The Reasoning of Your Leaking Garbage Disposal

The Reasoning of Your Leaking Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal unit is among the devices that are used to keep a modern kitchen clean. It is used to dispose of organic materials such as peels, pieces of meat, coffee grounds which would have otherwise made our kitchen smell if disposed of in the trash bin.

garbage-disposal-connectionsWhen the disposal unit starts to leak, the disposed garbage finds its way in our kitchens making it smelly as well as becoming a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause serious health problems. Not to mention the dirt may attract pests into your home. Fixing a leaking disposal unit becomes a top priority.

Source of the Leak

Below are simple steps that can help you identify the where the leak is coming from.

  1. To avoid getting shocked; wipe any water around the socket and switch off the electric power.
  2. Remove everything from the sink and underneath it. Place a bucket under the disposal to catch any leaking water.
  3. Fill the sink with some water and observe if there are any leaks and note where they are coming from.
  4. If you cannot spot any leaks, take a flashlight and thoroughly inspect the possible areas that are likely to cause leakage (as outlined below).

Cause of the Leak

garbage-disposalInspect all units of a garbage disposal, to check whether they have cracks that need fixing or loose connections that need tightening up. Some of the common causes of a garbage disposal leak include;

  • Ruptured Pipe: A leak may occur if the pipe connecting the sink to the disposal is ruptured. If the pipe is broken or has cracks, replace it without removing the garbage disposal.
  • Loose Sink Flange: The waste disposal is connected to the sink through a flange found at the bottom of the sink. When the garbage disposal vibrates it sometimes loosens the screws. This may cause leaking if the mounting bolts are not well secured. If the leak is from the flange, tightening the bolts will fix the problem.
  • Putty Problems: The putty is used to seal the flange. It may cause the garbage disposal to leak if it has been weakened with time. It can be fixed by applying the plumber’s putty. Allow it to dry before testing the leak.
  • Dishwasher Connection: The leak may be due to the loose clamp that connects the dishwasher to the garbage disposal unit. Tighten it to stop the leak. But if the dishwasher is damaged, you may need to replace it with a new one to stop the leak.
  • Crack in Body of Disposal: As the disposal gets used and older, it becomes prone to cracks along its body. Cracks will make water leak through the seams. You may be required you replace the entire garbage disposal unit.

DIY Steps

There are other leaks in a disposal that you can apply the DIY methods, but only if you have some basic know-how.
First of all, locate where the leak is coming from. Wipe off the disposal unit with a dry rag and run water into it. The likely places to observe a leak include the top of the main seal, drain pipe, dishwasher and along the body of the disposal unit. Observe where the water is coming from. Check whether the leak is due to cracks or loose connections and act accordingly.

avoid-a-garbage-disposal-leakInspect the drain pipe for the presence of dirt or debris that may have gotten stuck between the seal and the tube. Wipe it off with a wet rag. If the wire clamps are loose, secure them in place by tightening them up.

Take off the breaker that controls the disposal unit. If cracks have damaged the hose, unscrew the clamp and disconnect it from the disposal unit. Cut the end of the hose to the point where the leak started.
Do not worry; cutting it off will not cause a problem. Fix the hose back and screw back the clamp.

Precaution you should take

  • The first thing to always do whether you are inspecting or fixing your garbage disposal unit is to turn off the electricity.
  • Watch out of the sharp blades in the garbage disposal. They can still cause some serious injury to your hand even when they are not rotating.
  • Ensure the sink area is clear of any objects before you start inspecting or working on your disposal unit.

Finally, it is advisable to carry out a routine maintenance at least once in a year and have your garbage disposal unit inspected every month to ensure the system is operating smoothly. As much as you would love to do it yourself, once in a while get professional help to check your unit.

Look no more and let James Caccia Plumbing Inc. assist you with any garbage disposal concerns in your San Mateo, CA home. Just call (650) 376-6800 today.

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