A leaking garbage disposal is a common problem that you are likely to encounter from time to time. But before you rush out to buy a new one, with a bit of detective work and troubleshooting, you can quickly fix the plumbing issue even without needing to call in a plumber. Here are a few things you should know about a leaking garbage disposal.
Identifying the source
If you notice a puddle of water under your sink cabinet, chances are you have a leaking garbage disposal. First things first, you need to identify the source of the leak. A garbage disposal leaks from three primary areas: the top, bottom, and side. The origin of the leak is a great indication of what the problem could be. Hence the reason you should begin by identifying the source.
If the leak is coming from the top, where the disposal meets the sink, then the problem could be a leaky sink flange, that is, the collar surrounding the sink’s drain. A side leak indicates that the dishwasher drain or main drain lines might need to be tightened or resealed. Leaks from the bottom are the worst and are a sign that one or more seals on the interior shell are worn out. A disposal repair would be pointless at this point, and you are better off replacing the entire unit.
How to fix a leaking garbage disposal
Armed with the knowledge of where the leak is coming from, you can now proceed to repair the leaking garbage disposal. It’s possible to do a DIY disposal repair, but first, consider how prepared you are. As said earlier, you would need to replace the disposal if you have a bottom leak. Here’s how to fix a top and side leak.
Fixing a side leak is fairly easy, and anyone can do it. You would need to tighten the plumbing with a screwdriver, then observe whether the leak stops. If it doesn’t, you may have to replace the rubber gasket as well.
For this, you would need to check the mounting bolts which connect the flange to the drain. Fasten them tightly. A top leak could mean that the sealant or plumber’s putty has deteriorated. Therefore, you would need to loosen the bolts, add new sealant, and then retighten the bolts.