How To Fix A Leaking Garbage Disposal
A garbage disposal that is leaking will require immediate repair, as water build up under the sink can cause serious damage to your home if left unattended for too long. If you can’t get to it right away, remove everything underneath the sink and try to contain the water in a bucket or other container. Laying down some towels will help absorb any water that’s already accumulated inside the cabinets.
Leaks can occur in multiple locations on a garbage disposal, so let’s take a look at the most common areas.
Sink Flange Leak
First things first, go to your electrical service panel and turn off the power to your disposer unit for safety reasons. Remove the inlet and outlet water pipes. Now loosen the unit from it’s mounting flange by grabbing the unit at the mount and turning it counter clockwise, as viewed from underneath the unit. Remove the unit from the mounting flange completely.
You should see three mounting bolts (typical number is three bolts), tighten these. If the bolts appear to be tight already, the plumbers putty that seals the flange. Loosen up the bolts again, enough so that you can push the flange up a little higher than the base of the sink. Now, you’ll need to put some plumbers putty in between the flange and the base of the sink, going all the way around filling all the gaps.
At this point you should tighten up the bolts, closing the gap between the flange and sink base and pushing out excess putty. Grab a towel or rag and wipe away any putty that was forced out.
Reinstall your disposal unit back onto it’s mounting flange and turn your circuit breaker back on. Run the water and test for leaks before putting all your stuff back under the sink.
Dishwasher Connection Leak
Try to tighten the clamp that holds the hose onto your dishwasher connection. If this does not stop the leak, inspect the hose itself and replace if necessary.
Discharge Line Leak
The discharge line is a little different from the inlet line above. This does not have a clamp to tighten, but bolts instead. Make sure they are tight. If this does not fix the problem, it’s likely that the gasket will need to be replaced. You can access the gasket by removing the pipe that’s held down by the bolts.