Troubleshooting A Leaky Garbage Disposal

Posted on: 14 December 2016

A garbage disposal is an essential appliance in any modern kitchen. Defects on this appliance would probably cause a nightmare in your kitchen, leading to the buildup of horrible odors in your sink or the clogging of drain pipes.

Leaks are often a cause of concern, with water dripping from the garbage disposal and damaging your floor or causing mold concerns under the sink. Here is a look at various areas that are prone to leaks on your garbage disposal and how you might be able to fix them.

Leaks from the top

If water is dripping from the top of your disposal, you are probably dealing with a defective sink flange. The flange typically connects the disposal to the sink and is held in place with plumber's putty. Over time, the seal on the flange can corrode, allowing water to drip. The seal can also loosen if the disposal is hit too hard, most likely as a repairman does other work under the sink.

To fix such leaks, you need to reseal the connection between the sink and garbage disposal using plumber's putty. To do this, first disconnect the garbage disposal, and clean old putty before reattaching it and adding new putty to form a watertight seal. If your garbage disposal is held in place by a flange that is attached with screws, you may need to tighten the screws or replace them if corroded.

Leaks from the side

Your garbage disposal may also leak from the connections on the side. There are usually two connections, with the smaller hose being where your dishwasher drains to the disposal and the larger one being your disposal's drain out to the main sewer.

Tightening the loose connections will usually fix the leaks. The dishwasher hose is often attached to the disposal via a metal clamp that can be tightened with a screwdriver to halt the leaking. To fix leaks on the larger pipe, you will probably need to tighten the screws on the main drain line and replace the rubber gasket at the connection if worn out.

Leaks from the bottom

If water is dripping from the bottom of your disposal, the most likely culprit is a worn out internal seal in the appliance itself. A plumber could take apart the garbage disposal, assess the damage to the internal seals, and try to fix them. In case the damage is too extensive, a new disposal is probably your best bet.