Other than the toilet, your kitchen garbage disposal is probably the last appliance you want to start leaking. All the contents you thought you were putting down the drain are now ending up underneath the sink or on your floors. Not fun.
The lifespan of a garbage disposal is about 12 years. Once the blades or motor wear down, then it’s time for a replacement. But in most cases, a leak can be repaired and the unit can work like new.
Here are the 6 most common causes of a leaky garbage disposal. Before you do any work to your garbage disposal, make sure the unit is unplugged or the power is turned off.
Worn out gasket
The gasket creates a seal between garbage disposal and the bottom of the sink. Since it’s made from rubber, the gasket can deteriorate and crack over time – especially if it’s dry for a long period of time. To replace the gasket, you’ll need to detach the disposal from underneath the sink, remove the old gasket, and insert the new one.
Loose sink flange
When the garbage disposal runs, it vibrates, and over time this could loosen the screws holding the flange to the sink. If the flange becomes loose, water can leak through. Try tightening the bolts and that should take care of the problem.
It’s possible that the pipe connecting the sink to the garbage disposal is broken or cracked. Inspect the pipe, looking for any damage or signs of water. If the pipe is broken, it can be replaced without needing a new disposal unit.
Loose dishwasher clamp
Most dishwasher drains will connect right into the garbage disposal. Check the clamp for the dishwasher line and tighten if needed.
Plumber’s putty is used to seal the flange during installation of the garbage disposal. If the putty weakens over time, then a leak could occur. Applying new putting should fix this issue.
Crack in the body
Made of plastic, the body of the garbage disposal can develop cracks from normal wear and tear, or if it gets bumped too hard. Unfortunately, if your leak is due to a cracked body, there isn’t an easy fix and you will likely need replace the entire garbage disposal.
The garbage disposal is convenient appliance but can become a major headache when it’s not working properly. If you have a malfunctioning disposal, give Whitten Plumbing a call today at (501) 607-6596. Our licensed plumbers will fix the problem so won’t have to worry about a leaky mess in your kitchen any longer.