Since the 1940s, InSinkErator has been making garbage disposals. Being in the business that long, it clearly shows that the company – which is part of the Emerson Electric Company – knows what it is doing. However, this doesn’t mean that you get a product that will remain perfect forever.
Yes, InSinkErator’s disposals have leak-proof solid metal construction but this doesn’t make them free from leaks. So when a leak does happen, it usually comes from the sink flange or the connection to the P-trap or dishwasher.
While you may be tempted to call for help straight away, try to find out where the leak is coming from first. This way, you get to save that hard-earned money for other important needs. Then again, some level of detective work is involved when determining the cause of InSinkErator leaks – so patience is truly a virtue here. That said, the solution could also be as simple as tightening a connection or re-aligning it. It’s pretty simple, right?
What You’ll Need When Inspecting Leaks
Having all that you need with you before you start playing detective makes the whole process run smoothly. For this task, you will need the following:
- Bucket or a Deep-Bottom Pan
- Food Coloring
What You Need to Know Before Performing Inspections
- Do not forget to disconnect the electricity. This is of extreme importance as the last thing you want is to get electrocuted.
- Be prepared to take disposal to an authorized service representative. It’s important that you know who to go to should the problem be too complex for you to handle. So before you go to detective work, make sure you know where to find the nearest authorized service representative so you can take your disposal there as soon as possible.
Yes, some issues may be fixed with a few twists and turns but you should always prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. Sometimes, the issue with your disposal unit might be a loose internal seal or a crack which is best repaired by professional hands.
- You might have to remove drain assembly if you can’t stop the leak. There are times when a part may be missing or they are misaligned. As such, you need to take out the drain assembly then reinstall it.
How to Determine the Source of the Leak
Follow these steps to find out the source of the leak:
- As mentioned earlier, make certain that the garbage disposal is unplugged. This is for your own safety. Also, if you notice that the area around the electrical socket is damp, make sure to turn off the breaker for that section. Again, this is to prevent you from getting an electrical shock.
- Take everything out from under the sink. There’s no better way to put this: you can find the source better if everything is removed. This way, you can clearly see where the leak is taking place. Once you remove all the items beneath, put a bucket or a deep-bottom pan below the disposal. This will catch the water that may come out. This saves you cleaning time as well.
- Place the plug for your sink in the drain.
- Fill the sink with water. Cut off the water when it’s almost halfway full. Drop food coloring into the water – just a few drops though. Choose a color that makes the water stand out.
- Check if leaks are coming from under the sink. If it is so, then the problem is the sink flange (this is where the sink and the garbage disposal unit connect). If not, you have to check other parts using a flashlight. The areas you need to check are the dishwasher hose, the drain and the bottom.
What If the Leak Is from the Bottom?
Knowing the source of the leak lets you know how bad the problem is. For instance, if the leak is coming from the sink flange, this means the seal between the sink and the disposal is broken. This can be fixed by detaching the disposal from the sink then removing the plumber’s putty then resealing the flange.
If the leak is from the dishwasher hose or the drain line, the likely problem is a broken seal between the disposal and any of these lines. The solution is to replace the seal.
But what if the leak is from the bottom? What should you do? A disposal that is leaking from the bottom is a big problem because the seals inside the garbage disposal itself are broken. So what does this mean?
The simplest way to put it is this: while you may replace the seals inside the disposal, it is best to replace the garbage disposal. While replacing something that is broken may suffice for some time, eventually, the time will come that another piece would wear out. As such, it’s much better to replace the entire thing now rather than deal with recurring problems.
What Are Some Garbage Disposal Caring Tips?
Disposals have a certain life limit but you can extend the life of yours by properly caring for it. Here are some tips on maintaining your garbage disposal:
- Run a full stream of cold water before and while grinding. Cold water helps keep fat in solid form which is helpful because you don’t want them clogging up your disposal. Cold water keeps the motor cool as well which helps in extending the life of your disposal unit. Let cold water run for at least 30 seconds after turning off disposer.
- Put soft food items only into the disposal unit. Don’t ever dump items like bones into your disposer as it can cause damage.
- Check for leaks on a regular basis. Yes, InSinkErator products last a long time, but it still helps to check every once in a while. It helps to check frequently because your unit has flanges, gaskets and pipe connections which are leak sources that lead to mold, pest infestations and much more.
Garbage disposals from InSinkErator have a long life span. However, they can also leak and when the leak comes from the bottom, the best thing to do is to get the unit replaced.