Dealing with Garbage Disposal Leaks

Fixing a garbage disposal leak can be quite simple with only a few factors to consider. However, there are still some things that can complicate the process like springing a leak in different parts of the disposer for example. What do we have to know about garbage disposal leaks?

Why does it leak?

A clogged garbage disposal unit can leak when you try to operate it without removing the clogging. What clogs up garbage disposals? Normally this would be expandable food like rice and pasta. Even large animal bones can also result in clogging and possible leak. Although coffee grounds help eliminate odors, allowing it to accumulate in the drain of the disposer will result in clogging and potential leak.

Why do garbage disposals leak?

Take a look at some possibilities.

  • - Problem with the sink flange. This is where the disposer connects with the sink drain. When the mounting bolts are not properly tightened, leaking can happen. It is possible that the putty already failed causing the leak.
  • - Connection with the dishwasher. Some disposal units are connected to the dishwasher drain pipe. The leak can happen at the point of connection or when the hose is not securely installed. Another possibility is that the hose has already cracked, needing replacement.
  • - The discharge pipe. Found at the bottom of the unit, it is connected to the flange and goes to the sink drain. The components can get loose due to regular wear and tear. When that happens, you can be sure that leaking will follow. Check the seal, it may need replacement.
  • - Cracked body. When the garbage disposal unit becomes older, it is inevitable that the interior becomes prone to cracking. This causes water to spill out from the seams. Cracked disposers will have to be replaced.
  • - Knocked out of place. Since the unit is positioned under the sink, which is often used as storage space, it is entirely possible that it gets knocked loose. When knocked hard enough the unit can shift or get misaligned resulting in possible leaks. Most of the time tightening and realigning would be enough to resolve the leaks.

Drano and Garbage Disposals

The common question is, can you use Drano on garbage disposals? As a popular cleaning product, Drano is often used to resolve clogging. In fact, when kitchen sinks begin to develop blockage or clogs, it is almost an instantaneous reaction to use products like Drano.

However, homeowners are often cautioned against using caustic drain cleaners. Some professional plumber believe that it will not always remove clogs and may even be quite harmful. The caustic nature of this and similar products should be a cause for concern because aside from not really needing it, the ingredients known as lye or caustic soda can result in severe burns and may cause damage to the pipes.

When the product combines with water, heat is released. When the heat stays in the disposal or the drain for a substantial time, it may result in harmful fumes that can combine with other materials that can put your health at risk. This is why extreme caution should be exercised with these types of products.

How many years do garbage disposals last? One the average, quite a long time. In fact, with adequate care and proper maintenance, garbage disposal units can be of good service for about 8 to 15 years. This means the blades remain efficient and the motor has not burned out yet. This being said, neglecting garbage disposal leaks will significantly decrease this effective service life.

Call Scott English Plumbing when faced with garbage disposal problems.