September 18, 2020
By Mark Paup

Is My Garbage Disposal Leaking?

Updated February 1, 2024

Unlike some plumbing problems, garbage disposal leaks can be hard to spot. But if you notice your disposal performing poorly, your drain emitting strange smells, or water pooling under the sink, there’s a good chance your garbage disposal is leaking.

Garbage disposals tend to leak from three places: the top, the pipe connections, and the bottom. All of these components may spring a leak for various reasons, but the important thing is to know how to take care of them. Keep reading to learn how to spot a garbage disposal leak, and what you can do about it, courtesy of our experienced plumbers at Golden Rule.

How to See if Your Garbage Disposal Is Leaking:

  • Check the Sink Flange: The sink flange is the part under your sink surrounding the drain. Most of the time this part is made of metal, though some flanges are manufactured with plastic and coated in a metallic finish. When the sink flange cracks and erodes, the bolts around it loosen and rust, or the putty holding it in place deteriorates, it can cause water to leak from your garbage disposal, leading to a puddle underneath your kitchen sink. Use a flashlight to check if your flange is loose and tighten it if necessary.
  • Examine the Dishwasher Hose Connection: To see if the hose connecting your dishwasher and garbage disposal is working correctly, you will have to run your dishwasher first. Look at the hose as the water moves from the dishwasher drain into the disposal. If the connection between the hose and the disposal is loose, water is likely to leak out.
  • Look at the Drain Line Connection: If the connection between the drain line and garbage disposal is loose, you are almost guaranteed to experience a leak. You will want to pay special attention to the screws keeping the line and disposal together, monitoring the gap between the disposal and the drain line.
  • Press the Rest Button: Your garbage disposal reset button is the red button on the bottom or lower back side of your garbage disposal. When your garbage disposal becomes clogged and the motor overloads, the reset button pops out to turn the disposal off. If you notice that the reset button is on, you may have a clog in the disposal, or something may be caught in the line. Try to find the obstruction and remove it, as this can cause leaking out of the reset button or other parts on the bottom of the disposal. Make sure you push the reset button back in before turning the unit back on. If the leak continues, you may have to replace the seal inside the unit.

For more information on garbage disposals or to schedule a kitchen plumbing repair, call 515-393-4526 now, or click here to request service online.

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