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Help! My Garbage Disposal is Leaking from the Bottom

woman sitting on floor in front of leaky sink with wrench in one hand while talking on phone

Leaking garbage disposal is not only messy, but it can also lead to serious water damage if left untreated. There are several reasons for this trouble and you need to eliminate all the possibilities to find the exact cause. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need the services of a plumber for this purpose and can do it yourself. 

Why Does a Garbage Disposal Leak?

Ranging from loose connections to a cracked body, there are a variety of reasons that can make your disposal unit leak. Some of the most common causes of leakage are discussed below.

Defective Gasket

The first place that you need to check is the gasket that is present between the flange and rubber seal. This part of the garbage disposal can malfunction for different reasons. Firstly, improper sealing of the gasket can allow the water to drip through. Similarly, it may dry up and become ineffective if you are NOT using the disposal unit regularly.   

In contrast to that, the gasket can also wear out if it hasn’t been changed for years. Irrespective of the underlying cause, replacing the gasket with a new one will solve the issue.

Leaky Flange

Sink Flange is the part of the garbage disposal that connects with the sink and drain. The flange may start to leak due to a couple of reasons. The first one of them is a weak putty and replacing it will solve the problem. On the other hand, loose mounting bolts can also be responsible for the trouble.

Loose Screws or Pipes

Man tightening leaky pipe with pipe wrench

It is quite common to use the area under the sink as a storage space. There is nothing wrong with this unless you have a garbage disposal. This is because you can hit the disposal unit while moving things in and out of this space.

If the jerk is a little too strong, it can loosen the disposal pipes and screws. In such cases, you may experience dripping from your garbage disposal unless you tighten the fittings. If the leakage continues, you might need to change the putty sealing ring.

Dishwasher Connection

It is also a possibility that the water is leaking from the dishwasher’s drain hose. In case you are wondering, the dishwasher is attached to the garbage disposal for dumping food waste. If this connection is the cause, the leakage will only happen when the dishwasher is operational. You can either replace or tighten this hose to solve this issue.

Cracked Body

In addition to loose screws and bolts, knocks and bumps can also damage the surface of the garbage disposal. In this case, you will have to observe the body of the appliance to find the cracks. Although you can repair these cracks with different chemicals, it is NOT a reliable solution.

Ideally, you should think about investing in a new disposal unit. Try to place it in a safer place to avoid doing any damage to the new unit. 

Damaged Discharge Pipe

The discharge pipe that is fixed to the sink for wear and tear can also cause the water to drip. Any damage to this pipe or plumbing negligence (loose connection) can give an impression that the garbage disposal is faulty. If the pipe is damaged, replace it with a new one to solve this issue. On the other hand, use a plumber’s wrench to tighten the screws of the flange to stop the dripping.  

Busted Internal Seal

If all these parts are fine and the garbage disposal is still leaking, the internal seal could be damaged. This is a critical problem that will require you to purchase a new appliance. Having said that, you can go for the repairing process ONLY IF the product is under warranty. Otherwise, all the efforts and money you will spend are not worth it.  

How to Repair a Garbage Disposal Leaking from the Bottom?

Garbage disposal under cabinet view with tools

Once you have found that the leak is actually coming from the garbage disposal, it’s time to repair the fault. If the leakage is from the bottom of the appliance, you will have to purchase a new one. However, if the water is only dripping from the bottom due to another fault, the garbage disposal can be repaired.

Leak at the Sink Flange

Although flange is the top part of the garbage disposal, the water will still seem to leak from the bottom. Therefore, it’s important to examine the appliance thoroughly and make an informed decision.

  • To repair this issue, you will need to start by turning off the power.
  • After that, unplug the disposal and detach it from the sink. For this purpose, you will need a wrench and a screwdriver.
  • Once the unit is disconnected, wipe away the remains of the damaged seal. Reseal the area with a new flange and tighten the screws. Make sure that the flange sits flat onto the surface.
  • Reconnect the garbage disposal to the sink.     

Leakage due to Loose Connections

This kind of leakage usually comes from the drain lines that are connected to the side of the kitchen appliance. You will notice that there are a couple of pipes. One of them (thinner) goes to the dishwasher while the second one (thicker) is for the discharge tube. Any loose connection in these fittings can allow the water to drip through.

For solving these leakages, you will need a screwdriver. Tighten the screws and the metal clamp that goes to the dishwasher to solve this problem. Additionally, you can also change the rubber gasket if it’s damaged.  

Garbage Disposal is Leaking from the Bottom Holes or Reset Button

garbage disposal leaking from bottom and a hand holding a rag trying to catch the water.

If the water is actually leaking from the bottom, the unit will need replacement in most cases. The most obvious cause of this issue is the wearing out of the internal seal. The purpose of this seal is to prevent leaking and protect the motor against damage. Similarly, a damaged protective shell of the garbage disposal can also cause a leak from the bottom holes.

Whatever the cause, it is NOT recommended to repair this kind of issue because it’s quite expensive. Therefore, purchasing a new unit is the best possible solution when you are spending that much money.

Watch the following video to see how you can disassemble garbage disposal.

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