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Why Is My Garbage Disposal Leaking? A Michigan Plumber Explains

Is water leaking from your garbage disposal? You’re probably wondering why it’s leaking and how to fix the leak. We wish we could tell you there was a simple fix but the answer could be as easy as needing to replace a broken seal or as complex as needing to replace the entire unit.

This blog will give you an idea of what’s wrong with your garbage disposal by helping you find the source of the leak. We’ll also break down common issues that could be causing the leak based on the source. For a more accurate diagnosis of what’s wrong with your garbage disposal and how to fix it, you will need to hire a plumber for an inspection.

Rather talk to a plumber ASAP to figure out your issue?

Contact Thornton & Grooms. All of our plumbing repairs come with an upfront, flat-rate quote and same-day service.

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First, you’ll want to find the actual source of the leak

While water may be draining out from the bottom of your garbage disposal, that might not be the true source of the leak.

In fact, the leak could be coming from a totally different place on or around your garbage disposal. To discover the true source of the leak, follow these easy steps:

  • Unplug your garbage disposal.
  • Place a bucket under the kitchen sink to catch any draining water.
  • Plug the sink up.
  • Fill the sink up about a third of the way with water and then drop in some food coloring.
  • Look under the sink and see if there are any leaks. If you see any, the leak is most likely coming from the sink flange, which we’ll talk more about in the next section. If you don’t see any leaks, keep reading.
  • Unplug the sink and take a look underneath it with a flashlight. Check for water leakage in the below areas:

Area #1.The sink flange

Area #2.The dishwasher hose

Area #3.The drain pipe

Area #4.The garbage disposal’s body

Potential leak sources

Now that you know where the leak is most likely coming from, let’s discuss what is causing the leak.

Area #1: If your leak is coming from the sink flange …

… The most likely cause for your leak is that the plumber’s putty sealing your sink flange is cracked.

Your sink flange is a seal connecting your sink and garbage disposal. Typically, a layer of plumber’s putty makes the sink flange waterproof. Over time, the putty can wear out and crack, causing the sink flange to leak.

You can contact a professional plumber to reseal the sink flange. If you want to do this yourself, you’ll need to detach the garbage disposal from your drain pipes and the sink. Then you’ll need to reseal the sink flange with a new layer of plumber’s putty.

Area #2: If your leak is coming from the dishwasher hose …

… The most likely cause for your leak is that the clamp attaching the dishwasher hose to your garbage disposal is worn out.

The dishwasher hose is used to pump debris, food and water into your garbage disposal and away from your dishwasher. Usually, this hose is attached to the garbage disposal with a simple metal clamp.

Over time, the clamp wears out, which loosens the connection between the disposal and the hose. You can try to fix the connection by loosening and retightening the hose clamp.

Area #3: If your leak is coming from the drain pipe …

... The most likely cause for your leak is a loose connection between the garbage disposal and the drain pipe. It’s also likely that the drain pipe itself might be cracked.

You can try to fix the connection by tightening the joints attaching the pipe to the garbage disposal. If the leak continues, check for damage to the pipe body.

A cracked drain pipe could result in backup sewage problems. This is because the drain pipe takes waste chopped up by the garbage disposal and funnels the waste to the sewage system. You’ll want to hire a plumber to replace the pipe.

Area #4: If your leak is coming from the garbage disposal’s body …

... The most likely cause for your leak is that the garbage disposal unit itself is damaged. The unit itself can get damaged when the seals inside the unit break due to age, rough maintenance or poor installation.

If this is the case, you will probably need to replace the whole disposal unit. While you could replace the seals instead of the unit, that fix is not guaranteed to keep the disposal working in the long run.

Luckily, if you need to replace your garbage disposal unit, your parts/labor warranty might cover the replacement cost so definitely check the validity of your warranties.

Want a trusted Michigan plumber to take a look at your garbage disposal? Contact Thornton & Grooms

We make plumbing repairs easy and reliable with our flat-rate pricing, same-day service and 14 ironclad guarantees.

Schedule with us today!