Having a garbage disposal allows you to dispose of (select) food waste easily into your sink. While it does add convenience to your kitchen cleanup, there is the possibility of it leaking. Garbage disposals can leak for multiple reasons, but here are the most common causes of these leaks and where they may stem from.

garbage disposal leaking

My Garbage Disposal Is Leaking from the Top

Likely Cause: A Loose Sink Flange

Your sink flange is the piece that connects the garbage disposal to the sink drain. Garbage disposals are typically connected to your sink via the flange and plumber’s putty. Leaks commonly occur here when the connection between the sink flange and the sink drain isn’t tight enough or the connection has corroded over time. Here’s what you can do if you suspect your connection is failing:

  • Check the mounting bolts. Your mounting bolts connect the flange to the drain. Make sure they are fastened tightly.
  • Check the plumber’s putty. If the plumber’s putty that helps seal your disposal in place has been compromised, simply loosen the bolts, add new plumber’s putty, and then retighten the bolts.

My Garbage Disposal Is Leaking from the Side

Likely Cause: Drain Line Connection

In many cases, the drain pipe from the dishwasher is connected to the garbage disposal. This drain pipe will remove any excess food debris and water from the dishwasher into the garbage disposal.

  • Check the clamp. Your main drain line is connected by screws and a rubber gasket on the inside. If the metal clamp connecting your dishwasher to your garbage disposal is loose, you can try to tighten it with a screwdriver.
  • Inspect the hose. Look for any cracks or hard, dried-out areas in the hose connecting your dishwasher to your garbage disposal. If your hose is compromised, replace it before running your dishwasher again.

My Garbage Disposal Is Leaking from the Bottom

Likely Cause: A Busted Internal Seal

Depending on the age and use of your disposal, it could be worn out, leading to internal damage. If your disposal is leaking from the bottom (and not just dripping from an area higher up), the cause is usually the garbage disposal itself. There are internal seals that can wear out over time, leading to leaks and disposal failure.

  • Inspect the body of your garbage disposal. Look for any cracks or wet spots on the body of the unit. Unfortunately, if the disposal is cracked, the entire unit likely needs to be replaced.
  • Check for shifts in your garbage disposal’s position. Garbage disposals live underneath the sink alongside most of the cleaning supplies in your home. If the disposal has been knocked or bumped, it could have shifted out of place. Ensure that the disposal is sitting upright, and if it has shifted, realign it. Then, inspect the seals and plumber’s putty, resealing it if necessary.

Fixing a garbage disposal leak isn’t always a difficult task that requires a professional, but you do have to know where to look and how to go about fixing it. When your garbage disposal or sink plumbing needs repair, you don’t have to worry about DIY fixes. Nor is it necessary to scour the internet for how-to videos.

Simply contact Len The Plumber! We’ll inspect your home’s garbage disposal and provide you with comprehensive repairs or replacement services when needed. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (800) 950-4619.