Is Your Garbage Disposal Leaking? Learn How To Fix It

Garbage disposal leaking from bottomIt can be quite annoying once you have discovered that you have a leaky garbage disposal. There are a lot of things that can cause your garbage disposal to be leaky, but luckily, it can be really simple in identifying what the cause of the leak was, as observing the source of it. It is also possible for you to fix the issue yourself.

However, it can also be a bit stubborn to repair. That is because there are a lot of moving parts that are not easy to be seen. This means that the fix and the maintenance would require you to have extra time, but maybe you can avoid buying new garbage disposal unit.In this article, I’ll guide you on how you can find and fix the leak.

How To Identify a Leaking Garbage Disposal?

This will be the easiest part of your task, and it can be performed in only five ways.

Here’s how you can find the leak:

First, unplug your garbage disposal. Then, look for any kinds of moisture around the disposal’s socket. If you find one, it’ll be best if you entirely turn off the breaker for the disposal.

Second, remove all the things that are placed underneath your sink. This is because you will definitely need more space while working, also prepare a bucket or container to catch the water inside the disposal.

Third, use a tight seal to plug or stop your sink’s drain.

Fourth, grab a few cups of water and then fill your sink with it. You won’t need much water, so just a few cups are enough. You can also put a bit of food coloring in the water to easily identify where the leak of the garbage disposal is.

Fifth, and lastly find where the leak is. While the plug is on, you should check under the sink. If you find the place dry, remove the sink stopper and look for any kinds of a leak in the drain, dishwasher hose, water supply lines on your wall, or at the bottom of the garbage disposals unit.


3 Most Common Places of Garbage Disposal Leak

In this section, I will tell you where the three most common places where the leakage happens. I will also tell you what likely the causes are and how you can fix them.

Here are the three most common places:

Garbage disposal leaking from the bottom

The possible cause of this leak is that the seal might be broken inside of the disposal. If your garbage disposal leaks at the bottom and not from the upper side, the cause of the leak is probably the garbage disposal itself. The internal seal of the disposal normally wears out after years of usage.

How to fix it:

Getting a new garbage disposal would likely be your best bet. However, if your garbage disposal is still under warranty, then that would be a different story. Garbage disposals aren’t that expensive, and would even last you for at least 5 to 10 years. But if you insist on fixing it on your own, you’ll most likely have to take it apart and then fix the disposal’s internal seal. This will just cost you more work.

Garbage disposal leaking top

Garbage disposal leaking top from flangeThe cause of the leak will be most probably by the sink’s flange. Your disposal is likely connected to your sink with a plumber’s putty or a flange. The seal that is used could loosen and wear out as time goes by. Another possible cause of leakage is when your garbage disposal has been hit hard enough to loosen up the seal; then this could lead to leakage.

How to fix it:

Re-sealing your garbage disposal can easily fix this problem with a plumber’s putty. All you have to do is detach the disposal, clean and remove the old putty, and then reseal it with a new one. Septic garbage disposals use flange instead of a plumber’s putty; the flange is compressed and tightened with screws.

If your garbage disposal uses a flange, then it may be replaced with new ones. This can be a big task for you if you don’t know what you are doing, so ask for help or read some guides and instructions. This task will sometimes require you to remove and replace some drain pipes.

Garbage Disposal Leaking from Side

Another common cause of leakage in garbage disposals is where the drain line connects. You’ll usually see a couple of connections at the side of your disposal. The small hose is the line where your dishwasher drains out its water into the disposal, while the larger pipe is where the disposal drains out its contents into the sewer.

How to fix it:

This can be the problem can also be easily fixed up. You’ll have to tighten up or reseal the connections. Your dishwasher is connected to your garbage disposal with a metal clamp, and you can try tightening the connections with a screwdriver to see if the leaking would stop. The main drain line will be connected with screws, and would probably have a rubber gasket inside. You’ll need to tighten up the screws or replace the disposal’s rubber gasket.

Besides, as your garbage disposal gets old, it will develop some cracks on its interior lining. When your disposal’s lining develops a crack, this will cause the water to begin appearing at its seams. If this happens, repairing it won’t do a thing, the best choice that you have is to replace your entire unit.


I hope that this short guide has helped you with fixing your garbage disposal on your own. If it did, then that would mean that I have at least, helping you save money from paying the service of a plumber, aside from that I have also helped you learn how to fix it on your own. The next time you have leakage problem again with your disposal, you will now know what you have to do.

Photo: Flickr/Joe Shlabotnik