Explained | How to Fix Leaking Garbage Disposal? | GharPedia Exclusive

Garbage disposal is one of the hardest working appliances in your kitchen. It churns out the kitchen waste from the sink, taking your kitchen clean up game a notch higher. However, this electric powered device that sits under your kitchen sink may leak for various reasons, leaving you hit the panic button! A Garbage disposal is one of the kitchen appliances that are used and abused day in day out, but when it gets leaky you need to instantly troubleshoot by putting to use some ‘smart’ techniques. By the time you’ve read through this article, you will be able to:

  • Know the signs of a problematic garbage disposal and the right time to replace it
  • The causes of leaking garbage disposal
  • How to find the source of garbage disposal leak and,
  • How to fix a garbage disposal leak like a pro

So, remain on this page as Gharpedia will surely make your time worth it.

What are the Signs of a Problematic Garbage Disposal?

Problematic Garbage Disposal

A problematic garbage disposal unit gives enough signs. If you pick those signs and plunge into action, you can save yourself from entering a flooded kitchen. Here are the seven most common signs of leaking or damaged garbage disposal;

01. Poor Performance of Garbage Disposal

Any loads disposed of in the garbage disposal should run through fast. If you notice that it takes a long time for your garbage disposal to break down the food particles, you may need to sharpen or replace the blades. If the blades are been worn out to a large extent, then replacing them is the best option.

02. Garbage Disposal Has No Power

Has your garbage disposal gone to sleep mode suddenly when in use and refuses to turn on again? Don’t panic.  Head to the electric mains and check if there was a circuit tripping. If the circuit breaker box hints that everything is fine, then be sure that your garbage disposal has gone kaput and it is time to replace it. The power problem in garbage disposal indicates a failing motor.

03. Foul Smell From Garbage Disposal

One sign of broken garbage disposal is a foul smell caused by food particles stuck in the unit. Gental cleaning and rinsing can keep this foul smell at bay. However, if you’ve done all you could to rinse it, but still the smell persists; it means that the blades are not spinning as they should because of years of usage. This wear and tear is an indication that your appliance is on its last legs and needs replacement.

04. Water Leaks From Garbage Disposal

Sometimes, water may seep in areas where your garbage disposal is connected with the plumbing system. By the time you notice it, the problem may have grown to the level that demands replacement of the entire appliance.

Very often there might be leaks causing water accumulation under the sink and you may end up blaming the sink or the dishwasher for the same.  However, a worn-out garbage disposal can be the culprit. So ensure that you’ve examined the garbage disposal unit before running into any conclusion.

05. Frequent Clog In Garbage Disposal

To prevent garbage disposal from clogging, you need to wash food particles down the drain occasionally.  If you don’t, you will encounter clogging caused by food particles that get stuck in the drain pipe or the blades.

However, if you notice that your garbage disposalis clogging frequently, despite small loads, it’s time to replace it.  The consistent clogging of the garbage disposal is a clear indication that the food particles are not well-grounded.

In some cases, the clogs can also indicate that you need an upgraded model.

06. Abnormal Noise From Garbage Disposal Unit

Garbage disposal tends to produce a loud noise when a metallic object slips into it unnoticed and blocks the blades. However, if you hear such noise and find that nothing is blocking the blades, know that the disposal component has been misaligned. It’s advisable to address the issue as fast as you can as the obstructions cause motor destruction.

07. Constant Restart Of Garbage Disposal Unit

Garbage has a reset button that helps it to recover after working on large clogs or loads. In most cases, it happens once or twice after several months. However, if you feel that you are forced to use the reset button almost every time you use the appliance, know that it’s time for a replacement.

The frequent resets may also be caused by loose wiring; therefore, you will have to call a plumber before going in for a replacement.

What are the Causes of Leaking Garbage Disposal?

One of the major issues encountered by people using Garbage Disposal unit is the leakage. A leaky garbage disposal can be caused due to some of the reasons listed here:

  • Worn-out gaskets
  • Leaky sink flange
  • Loose drain lines
  • Loose pipes or seals
  • Dishwasher connection to the drainpipe
  • Cracked or split body
  • Leaking reset button
  • Damaged or Loose discharge pipe

How to Find the Source of a Garbage Disposal Leak?

You need not depend on professionals to fix every problem in your appliances. Knowing your appliances well can help you deal with minor issues all by yourself. Like in case of a leaky garbage disposal, you need to investigate the situation and know its repair options before calling a plumber. This could very well save you some money.

However, it would be challenging to identify the source of the garbage disposal leak if you don’t understand its structure.

Garbage Disposal Structure

Garbage Disposal Structure

01. The drain pipe- It is usually a metallic or plastic pipe that drains food and water in to the sewer.

02. The dishwasher connection- It is a rubber hose that is connected to the disposal site.

03. The garbage disposal itself

04. The sink flange- It connects the disposal top to the sink drain bottom.

Now that you know the structure of your garbage disposal, try to find the source of the leak by following these steps:

01. Dry the disposal and the sink drain outside to enable any new moisture to stand out.

02. Place a stopper in the drain of the sink and then fill the sink with water.

03. Wait for some minutes as you check the disposal under the sink. If you notice any active dripping, then it is a clear indication that the leak is from the flange.

04. If there is no sign of a leak, remove the drain plug from the sink and closely check the disposal. By doing so, you will be able to see water dripping from either the drain pipe, the dishwasher hose, or from some other part of the disposal.

How to Fix a Garbage Disposal Leak?

Once you have ascertained that the leak is from the garbage disposal, follow the tips below to fix it depending on the part of the garbage disposal that is causing the leakage.

01. Leaking Garbage Disposal From Bottom

Leaking Garbage Disposal From Bottom

The garbage disposal seals wear out with time or bursts. If this is the case with your garbage disposal, consider installing a new one.

Fixing a new internal seal would take you a lot of effort, time, and cost worth replacing the appliance.

02. Leaking Garbage Disposal From Side

Leaking Garbage Disposal From Side

This leakage comes mostly from the area where the drain lines are linked to the garbage disposal side. If this is the case, tighten the metal clamp connecting the lines from the garbage disposal to the dishwasher by using a screwdriver.

Also, check the screws of the main drain line and tighten them. You can also consider replacing the rubber gaskets.

03. Leaking Garbage Disposal From Top

Leaking Garbage Disposal From Top

If your garbage disposal is leaking from the top, it means that the putty or the sink flange has worn out and can’t keep the seal intact any further. If this is the case, detach the disposal appliance, clean the worn-out putty, and reseal it with fresh plumber’s putty. That’s it, you’ve solved the issue.

As said earlier, garbage disposal doesn’t last forever. However, you can prolong its lifespan by cleaning it regularly and avoiding using it to dispose of tough materials. Now, do you have any reason to stay with leaking garbage disposal unit in your home? Give your answer in the comment box below.

Well, it is best that you could solve your home plumbing problems with yourself. On the other hand, some issues are more challenging to fix and require the services of a plumber. At Gharpedia, you will be able to find out more on this subject. Click on a link below to know more:

Urgent Plumbing Issues Which May Need a 24-Hour Plumber
6 Warning Signs That Tells you to “Call a Plumber” to Fix Your Piping System!

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Author Bio

Jennifer Kiminza – Jennifer Kiminza is a content writer and content marketing professional at Hub Spot, an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Jennifer worked as a marketing manager for a tech software startup. She graduated with honors from Nairobi University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.

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