My Garbage Disposal is Leaking

If you notice your garbage disposal leaking, there are often three main culprits – damaged hoses or piping, faulty flanges or seals, or worn out units. Begin by first clearing the cabinet underneath your kitchen sink to give yourself plenty of workspace, then follow our tips to assess the problem.

Check the hose connecting the disposal to the dishwasher

If you have a dishwasher, you may also have a hose connecting it to the garbage disposal, routing food waste to the sink drain. A leak may have formed in the junction between that hose and the dishwasher, either because the clamp on the hose isn’t secure, or because the hose itself is cracked. Check the clamp on the hose connecting the disposal to the drain pipe leading to the dishwasher, to make sure it’s tight. If the hose is cracked, it will need to be replaced. 

Check the flange and seal connecting the discharge pipe to the disposal unit

A flange and seal connect the discharge pipe at the bottom of the garbage disposal to the sink drain, and either of those components may have become loose or worn. Try tightening the flange to ensure it isn’t the problem. If it still leaks, the seal will need to be replaced.

Ensure that all fittings are properly connected

Since the disposal lives under the sink along with various other storage items, it’s not uncommon for people to bump the unit slightly out of place while accessing items in the cabinet. Check that the mounting bolts connecting the disposal to the drain are firmly in place, and tighten them all if necessary. Loose plumbing connections, a rusted disposal floor, 

Secure plumbing connections and other fittings 

The discharge pipe at the bottom of the garbage connects to the sink drain via a flange and seal, either of which may have become loose or worn. If the flange is tight but the seal leaks, the seal may need to be replaced. Alternatively, the hose connecting your disposal and your dishwasher might be loose, the mounting bolts connecting the disposal to the drain might be loose, or an O-ring may need replacement. 

Check for a rusted disposal floor in the area under the blades

With time, rust sometimes forms in the floor of the disposal unit, in the area under the blades. Unfortunately, if rust destroys the disposal floor, the unit must be replaced. (You can check for rust by shining a flashlight into your sink, so that you can see the blades of the garbage disposal; you may have to spread open the rubber splash guard to get a good look.) This is a common issue, so we stock our trucks with new replacement disposals. It’s important to take prompt action if your disposal is leaking, to avoid water damage to the cabinets under the sink.

Look for any cracks on the interior of the disposal

As a garbage disposal ages, cracks sometimes form along its interior wall, causing water to emerge from the seams. In that event, the whole unit should be replaced. Call us today, and we will install a new garbage disposal and dispose responsibly of the old one.


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