There are three common areas where a garbage disposal leaks: the top, the bottom, and the side. Leaks from the top and the side are quite easy to fix, but a leak from the bottom usually requires replacing the entire unit.
A leak from the top usually means there is something wrong with the sink flange. Your disposal unit is connected to the sink through a flange or plumber’s putty. Over time, this seal can corrode or loosen. In addition to that, it may leak if the disposer was hit with enough force causing the seal to loosen (which is very much possible if other plumbing work has been done under the seal). This kind of issue, however, is easily remedied by resealing the garbage disposal with plumber’s putty or tightening the screws on the flange.
Side leaks are usually blamed on drain lines. There are two connections located on the side of a garbage disposal unit. One of these is a small hose where the dishwasher drains into the disposal. The other is a larger pipe that drains out of the disposal into the sewer. This problem can be fixed by tightening or resealing the connections.
The problem you don’t want is a leak from the bottom because this means a seal from the inside of the garbage disposal itself is busted. In this case, it is best to replace the entire unit. Yes, sealing the defective part may help but only for a while as other internal seals will eventually wear out. So when one breaks, it’s best to change the entire unit.
But What Happens When The Garbage Disposal Is Leaking From The Reset Button?
If this is the case, the most common cause is a leak in the metal plate which is located under the blades, particularly in InSinkErator models. This plate was put in place in order to keep the electrically powered parts of the motor such as the rotor and the shaft from moisture. However, this plate is really thin and is usually made of galvanized steel.
As such, when you use highly acidic cleaners, the zinc layer of the plate will corrode resulting in the steel being exposed. That steel will also start corroding until a hard object will create a hole through the plate. When that happens, that could mean the end of life for your disposal unit.
Why is that the case? The plate was not designed to be repaired. So when this kind of problem occurs, you have to replace the entire garbage disposal unit. Having water constantly hit the rotor is an electrical hazard and it should be addressed immediately.
Proper Use Of The Disposal Unit Also Helps Prevent Issues
There are some things you can do to ensure your unit remains healthy for a long time. These include:
- Not pouring bleach in the sink as this can damage the seals of your unit. Use baking soda and vinegar if you’re concerned about odor.
- Not overfilling the unit as this causes increased pressure leading it to bog down.
- No turning it off while it’s still grinding.
Leaks may happen due to certain circumstances and addressing the issues straight away prevents further problems down the road.