ABC Blog

My Garbage Disposal Is Leaking Water

a sink

Is your garbage disposal leaking water? This is a problematic experience for homeowners because it can lead to a big mess and disrupt your regular kitchen activities. The good news is that most garbage disposal leaks are easy to identify and fix.

My Garbage Disposal Is Leaking Water

A leaky garbage disposal can quickly turn into a messy and annoying interruption for homeowners, so it’s best to get down to the bottom of the problem right away. First, it’s important to understand the signs of leaky garbage disposals so that you can catch the problem as soon as it starts.

There are three common signs that indicate your garbage disposal is leaking water: wet cabinets, foul odors and mysterious puddles of water.

First, it’s normal to find moisture around your lower cabinets when you have a leaky garbage disposal. If the cabinets around your kitchen sink are consistently damp, it’s likely due to your garbage disposal leaking water. You may also see the water seeping into the cabinets or notice it pooling in puddles.

Next, leaking garbage disposals can create a foul odor in your kitchen. If the odor is coming from around your sink area, it’s very likely that the malfunctioning garbage disposal is the culprit. The reason the odor is so unpleasant is that water is not being properly flushed down the sink drain, which causes lingering food debris.

Finally, small pools of water around the base of your garbage disposal are a common sign of a leak. Try tracing the puddle back to its source to see where it originated. If you can’t find the source, it’s most likely coming from your garbage disposal.

Finding the Garbage Disposal Leak

Once you notice the signs of a leaking garbage disposal, the next step is to identify the leak. There are a couple of ways to go about this; however, it is important to remember that you should never put your hand down your garbage disposal, even if the disposal is unplugged.

First, inspect the connections between your garbage disposal unit, sink flange and drain pipes. Loose connections are often the cause of a leak, so tighten them up and see if it solves the problem.

If that does not work, try running the garbage disposal to find where it is leaking water. This can help you determine if water is leaking from the connections, the base of the unit or cracks that have formed in random spots. Inspect the entire unit for damage to locate possible cracks.

Lastly, inspect all of the gaskets between the different components of the disposal system, as they can degrade over time and lead to leaks. If you notice significant wear and tear, it is probably time to replace them.

The best way to identify a garbage disposal leak and promptly fix the problem is to contact a professional plumber who fixes garbage disposals. A professional plumber can inspect the entire system and get to the root of the problem quickly so that you can go back to your normal kitchen activities.

a garbage disposal

What to Do If Your Garbage Disposal Smells Like Mildew

It’s never pleasant to smell mildew in your home. One area that can quickly start to smell foul is your garbage disposal system. The good news is that the problem is typically easy to identify and fix so you can enjoy cooking and using your garbage disposal without the smell of mildew getting in the way.

When your garbage disposal smells like biologic growth, it’s likely coming from an accumulation of mildew in your sink and drain. This is a common problem since your sink regularly comes into contact with food particles, grease and moisture. These elements create a perfect breeding ground for mildew to grow and spread.

Once you identify the mildew problem, you can get rid of it with a simple at-home solution. First, sprinkle half a cup of baking soda and pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain. Let it sit for about 15 minutes so that the vinegar’s natural acids break down the organic buildup. White vinegar also has powerful odor-killing properties.

The last step is to pour hot water down the drain. Boil the water first and then slowly pour it down the drain in order to flush out loosened debris. This three-step solution should take care of the mildew problem and eliminate the unpleasant odor.

How to Prevent Garbage Disposal Mildew

You can prevent your garbage disposal from smelling like mildew with a few proactive measures. First, when you use your disposal, run cold water down the drain before, during and after each use. It will solidify grease and help your disposal system flush it away.

Next, repeat the above white vinegar and baking soda cleaning solution every few weeks. It can be used as a preventative method as well as a cleaning solution.

Using your garbage disposal regularly can also help because it will give grease and food debris less time to accumulate.

Finally, to add a fresh scent to your garbage disposal, consider tossing in some citrus peels. Along with adding a nice scent, the peels act as a deodorizer and can help remove the foul scent that was there before.

For more tips on how to deal with mildew or garbage disposal smells, contact a professional plumber.

a double sink

What to Do About Your Garbage Disposal Leaking From Side Pipe

Garbage disposal leaks can occur from various places throughout your disposal system. One common place to spot a garbage disposal leak is on the side pipe of the unit. This is a frustrating problem for homeowners to deal with, but the good news is that a side pipe leak is an easy tell-tale of the real problem.

Garbage disposal side pipe leaks are due to loose or improperly connected drain lines. Your disposal system has multiple rubber or metal drain lines that connect the unit to the plumbing system under the sink.

It’s normal for drain lines to become loose every once in a while, especially if you use your garbage disposal often. The vibrations from the disposal or minor shifts in your sink area can loosen up the drain line connections over time.

To fix the problem, the best thing you can do is contact a professional plumber. The last thing you want to do is damage the system more in an attempt to fix it yourself. A plumber will know exactly what to do and get it done in a quick time frame.

When you call in an expert, they will likely tighten up the drain line connection screws. They have specialized tools that can secure the drain lines and prevent future leaks.

If that does not fix the leak, the next thing they will do is inspect the rubber gaskets. When gaskets are worn down, the airtight seal they create will start to come loose, which can cause leaks. Replacing them may be the best solution.

Lastly, a professional plumber will inspect your drain lines to make sure they are properly aligned.

When you rely on professional services, you can get to the bottom of the problem and quickly get your garbage disposal back in working order.

Prevent Garbage Disposal Leaks With Professional Assistance

The best way to avoid a garbage disposal leak is to take regular preventative actions. For example, routinely cleaning the garbage disposal and running cold water while you use the system will be a big help.

If you still notice a leak, try to identify where it is coming from right away. It could be due to a crack or normal wear and tear on your garbage disposal unit. Another indication of a malfunctioning garbage disposal system is when it starts to smell like mildew.

To solve all of these problems and get back to using your kitchen again, contact a professional plumber. An expert can identify the root of the problem, fix your garbage disposal and teach you more ways to prevent future leaks.

ABC Can Get Your Garbage Disposal Working Again

A garbage disposal that isn’t working can cause huge disruptions in your life. Instead of prolonging the issue by trying to fix it yourself, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our appliance repair pros will efficiently locate the issue and then get to work on making all garbage disposal repairs.

Tom Riggs

Tom Riggs is the Division Manager for Mechanical Services, overseeing sales and operations for HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Appliance Repair and Water Quality for all ABC Austin branches. He joined ABC in 2014. Before ABC, he was an HVAC Service Technician, HVAC Comfort Advisor/Sales and Operations Manager. Tom attended Universal Technical Institute. He's an avid outdoorsman and enjoys country living with his wife and two sons.

Learn More

Comments are closed.