A garbage disposal can be a very useful and time-saving device until it starts leaking. Once this happens, it can leave your kitchen in a state of disarray – a complete mess. Further problems can result from this especially if it’s not fixed in time.
But, it’s near impossible to determine the cause of the leak not to mention fixing it, if you’re not familiar with home improvement work.
If this is your first time attempting to repair a garbage disposal leak, the following guide may be of some assistance.
The key is to start going down different possible problems and use the process of elimination to tick off each option until you’ve identified the actual problem. That’s the key to fixing the issue.
Steps to take when Garbage Disposal Leaks from the Bottom
Search for the Leak
Start by detaching the garbage disposal from the wall outlet and switch it off from the breaker box so that you don’t experience an electrical shock while working with it. All of this must be done before you test the garbage disposal for leaks.
Put a sink stopper into the sink drain and use a cloth to clean the unit until it dries.
Pour a few drops of food coloring into a handy container containing a couple of cups of water. Then, pour the dyed water into the sink stopper. This will help you to determine the location of the leak.
Investigate It Carefully
Examine the garbage disposal to see if any water has escaped, using a flashlight.
Glide a light-colored rag over the disposal while checking each location. You’ll know that the disposal is leaking if the cloth returns the same color as the dyed water and it’s a quick and easy way to spot an obvious leak.
But, if you still can’t determine the location of the leak then your next step would be to remove the sink stopper and repeat the process.
If the leak is happening at the top of the unit, you’ll be able to tell even if the sink is plugged in. On the other hand, bottom and side leaks are mostly noticeable with an unplugged sink.
Re-Seal the Flange
Inside the sink drain is usually a metal sink flange that’s sealed with a clay-like sealant that’s known as plumber’s putty.
It’s further attached to the sink drain with bolts.
Over time, the putty goes through natural deterioration. Sometimes the bolts become loose and as a result, the flange is no longer waterproof.
What you’re left with is a leak that typically starts at the top of the disposal.
Even after you’ve replaced or repaired the garbage disposal leak, it’s important to test it again to make sure that there are no problematic areas that you may have missed upon the first inspection.
Then, wipe the entire disposal using a clean and dry cloth, before you unplug the sink drain.
Thereafter, pour a couple of cups of dyed water into the drain to see if any leaks occur. Inspect the whole area with a flashlight to make sure.
If you still don’t notice a leak, you should switch the disposal on and power it up from the breaker box and plug it into the wall outlet.
Make Sure No Leaks Happen in the Future
Using your garbage disposal properly can be a great way to prevent leaks in the future.
That’s why it’s important to always use it as recommended and only use it to grind soft foods because hard items like raw potatoes, apple cores, and bones can clog and even damage the unit internally.
It’s also important to run water through the sink drain before and after you pour food into the food disposal.
Avoid putting solid fats into the disposal because this too can cause leaks. Then, check your disposal for leaks regularly using the dyed water method we shared with you.
This is a great way to catch small leaks before they become an even greater problem.
Conclusion on Garbage Disposal Leaks
It’s crucial to not only quickly repair garbage disposal leaks but to check for them regularly.
This is the best way to get the most out of your unit and remember to use it only as recommended and avoid putting anything into it that might compromise its integrity.