Disposals can leak at a couple different places. Start by turning off the disposal at its base. Then, find the disposal mount and remove the unit by turning it counterclockwise from the bottom. Once the disposal has been removed from the mount, you should be able to see the three mounting bolts. Tighten these bolts to make sure they’re not leaking.
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.
One of the screws on the side of my Badger 5 is rusty and seems to be the source of a very minor leak. If I leave a towel in place under the side of the unit, it will saturate after a week or two. Drain, dishwasher, and sink connections are bone dry. As well as the flange connect at sink. Can I let it be or is this a major disaster waiting to happen?
Most modern kitchen sink drains are this dimension--both on the garbage disposal side and the "rinse" side. These are well made items that work very effectively. Unlike most kitchen sink stoppers that rest on top of the drain opening and extend upwards into the sink when you're doing dishes, these fit down into the large opening and seal the smaller opening above the garbage disposal or "rinse" sink drain strainer. In other words they seal the drain without extending upwards into the sink full of water.
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I found a vertical crack, about 1 inch long, along the upper part of the disposal housing. The unit, an insinkerator badger 9, is from 2010. When water goes through the unit, a small amount will drip. The amount of water is actually quite limited, even when using lots of water to wash dishes. The unit is obviously old, but seems to work fine otherwise. What are your recommendations? Replace? or just catch the dripping water (1 table spoon per day).
Thanks so much! Clear, easy to follow instructions. We were able to follow step by step and got it done. I read somewhere that they used a car jack to hold the disposal when taking it off and putting it on. That was a really helpful tip for anyone else doing this. They’re fairly heavy. Also, it leaked when the gasket was just placed in the hole. We actually had to take it apart and put the gasket over the plastic pipe, then when you tighten the metal plate to connect it to the disposal, that sealed it. Anyway, thanks again. Being able to do this on our own saved us quite a bit of time and hassle.
Aside from the reviews I’ve put together, I haven’t forgotten about people who are having issues with their current food waste disposer. Below you will find some links to the information pages I’ve put together that will help you fix problems you might already have. For those of you that are confused over how to unclog a waste disposal unit, take a look at this page. On the same page, we also discuss waste disposal units that won’t power up and units that are leaking.
If you have a broken seal on the inside of your garbage disposal, you will see leaking coming from the bottom of your unit. Leaks that come from the bottom of your garbage disposal are usually attributed to cracks on the inside of the device. This is due to basic wear and tear overtime. To fix this issue, you’ll need simply invest in a new garbage disposal.
Roll out a generous amount of Plumber’s putty to a uniform width making a nice snake-like gasket out of putty. Wrap the putty onto the rim of the flange. Push the flange back into position and put the bottom flange on with the clip holding it into place. Tighten the three screws evenly until all three are tight. Scrape off any extra putty from the inside of the sink. Now you are ready to lock the garbage disposer back in place, reconnect the drains and test for leaks.
Save yourself a lot of hassle and go with the same brand & model. By doing so you'll avoid having to remount and mess with the drain & sink connections. Save the old power cord so you don't have to buy a new one. You'll need to do some very minimal wiring work to pull the wires from the terminals in the old disposal and attach them to the disposal. Make sure to attach the green grounding wire to avoid getting shocked when you switch on the disposal!
Update: As an aside, I also learned from my research that the best way to clean my disposal is to use citric acid. Having previously had no idea what citric acid was used for, I decided to order some from Amazon, going with the brand my sister uses: Citric Acid Powder - Ultra Fine Pure Powdered Crystals - Natural Preservative Food Grade Quality (16 oz) and gave it a whirl after 3 months of using my disposal. I let the citric acid sit with some water in the disposal for about ten minutes, and then I let it run for a solid 2 minutes. I repeated the procedure a few times and after about 30 minutes—wow, all the leftover gunk and food was flushed out of the disposal, leaving it clean with a very mild citrus scent. I feel like I’m becoming a real DIY at home kind of guy.
Speaking of resetting your garbage disposal, sometimes that’s all you need to get the appliance up and running. However, if you constantly have to press the reset button for your garbage disposal to work, then there is an underlying problem. It may be insufficient wiring or regular wear and tear, but either way, it might be best to contact your local plumbing professional for help at this point.
Leaks from the bottom of the garbage disposal (often from the reset button) commonly indicate that at least one seal on the interior shell of the unit that protects the motor has deteriorated, or that the shell itself has cracked. These vulnerabilities can cause water from the sink to seep into the shell of the disposal and leak out of the base of the unit. In an old garbage disposal, one compromised internal seal is often accompanied by others, so your best bet is to install a new one.
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.
Most garbage disposals are sealed using plumber’s putty. You’ll need to detach the garbage disposal, clean off the old putty and reseal. Other types of disposals use only a flange that is tightened and compressed with screws. This may need to be replaced. Either way, this can be a big job if you don’t know what you’re doing (requires removing and replacing drain pipes, as well).
You should first find out whether only the disposal is broken, or if the power has gone out completely in the areas near your kitchen sink. Try resetting the circuit breaker that leads to the kitchen, or replacing a fuse if you have an older electrical box. If the garbage disposal makes no noises at all when you flip the switch, you might also want to check under the sink to see that it’s plugged in.