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Why Is My Garbage Disposal Leaking?

Do you spend lots of time in your kitchen? If you answered yes, you probably use your garbage disposal daily, if not several times a day. Garbage disposals are an underappreciated modern convenience that goes unnoticed— when they’re working the way they’re supposed to. But when there’s a problem, you’ll most often find out the messy way: via hearing, seeing, or even feeling a leak.

Why is your garbage disposal leaking? To pinpoint the problem, clear away everything underneath the kitchen sink and take a look at the garbage disposal from top to bottom, using a large bowl or container to catch any leaks.

Garbage Disposal Is Leaking From the Top

If your garbage disposal is leaking from the top, it may be due to the following:

Sink flange

The sink flange is the ring-shaped piece connecting your garbage disposal and sink drain. The flange is usually held in place with plumber’s putty and connected to the drain with mounting bolts. If the putty is wearing out or the mounting bolts are loose, this might be the cause of your leak.

Sink gasket

Your sink gasket is the flexible fitting that seals the sink flange to the sink drain. If your flange is in good shape, but leaking is still coming from the top of your garbage disposal, your sink gasket may be loose or malfunctioning.

Mounting assembly

Mounting assemblies vary slightly for every garbage disposal, but their purpose is the same: to connect the disposal unit to the actual kitchen sink itself. If a vital part of the mounting assembly, such as the mounting ring, is loose or too worn out, simply running water through the disposal might cause a leak from the top of your disposal.

Garbage Disposal Is Leaking From the Side

Is your garbage disposal leaking from the side? These are the likely culprits:

Drain line

Every garbage disposal has a drain line, also called a drain pipe or discharge line. This is a tube that directs the garbage disposal’s contents into the sewer system. The drain line itself may be cracked or punctured, or the metal clamp connecting the line to the unit may be loose or broken. Pinch the line lightly between your fingers — you shouldn’t feel any especially hard sections or dried-out spots as this can indicate something inside is causing a block or the line needs to be replaced. These lines are difficult to replace by yourself, so it is a wise choice to contact a professional plumber for this kind of plumbing repair.

Dishwasher line

If you have a dishwasher, your garbage disposal problem might be happening because of your dishwasher line. Much like with your drain hose, a loose or broken clamp might be causing the leak, or the leak could be coming from holes, wear and tear, or clogging within the hose connecting the line to the disposal.

Many garbage disposals are integrated with dishwashers, meaning that your dishwasher is essentially connected to your sink. It makes for a convenient combination because connecting a dishwasher hose to your sewer pipes via the garbage disposal removes the need for a separate dishwasher drain. However, this also means that dealing with dishwasher line issues can be twice the headache. This is another job best handled by a plumber.

Garbage Disposal Is Leaking From the Bottom

Leaks from the bottom of the disposal are usually the most serious type of leaks you’ll encounter. More often than not, your disposal is leaking from the bottom due to a broken...

Garbage disposal unit

When the garbage disposal unit itself is cracked or damaged, this often means the internal seal is broken. An internal seal malfunctioning will cause a leak coming from the bottom of the disposal. This leak can sometimes look like it is happening at or around the disposal’s reset button. The unit might be near the end of its service life. You need to contact a plumber ASAP so that you can replace the unit.

It is a good practice to be careful with what you keep underneath your kitchen sink. If your garbage disposal is frequently jostled or shifted by objects you keep in the cabinet, it can lead to this kind of damage.

Professional Garbage Disposal Repair in New Hampshire

If you’re unsure of where to start or the leak is beyond what you can handle, don’t panic. Contact Cornerstone Services, and we can help you get that garbage disposal up and running again. We offer many different plumbing services in Salem, NH, along with many other parts of northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. We would be happy to talk to you about anything our team can do for your disposal — or your home’s plumbing in general. Contact us today for amazing service at an awesome price!


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