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    Garbage Disposal Leaking from Bottom: Here’s What to Do

    Garbage Disposal Leaking from Bottom
     
     

    When you notice water under your kitchen sink, there's a good chance that your garbage disposal is leaking. There's a number of issues that can cause a leak, but if your garbage disposal is leaking from the bottom, your options are limited.  

    If your garbage disposal is leaking, it's very possible you have a fixable situation. There are 3 common issues that can cause a leaky garbage disposal. We'll take a look at each and give you the information you need to fix the problem.

    Garbage Disposal Leaking


    Garbage disposals typically leak from one of three areas: The bottom, top, or side. Where the leak orginates is a good indication of the seriousness of the problem.

    Garbage disposal installed under a kitchen sink
     
     

    Garbage Disposal Leaking from Bottom

    If you suspect that your garbage disposal is leaking from the bottom, the odds are good that you'll need to purchase a new unit. But before jumping to any conclusions, double check that the leak is actually coming from the bottom of the garbage disposal.

    Water travels, so your disposal could be leaking from the top or side and simply dripping from the bottom. Use a paper towel to dry off your garbage disposal and then watch closely to see where the water is leaking.

    Garbage Disposal Leaking from Bottom Holes

    Whether your garbage disposal is leaking from the reset button, screws or holes on the bottom, the issue is the same. You have a serious problem that, most likely requires a new garbage disposal.

    The most common cause is a damaged internal seal. Garbage disposals use internal seals to protect the motor and/or prevent the appliance from leaking. Over time, these seals wear out and are no longer able to perform their intended purpose.

    Another possible cause, is a crack in the protective shell case that surrounds the garbage disposal. But regardless, if the leak is happening because of the case or a seal,  you'll need to purchase a new disposal.

     
     
     

    Insinkerator Badger 5XP

    InSinkErator Garbage Disposal with Cord, Badger 5XP, 3/4 HP Continuous Feed

    The Insinkerator Badger 5XP is a 3/4 horsepower garbage disposal. It's a customer favorite because of it's low price and "easy swap" installation design.

    What to Do When Your Garbage Disposal Leaks from the Bottom

    When this is your problem, your options are pretty limited. Keep in mind that water and electricity don't mix, so you'll want to get this fixed as soon as possible.

    Your only real solution is to purchase a new garbage disposal. You can expect a new garbage disposal to last between 8 to 15 years, depending on the amount of use and the quality of the appliance.

     
     

    Consult with a Local Plumber

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    Garbage disposals such as the Insinkerator Badger 5 aren't too expensive, and you'll likely spend around $400 between parts and labor if you hire a professional to install it for you.

    Many homeowners prefer to do the installation themselves to save money. If you do choose to go this route, you'll want to purchase a garbage disposal that comes with an electrical cord, suprisingly, some don't!

    InSinkErator Garbage Disposal with Cord, Badger 5XP, 3/4 HP Continuous Feed
    Waste King L-3200 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, 3/4 HP
    Moen GXS75C GX Series 3/4 Horsepower Garbage Disposal
    Kitchen Aid (84211643) KCDB250G 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal
    InSinkErator Badger 5XP
    Waste King L-3200
    Moen GXS75C
    KitchenAid KCDB250G
    Motor Size
    3/4 HP
    3/4 HP
    3/4 HP
    1/2 HP
    RPM
    1725
    2700
    2700
    1725
    Power Cord Included
    Warranty
    4-years
    8-years
    5-years
    1-year
    Price
    $123.11
    $94.81
    $118.37
    $130.00
    InSinkErator Garbage Disposal with Cord, Badger 5XP, 3/4 HP Continuous Feed
    InSinkErator Badger 5XP
    Motor Size
    3/4 HP
    RPM
    1725
    Power Cord Included
    Warranty
    4-years
    Price
    $123.11
    Waste King L-3200 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, 3/4 HP
    Waste King L-3200
    Motor Size
    3/4 HP
    RPM
    2700
    Power Cord Included
    Warranty
    8-years
    Price
    $94.81
    Moen GXS75C GX Series 3/4 Horsepower Garbage Disposal
    Moen GXS75C
    Motor Size
    3/4 HP
    RPM
    2700
    Power Cord Included
    Warranty
    5-years
    Price
    $118.37
    Kitchen Aid (84211643) KCDB250G 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal
    KitchenAid KCDB250G
    Motor Size
    1/2 HP
    RPM
    1725
    Power Cord Included
    Warranty
    1-year
    Price
    $130.00

    Repairman with wrench tightening the flange on a garbage disposal
     

    Garbage Disposal Leaking from Top

    If your garbage disposal is leaking from the top, the problem may not be your disposal at all! It could be the connection between your sink and your disposal.

    Your garbage disposal is connected to your sink with a flange. The majority are sealed with plumber's putty in order to prevent water from leaking. Although, there are some disposals that are tightened to the flange with screws.

    Over time, a clay-like sealant called plumber's putty breaks down, (or the screws loosen) and the sink flange is no longer able to make a water tight seal. This can also happen when other plumbing work is being done under the sink, as the garbage disposal may be hit or dislodged enough to compromise the seal.

     

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    What to Do When Your Garbage Disposal Leaks from the Sink Flange

    You'll need to remove the garbage disposal and re-seal the sink flange with plumber's putty. This is a big job and many homeowners choose to hire a professional instead of doing it themselves. However, if you're an avid DIY'er and want to save a couple of dollars, here's what you need to do:  

    •  
       
      Loosen the screw that connects the main drain pipe to the disposal; then loosen the metal clamp that secures the dishwasher hose to the disposal.
    • Remove the drain pipe and dishwasher hose from the garbage disposal.
    •  
       
      Loosen the mounting ring screws (connects the disposal to the mounting assembly under the sink). Now, carefully remove the disposal and place it on a dry surface.
    •  
       
      Loosen the bolts on the mounting assembly and remove it. Then remove the sink flange from the sink. You may need to use a putty knife to pry it up.
    •  
      Scrape off the old plumber's putty with a putty knife from the flange, and tidy the area up with a damp cloth.
    •  
       
      Roll a "snake" of plumber's putty between your hands. It should be between an 1/8th to a 1/4 of an inch wide and long enough to line the sink flange. Wrap the putty snake around the top of the flange and place the flange into the drain opening. Gently push until its snug.
    •  
      Follow the instructions above, in the reverse order, to install the mounting assembly and mounting ring. Then, install the garbage disposal, dishwasher hose, and drain pipe.

    Repairman tightening clamps on garbage disposal drains
     

    Garbage Disposal Leaking from Side

    If your garbage disposal is leaking from the side, the problem is typically the drain lines. This is typically an easy and fixable problem.

    There are two drain lines that connect to the garbage disposal: A dishwasher drain, and a main drain line. The smaller drain connects the dishwasher drain pipe to the garbage disposal's dishwasher inlet; and the larger drain runs through the wall and connects the appliance to the sewer.

    What to Do When Your Garbage Disposal Leaks from the Side

    If the leak is coming from the smaller hose that connects to the dishwasher, tighten the screw on the metal clamp with a screw driver to secure the hose. This will usually stop the leak.

    If the leak is coming from the main drain line, you may be able to stop the leak by simply tightening the screws. However, if that doesn't work, there's a rubber gasket inside the pipe which may need to be replaced.

     

    Consult with a Local Plumber

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    Last update on 2020-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API