How do I get rid of bad garbage disposal smells?  Pippin Brothers, Lawton, OK
April 16, 2014

Is your garbage disposal leaking?

There are 3 common places for garbage disposals to leak. Here’s our breakdown of the likely culprit of each of these and what it requires to fix them.

Garbage disposal is leaking from the top

Likely culprit: the sink flange
Garbage disposals are connected to your sink with a flange and/or plumber’s putty. This seal can corrode and loosen over time. It can also leak if the garbage disposal is hit hard enough to loosen the seal (most common from doing other plumbing work under the sink).

The fix: re-seal the garbage disposal
Most garbage disposals are sealed using plumber’s putty. You’ll need to detach the garbage disposal, clean off the old putty and reseal. Other types of disposals use only a flange that is tightened and compressed with screws. This may need to be replaced. Either way, this can be a big job if you don’t know what you’re doing (requires removing and replacing drain pipes, as well).

Garbage disposal is leaking from the bottom

Likely culprit: busted seal inside of garbage disposals
If your garbage disposal is leaking out of the bottom (and not from higher up and just dripping to the bottom), the most likely cause is the actual garbage disposal itself. There are internal seals that wear out over time.

The fix: get a new garbage disposal
A new garbage disposal is likely your best bet. (Of course, if your disposal is still under warranty, that’s a different story.) Disposals aren’t terribly expensive and will last you 5-10 years. While you could potentially take your garbage disposal apart and fix the internal seal, it’s probably more work than it’s worth.

Garbage disposal is leaking from the side

Likely culprit: the drain lines
Another common place for garbage disposals to leak is where the drain lines connect. You’ll see two connections on the side of your garbage disposal. The smaller hose is where your dishwasher drains into the disposal. The larger pipe coming out lower down is the drain out of the disposal to your sewer.

The fix: tighten or reseal the connections
The dishwasher is connected to your disposal with a metal clamp. You can try tightening this with a screwdriver to see if it stops the leaking. The main drain line is connected with screws and has a rubber gasket on the inside. You may need to tighten the screws and/or replace the rubber gasket.

Did this article help you fix your garbage disposal? Tweet us and let us know! Still need help? Give us a call at (580) 699-5660 or contact us online.

Pippin Brothers serves the Lawton area’s plumbing, heating and air conditioning needs.