A garbage disposal unit is a little electronic machine that is fitted under the sink to grind up food waste. Its whirling blades shred food waste that’s poured down the sink, so it can pass freely through the plumbing system.

Garbage disposal units are a common part of most American houses, and have now become a mandatory installation in new homes all over the country.

While it’s a highly convenient electronic device, a leaking garbage disposal unit can cause all sorts of problem. From bad smells to clogged sinks, a leak can be an indication of a serious problem which should be fixed immediately.

Here are some likely causes of leaking garbage disposal and some tips on how to fix them:

Leaking from the top:

Most garbage disposals are connected to the sink drain with a flat rim that is sealed in place with putty. Over time, this putty can start corroding, which loosens the connecting rim and creates a gap between the sink and the disposal unit.

Once the unit is turned on, shredded food and other waste can leak from the holes due to a loosened rim. The simplest way to fix this is to take out the garbage disposal, clean out the old and corroded sealing agent, and reattach the unit with a new seal.

As this process requires removing the entire unit and part of the drainpipe, it’s better to hire a professional to do it for you.

Side Leaks:

Sometimes, leaks occur along the sides of the unit, in which case, the most likely issue is with the drain lines. Usually, there are two drain lines, one for the dishwasher and one for disposal.

On occasion, simply tightening the metal clamp that connects the two drain lines can fix the issue. This can be done with a screwdriver and, in most cases, will stop the leak. If that doesn’t work, it’s probably the rubber gasket which will have to be replaced by an expert repairperson.

Image showing emergency appliance services

Leaking from the bottom:

This is the most common kind of leak. A leak at the bottom is an indication of a busted seal inside the garbage disposal. The only way to fix this kind of leak is to remove and replace the entire disposal unit.

You have the option to take apart the garbage disposal unit and try to fix the seal but it will cost you more and is probably not worth the effort. You can get a new unit and have it fitted for less cost and in less time.


All American Appliance Service provides efficient and reliable repair services for all kinds of home appliances in Rockland, Bergen, and Passaic counties. We have established our company as a premier and affordable appliance repair service and have decades of experience within the industry.

We offer emergency appliance services including repairs for all laundry, kitchen, and other household appliances such as washing machines, microwaves, dishwashers, freezers, and refrigerators.

Get in touch with our expert staff today!

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