Garbage disposals might be one of the most underrated conveniences in modern kitchens — and it’s usually not until something goes wrong that we realize how truly valuable the appliance is. When it comes to garbage disposals, one of the most common problems homeowners report is a leak. But while a leaky garbage disposal is an annoyance, the issue is typically easy to fix. This no-frills guide will help you find the source of a leak and detail how you can remedy the issue with a little knowledge and DIY magic.
Fixing a leaky sink flange may be very easy. It could be a simple matter of tightening the bolts that hold the flange onto the sink drain. But if that doesn’t work, you may need to apply a new layer of plumbers putty to seal the flange into place. To do this, you’ll need to loosen the mounting bolts and create enough space between the flange and drain to smear a fresh dab of putty all the way around the drain. Then just re-tighten the bolts and wait a few hours for the putty to form a tight seal.
A foul or foreign odor emanating from the garbage disposal that won’t go away no matter how thoroughly you have rinsed it, may also be a sign that it’s time to replace it. As the components in the grinding chamber wear out and the blades get duller and duller, food can easily get trapped inside and start to decompose. You may never have noticed the smell or have chosen to adapt and wait it out, but it may be a sign of a deeper problem. Visiting family members and dinner guests probably wouldn’t appreciate it very much, either.
Knowing the difference between what can go down the disposal and what should go into the trash can save you an emergency call to the plumber. This is especially pertinent during the holidays when the kitchen is filled with people and the sink with dirty dishes. Practice these three everyday maintenance tips to help you maximize the lifespan of your garbage disposal.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; in other words, take care of your garbage disposal to prevent leaks from happening. Proper use, regular maintenance and frequent inspections for leaks will keep your disposal in top working order. If you experience any water leaks or burst pipes, please call us and we will be happy to help.

I believe if you always run your water first, turn on disposer, then discard food waste down disposer, you will get more longevity from your disposer and less likely have drain stoppage problems. It's also a good practice to run plenty of water (maybe even cleanser) after using the disposer to rinse out the small chamber between the blades and drain pipe. I've found that some disposer stoppages are caused by this chamber being clogged which also causes it to rust and deteriorate prematurely.

Your old discharge tube probably won’t be the right length for your new disposal. If it’s too long, simply connect it to the disposal, mark it and cut it with a hacksaw for your garbage disposal installation. (Loosen the other pipe connections, if necessary, to insert the tube back into the tee.) If the old discharge tube is too short, you may have to make a time-wasting trip to the store. To avoid this, make sure the new garbage disposal installation kit includes a tube, or buy one separately at the same time for about $3.
Run cold water while the disposal is on. Keep disposer and water running for 30 to 60 seconds AFTER the waste matter has cleared your drain. The waste still has a distance to go. Cold water keeps the motor, bearings and shredder assembly from overheating. It also lets the waste go down easier because the water is pushing it down. Don't use hot water, because it can melt fat and allow it to re-solidify as a blockage further down in the drain.
This is one of the biggest problems I’ve come across. When you start to notice a leak underneath your sink, it’s very easy to blame the quality of your garbage disposal. As you browse through the reviews on our website, you will probably notice I rarely mention a problem with leaking (if at all). This is because for the most part, the problem isn’t your unit but they way it has either been installed, or you could have a problem with the pipes it’s connected to.
Locate the leak. Wipe off the disposal unit with a dry rag. Run water into the unit and turn it on. There are four places where the disposal unit may leak. At the top main seal, at the drain pipe, at the optional dishwasher inlet or along the garbage disposal body. Notice where the water is coming from. If the unit is wet at the very top, the main seal is leaking. If the area beneath the drain pipe is wet, the gasket is leaking. If the hose from the dishwasher feed drips, the hose or clamp may be faulty. If water is running out the bottom of the unit but the inlets and outlet are dry, the unit itself has developed a leak and must be replaced.
For over 75 years InSinkErator has been known for building the world's best food waste disposers. Badger, our standard disposer line, is basic, reliable, and functional. Available in various models and sizes for a range of applications, InSinkErator also manufactures a premier line of disposers, the Evolution Series. InSinkErator food waste disposers are the only disposers that are proudly made in the U.S.A. InSinkErator has grown into the largest food waste disposer manufacturer and best-selling garbage disposer brand in the world.
If this sounds familiar, you'll be happy to know that replacing a disposer is really fairly simple. With today's plastic waste kits, leaks are seldom a problem and the electrical connections are similarly quick and easy. Finally, retail outlets sell good disposers for every household budget. Before you buy, though, it pays to check out your old unit to make sure it's not simply jammed.
Look for a jam. Something too tough to grind, such as a piece of glass, could be jamming the motor. Turn off the power and water, then unplug the disposal. (If it’s hardwired, turn off the breaker.) Remove the rubber baffle inside the drain-most just lift out-and shine a flashlight into the hole. Fish out the obstruction with a pair of tongs or needle-nose pliers.
I believe if you always run your water first, turn on disposer, then discard food waste down disposer, you will get more longevity from your disposer and less likely have drain stoppage problems. It's also a good practice to run plenty of water (maybe even cleanser) after using the disposer to rinse out the small chamber between the blades and drain pipe. I've found that some disposer stoppages are caused by this chamber being clogged which also causes it to rust and deteriorate prematurely.

Your garbage disposer is not draining, has water leaks, creates weird noises, or has horrible odors? Troubleshoot your Faulty Disposer. If you are experiencing garbage disposal problems, you will find solutions on our checklist below to help you repair it. Before going out and spending a few hundred dollars on a new one, troubleshoot your existing sink garbage disposer to find the problem.
Badger food waste disposers are a reliable and Badger food waste disposers are a reliable and functional choice when affordability is the prime concern. Badger 5XP features a 3/4 horsepower heavy-duty quiet Dura-Drive induction motor rugged galvanized steel construction for disposer durability and a space-saving compact design. To top it off Badger 5XP offers a 3-year We Come ...  More + Product Details Close
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