Leaky Garbage Disposal

Q: How Do I Fix a Leaky Garbage Disposal?

A: First step when working on a garbage disposal is to safely disconnect the electrical power supply. Garbage disposals have three junctions that are the most common source of leaks. The first two are the pipe connections on the side of the disposal (the drain pipe and dishwasher intake). These connections will be easy to see, and if you notice any signs of leakage then you might need to tighten the joints or replace the pipes. However, garbage disposals often leak from the junction between the top of the disposal and the sink drain. The gasket between them is typically made of plumber’s putty, and the putty deteriorates over time. You’ll need to remove the disposal usually by turning it clockwise, and removing its mounting bolts. This will give you access to the disposal’s top mounting flange, from which you should clean off all the old gasket material. Replace the gasket with a liberal amount of plumber’s putty completely around the perimeter, then press the flange and gasket firmly into place in the sink drain for a proper seal. Reinstall the disposal and tighten the mounting bolts. Remove the excess gasket material that squeezes out, reconnect all pipes and power supply, and then see if that fixed the problem.

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