Why is My Garbage Disposal Leaking?

2016 Jun 14
Posted in: Plumbing

Have you noticed that your garbage disposal is leaking? 

The good news is that it’s relatively easy to find and repair the leak.

First off, there are 4 possible sources of your leak: 

  • Garbage disposal body 
  • Sink flange
  • Dishwasher hose
  • Drain pipe

Not sure which one it is? Start by wiping the entire unit dry (including attached drains). Then, run the water and turn on the disposal.

Now, look carefully for where the water is coming from. It could be leaking around any of the connecting hoses or pipes.

Find your culprit? Read on to learn more about how to fix your leak at the source.

Leak at the sink flange

Your sink flange is a waterproof seal that connects your sink to the drain. This metal device is usually secured in place with a gasket and plumbers putty. Over time though, the gasket and putty can wear out and cause water leaks. 

Solution: Replace the worn gasket then remove and reapply a new layer of plumber’s putty. Be sure to remove the excess putty after tightening the flange. 

If you’re up for the task, here’s a great video on how to fix a leaky sink flange yourself.

Leak at the dishwasher hose

The dishwasher hose pumps debris, food particles and water away from your dishwater and into the disposal. If you find that your dishwasher hose is leaking water, there are two possible reasons:

  1. A loose connection between the hose and disposal
  2. A tear, crack or hole in the hose itself

Solution: First, loosen and then re-tighten the hose clamp to test for a bad connection. 

If the leak continues after this, there is probably damage to the hose itself which means you’ll need to replace it. You can check for tears or holes by running your hands along the hose and feeling for wet spots.

Leak at the drain pipe

The drain pipe (also called “sewage drain” or “discharge pipe”) is where the chopped up food and waste particles exit the disposal.

If the drain pipe is leaking, it may be a loose connection or a damaged/cracked pipe.

Solution: Try tightening the connection first. If the leak persists, check for damage to the pipe. If water leaks along the pipe and not at the joints/connections, you most likely have a crack in the pipe and will need to replace it.

Leak from the disposal body

If you notice water dripping from the bottom of the disposal body, it’s most likely that the disposal itself is damaged and leaking. 

This can happen due to age, misuse or plumbing work. Learn more about the average lifespan of a garbage disposal.

Solution: You’ll need to replace the garbage disposal. If you’re unfamiliar with the components of a disposal, have a professional plumber install the new unit.

If you think the disposal itself is damaged, check your warranty before investing in a new unit. If the disposal is relatively new, you may be able to have the unit completely repaired under warranty.

Need a professional plumber?

Still not sure where your leak is? Call the professional plumbers at George Brazil to inspect then repair or replace your leaking garbage disposal.

George Brazil Plumbing & Electrical has been serving Phoenix-area homeowners’ plumbing and electrical needs since 1955.