anytime plumbing
garbage disposal leaking
06 Apr

How To Fix A Leaky Garbage Disposal

You probably don’t think much about your garbage disposal until there is a problem with it. Don’t worry. You are a part of a substantial population of people who do the same thing. There are two things that you can do in this situation. You can try to fix it yourself, or you can call a professional to fix it.

DIY Garbage Disposal Fixes

If you decide that you want to take care of your own leaky garbage disposal problem, there are some measures you need to consider before attempting this.

  • Determine where the leak originates.
    • The first step you need to take when fixing a leaky garbage disposal is determining where the leak originates. By determining this, you will be able to gather the tools and materials that you need ahead of time.
  • Before you decide how you are going to fix the garbage disposal and begin, make sure you UNPLUG the disposal.
    • There is an increased risk of electrical shock when repairing your garbage disposal if you do not cut off its power supply prior to working on it.

Determining if the leak is coming from the top or the bottom of the unit is simple. Wipe your sink with a dry cloth. Pour water into your sink, making sure to pay close attention to where the escaping water is originating from. If you plug your sink, leaks at the top will still form even when the water is sitting in the sink. As you drain the water, leaks present at the bottom of the unit will present themselves as the water flows through.

Fixing A Leak At The Top

If you find that your garbage disposal is presenting the leak at the top of the unit, chances are the culprit is a leaking gasket or flange. Changing your leaking gasket can be a straightforward process. The first step is visiting your local hardware store for the replacement gasket.

  • Making sure the unit is unplugged, disconnect the drain from the unit.
  • Unlock the unit from under the sink. This is done by twisting the disposal in a counter-clockwise motion. The disposal should drop down. Move the disposal unit, but keep it close enough to see the rubber gasket while you are making the change.
  • Take the old gasket off of the unit and replace it with the new one purchased at the hardware store. The new gasket should pop into the lip of the disposal and lay flat. If it does not, there may be more significant issues at play.
  • Put the disposal back into place, remounting it with a clockwise motion to lock it into place. Ensure that you have all three of the mounting grooves locked back into place.
  • Reconnect any drains you have removed. Plug the garbage disposal back into the plug-in. Repeat the process for checking for leaks.

If replacing the gasket does not accomplish stopping the leak, it is possible that the flange is to blame. Replacing the flange can be a slightly more complicated procedure, but it isn’t impossible. The flange is generally a part that is attached under the sink with bolts and then sealed in with plumber’s putty.

If the plumber’s putty has loosed, you can fix this by removing the disposal as you did in with changing the gasket. Next, loosen the bolts until a small gap forms. Fill this gap in with the new plumber’s putty and tighten to create the seal. If this does not work, you may have to reseal the flange completely. This is a slightly more involved process.

  • Drop the disposal down like you did when you replaced the gasket.
  • Loosen the bolts that attach the flange to the sink.
  • Find the clamp that is used to hold the bottom of the flange at the correct position and loosen it with something to pop it out of its groove.
  • Pull the flange from the top of the sink. Use a putty knife to remove all of the old plumber’s putty from around the structure and sink.
  • Roll a fresh piece of plumber’s putty between your hands until you form a snake-like figure. It is recommended that the width of this be between a quarter of an inch and an eighth of an inch.
  • Place this around the top of the flange and reinsert it in the sink. Replace the bottom clip to hold it into place.
  • Retighten all screws that you loosened at the beginning of the process.
  • Clean leftover putty from the area with a wet cloth and reattach the garbage disposal unit back into place.

After you have completed this process, it is important to recheck for leaks.

Fixing Leaks At The Bottom

Garbage disposals do not have an indefinite life expectancy. Because of this, cracks may have formed along the interior lining of the unit. This is not an easy fix and often results in complete replacement of the garbage disposal unit.

If you find that cracks are the problem with your leaking unit, it is essential to unplug it. Water and electricity are not a good duo. Once you have an old unit like this, replacing it is the only answer. Replacing it can get you a warranty and the possibility of not having to worry about repairs for a long time.

Calling The Professionals

If you aren’t confident that you can do work on your garbage disposal by yourself, you are not alone. Every day, plumbing professionals are called to fix a leaking unit or replacing it entirely. These expert services are often required to enact a warranty on the services.

Anytime Plumbing offers you service for your leaking garbage disposal in the form of service repair and total replacement. If you are in the Santa Cruz area and find yourself in a situation where your garbage disposal is causing you issues, Anytime Plumbing experts have all the answers you need to get your disposal back in operation.

Call today to receive a quote for repair or replacement of your existing garbage disposal unit by professionals you know and trust.

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