Although clogs are typically the most common problem that homeowners have with their garbage disposals, another potentially damaging issue that can develop is a water leak in your unit. This is especially problematic because your garbage disposal is located under your sink where you might not notice the leak until it has become a big problem. Since this is something that you’ll want to take care of as soon as possible, we’ve put together a few things you can try before giving us a call when your garbage disposal is leaking.

Where can garbage disposal leaks develop?

Garbage disposals are typically connected to three different parts under your sink: the sink flange, where the sink itself connects to the disposal; the discharge drain pipe, where the waste from the disposal is carried out; and the dishwasher hose, where excess waste from your dishwasher is sent to your disposal. Leaks can develop in any of these spots if the connections become loose or plumber’s putty is not sealing the connection properly.

Besides these connections, leaks can also develop from a crack in the body of the garbage disposal itself.

What to do when your garbage disposal is leaking

  • Identify the source of the leak. The first thing you’ll want to do if your garbage disposal is leaking is figure out where the leak is coming from. Typically running a bit of water down your drain while looking under your sink is all you’ll need to figure out the source of the leak.
  • Tighten any loose connections. If you’ve discovered that your leak is at one of the connections to your disposal listed above, fixing the problem could be as simple as getting a screwdriver and tightening all of the mounting bolts at the connection.
  • Add plumber’s putty if needed. Plumber’s putty is often used to firm-out the connection between your sink and your disposal. If you’ve tightened that connection and your disposal is still leaking, loosen the mounting bolts a bit and add some more plumber’s putty. Tighten the bolts back up and test your disposal for leaks again.
  • Call plumber to replace a cracked disposal. Unfortunately, if you have a leak in the body of your disposal itself you’ll need to replace the unit. Give Cabrillo a call and we can take care of the new installation for you.

If you have any questions about your garbage disposal leaking, or if you’d like a plumbing system serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your San Francisco plumbing, heating and cooling company.