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Usually, a person may not realize that the Garbage Disposal unit is Leaking. The signs include a wet and soggy cabinet, a pungent odour coming from a puddle, or even water dripping at a steady pace. The leak may occur because of a number of problems. As a result, it’s difficult to figure out what the actual cause is. However, with a little investigation, you can find which area requires immediate fixing.
Steps to follow before finding the leak
Firstly, before you try to figure out the position of the leak, make sure to off the breaker box. Also, unplug the Garbage Disposal unit. These steps are necessary to protect yourself from horrific accidents. Next, in the sink drain drop the watertight sink stopper and clean. To ensure the Disposal unit does not become wet, clean it properly.
A very handy tip would be to infuse food colouring with water in a medium-sized container. Pour this mixture in the sink stopper. This will make locating the exact position of the leak an easy job.
1) Sleuthing the Location
Utilize a torch to examine the Garbage Disposal. Locate the area from where coloured water is Leaking. The three most common areas are the Garbage Disposals bottom, the place where the unit comes in contact with the sink (this is the top), and where the main drain is attached to the unit (this is the side).
Look closely at the area you’re examining. Carry a white cloth and wipe the entire Disposal unit with it. This will help you find the place of the leak. Repeat the process of dumping coloured water in the Garbage Disposal unit to find out where the leaks are coming from.
Having the sink unplugged or plugged also makes a major difference. Moreover, if the sink has been plugged, then you will find that the leak has occurred at the top of the Garbage Disposal. Also, leaks will take place on the side and bottom when the sink is left unplugged.
2) If the Top of the unit is Leaking
Present inside the sink is the metal flange. It has been fixed with plumber’s putty and its sides have been secured with bolts. The bolts are inserted from under the sink. In case, the plumber’s putty is of low quality then the flange is not able to perform its duty properly. Similarly, if one of the bolts is loosened, then the strong barrier between the drain of the sink and the Garbage Disposal unit is lost. At the top of the Garbage Disposal, there will be a leak.
3) Necessary Detachments
To fix the flange which is Leaking, you must remove the connection to the Garbage Disposal unit. The major drainpipe will be connected to the unit, you must loosen the screws which hold them together. Furthermore, unscrew the screws present in the clamp (made of metal) which connect the pipe of the dishwasher to the Garbage Disposal unit. In this way, the main drain pipe and hose of the dishwasher will be detached.
Next, the screws present in the mounting ring must be made loose. The mounting ring is attached to the Disposal unit below the sink. Take off the Garbage Disposal unit and place it on a surface that is NOT wet. In the mounting assembly, the bolts which hold it together must be loosened. After that, remove the mounting assembly from its place and keep it close to the unit.
4) Using Plumber’s Putty to secure things in place
From the sink present at the top, it is necessary to take out the sink flange. Check if there is any plumber’s putty present around the top of the flange that needs to be removed. Make sure to do this with a plastic knife. Moreover, use a wet cloth to clean any leftover plumber’s putty.
You can easily purchase plumber’s putty from the stores that sell hardware items (or even online). Turn that putty into the shape of a rope. It should be eight inches wide and its length should be equivalent to the circumference of the flange. Spread the putty around the flange top and put it inside the flange. It should enter the drain of the sink until it’s fitted.
Lastly, set the mounting assembly and the ring by screwing bolts back on tightly. After that, connect everything you had previously detached (like the unit, pipe of the drain, and the hose of the dishwasher) in the same order.
5) Leakage present on the side of the Disposal unit
It is mandatory to change the gaskets which have become worn and to tighten the connection lines of the drain. This must be done if there is a leak on the sides of the unit. From either side of the Garbage Disposal, there are two lines of the drain which are present. The unit’s dishwasher inlet is connected to the pipe of the dishwasher drain by a thin hose of the dishwasher. This thin and narrow hose of the dishwasher is one of the drain lines that are present on the sides of the dishwasher. Next, there is an outlet that grants access to the sewer by acting as a connector between the unit and the main drain pipe.
6) Side of the unit where the narrow pipe is present
The metal clamp which attaches the unit’s dishwasher inlet and the hose of the dishwasher should always be tight and never loose. This is to ensure that there is no leakage occurring on either side of the Disposal. This issue can be avoided completely by simply using a screwdriver to tighten the screws of the clamp.
7) Side of the unit where the main drain pipe is present
The rubber gasket is present inside the main waste pipe of the drain. When there is leakage on the side the Disposal unit is attached to the waste drain pipe, just use a screwdriver to loosen screws of the drain pipe. Next, properly inspect the gasket inside, it’s probably old. Simply get a new one and tighten the screws of the drain pipe.
8) Purchase new Garbage Disposal if leakage occurs from the bottom
When the interior shell of the unit breaks, then leakage occurs from the bottom. Similarly, the same problem takes place if at least one layer of the interior shell has become old and worn out. The function of the interior shell is to shield the motor. This can lead to a number of problems. For instance, water present in the sink will leak from the bottom of the unit. This will take place as the liquid will escape into the shell of the unit. Moreover, if there is one broken shell then chances are there will be many more. In this scenario, it is recommended to set up a new Garbage Disposal unit.
9) Test to check if the problem has been solved
Once all the necessary actions to correct the pesky issues have been performed, it’s time to perform tests. Use a dry rag to clean the unit. Make sure it isn’t wet. Next, check if the sink is unplugged and dump some coloured water into the drain. Lastly, utilize a torch to investigate for any further problems. Once assured, just turn the power back on and plug in the unit to the outlet present in the wall.
To ensure that no leaks take place in the future, make sure to remember some rules. These include grinding only foods that are soft and not hard. Make use of water that is cold in the drain and after disposing of edibles. This is done to stop the food from transforming into sticky gunk and harming the unit. Lastly, utilize coloured water to investigate the unit for any leaks. This should be performed twice a year.