What Are the Causes of a Garbage Disposal Leaking?
Even though a leaking garbage disposal is a fairly simple fix, there can be a few factors that can complicate the process somewhat. For example, there are a few different places within the connection system that may spring a leak, so often the hardest part of fixing a leaking garbage disposal is trying to determine where the leak is coming from. Aside from the obvious connections, possible areas for leaks include water inlets and outlets as well as rings and seals.
Most Common Causes of a Leaking Garbage Disposal
1. Check the Connections
2. Inspect for Possible Cracks
- The interior shell of the garbage-disposal system becomes susceptible to cracking as it ages, allowing water to leak out from the seams. If this happens, the disposal unit will need to be replaced.
- Connection hoses and pipes sometimes get pinched or banged, causing a crack, and a leak. Examine the hoses and pipes with a flashlight while running the garbage disposal.
Precautions to Take When Operating Your Garbage DisposalBecause water runs through the garbage disposals, attachments can and do come loose just from the continuous vibrations produced by the motor through normal use. This can be especially true if you are overworking the disposal. Consider the following dos and don’ts to properly maintain your disposal unit:
The List of Don’ts
- Never pour bleach or other harsh cleaning chemicals into your sink, as these can potentially damage the seals in the disposal, as well as your plumbing. Instead, use an alternative all-natural method to cleaning your disposal and remove any smells that can often linger.
- While the disposal is designed to grind up leftover food continually, just like any other machinery, it can be overworked. Asking your disposal to do too much at once is asking for trouble in the form of a leak or a big repair bill. Slow down a little, going plate by plate, and your disposal will thank you for it.
The List of Do’s
- Only put soft foods down your disposal, as hard or very fibrous foods are tough on the grinding teeth and the motor. Things like bones, potato peels and coffee grounds don’t belong in the disposal, as these foods will clog the grinding disk, putting excessive pressure on the motor and can damage seals.
- Run cold water when disposing of fatty foods to keep the fat in solid form, as hot water will cause the fat to liquefy. However, the fat will later expand when it solidifies in the pipes after it cools.
- Always run the water for 10 to 15 seconds after the grinding is finished to ensure all of the food particles have been rinsed away.
- 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 pipe, keeping dirt from getting stuck in the unit.
- Check for leaks frequently. While you might think leaks are easy to notice, not every leak starts with a flood. The small bolts holding your disposal unit in place can start to drip long before you notice water running across the floor.