You have installed a garbage disposal unit in your kitchen. You are satisfied with its performance and constantly clean it. Everything was well.

…Until that time when you notice some leakage coming out of it.

Why? Is it broken? Did I do something wrong?

You start to panic and think about what you should do next. You worry about buying a new one because you just bought it less than 6 months ago! Now what should you do?!

Don’t panic. You don’t have to. The leakage may just require you few adjustments here and there and everything’s going to be back to normal. You can deal with it.

A leaking garbage disposal unit can be mainly caused by:

  • Ruptured pipe
  • Loose sink flange
  • Damage gasket
  • Plumber’s putty problem

And here are easy steps on how you could fix this glitch:

  1. Turn off your garbage disposal unit. You don’t want to risk getting injured while working on it.
  2. Identify the source of the leak.
  3. For loose bolts, secure a wrench or a pair of pliers. Tighten the three bolts between the mounting rings then run the faucet right after to check if the leak stops.
  4. If the leaking persists, it might be because of an inadequate plumber’s putty. To resolve this, loosen the bolts to get enough putty between the flange and the disposal. Retighten them. If this can’t be done, proceed with the following:
    1. Remove the garbage disposal body by turning it counter clockwise.
    2. Remove the three bolts to release the sink flange.
    3. Add a layer of putty between the sink flange and the sink
    4. Tighten the bolts again.
    5. Run the faucet again to see if it works.
  5. For pipes and gasket problems, do the following
    1. Check the bolts in the discharge pipe. If it’s loose, tighten it.
    2. Run the faucet. If it still leaks, check the gasket. You can do this by unfastening the bolts and taking down the discharge pipe.
    3. Replace the gasket with a new one and run the faucet to see if it works

So you see? You can fix it by yourself. If it’s the first time for your unit to leak then it just needs a little bit of tweaking. However, if you see that the leakage problem has been recurring then something bigger must be at play. Consult a technician and have your device checked.

Most likely, if your garbage disposal unit is already old and the leaking continues, then a crack might have developed on the body of the unit. This is possible as the unit ages and the only means to resolve this issue is via replacement.

Remember, an unattended leak can cause foul smell and can produce mold so make sure you do something about it immediately.

Got any experience about a leaking garbage disposal unit? How did you deal with it?