Have you noticed a growing pool of water underneath your garbage disposal? Sadly, this means you have a leak. While a leaky garbage disposal may seem like a serious issue on the surface, the truth is, this issue usually has a simple fix. You may not even have to call your plumber! Here’s a look at the three most common causes of leaky garbage disposals and how to address each one.
A Leaky Flange
The flange is the portion of the garbage disposal that connects the actual motor unit to the drain in your sink. It looks like a flared, plastic apparatus and is typically attached to the drain with two or three bolts. If one of these bolts gets loosened — which can happen if someone bumps against the sink or garbage disposal repeatedly — a leak can result.
Check the bolts connected to the flange, and if they seem loose, tighten them up with a wrench. With any luck, this will correct your leaking issue. If any of the bolts are stripped, you may need to remove and replace them.
Cracked Dishwasher Hose
If you have a dishwasher that is hooked up to empty into the garbage disposal, look over the rubber hose that comes into the disposal beneath the sink. This hose can sometimes develop cracks and fissures that begin leaking. You may need to run the dishwasher and then watch as water runs through the hose to actually pinpoint the leak.
If you do spot a leak in your dishwasher hose, then the best solution is to replace the hose. Just remove the bolts or screws that hold the hose in place, and take the old hose with you to the hardware store to ensure you choose a new one of the same size. Screw the new hose into place, and your problem is solved.
A Cracked Disposal
When the problem is not the flange or the hose, then sadly, there’s usually a crack in the disposal itself. You may see water leaking from a tiny crack or fissure if you watch as the disposal operates. This is not an issue you should attempt to address on your own since it typically warrants replacing the entire garbage disposal. Give your plumber a call and schedule an appointment. They can remove the old disposal and replace it with a new one. In the meantime, you can keep operating your current disposal if you put a bucket under it to catch any drips. Contact an emergency plumber for hire if you suspect that you need help with plumbing.