Garbage disposals are a wonderful, modern appliance and can be very helpful in the kitchen cleanup process. However, like most appliances with several working parts, garbage disposals can fall victim to leaks.
If you notice pooling water under the sink, a foul smell, or dampness, your garbage disposal might be to blame. Typically, a leak will come from one of four sources: the dishwasher connection, sink flange, drain line, or reset button. Let’s look at each one of these areas in more detail.
Here are four common areas to check for a leak in your garbage disposal
- The dishwasher connection. If you have a dishwasher, the connection between your garbage disposal and dishwasher can spring a leak. Run the dishwasher and watch the connection hose while the water moves from the dishwasher drain to the garbage disposal. If you notice any dripping or a blockage in the connections between the hose and the disposal, you’ve found your problem! Use a screwdriver to tighten the screws on the connection, replacing them with new screws if they won’t tighten fully or are rusted and worn. If the hose itself is leaking, you will need to replace it completely.
- The sink flange. The sink flange is located underneath the sink beneath the drain hole. To check the sink flange for a leak, you will likely need a flashlight and some flexibility. Check for dripping water or dampness along the bottom of the ring of the flange. If the flange is leaking, you will likely need to remove the flange and reseal the area with plumbers putty.
- The drain line. The drain line to the garbage disposal itself can easily get worn out. If the drain line is leaking, you will likely need to at least replace the screws that secure it to the disposal. In the event of a larger leak, you might need to replace the rubber gasket located inside the mounting assembly. Check the gasket by removing the screws that keep the drain line in place and taking the drain line down. With the drain line removed, check the gasket for signs of wear and tear. Tighten the connections between the pipe and the disposal and replace the gasket, if necessary, to get your garbage disposal running as good as new again.
- The reset button. Occasionally, the garbage disposal will leak from the bottom of the disposal or near the reset button. In this scenario, you are likely dealing with a worn-out seal inside the garbage disposal unit. This happens most often in older garbage disposals and will require a full replacement of the system.