Your garbage disposal has the primary function of shredding food particles into tiny pieces to avoid clogs in the drain. It has to be regularly cleaned and maintained to prevent leakages and oil buildup.
A leaky garbage disposal can go unnoticed as it is hidden inside the cabinets under your kitchen sink. It can become quite frustrating for homeowners as it produces a foul odor and can form mold in the cabinets. In most cases, it can be repaired but when it becomes old it has to be replaced to avoid further problems.
Here are a few reasons why your garbage disposal might leak and solutions to fix it.
1. Defective Gaskets
You can check the gasket that is between the metal collar of the sink and the rubber seal, if you observe any leakage over there then your gaskets are worn out. Gaskets also weaken over time and begin to leak if they’re mishandled. Not using the gasket for a long period of time can also dry it up, which causes the leak. In addition to that, if your plumber hasn’t sealed the gasket properly then it can leak.
The easiest solution is to replace the gasket with the new one. You can try and do it yourself; however, getting it attached with the help of a professional plumbing service will help you place them tightly.
2. Leaky Flange
A flange is a metal collar of your sink that is attached to the rubber seal and it’s the highest point of your garbage disposal. It sits on the sink being attached to the drain which helps in sieving any dirt or food particles and prevents them from entering your drains. If you notice a water leakage from here, then your flange is at fault, which has become weak due to loose putty or mounting bolts.
You can replace the putty by loosening the bolts and setting it between the gap. You can then tighten the bolts until the gap is not there.
3. Loose Drain Lines
Drain lines that are attached to your dishwasher can also leak due to being loose. There are two pipes attached to your dishwasher; the thicker one is your sewer disposal line and the thinner one is your dishwasher disposal line. Any leaks from These can damage the appliance and can form puddles in your kitchen or pantry.
You can tighten the screws or clamp that hold to the garbage disposal line. Overtime the disposal line can also wear out due to constant use and can form cracks, which can result in a leakage. You can replace the fixtures with the help of a professional plumbing service.
4. Loose Seals Of Pipes
You can find this kind of leakage under your sink. When you store different items in the cabinet that’s housing your garbage disposal line, you might have accidentally hit it while keeping or taking out do things. This can loosen it from its position and cause a leak, which can be easily identified through water spots in your cabinet.
You can tighten the bolts by yourself or fix the seal by adding the plumber’s putty to seal the ring. Getting it repaired by a plumbing leak repair service is recommended to avoid any further damage.
5. Damaged Dishwasher Hose
A garbage disposal drain pipe is attached to a dishwasher to dump the food particles that are left in your utensils. Leakage can occur in this hose due to cracking or being loose.
Replacing the old hose can remove the leakage as the cracks can’t be completely fixed and would need regular maintenance and repair.
6. Large Cracks On The Body
When you observe puddles in your kitchen cabinet or outside on the floor it might be due to a large crack. After you replace your leaky gasket and fix the drainpipes and seals, you can check if there are any large cracks on the unit itself. These can also occur due to using the cabinet as a storage space and hitting items on it.
You would have to invest in a new garbage disposal unit. To keep it safe in the future, you can change the position of attaching it in your cabinet to get ample space for your other items without damaging it.
7. Leaky Reset Button
When you have an old garbage disposal it can leak from the reset button which can’t be repaired. If you hire an amateur plumber, he might advise you to repair it, which can cause regular maintenance costs and waste your money.
The permanent solution is to replace the reset button to avoid frequent repairs. You can visit your local stores and buy a new reset button. It might also be under the warranty issued by the company which can cover all the costs. Seek help from a professional plumbing service to recommend the right solution.
8. Damaged Discharge Pipe
If you’ve repaired everything and your garbage disposal is still leaking, it might be due to a damaged discharge pipe. You can inspect it on your own or get it inspected by a professional plumbing service.
You can try to solve it by tightening the flange by yourself as loose plumbing can result in leaks. If the water is still dripping, you can hire up lumber to replace the seal, the screws and the discharge pipe.
It is not always easy to inspect and locate the faults that are causing the leakage and you need professional assistance to help you out and provide a permanent solution to you. Replacing the fixtures that have worn down is better than constantly repairing it and wasting your money. Getting it fixed immediately can help you avoid any further damage to your cabinets and kitchen.
About the author
Thomas has been working with Pro Serve Plumbers for 15 years and has worked on many plumbing emergencies repairing leaky faucets and detecting garbage disposal leaks for the residents of Fort Worth. He has received leak repair training from the best plumbers in the industry.