What are the Causes of a Garbage Disposal Leaking?
It is normal to experience a garbage disposal leaking. However, just because your garbage disposal unit is leaking does not necessarily mean it needs replacement.
You can save money by doing a little troubleshooting and detective work before replacing your garbage disposal unit.
As much as water draining may appear like it’s originating from the bottom, in most cases that may not be the case.
A garbage disposal leak may seem like an easy fix, but once you have begun the process, you will realize other factors may make it a bit complicated. This is because there are some places in the system that are responsible for causing leaks.
The most important step in fixing a leaking garbage disposal unit is determining the exact location where the leak originated. Be mindful that this may turn out to be a complicated process especially if it’s your first attempt.
To help you find the origin of the leak here are a few steps to follow:
• Begin by unplugging your garbage disposal system. Consider turning off the breaker if the electrical socket is damp. This will ensure that you do not get shocked.
• Get rid of everything under your sink and place a small trash, bucket or a deep bottom pan to catch water coming out.
• Get your sink’s plug and gently place it inside the drain.
• Fill your sink halfway with water.
• Place several food coloring drops inside the water. Do not worry about color just pick any so long as it is visible against that of the disposal unit.
• Keenly observe any leaks under your sink. If you happen to find any leaks then you have identified your problem. It is sink flange.
• If you don't happen to see any leaks, consider removing the plug and using a flashlight to observe the source of the water.
Now that you have learned how to examine and spot the source of garbage disposal leaks, it is important to learn what causes the leaks as well. Here are five reasons for garbage disposal leakage.
1. Dishwasher Connection
It is important to always check your dishwasher connection. Many garbage disposals tend to be connected to their dishwasher’s drainage pipe. This connection plays a crucial role in removing food leftovers from pans and plates when they are washed.
Leaks tend to occur inside the pipe where disposals connect with the dishwasher unit. In addition, leaks may occur if the pipe’s clamp is not properly secured. It is easy to fix this problem and you can do it all by yourself without any professional assistance.
Simply tighten the clamp on the pipe and everything will be back to normal. Similarly, you can completely replace the cracked hose.
2. Inspect for Possible Cracks
It is normal for your waste disposal system to become susceptible to cracks as it gets older. This mainly occurs on its interior shell.
Once the shell begins cracking, you will begin to see water emerging from the seams. It is advisable to replace the whole waste disposal unit if the inside shell is cracked.
3. Discharge Pipe
Right at the bottom of your garbage disposal unit is a discharge pipe. This pipe connects to the sink’s drainage. A seal and a flange are used to connect the two. As you continue using your garbage disposal unit, these components may loosen or fail due to wear and tear resulting in garbage disposal leaking.
To fix this, consider tightening the flange using a wrench. If you still see leaks at the bottom, consider replacing the seal you see between the retaining unit and the discharge pipe.
4. Sink Flange
The sink flange is the top portion of your garbage disposal unit. This is where your disposals come into contact with sink drain. The sink flange can start leaking because of different reasons.
The first reason could be the mounting bolts. Mounting bolts secure the sink flange in place and sometimes they may loosen.
Consider tightening the three mounting bolts securely to fix the leaks. The second reason could be a failed plumber’s putty.
To fix failed putty, start by loosening the retaining bolts. This will result in a gap whereby you should force replacement putty between the pipe and the flange. Once you have completed this step, tighten the bolts so that the putty is locked in place.
5. Precautions to Take
Most garbage disposal units are located beneath kitchen sinks. It is possible to hit the disposal unit from time to time unknowingly. This can result into moving the pipes, loosening of retaining bolts, seals pressing and the unit may no longer sit right. It is always important to be cautious and avoid hitting your unit to avoid possible leaks.
If you live in Abingdon, MD and you need professional assistance with your garbage disposal, contact PlumbCrazy through their dedicated line (410) 679-7575.