A clogged garbage disposal unit can leak when you try to operate it without removing the clogging. What clogs up garbage disposals? Normally this would be expandable food like rice and pasta. Even large animal bones can also result in clogging and possible leak. Although coffee grounds help eliminate odors, allowing it to accumulate in the drain of the disposer will result in clogging and potential leak.
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Dishwasher Connection: Some disposals are connected to the dishwasher drain pipe, which drains leftover food removed from dishes going through the wash cycle. Leaks can sometimes occur in the hose connections where the disposal hose attaches to the dishwasher.Leaks can also happen if the seal on the hose is compromised or the clamp on the hose isn’t tight enough. If the connecting hose seems to be the source of the leak, try tightening the connection or replacing the seal. If neither solutions work, or the hose is obviously cracked, you will need to replace the hose.
Trim the discharge tube as needed. If you’ve upgraded to a larger disposal or one of a different model, there’s a good chance that the discharge tube won’t be the right length to connect to the ground plumbing valve. Fortunately, this is a simple fix—mark the spot on the tube where it should line up with the drain pipe, then cut it to size with a hacksaw. It should be a perfect fit.
Garbage disposal units have standard hook-ups that are present on all models from every manufacturer. They all have an inlet and an outlet and a dishwasher inlet on the side, and a disposal unit can leak in those areas. If the body of the unit is leaking, the unit must be replaced, but other leaks in a disposal unit can be repaired by a do-it-yourselfer who has basic skills.
We apologize in advanced for stating the obvious, but… garbage disposals absolutely do not last forever! No matter how well it’s made or how much money you spend, any appliance that is exposed to thousands of gallons of running water, dish soap, scraps of food, bones, and the rare (we hope) spoon or lime wedge that accidentally gets dropped into the drain is going to wear out in due time. A unit that’s working well should be able to handle a few scraps of veggies or apple slices in a matter of a couple of seconds. If your garbage disposal seems to take forever to accomplish a simple grinding job, makes a strange noise or emits a nasty smell, it may be time to install a new one.
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Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.