How To Tighten Garbage Disposal Flange? (Leaking From Flange – Causes & Quick Fix)

Are you tired of dealing with a leaky garbage disposal?

One of the most common culprits is a loose flange, which can lead to water seeping out and causing damage.

The good news is that tightening the flange is a relatively easy fix you can do yourself!

In this informative article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on tightening your garbage disposal flange and preventing leaks. Keep reading to learn more and say goodbye to those frustrating leaks for good.

What Causes a Garbage Disposal to Leak from the Flange?

There are a couple of reasons why a garbage disposal leaks from the flange, namely;

A Faulty Flange

The flange may rust over time, which causes it to be relatively ineffective. For this reason, it causes a leak from the top of the sink.

Other than corrosion, the nuts and bolts holding the flange to the drain may be loose. The loose bolts will affect the contact between the garbage disposal drain and the flange, hence the leak.

Worn Out Plumber’s Putty

The plumber’s putty is necessary to keep the flange in place. Therefore, when worn out after extended use or is of lower quality, this will affect the position of the flange. When the flange is not tightly placed, it will cause leaking garbage disposal in the sink area.

How Do You Know That the Garbage Disposal is Leaking from the Flange?

When a garbage disposal leaks, this does not necessarily mean the flange is the problem. It could be the gasket, the p-trap, or the u-trap. Or, it could be the flange. So, how do you determine that the flange is the challenge?

The leak will be at the top of the sink when the garbage disposal flange or plumber’s putty is the problem behind the leak. By checking the flange first, you can confirm this is the primary red light.

Once you are sure the flange needs fixing, determine where the challenge is to buy replacements if necessary. You may need a new tin of plumber’s putty, a new garbage disposal flange, or both.

How to Fix a Garbage Disposal Leaking from Flange

Here is a quick summary table on fixing the garbage disposal leak from the flange;

Corroded garbage disposal flangeReplace the garbage disposal flange
Loose bolts/ locking ringTighten the bolts/ locking ring
Worn-out plumber’s puttyReplace the plumber’s putty

How Do You Tighten a Garbage Disposal Flange?

The garbage disposal will leak if the bolts, nuts, or locking ring is loose. To solve this challenge, you will have to tighten it and tighten the garbage disposal flange in the process. So, how to tighten the garbage disposal flange?

You will need a flathead screwdriver, which fits perfectly with the bolts and the locking ring. 

Then, rotate the screwdriver on the bolts or ring clockwise. Finally, tighten the bolts or locking ring until you feel complete resistance.

Finally, you can let the water tap run to see whether you have sorted the leaking problem.

How Do You Replace a Garbage Disposal Flange?

When the flange is rusted, you have no option but to replace it with a new one. Can you replace the garbage disposal flange yourself? Of course, you can. Here is a Do It Yourself guide that you should consider;

1. Turn Off the Power and Clear the Way

First, ensure you turn the garbage disposal power off for a smooth fixing procedure. Also, turn off the water during the flange fixing duration. Then, remove any removable objects underneath the sink which could block your view or access to the flange.

2. Disconnect the Drain Pipe

Using a pipe screwdriver, loosen the drain pipe from the dishwasher. If the pipe is too dry, apply some lubricating oil to smoothen the process. Finish by pulling the pipe away from the flange.

3. Disengage the Garbage Disposal

At the top of the garbage disposal, where it connects to the flange, are three screws. Using the flathead screwdriver, loosen these screws and remove them. There is also a lock-nut combining the two, which you should also unscrew and loosen. 

Finally, loosen the locking ring, which locks the garbage disposal to the flange. Ensure you are holding the garbage disposal to prevent a fall on the ground now that it is free. Keep it gently on the floor and continue with the next step.

4. Remove the Flange

Once the garbage disposal is out of the way, push the flange upwards towards the sink. Sometimes the flange is challenging to make, especially when the plumber’s putty is still intact. In this case, you can use your working screw to pull the flange from the top of the sink area.

5. Replace the Flange

Unwrap the new flange, then prepare the putty’s plumber. You can mold the putty into a ball and a long strap. Wrap the strap into a wavy line around the new flange.

From the sink top, put the flange into the sink, ensuring that the plumber’s putty stays in place. Then, apply pressure on the flange to ensure that it secures a stable position.

6. Re-Install the Garbage Disposal

Re-attach the garbage disposal using the screws from the first flange. If they were also rusted, you could use new bolts as well. It would help if you were holding the garbage disposal all this while. 

Then, screw in the locking ring to safely release the secure garbage disposal.

Put back the drainpipe, and ensure it is stable to avoid another leak.

7. Test the New Garbage Disposal Flange

Now you can power on the garbage disposal. Then, allow water to run freely from the tap to the sink. Look out for leaks, and confirm that the new flange is stable and working.

How to Replace the Insinkerator Flange?

If your Insinkerator garbage disposal also seems like leaking from the flange and you think of replacing it, follow these steps:

  1. No matter what electrical appliance you will repair, turn off the power supply and unplug it from the outlet before laying a finger inside. Do the same for the Insinkerator.
  2. Remove the garbage disposal from the sink and set it aside.
  3. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the old flange in place, pull the old flange out of the sink, and clean any residue or debris from the area.
  4. Apply a thin layer of plumber’s putty around the new flange into the sink opening.
  5. Reattach the garbage disposal after securing the new flange with screws and tighten them carefully.
  6. Finally, reconnect the power supply to test the Insinkerator for proper function and leaks.

Can You Reuse a Garbage Disposal Flange?

Yes, you can. If the garbage disposal flange is still in good condition and not rusted, you can re-install it. If you already bought a new flange and want to use it, you can keep the old flange well for future use. You never know when you might need it.

Is a Leaking Garbage Disposal Dangerous?

A leaking garbage disposal may or may not be dangerous. If you notice the leak early, it might not be much, and there may be no damage.

However, a severe or more prolonged leak affects the stuff under the sink. It may even cause damage to the cabinets, which will cost much for repair or replacement.

On top of that, someone may slip over the spilled water and garbage fluid, fall, and hurt themselves. They could even break a bone, which is quite dangerous.

Finally, remember that this is a garbage disposal, and the components are not your favorite smells. Therefore, over time, leaking garbage disposal causes a foul smell in the kitchen or house. While a bad smell is not dangerous, it is too uncomfortable to live with.

Should I Call a Technician to Check My Garbage Disposal Flange?

Well, you can always get a technician to check your garbage disposal flange if you can’t do it. However, the process is quite simple and easy to follow. So, if you aspire to do some fixing in your house on your own, sorting the garbage disposal flange is a perfect start.

Bottom Line

Is the garbage disposal leaking from the flange? True, if the garbage disposal leaks from the top, it is most likely leaking from the flange. However, you can quickly identify and correct the cause with this guide.

You only have to replace the challenge to solve the leak when it is putty. When the flange is loose, tighten the bolts, and when it is corroded, replacing it has a quick DIY right above you.

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