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How to Find a Garbage Disposal Leak and Troubleshoot It

If there is a chance that your garbage disposal is leaking, then you as an inhabitant will most likely be exposed to substantial amounts of safety hazards right in your house. You will be exposed to all sorts of harmful bacteria and fungi associated with household dirt.

Just imagine, all that waste that you increasingly rejected after cooking supper or the peels that you isolated from your favorite fruits, sneaking back into your kitchen. That is absolutely disgusting.

avoid-a-garbage-disposal-leakPersonally, I had a garbage disposal that had lasted in my kitchen for a very long time. One day, I noticed a slick of water on the floor of the cabinet immediately after I woke up in the morning.

I did my research which revealed to me that the water was dripping off from the bottom of the unit, but in terms of functioning, the garbage disposal was grinding as usual. I tried to change the putty but the problem still persisted.

In order to troubleshoot, repair, maintain or get your garbage disposal taken care of, the first thing that you need to do is figure out where in particular the leakage is originating from.

There are two types of garbage disposals distinguished by the way they get turned on. They include continuous and batch feed disposal models. With continuous feed models, there is a rubber shield at the bottom where garbage materials are pushed via the rubber shield, into the disposal.

You are supposed to flip the switch on the wall to turn on the disposal. If you are using the batch feed models, then you are required to place a stopper in the disposal opening before turning it on.

There are various spots in a garbage disposal that are more susceptible to breakage and cracks as well as clogging. Before you start scanning these spots, you are required to turn off the disposal unit by cutting the electrical power supplying the unit. This is because the blades inside the garbage disposal can cause serious injuries to your skin. It is, therefore, imperative that you take precaution.

Damaged Gasket

A gasket is a mechanical seal that fills the void between two adjoining surfaces of a garbage disposal, generally preventing leakages from or into the two linked objects/surfaces while under compression.

In a garbage disposal, a gasket exists between the sink and the disposal’s blades. If this gasket cracks, becomes worn out or becomes rusty, it can cause a leakage. To find out the nature of the gasket, you will have to dismantle the entire unit, isolate it and check out for any wear, damage or cracking.

Broken, Cracked or Loose Drain Lines

There can be one or more drain lines or hose pipes linked to your garbage disposal. One is always the pipe that connects to the sewer while the other one is the pipe that connects to the dishwasher.

The drain pipe is always present but the pipe connecting to the dishwasher can be optional. In order to determine whether one of these pipes is the cause of the leakage, you are supposed to simply look for cracks, loose screws or other damages that could spring their contents to the outside.

You may also want to check the nature of the bolts in the pipes as such could be loose following vibrations of the garbage disposal during grinding. This is the most common cause of temporary leakages in the disposal.

Putty and the Sink Flange

garbage-disposal_360A sink flange is usually a plate or a ring that forms a rim at the connection between the sink and the garbage disposal.

A putty, on the other hand, is a pliable substance that forms a seal around the flange. Not all garbage disposal units have a putty sealing the flange. Some sink flanges, however, are designed using screws.

If that is the scenario, the screws are vulnerable to loosening due to vibration activity of the disposal. This can result in a leakage.

Troubleshooting the Garbage Disposal

If there is a leakage at the sink flange, you are required to turn off the electrical power supply, hold the disposer with both hands and turn it counter-clockwise to disconnect it with the sink mounting flange. If any of the three bolts in the flange is loose, try tightening it and then reassemble the unit.

If the problem still persists, disassemble the disposer once again, loosen the three mounting bolts on the flange and then carefully, start applying plumber’s putty on the region between the surface of the sink and the flange. Try retightening the bolts as you remove the excess putty that could be oozing from the edge of the flange. Assemble the unit and turn on the disposal to test for any leakages.

If the source of tgarbage-disposal-connectionshe leakage is the pipe between the disposer and the dishwasher, you are supposed to tighten the clamp on the hose pipe. If the source is the dishwasher itself, then you have no choice but to acquire a new one.

Finally, if the source of the leakage is particularly at the bottom of the disposer, chances are high that the disposer’s flywheel seal is damaged.

To rectify this problem, you are expected to replace the seal. Cut the power supply to the disposer, dismantle the disposer to remove the flywheel, replacing the old one with a new one. Reassemble everything back as it was and you may now test for any leaks from the bottom.

I am hoping that these steps were not complicated for you to execute. However, if you still adhered to them and your garbage disposal problem has persisted, you may feel free to contact us for additional information.

We are Allied Plumbing and Pumps, LLC and our operations are based in Wenatchee, WA. Contact us via the telephone number (509) 662-6622 and we will be there to serve you.

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