Food scraps are never a problem if you have a waste disposal unit. The hardworking machine under the sink helps you get rid of scrap right away and keeps you from having that rotten smell inside the garbage bag. But what happens when it starts leaking? Do you call a plumber right away?

Probably. Some problems in the kitchen may be best handled by a professional. But a leaking disposal may be something you can take care of yourself. All you will need are the basic stuff like putty, plumbing wrench, and patience.

Loose bolts, screws, or sealing ring

If water is leaking near some bolts and screws, they probably only have to be tightened. You may have hit the disposal while reaching for other things down the sink, causing some of the bolts to loosen. The sealing ring can also be loosened when the disposal is hit quite hard. You may just have to realign the unit to stop the leak. If that does not work, try replacing the putty as it may have gone off.

Leaking from the uppermost section of the disposal

If the leak comes from the uppermost portion of the disposal, it may come from the sink flange. The flange is where the waste disposal unit connects with the sink. That part usually leaks when the putty has failed. All you have to do is apply new putty. To do this, you will first have to loosen the bolts the join the flange and the sink. Carefully apply the putty around it and retighten the bolts.

But sometimes, the problem can be as simple as a loose bolt or two. Try tightening the bolts first before resealing with new putty. That will save you a lot of time and work.

Leaking from the dishwasher

Some garbage disposal models are connected to the dishwasher through a discharge pipe. If this connection leaks, it may be due to a failing flange or seal. You can fix this by tightening the flange first with a plumbing wrench. If that does not work, you may have to replace the seal.

The leak may also come from a cracked hose. If that is the case, all you have to do is replace the hose and your disposal is good as new again.

Leaking from the body of the disposal

After many years of use, a garbage disposal unit can be susceptible to breaking or cracking on the body. Usually, this problem cannot be fixed and you will have to get a new one. But before you do, check on the warranty of your unit. Some units have limited warranty while others come with a lifetime warranty. You may contact the manufacturer of your waste disposal if you do not have a copy of its warranty.