Whether you repaired or replaced the leaking garbage disposal, test for any missed problem spots. Wipe the unit dry with a clean cloth, then unplug the sink drain (if plugged) and pour a few cups of dyed water into the drain once more. Use a flashlight to inspect the entire unit. If you don’t observe a leak, turn on the power to the disposal from your breaker box and plug in the disposal at the wall outlet.
Like most appliances with moving parts, all kinds of stuff can go wrong in your disposal, for all sorts of reasons. Luckily, unlike many appliances, most disposals can be quickly and relatively easily fixed, as long as you’re careful and do your research. The next time you experience one of the following problems, follow these instructions and see if you can’t get things moving again.
Run a few trays of ice cubes, orange peels and salt through the disposal to remove odors and keep your disposals clean. For really tough odors, add 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar and let it stand for 15 minutes before rinsing. Also, running ice through the disposal will actually sharpen the teeth, keeping foods from getting stuck in the unit.
Built-in trash compactors fit snuggly into your kitchen cabinetry. Having a built-in compactor means you have one less appliance occupying precious floor space. A convenient toe pedal opener lifts the top open for easy hands-free opening, and a removable drawer make it easy to clean and empty the compactor. Shop for new garbage disposals and trash compactors from JCPenney today!
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.
Did exactly what I expected to. We bought a house with an older disposal and the gasket/rubber that blocks things from falling down into the disposal was cut away. I replaced and is like new. It makes the disposal sound much better too. A couple things about removing disposal and installing gasket...1) use a large Allen key (short end) to stick in the eyelet to unlock the disposal. 2) the gasket fits over the mouth of the disposal and locks into place. Don't just stick the new gasket in up from the bottom hole like I did. 3) use channel locks to tighten the last bit of the disposal/sink collar by pinching the eyelet and collar screw mount. Enjoy!

After you install the new sink flange, you don’t want it shifting around when you’re assembling the parts underneath. Movement of the flange could break the seal between the flange and the sink, inviting a leak. Your best bet is to ask a helper to press down on the sink flange, or if you’re working alone, find something to weigh it down, such as the old disposal. Place an old towel under the weight so you don’t scratch the sink. If the bottom of your sink is quite concave, the old disposal might not contact the flange. In that case, place a can on the flange, then weigh down the can.
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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.

If the disposal jams, turn off the power and look underneath the sink. There is a place in the center of the motor shaft, on the bottom of the unit, where you can use an allen wrench to manually turn the motor. Give the motor a few manual turns to get it unstuck. Remove the Allen wrench before you try to run the motor again. Also, press the reset button/ circuit breaker on the bottom of unit, if applicable.


If the disposal is hit hard enough, it can actually move and shift so that it no longer sits right. The pipes can be moved; the seals can be pressed in an awkward position; or the retaining bolts can loosen. Make sure nothing has been knocked out of place. Then, check to see where the water is coming from and tighten up the bolts. If this does not fix the leak, then you will need to replace the putty or the sealing ring.
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.
Throw some ice down once in a while. While ice will not sharpen the shredders (as is commonly believed) it does knock off any debris buildup on the sharp edges that keeps them from grinding food properly. For better results, make special ice cubes from pure lemon juice or vinegar, or alternate with biodegradable cleanser (label them in your freezer!) Cover and seal ice trays used in your freezer for cleanser, and do not reuse trays for food or drink after having been used for cleanser. While using the disposal, be sure to run cold water at the same time.

Flange: The flange is the uppermost portion of the garbage disposal, where the disposal and the sink drain meet. The flange can develop a leak for a variety of reasons. Check that all the mounting bolts, typically there are three, are tight enough. Snug the bolts up with a wrench if you see water dripping from any of the bolts, being careful not to overtighten the bolts.A second reason the flange may leak is if the seal, made of “plumber’s putty,” has failed. You will need to loosen the retaining bolts until you can see a gap around the flange. Force enough new putty in the gap, between the flange and the drain pipe, to fill in all the space. Tighten the retaining bolts.


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.

Garbage Disposal Repair

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