Garbage Disposal Drain Pipe Leaking (Cause & Quick Fix)?

A leaking garbage disposal can be a nasty business to deal with. Especially if it has surpassed its primary destructive modes and has started flooding your cabinets and beneath the sink. Yikes! 

Water damages must be taken care of quickly and sufficiently to avoid recurrences. But wait, before you jump in on the wrong bandwagon, let me tell you that there are a few proven ways that can help with a leaking sink pipe.

Toss out your current plans of purchasing a brand new garbage disposal. Believe it or not, but if you can pinpoint the origin of the leak, guiding it back to control might be easier than you think!

Therefore, without further ado, let me help you save a couple of bucks and unleash how you can fix a garbage disposal drain pipe leaking.

Why is Drain Pipe Leaking?

The drain pipe beneath the sink might be leaking due to a loose nut that is linked to the drain flange with the faucet. If the issue is solely with the nut, simply tightening it should do the trick. However, a leaking sink pipe could also point towards an uneven rubber washer or gasket, which is needed to seal the sink.

The very first reason for a drain leakage could be due to clogged sink drains. This usually occurs and can be identified when the discharging hose of the dishwasher is situated beneath the sink, and there are signs of slowed drainage.

Still or slowly moving water can cause a massive mess on your kitchen floor from the leak as well. Another reason for a leaking sink pipe could be due to broken seals or the door on your dishwasher. 

Even when the garbage disposal pipe bursts, it can result in a leakage. When the pipes undergo extensive pressure, and the initial damages are left untreated, the pipes burst, causing a flood afterward. Here are a few more reasons why your garbage disposal drain pipe might be leaking.

Worn out gaskets
Sink flange leaking
Drain pipes are loose
Drain seals are loose
Poor dishwasher connection
Garbage disposal body cracked or split
Reset button leaking
Discharge pipe loose or damaged

Fortunately, the drain leak can be contained even if the leak is due to a broken or uneven rubber washer or gasket.

How to Fix Garbage Disposal Leaking from Drain Pipe?

Before fixing the sink pipe leaks, you must investigate the source of the problem. Utilizing a flashlight, you can search three most common places for such errors; 

  • The top of the sink.
  • The sides, where the drain pipe and dishwasher hose connects.
  • And the bottom of the unit.

Now that you know where the issue is let me tell you how to fix it depending on where the leak is.

How to fix a leak from the top of the garbage disposal –

Generally, the metal flange at the tip of the garbage disposal is sealed with putty. Hence, when the putty wears out, it could lead to leaks in the pipes. In order to reseal the flange, you have to detach the disposal unit.

  1. Loosen the screws that secure the drain pipes, hose, and mounting ring, using a metal clamp and wrench.
  2. Lift the metal flange from the topmost part of the sink.
  3. Use a knife to scrape off and reapply new putty. 
  4. Replace all the parts of the garbage disposal as they were earlier when done.

How to fix a leak from the side of the garbage disposal –

If, after inspecting, you realize that the leak is from the garbage disposal side, especially where the dishwasher hose and inlet coincide, then the issue could be within the metal clamp. If the metal clamp in that junction is loose, you will have to tighten the screws utilizing a screwdriver. 

However, if the leak is somewhere along the path where the waste drain pipe meets the garbage disposal, it could result from worn-out rubber gaskets. If that is the case, you have to replace the gasket and tighten the screws on the drain pipe.

How to fix a leak from the bottom of the garbage disposal –

Leaks from beneath the garbage disposal indicate that perhaps the interior shell or seal within the unit has broken down or worn out. A cracked interior due to decay is also a viable reason for such instances. If your garbage disposal is relatively old, it’s wiser to purchase a new model altogether.

However, if you’re not willing to do so, you can hire or call in a professional to get the job done.

How Do You Replace a Garbage Disposal Drain Pipe?

If the clogs and leaks persist, you might not have any other option but to replace the garbage disposal pipes. Don’t fret; I’m here to guide you along each of the steps to do it correctly.

  1. Unplug Your Garbage Disposal –

Disengage all the power sources of the machine; therefore, to not electrocute yourself in replacing the pipes. Turn off every switch and unplug it from every outlet that it might be linked to.

  1. Disconnect Discharge Tube –

Detach the dishwasher connection with the discharge tube from your garbage disposal. If connected via a hose, utilize a pair of pliers to disconnect them and twist them off. 

  1. Dislodge The Garbage Disposal –

In order to unmount the garbage disposal from the sink, you can either use a screwdriver to loosen the clamping ring by turning it in an anti-clockwise motion or rotate the mounting ring in an anti-clockwise motion with your bare hands.

Support the garbage disposal with your hand and give it a slight push to prevent it from falling. 

  1. Remove The Sink Flange – 

You need to remove the flange to utilize the sink strainer connected to the drain pipes and sink. You must remove the flange to install a basket strainer and then a tube.

  1. Install The Basket Strainer –

Even though there are many designs and makes of strainers in the market, you can grab any as they’re made to fit all standard sizes. However, you could still give its measurements a quick scan to see if they will fit your sink’s dimensions.

Start by cleaning off the putty and sealant. In a dry sink, take the new strainer and place it after reapplying the putty. Press it down tightly in the sinkhole.

  1. Install The Drain Pipes

All you’re left to do now is install the pipes. Connect the P-trap to the tailpipe of the sink. Take the required measurements of the pipes as needed and connect the new drain pipe.

And voila! You have yourself a brand new garbage disposal drain pipe.

Can You Reuse the Drain Pipe After Fixed?

Generally, copper fittings and pipes, in many cases, can be reused. However, other pipes such as PVC aren’t good alternatives when it comes to reusing them. If these pipes are glued and unglued multiple times, they lose their potential.

Is a Leaking Garbage Disposal Dangerous?

It is deemed to be dangerous when you notice water leaks from the bottom of the garbage disposals. Usually, when there’s a leak from underneath the machine, it means that there’s a broken seal or unit inside the garbage disposal.

Leaks from beneath the garbage disposal units are especially hazardous as it means that the unit has come to terms with its lifelong service. You might not have any other option but to toss it out and replace it with a new one.

Besides, any kind of leak from the garbage disposal can be considered risky as it runs on water and electrical connections. And when combined, they can create unimaginably dangerous incidents.

Final Words:

You can officially call yourself the garbage disposal doctor now. Truthfully, once you know the ins and outs of most garbage disposal issues, investigating the origin and cause of the problem becomes child’s play. 

Undoubtedly, fixing the issues might demand more strength, time, and labor from you. However, what’s that compared to getting to save a couple of thousand bucks, right? 

In the long run, you might face many issues with your garbage disposal, including mere leaks here and there. So, does that mean you need to go on a shopping spree every time you witness a leak? Heck, no!

In reality, if you maintain and take care of your garbage disposal, it can deliver in tenfold.