InSinkErator, a part of Emerson Electric and a brand name that is known for manufacturing instant-hot-water dispensers and waste disposal systems, has been making garbage disposals since the 1940s and has been selling a variety of models, including the Badger 5. Basically, this unit is designed with leak-proof solid metal construction, and when it does leak, it is usually from the connection to the P-trap or dishwasher or from the sink flange. If its body is leaking, then you might have to replace it, but there are other leaks in this disposal unit that you can repair yourself only using basic skills.
1. Find The Source Of The Leak.
You can perform this step with a piece of newspaper, but first, you should wipe off the unit with a dry rag and run water into it before turning it on. There are 4 areas of the disposer where it may leak, which are the drain pipe, top main seal, dishwasher inlet or along its body. Put the newspaper under the sink, with a stopper on the disposal’s mouth, and then fill the sink. If the paper gets wet, then the leak is at the sink drain. By removing the stopper, you will see that the paper gets wet while the water is draining if the drain pipes are loose. If your unit is wet at its very top, then the leak would be at its main seal, but if the area beneath the drain pipe gets wet, then the problem would be the gasket. In case the hose from the dishwasher is the part that is feeding drips, then it (or its clamp) may be faulty. If you notice water running out the disposer’s bottom, yet but the outlet and inlets are dry, then there is a leak in the unit itself, which means that it must be replaced.
2. Turn Off The Garbage Disposal.
Make sure you unplug your Badger 5 or turn its breaker off and disconnect the wires before you start repairing a leak. After this, try rotating the disposer clockwise, and if it turns, it is most likely that it was not completely tightened by the person who installed it. By tightening it, the leak should be resolved, but if it does not turn, it is the time you should remove it. If the leak is at the drain pipe, then you have to remove it. Take note that most attachment clamps are wire types having 2 protruding wires that you can push together to release the pipe. With the clamp removed, pull the pipe off and inspect the seal for any debris that is stuck between the pipe and the seal. Using a damped rag, wipe the seal to get rid of any debris, food particles or dirt. Also, there are times when the clamp loses tension, and if this is your case, tighten it down in its place to secure the pipe free of leak.
3. Disconnect The P-Trap.
If the P-trap is causing the problem, then disconnect it by turning the compression nut counterclockwise to loosen it. Then, pull the trap away from the unit and swivel it aside. Supporting the full weight of the garbage disposal, rotate its locking ring to free the unit and then lower it away from the sink. Make sure you tighten the mounting screws that hold the metal ring to the sink using a screwdriver. Cover the drain, fill the sink and check for leaks. If you still see one, then remove the disposer and tighten the screws more.
4. Reconnect The P-Trap.
Once the sink drain is leak-free, fill the sink, remove the stopper and watch the drain pipes for leaks. Tighten any connection that gets wet with a pair of adjustable pliers.
5. Inspect The Inlet Hose From The Dishwasher.
If you see the hose having a crack or fraying, unscrew the clamp and remove the hose from the disposer. Cut its end off up to the point where the leak started using a utility knife. Cutting off a few inches should not be a problem as this type of hose offers plenty of slack. After making the right cut, slide the hose back onto the unit and reinstall the clamp. If the leak is coming from a crack in the unit itself, then it might be time to get a new garbage disposal.
6. Inspect And Tighten The Drain Hose Connection If Water Is Coming From This Area.
If your Badger 5 was just installed, remove the drain hose from it and insert a screwdriver into the nipple on its housing. If the plug inside the nipple opening is still in place, punch it out with the screwdriver and retrieve the plug from inside the unit. Then, reattach the drain hose.
Basic Care Tips for Your Badger 5 Garbage Disposal
There are things that you can do to maintain your Badger 5 garbage disposal, keep it in good condition and avoid problems, such as leaks, from arising. The unit will work best by following these basic tips:
- Run water before and after you use your unit.
- Avoid overfilling.
- Use cold water when grinding food.
- Do not grind overly fibrous materials, coffee grounds, bones, glass, metal or rubber.
- If something has fallen into the unit that should not be there, use pliers or tongs to pull the material out, and never use your hand.
- To clear the unit from built-up debris and sludge, fill it with ice cubes and a cup of rock salt, and then run it for a few seconds.
- Do not pour drain cleaners, bleach or other chemicals into the unit.
- If the unit gives off a foul odor, just deodorize it by grinding a quartered lemon and running it down with warm water.
The Badger 5 garbage disposal is, relatively, a simple machine that generally operates trouble-free for several years. But eventually, it can experience some problems, such as leaks. Fortunately, you can handle most of these repairs yourself with simple tools, like a hex wrench and a screwdriver. But if the repair work is beyond your skill capacity or if replacement is required, which is quite likely a job that you cannot perform properly, call on the professionals to work things out for you. This way, you can avoid making the problem worse and wasting time, effort and money!