One of the most common problems you’ll encounter with your garbage disposal is a leak from the bottom. Because it’s typically hidden under your sink, a leaking garbage disposal may go unnoticed for some time. But once you notice your garbage disposal is leaking, you should address it immediately before it turns into a hazard.
If your garbage disposal is leaking from its power cord, it is due to a broken seal or a crack in the disposal’s protective case. It is not practical to repair this issue, the best solution would be to buy a new garbage disposal.
Garbage disposals are supposed to keep working efficiently for years. So, it’s surprising to have a leaking garbage disposal after just one or two years.
So, why does this happen? And how can you fix it? First, it’s essential to spot the signs of leaking garbage disposal to answer these questions.
Signs your garbage disposal is leaking
Usually, garbage disposals leak from three places: top, side, or bottom. You often don’t notice a leak until it’s too late. However, some telltale signs indicate leaking garbage disposal.
- Your under-sink cabinet smells bad
- It feels damp
- You hear a dripping sound
- There is a visible puddle under your disposal
Now, it is up to you to investigate the source of this leak. Water leaking from the top or side is pretty straightforward to fix, while a leak from the bottom is more challenging, and you will need some expert advice on how to tackle this.
Before jumping on how to fix a leak from the power cord, let’s understand the reasons for this leak.
Reasons for Garbage disposal leaking from the power cord
In the broader context, leaks happen because we fail to care for our disposals properly. Clogged disposals cannot perform their function properly, which eventually means broken or leaking disposal.
If the water is coming out of the power cord, it means that it has made it to the protective layer of the disposal. So, the main reason for this leak can be due to a damaged protective casing.
Garbage disposals have a protective shell case that encloses the motor and prevents water from entering it. A crack in this protective shell or a damaged seal can cause water from the sink to seep inside and leak through the power cord hole.
What to do if water is leaking from the power cord?
A leak from a power cord hole can be a fire hazard. So, as a precaution, turn off the disposal as soon as you determine a leak from the power cord.
To understand the extent of damage, you can check out the exterior of the disposal for any visible cracks or damage. If you come across such faults, and the disposal’s warranty is still valid, you can contact the company for a replacement. On the other hand, if you cannot find any visible splits or cracks, but the disposal is leaking from the bottom, then an internal issue can be the reason.
In most cases, a leak from the bottom of the disposal cannot be repaired as it is hazardous and expensive. Getting new disposal is a better and more logical thing to do.
I will also suggest turning off the power to your garbage disposal in the meantime. Unplug it, or if you’re handy, trip your breaker switch. Be careful and don’t tackle this issue yourself.
How to prevent garbage disposals from leaking?
Failing to care for your garbage disposal properly can cause it to leak, which not only leads to messy and smelly kitchen sink areas but also can lead to damage in other parts of your home. To avoid problems with leaking garbage disposals, follow these tips on preventing garbage disposal leaks from happening.
Don’t grind tricky objects such as chicken bones
Some garbage disposals are not made to grind rigid bones. When you grind stringy or hard objects, even if they go down with little resistance, it can bend or damage parts inside that can cause leaks. Always consult manufacturer’s guidelines, so you don’t damage your disposal.
Avoid throwing grease down the drain
Grease should never be placed down a drain, as it can build up inside and create clogs. The first step in avoiding a plumbing disaster caused by grease buildup is to keep it out of your pipes altogether. Minimize greasy waste by scraping plates into the trash instead of rinsing them down drains. Moreover, don’t dispose of cooking oil in the disposal.
Run cold water
Running cold water while the disposal is operating minimizes the chances of clogs and leaks. Hot water melts the grease, which can deposit in the disposal and clogs the drains. On the contrary, cold water helps grind up the waste more efficiently.
Clean your garbage disposal regularly
Regular cleaning of your garbage disposal is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent leaks. A weekly cleanup schedule can mean better functioning disposal. Moreover, if you are going on vacation for more than one week, take my advice and clean your disposal properly before you go. This cleaning ritual ensures that no food remains get dried and stuck at your disposal. Plus, no bad odors will be there to welcome your return!
Not all garbage disposals are created equal, and as such, not all of them can handle the same kinds of food waste. Different foods will wear out your garbage disposal more quickly than others and will increase the likelihood that you’ll need to repair or replace your garbage disposal in the future.
Moreover, it’s always a good idea to take preventative measures before disaster strikes. Follow the tips mentioned above to help keep your garbage disposal in tiptop shape. They may seem simple, but they can pay off down the road. If you want to keep your disposal unit working as long as possible, it’s important to use it with care.