shift out of its original position, leading to loose fittings. These loose connections and fittings can result in a leaky garbage disposal.
Cause: Loose plumbing connections, mounting bolts, or an O-ring in need of replacement could cause leaks. If the leak is coming from where the dishwasher hose meets the disposal’s inlet, the metal clamp connecting them could be loose. Alternatively, if the leak is from where the disposal meets the waste drain pipe, the rubber gasket inside the pipe may be worn out.
- Start by ensuring all connections and fittings are secure, including the mounting bolts and the hose connecting your disposal to your dishwasher.
- If the leak is from the side where the dishwasher hose connects to the disposal’s inlet, tighten the screws in the metal clamp with a screwdriver.
- If the leak is from the side where the disposal meets the waste drain pipe, loosen the screws securing the drain pipe to the disposal, inspect the rubber gasket inside the pipe, and replace it if it’s worn out.
- Once the new gasket is in place, re-tighten the drain pipe screws.
Faulty Flanges or Seals
The sink flange is part of the garbage disposal that connects it to the sink drain. If not properly sealed, water can leak around the flange and down into the cabinet below. Over time, these parts may become loose or worn out.
Cause: This can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as the natural wear and tear of the components, exposure to harsh cleaning products, or even structural shifts in the sink or disposal unit itself.
- Try tightening the flange by tightening the screws. If this doesn’t stop the leak, you’ll need to reseal it.
- To reseal it, start by detaching the garbage disposal, which you may want to get a professional’s help with, or look in your manual for instructions if you’re comfortable with some DIY.
- Remove the sink flange and use a plastic putty knife to scrape off the old plumber’s putty around the flange’s top.
- Wipe off any residual putty with a damp cloth. Then, take a fresh batch of plumber’s putty, roll it into a rope of about an eighth-inch to quarter-inch wide, and wrap it around the flange’s top.
- Reinsert the flange into the sink drain opening and reinstall the disposal.
Garbage Disposal Leaking From Bottom Reset Button
The floor of your garbage disposal unit, located under the blades, can rust over time, usually resulting in a leak from the bottom.
Cause: Long-term use can lead to rusting of the disposal floor.
Solution: Can you fix a garbage disposal leaking from the bottom? If you notice rust by shining a flashlight into the disposal, you’ll likely need to replace the unit.
Cracks in the Interior of the Disposal
Over time, cracks can form on the interior walls of your disposal. These cracks may start out small and unnoticeable but can gradually grow larger, eventually causing water to seep out and form a leak from the seams of the unit.
Cause: Aging and wear and tear.
Solution: If you find cracks on the interior of the disposal, the whole unit should be replaced.
Remember, for each of these issues, it’s essential to disconnect your garbage disposal from its power source before attempting any repairs.
How to Prevent Garbage Disposal Leaks
A little preventive maintenance can go a long way in keeping your garbage disposal in top shape and warding off leaks. Here are a few tips to help ensure your unit stays leak-free.
- Regular Inspection: Get into the habit of inspecting your garbage disposal regularly. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as rust or cracks, that could cause a leak. This proactive approach could save you from future headaches (and puddles!).
- Proper Usage: Your garbage disposal is sturdy, but it’s not invincible. Be mindful of what you put in it. Avoid hard or fibrous items that can damage the blades or the disposal unit itself.
- Routine Cleaning: Keep your garbage disposal clean to help prevent build-up that can cause damage over time. You can use ice cubes and a bit of dish soap for a quick, effective cleaning method. Simply put the ice cubes into the disposal, add a few drops of dish soap, and run the disposal with cold water.
Remember, prevention is better than cure, especially regarding appliance repairs. By taking care of your garbage disposal, prevent leaks and ensure it continues to serve you well for many years. And if ever in doubt, Appliance King of America is always ready to assist with professional, reliable garbage disposal repair services.