Proper use of a garbage disposal can stave off future leaks. So remember to grind only soft foods; hard items such as bones, apple cores, or raw potatoes can dislodge or damage the internal seals. Run cold water through the sink drain before and after food disposal to keep solid fats from congealing into gunk (which can deteriorate the sink flange and cause leaks). Finally, inspect your disposal for leaks—at least twice a year using the dyed-water test—to catch and repair minor leaks before they lead to water-damaged sink cabinets or kitchen floors.
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?
She knew about the service call fee. The 4 On Your Side Investigation found that’s a common fee. Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks called around to try to get an estimate from private plumbers for a garbage disposal replacement. None of the businesses we called would give an estimate over the phone. All of them wanted to look at the situation before committing to a price, and all wanted to charge a service fee to come out. Brooks found only one plumber who would come out without charging.
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.
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The InSinkErator Badger 5 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal features a quick-mounting system that allows for easy installation or replacement of most disposers. This garbage disposal also features a 1/2 HP motor that rapidly grinds food waste for easy rinsing down the drain. The garbage Disposal also features galvanized steel construction for durability.
Locate the circuit breaker that controls power to the garbage disposal, and flip it to the "off" position before continuing. Fix or replace the main seal if it is leaking. Remove both the drain pipe and the dishwasher hose, if applicable. Insert a screwdriver into the tightening ring and turn it counterclockwise. This will release the garbage disposal unit. Inspect the main seal that sits on the top of the unit. The seal is a large, soft rubber fitting that covers the top edge of the garbage disposal. If dirt, grit or food particles have fouled the main seal, wipe it down with a damp rag and reinstall the disposal unit. If the main seal is cracked, pitted or broken, it needs to be replaced. Once a new main seal has been inserted into the garbage disposal, push it up against the mounting bracket, insert a screwdriver into the tightening ring, and turn it clockwise to lock the unit into place. Reinstall the drain pipe and dishwasher hose, if applicable.
If your garbage disposal is making a clicking or rattling sound, there may be some food particles that will not grind up inside. Remove power from disposer, reach into the sink hole with a pair of tongs and remove anything that is still down in the disposer. Test your disposer to be sure the noise is gone. If not continue troubleshooting your disposer issue (see below).