How to Fix a Leaky Garbage Disposal
January 10, 2020
The garbage disposal is one of the most convenient kitchen appliances you have. With just the flick of the switch, it pulverizes any food items in the sink and clears out the drain. Homeowners everywhere are grateful for this invention. That is why if your garbage disposal starts to leak, it can be worrisome. Don’t worry though because a leaky garbage disposal can be easy to troubleshoot, especially with help from the pros at OnTime Service. Here is a quick and helpful guide on how you can fix a leaky garbage disposal.
Do Some Investigation First
Before you try to stop the leak, it’s important that you find the cause. Arm yourself with a handy-dandy flashlight and inspect the area underneath the kitchen sink and check for damp spots. For a thorough inspection, turn off your disposal at the breaker box. Then, insert a watertight sink stopper in your sink’s drain and make sure to wipe your disposal unit dry with a cloth. Pour a mixture of food coloring and water into the sink stopper—the dyed water will make it easier for you to find the exact location of the leak. Use a clean rag to wipe different areas of the unit and check for any signs of food coloring. Be sure to check these 4 spots as leaks are common here:
- The intersection between the disposal and sink drain
- The bottom of the disposal unit
- Dishwasher hose connected to the disposal
- Main drain line
Fix the Leaks!
Now that you know where the leaks are coming from, it’s time to fix them!
- Leak from Disposal and Sink Drain Intersection
If there is a leak from this area, which is essentially the top of the garbage disposal (the opening), it is an easy fix. It is most likely the metal flange which is secured at the opening of the sink drain with a sealant called plumber’s putty on top and bolts at the bottom of the sink. The leak is most likely caused by either loosened bolts or worn-out sealant—or both. You might need to tighten the bolts using this guide, or replace the deteriorated sealing.
- The Bottom of the Disposal Unit
The bottom of the disposal unit leaking is not a good sign, as it usually indicates a worn-out internal seal, close to the motor. This usually occurs due to frequent disposal usage over a long period of time. The best fix for this would be to get a new garbage disposal.
- The Side of Your Disposal
If you look at your unit under the sink, you will notice two drain lines near the side. The smaller one is the connection between the disposal and the dishwasher, the larger one is the actual drain leading to the sewer. If there are leaks coming from these areas, you will most likely need to tighten the connections with a screwdriver. For the main drain line, you might want to unscrew the pipe and check if the rubber gasket inside is worn out or not. If it is, replace it, reassemble the pipe and see if it is continuing to leak.
Fix a Leaky Disposal with OnTime Service!
We hope this guide on how to fix a leaky garbage disposal has been helpful. If you want to learn more about how you can tackle leaks in your home, get in touch with OnTime Service! Call us today at 205-942-1405 or schedule an appointment with us online!