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Ask Art: How Do I Fix A Leaking Garbage Disposal?

leaking garbage disposal

Few things stink as badly as a leaking garbage disposal. Not only does it smell terrible, but it can result in water damage to your cabinets and flooring.

If you’re a handy person, you can fix the leak before it gets serious and results in a big, expensive mess. Here we offer some tips for fixing the leak on your own, but if the damage is significant or requires working with pipes, you ought to call your local plumbers in Boca Raton.

Disposal Leakage 101

The nature of garbage disposal leaks is such that you don’t typically notice there’s a problem until you find a sopping mess inside your cabinet.

Other signs of a problem include nasty-smelling puddles on the floor or audible dripping noises. The leak could be coming from multiple pieces of the disposal system, but you can figure out the exact location by inspecting the pipes underneath the sink.

If it turns out that the entire unit needs to be replaced, you can install a new one with a few simple plumbing techniques.

Tighten and Re-Seal the Flange

What the heck is a “flange”?

It’s the metal device that sits inside your sink drain and has a top sealant of putty, which looks a bit like clay. It’s then secured with bolts directly under the sink. Deteriorating putty or loosened bolts could damage the watertight seal between the disposal and sink drain, which is one potential cause for a garbage disposal leak.

The garbage disposal must be detached in order to reseal the flange. That may sound intimidating, but if you have some plumbing knowledge and skills, you can do this yourself.

First things first, make sure the disposal is turned off! This may seem obvious, but it’s an easy step to forget. Be extra thorough by flipping off the switch in your circuit breaker.

Now you’re ready to loosen the screws around the drain pipe of the disposal. From there, loosen the screws in the metal clamp that attaches the disposal to the dishwasher hose and detach the disposal from the hose.

Disconnecting The Disposal

Next, you’ll want to loosen the screws of a device called a mounting ring. This is the fixture that connects the metal mount under the sink to the disposal itself. Once the disposal is detached, use a wrench to loosen the bolts, pull it down, and place it by the disposal for careful inspection.

Replace Worn Gaskets and Tighten the Drain Line

You’re almost done! Any parts that look deteriorated or otherwise damaged should be replaced before you put everything back together and tighten your drain line. Make sure the bolts and screws are securely tightened and wipe them dry.

You can test your work by pouring some dyed water into the newly replaced drain and using a flashlight to see if it still leaks. If the leaking has stopped, turn the power back on to the disposal and you’re good to go!

Leaking Garbage Disposal? Call A Plumber in Boca Raton

We at Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric are all for DIY plumbing projects, so long as you actually know what you’re doing.

There are some issues where you might be better off trusting a professional, and a leaking garbage disposal could be one of them. Aside from the disposal pieces being sharp and dangerous, the problem could be more complex than you realize, and require the eyes of a skilled expert. Fixing the issue now could prevent a bigger, more expensive plumbing repair down the road.

To schedule an appointment for a leaking garbage disposal, or if you have an emergency plumbing issue, call the best plumbers in Boca Raton today at 561-391-1048.