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Help! My Garbage Disposal Not Working And Leaking

woman sitting on floor next to leaking garbage disposal

Everyone might run across a leaking garbage disposal, which has stopped working and you have no clue how to fix it. A leaking garbage disposal does not always mean that you need to replace it with a new one. Doing a little bit of investigation and troubleshooting can fix your garbage disposal and save you money.

The leaks in the garbage disposal can occur in many places. Before fixing it, we must identify the origin of the leakage. The leaks first start appearing below the garbage disposal as water begins to accumulate. Often garbage disposal appears to leak from below but in most cases, that is unlikely the root of the problem. There are four critical points from where a leak can originate, and they are:

  • Mounting flange
  • Discharge elbow
  • Dishwasher drain
  • Bottom of Garbage Disposal

In this article, we will show you how to troubleshoot your garbage disposal and look for potential leak points and how to fix them.

Video On How To Troubleshoot Your Garbage Disposal

This video will guide you on how to troubleshoot your garbage disposal to identify the leak points and how to fix them in a few simple steps.

Steps To Troubleshoot And Fix Leaking Garbage Disposal

Step 1 – Turn off the garbage disposal and unplug it from the electrical outlet. Run the water continuously and allow it to drain through a garbage disposal. Now, closely inspect all the critical areas from where the leaks can originate using a flashlight.

Step 2 – Start with the flange and look for any evidence of leaks such as wet spots or water trails. You can also use a mirror or camera of your phone to inspect hard to reach spots like corners or edges.  If there is any evidence of water leakage, then we will have to remove the garbage disposal to fix it.

  • Start by disconnecting the dishwasher and drain hoses with the help of a screwdriver.
  • Now to remove the garbage disposal, insert a screwdriver into one of the loops on the mounting ring and start twisting it clockwise. Garbage disposal is a heavy appliance, and once loosen it will fall immediately. So be prepared to hold it or use an extra pair of hands.
  • Over time the mounting ring and the gasket in between the sink and mounting ring go bad and all you need to do is replace it. Just loosen the three screws to replace it with the new one.
  • If there is no problem with the mounting or a gasket, then there is a possibility of plumbers putty going bad. Remove the drain flange and clean it properly.
  • Take plumbers putty and start rolling it to form a rope long enough to go around the drain flange.
  • Insert the flange back and apply the pressure on it until the putty starts to ooze out. Once done, clean the sink and install the garbage disposal.
  • First, install the mounting ring back, and install the garbage disposal, lift it and align it with the mounting ring and tighten it with the help of a screwdriver.
  • Run the water and inspect once more. If everything looks good then move to the next step.
dish washer connections under sink

Step 3 – Now, inspect the dishwasher drain connection. Turn off the water and remove the dishwasher drain hose by loosening the clamps.

Inspect for any holes or tears in the adapter or hose and replace it if you find anything. Run the water and inspect once more. If it looks good, then move to the next step.

Step 4 – To fix a leaky discharge elbow, remove it from the garbage disposal and check if the rubber gasket is properly seated or not, and if there are any cracks on the metal ring holding the discharge elbow.

Adjust the gasket if needed and replace the metal ring if required, Secure the elbow back to the garbage disposal and tighten the bolts. Again, run the water, and inspect for any leaks. If everything seems fine, then move to the next step.

Garbage Disposal leaking from underneath

Step 5 – If in actual, your garbage disposal is leaking from underneath, then it means there are cracks inside the garbage disposal which are not easily identifiable and cannot be fixed.

So it is better to spend a couple of bucks and replace the whole garbage disposal unit instead of spending your time and money on fixing the old one.

Once the source of the leak has been eliminated, you can restore the power to the garbage disposal and can resume the normal operation.

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