One of the best kitchen conveniences is a garbage disposal. Cleaning dishes becomes much simpler when you have a disposal. Most of the time, you can accomplish all of your dishwashing in one place by omitting the extra step of scraping dishes into the trash before washing. Additionally, you may use the sprayer to completely empty any nasty food residue that may have accumulated in your sink after doing the dishes, saving you the trouble of getting dirty hands. But if your garbage disposal starts leaking water at the bottom or from the top, all of the conveniences and advantages it gives swiftly disappear. Why is my garbage disposal leaking? Is it necessary to hire a plumber? Most importantly, will this leak condemn you to another purgatory of scraping plates and trash cans?

It’s crucial to understand that not all garbage disposal leaks necessitate professional assistance, so don’t let your anxiety overpower you.

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Leaking?

The probability of your garbage disposal leaking is significant if you have observed a pool of water beneath your kitchen sink. Every homeowner wants to avoid dealing with plumbing problems, and this is especially true if they are unable to fix their leaking trash disposal.

Garbage Disposal Leaking From Top

A leak from the top of your garbage disposal may not be a major issue with your entire system. This is probably due to a loose sink flange in your unit. A sink flange establishes a connection between your trash disposal and sink drain.

To prevent a leak, tighten the mounting bolts and ensure the integrity of your plumber’s putty. If so, you can use a new putty to reseal it.

Garbage Disposal Leaking at Bottom

If your garbage disposal is leaking from the bottom, it can be the result of internal seals that have deteriorated over time. Although hiring a professional to repair the internal seals is an option, it would be better to simply purchase a new trash disposal. A brand-new unit won’t break the budget and can endure five to ten years.

Garbage Disposal Leaking From the Side

One possible reason for side-leaking garbage disposals is loose drain lines. Your system has two drain pipes attached to it. The dishwasher empties into one drain, while the other one directs waste from your disposal into your sewer. A metal clamp connects these drain pipes.

If your garbage disposal is leaking from the side, repair the rubber gasket or tighten the metal clamp screws.

Garbage Disposal Leaking Water

It’s critical to locate the source of the leak in order to address a leaky garbage disposer. The following are the some reasons why your garbage disposal is leaking water and how to fix it:


  1. Torn sink flange gasket: A torn sink flange gasket is frequently the source of a leak that starts close to the top of the disposer. It is simple to replace the flat gasket that sits atop the mounting flange of the unit with a new one; however, remember to tighten the mounting flange correctly before reinstalling the disposer. Plumber’s putty can help seal the mounting flange to the disposer if it doesn’t have a sink flange gasket.
  2. Broken lower flange gasket: Disposers also have a lower gasket, which is situated at the base of the mounting flange. If this gasket is broken, water may seep into the area close to the top of the device. The solution is again to replace the damaged bottom flange gasket with a new one.
  3. Worn splash guard: The splash guard on some disposers is fixed to the top of the device and performs the same function as the lower flange gasket. To assist in addressing a water leak, the splash guard can be changed, just like the gaskets.
  4. Broken O-ring: To help seal the upper and lower halves of the garbage disposal, most models come with an O-ring. It’s possible that a different O-ring is closing the drain port of the unit from the drain pipe. There is a chance of a leak developing if one of these O-rings breaks or comes free. If the O-ring on your waste disposer breaks, changing it should be a quick and straightforward fix because they are reasonably cheap.
  5. Motor seal failure: There is a good chance that the motor seal has failed if there is a water leak originating from the disposer housing. It will be necessary to replace the garbage disposal itself if the motor seal fails.

How to Avoid Garbage Disposal Leaks

Here are some pointers for future leak prevention.

  • When utilizing your garbage disposal, run cold water.
  • Put soft foods down the sink drain only.
  • Keep an eye out for cracks in your unit.
  • Inspect your mounting bolts and connectors.

Having trouble figuring out the source of the leak? To locate the leak’s source, pour food coloring and water mixed together down the drain.


Why is the garbage disposal leaking from the reset button?

Water accumulating on the floor close to the reset button may be a sign that the unit’s seal isn’t working properly. Older garbage disposals are more likely to have this problem. You might need to get a new garbage disposal in order to solve this issue.

How can I fix a garbage disposal that is leaking?

If you see leaks from the top, it’s probably because the putty or sink flange is worn out and no longer maintains the seal. In this scenario, you will need to take the disposal appliance apart, remove the old flange or clean up the old putty, and then replace the old flange or putty with new.

Can I unplug a garbage disposal that is leaking?

Unplug it if it is in a wall outlet. If the garbage disposal is hardwired into an electrical box, go to the panel and switch off the breaker for it. Note: Your disposer may leak water in three different places: the flange where the disposer is connected to the sink.

What is the lifespan of a garbage disposal?

Garbage disposal units normally have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. Just like any other equipment, proper maintenance can increase a disposal’s lifespan.


Once you’ve identified the source of the leak, you’ll need to assess if you feel qualified to handle the issue on your own. Fixing a leaking disposal is usually not too difficult, requiring just a few common tools, plumber’s putty, and one or two cheap replacement parts, unless a complete replacement is necessary. That being said, evaluate your degree of familiarity with the assignment, before getting your hands dirty

Before attempting to fix the leak on your own, make sure to cut off the disposal’s electricity at the breaker. Go ahead and bring in an expert if you’re feeling scared. Calling a plumber might be expensive, but the piece of mind that comes from leaving the work in the hands of professionals is frequently worth it. Most of the time, you should be able to enjoy the conveniences of a modern kitchen again quickly after your disposal is back up and running.

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