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Why Is My Garbage Disposal Leaking?

Few things could be more annoying than a leaking appliance. Not only is standing water a safety hazard if it gets onto high-traffic surfaces, but it can also cause mold and bacteria buildup and pose a danger to electrical outlets. That's why a garbage disposal leak is an important problem to have fixed quickly by a trained professional with experience working with garbage disposals.

Where the garbage disposal is leaking from is an important part of figuring out how to repair it. Take a look at your garbage disposal and do some digging on the root cause of the leak before calling a professional to help you get it repaired or — in the worst-case scenario — completely replaced.

Leaking from the top

Take a look under your sink. Is the leak coming from the top of the garbage disposal, potentially where it meets the plumbing of the sink? Garbage disposals are affixed to sinks with plumber's putty, and this isn't always foolproof. It also doesn't last forever. Rust or corrosion can wear it down over time, and garbage disposal use can cause it to loosen. This requires some basic plumbing work under the sink that you're not going to want to try yourself. A professional can make sure the job is done right.

A leak from the side

If you take a look at the appliance and find the leak seems to be coming from the side of the appliance, you're likely dealing with a problem in the drain line. If you look at the side of your garbage disposal, you'll notice two connections. The smaller pipe connects your dishwasher to the garbage disposal. The larger connection is where the disposal drains out into the sewage through the sink's plumbing. A leak can originate from either connection and cause problems. If a simple tightening doesn't do the trick, you'll want to call a professional for help.

Leaking from the bottom

If you've deduced that the leak is coming from the bottom of the appliance, then you're likely dealing with a leak in the disposal itself. The grinding chamber has internal seals that keep water and debris from escaping or leaking out, but these can be faulty or even just wear down over time. If this is the case, you'll need to have an entirely new garbage disposal installed.

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