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How to Fix a Leaky Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals do a lot of work for us, don’t they? As much as they get rid of unwanted scraps to keep your drain clear, we tend to overlook how useful they are. It’s usually not until they start to malfunction or leak that we notice them, right?

If you notice leaks coming from your garbage disposal (or other signs of wear and tear), you want to inspect it first. Look for any cracks or damage, and be sure to shut off the disposal at the power source before trying to repair it. And if you find it’s a problem you can’t fix on your own, call Everest Plumbing! We’re quick to come and assess the situation.

Here are some tips to help you diagnose and fix your leaky disposal:

Check for any clogs.

Clogs can build up over time, and then they cause water to back up and leak out of the disposal. The best way to clear a clog is to use a plunger or a plumber’s snake. Please note that a kitchen plunger, which is the kind you want to use, is different from a toilet plunger. If these don’t work, you may need to disassemble the disposal and clean it with a wire brush. Then, reassemble the disposal, tighten any loose parts, and run water through it to test for leaks. If it’s still leaking, the seals or gaskets may need to be replaced.

Check for cracks or damage.

A smart move is to check your disposal regularly for cracks or damage, as they can cause huge messes in your kitchen. If you do spot any cracks or damage, immediately shut off the garbage disposal at the power source and give Everest Plumbing a call! Cracks in your disposal are a serious issue that can only be fixed or replaced by a professional.

Remove the dishwasher drain hose.

You may find that your leak is caused by a poorly connected drain hose from your dishwasher. If that’s the piece that’s leaking, try removing the hose and cleaning it out. Disconnect the hose from the dishwasher and the garbage disposal, then use a plunger to clear any debris. Reattach it and turn on the disposal to test for leaks. Still leaking? You may need to replace the hose.

Inspect the P-trap.

The P-trap is a bend in the drain and waste pipe that contains a pocket of water that blocks toxic sewer gases (like methane) from traveling through the pipe and into your home. A good idea is to inspect it regularly to catch and repair any leaks promptly. If there’s a leak in this part, you’ll find there may be some unpleasant smells and poor functioning in your disposal. You may notice oily residue near the drain or hear strange gurgling noises coming from the kitchen sink.

Tighten the mounting bolts.

Sometimes, all it takes is a quick fix, like tightening the mounting bolts. Unplug the disposal and remove any objects blocking access to the bolts, then use a wrench to tighten the bolts until they are snug. Don’t overtighten, as this may damage the disposal. Plug it back in, and voila! You can now turn it back on.

Inspect the sink flange.

This is the part of the disposal that mounts to the sink. Over time, it can loosen or even become corroded. You may only need to tighten it or replace it, which is simple to do. Start by removing any food or debris from the disposal. Next, use a flashlight to look inside the unit for any signs of damage. If it’s only loose, you can try tightening it with a wrench. After you’ve made the repair, try running some water through the disposal to test for leaks.

Replace the rubber gasket.

The rubber gasket is one of the most critical parts in preventing leaks and ensuring your unit runs effectively. If it becomes worn, or even if pieces start to dislodge, it can cause leaks through the cracks around the disposal and cause all sorts of mayhem. To replace the gasket, you need to disconnect your unit from the drain, disassemble its parts using proper precautions, and remove and replace it carefully. Reassemble everything once you’re done and reconnect your disposal before turning it on again.

Replace the entire unit.

If you’ve taken your disposal apart, it may seem impossible to put it all back together or to repair it correctly. Rather than spending hours struggling with faulty seals and loose screws, it may be easier to just replace the entire unit. (Or, you can always call Everest Plumbing!) Replacing the unit can save you a lot of time and a lot of headaches, rather than trying to fix it yourself.

Give your disposal a good clean.

The last simple fix is to clean your unit. Pour boiling water down the drain and turn on the faucet, as this will dislodge any grime clogging up the pipes and help get rid of any smells issuing from it.

Of course, Everest Plumbing is always here to help. Just give us a call, and we’ll diagnose and fix the leak! We’re quick to respond and get to your home, and you can count on us to solve your plumbing problems for a peak experience!

Chris S.
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"Dalius was very professional and friendly. He explained everything he would do and gave me a firm price before starting. Definitely would use them again."
Rick T.
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"Quality workmanship at reasonable price. We highly recommend Everest Plumbing. Outstanding company!!!"
Anna C.
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"All involved were professional, patient and personable. Our issue was explained clearly by Dalius before, during and after the process of fixing it. I would absolutely use them again. It’s good to know who to call next time!"

At Everest Plumbing in Greenville, SC, we make burst pipe repair easy and keep your home and family safe from further damage. Call us today at (864) 610-2336 to schedule your service with one of our trained professionals.


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