Is Your Garbage Disposal Leaking? (Look Here!)

Have you recently found that the cabinet space underneath your sink is a little soggy? This could be from a leak that is coming from your garbage disposal. 

Let’s go over where to look for leaks on a garbage disposal.

Prepare to Find Where the Leak is Coming From 

Before you do anything with your garbage disposal, you need to make sure you don’t put yourself in a position to get electrical shock. Make sure you unplug it from the outlet and turn off the power to the breaker box. 

Next, insert a sink stopper into your drain and wipe the disposal dry with a cloth or paper towel. Mix a few drops of food coloring with some water and pour that water onto the sink stopper to help you locate the leak. 

Food coloring can allow you to easily see where the leak is coming from.
Food coloring can allow you to easily see where the leak is coming from.

Investigate Where the Leak is Coming From 

Start looking at the disposal for leaks. Using dyed water will allow you to easily see where the leak starts to come from. There are three locations on a garbage disposal where the leak can start to come from. These three locations include the top, bottom, and side of the disposal. 

Top of the Garbage Disposal is Leaking?

This is where the disposal meets the sink drain. If it’s leaking at the top, you will need to re-seal and tighten the drain flange. This is typically sealed with plumber’s putty and then tightened even further with bolts from underneath the sink. Sometimes, putty can decay and bolts can get loose, causing your disposal to start leaking there if there is not a watertight seal. 

If the leak is coming from the top of the garbage disposal, sometimes the sink drain flange needs to be re-sealed and tightened.
If the leak is coming from the top of the garbage disposal, sometimes the sink drain flange needs to be re-sealed and tightened.

Bottom of the Garbage Disposal is Leaking? 

If you find that the bottom is where the leak is coming from, you will most likely have to replace the disposal. This is because one of the seals on the interior shell of the disposal has decayed to the point where it has cracked which is causing the leak. 

This is detrimental to the way the disposal runs because the shell protects the motor. If the shell is cracked, then it allows water to leak right through the shell and out from the bottom of the disposal. 

troubleshoot a garbage disposal - leaking
If your garbage disposal is leaking from the bottom, it will typically leak from these areas.

Side of the Garbage Disposal Leaking? 

If the leak is coming from the side, it is commonly because the drain line connections need to be tightened or the gaskets need to be replaced because they are completely worn down. 

There are two drain lines that extend from the sides of the garbage disposal. If the leak is coming from the side of where the dishwasher hose meets the disposal’s dishwasher inlet, this could just be the metal clamp that connects them. You just need to tighten the screws with a screwdriver. 

Garbage disposal problems - bucket placed under food waste disposer to begin work on poor draining issue
They can also leak from the drain line connections.

Check for Any More Leaks by Running the Water Through the Drain

After you have either repaired or replaced your garbage disposal, it is best to test to make sure that it is no longer leaking before doing anything else. You can do this by using the same method with the dyed water that you used previously to locate the leak. 

Know How to Prevent Future Leaks 

Be mindful of what you are putting down your sink. Your garbage disposal isn’t made to handle all foods. If you are putting food down your garbage disposal, make sure it is soft food. Also, take a look at this list and make sure you are not putting these foods down your sink. 

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, there are a few places where your garbage disposal will leak from. Take the proper steps to figure out where the location of the leak is. The location of the leak depends on how to go about fixing it. 

Call 1-Tom-Plumber 

Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need any help with plumbing issues regarding your garbage disposal. 1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. 
We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.

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