If the leak occurred in either of the two connections (smaller = dishwasher, larger = sewer) exiting the side of your disposal unit, it’s a pretty straightforward fix. Loosen the metal clamps on these hoses and make sure the rubber gaskets inside are not falling apart. If needed, replace these gaskets. Reattach the hoses and re-clamp the connections with new metal clamps.
While it certainly isn’t always necessary to replace your disposal just because you’re getting a new sink or updating your kitchen appliances, it may be a good time to do so, especially if your unit is over ten years old. Since you already have professionals on the site, it may be more cost efficient and convenient to go ahead and replace an older unit instead of waiting for it to fail at a future date.
Some towns and cities require a homeowner to get a permit before being allowed to install a new food disposal system. Others have outright outlawed the use of disposals due to limited sewer and water capacity. For example, an increasing number of cities in California has banned the installation of new garbage disposers in homes due to the ongoing drought the state is suffering from.
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Start by turning off and unplugging the garbage disposal. Next, you’ll need the wrench that came with your disposal. If you don’t have it, you can buy a replacement in a hardware store that sells your disposal brand. Find the hex-shaped opening at the bottom of the disposal unit. Turn the wrench clockwise to dislodge whatever’s blocking the flywheel. When the object dislodges, you’ll feel the flywheel start to turn easily. Reset the disposal and run cold water while quickly turning it on and off repeatedly.
Disposers fasten to the sink drain fittings in a number of ways--some use threaded plastic nuts, others large hose clamps--but the mounting-ring assembly shown here is the most common. To remove the disposer, support it from below and rotate the large, 3-tab mounting ring at the top counterclockwise until the unit falls away. Remove the remainder of the drain assembly by loosening the three bolts and prying off the retaining ring. Push the drain out through the sink hole and clear away any old caulk or putty.
If some bad odors are coming from your disposal, it can mean that it is not chopping up the food finely and there are drainage issues. Try putting lemons peels (not wedges, y’all) through it first and see if that removes the odor. If that doesn’t help or if the smell returns frequently, that may be telling you that that the disposal isn’t swallowing and chopping up your leftovers correctly.
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.