If the leak occurred under the sink and at the top of the disposal before you unplugged the sink drain, your leak is in the sink flange. This indicates that an improper seal exists between the unit and the sink, which can occur from corrosion or the disposal being bumped hard and out of place. This fix requires you to move the disposal altogether. Then apply a generous amount of plumber’s putty to the flange. Finally, replace the disposal and retighten the flange.
I think those are all the important items I wanted to share. The removal of the old one, cleaning the sink hole, and putting in the new box took about 35 minutes start to finish. I wasn't rushing but I was well prepared and had everything ready to go. Plumbers Putty was needed for install. Make sure you have that on hand. There was a thin rubber gasket that went under the flange (between the top flange and a stainless steel sink) that I didn't use because I didn't have a stainless steel sink. The one tricky thing I recall from the directions is that the same procedure is repeated twice in a couple of places - one for using the existing Badger mounting hardware and one for if you are using the EZ Mount system. If you are using the EZ Mount, make sure to SKIP the paragraph that is describing the work as it applies to the Badger mount. That's about it. I had to cut 3/4" off the black waste discharge pipe (90 degree elbow piece that screws into the new disposal) so that everything fit with my old plumbing. I loosened up all the slip joints on the old plumbing so I could wiggle things around as needed, aligned everything, and tightened the plumbing back up. New install was completed in well under 20 minutes after the removal and outlet installation.
Place the garbage disposal on a wide, clean work surface and locate the rubber gasket. The old gasket should be peeled off, and the new gasket should be mounted in the same spot. Take extra care to make sure that it sits flat and that it pops into the lip. Now you are ready to re-install your garbage disposal. Plug the cord back in reconnect each of the drains to make sure that there are no leaks.
No need to worry if your garbage disposal is on the fritz—installing a new one is a straightforward project that you can do yourself in just a few minutes. Start by switching off the power to the disposal at your home’s breaker box to ensure that you can work safely. Next, remove the old unit by detaching it from the mounting ring directly beneath the sink drain. Finally, install any necessary new mounting hardware, fit the new disposal into place, and turn on the water to test for leaks before giving it a trial run.
As a general rule of thumb, the heavier and bigger that a garbage disposal is, the more quietly it will operate – so long as it fits properly underneath your sink. Even though the sound dampening technology used in the design of garbage disposals has improved dramatically in the last 10 years, it is unrealistic to expect your garbage disposal to operate noise free. Under specific sinks, some disposals will be noisier than others due to the amount of vibration they produce. Ideally, you should look for a garbage disposal that features a nylon, insulated grinding chamber, like those produced by WasteKing.
There is a contradiction among some of the brands. InSinkErator’s disposal instruction manual states, “Don’t grind large amounts of egg shells or fibrous materials like corn husks, artichokes, etc, to avoid possible drain blockage.” Whirlpool’s disposal instruction manual states, “designed to dispose of food wastes including bones, fruit and vegetable wastes, pits, egg shells and coffee grounds.”
FYI: I don't believe ISE is using the same quality metal causing these newer models to rust out quicker but, in my recent experience, I found that people who use their disposer properly will get at least 5 years service...that is acceptable for my purposes in the apartments. I did have 2 ISE disposers that only lasted about 2 years. One was from a tenant who almost never used it and allowed it to rust extensively and corrode from non-use. Using it helps keep it clean too. The second one, I determined was not being used properly, i.e., the tenant was not running water before turning on disposer causing food debris to accumulate in the small chamber below the blades/masticator.
Safety and vigilance are paramount with these disposals. If you have small children in your home, then you must be on your guard to ensure that they do not stick their hands or other small objects down the disposal. You must also be careful to ensure that you do not accidentally drop any foreign objects down the disposal. For example, if a spoon were to fall into the disposal, and the disposal was turned on, it could cause quite a bit of damage to the unit before you are able to fish it out.
When rubber gaskets age, they can develop leaks. The gasket can dry up, crack, and leak when it is repeatedly exposed to long periods of disuse where no water is present in the drain pipe. Should an older garbage disposal be removed and then placed back, it will require a new rubber gasket to again achieve a watertight seal. Moreover, if a gasket is not evenly locked on all three sides, then it will develop a leak.
How many years do garbage disposals last? One the average, quite a long time. In fact, with adequate care and proper maintenance, garbage disposal units can be of good service for about 8 to 15 years. This means the blades remain efficient and the motor has not burned out yet. This being said, neglecting garbage disposal leaks will significantly decrease this effective service life.
Another common cause for a leaking garbage disposal is the disposal flange. A leak at the very most upper area of the garbage disposal could be the garbage disposal flange which goes through the sink. A garbage disposal flange should be sealed with Plumber’s putty and then tightened from underneath the sink. If this is not tight enough or if it has managed to come loose (which can happen) then the garbage disposal will have to be taken down so the flange can be resealed and then the garbage disposal can be rehung.