So you’ve discovered your garbage disposal is leaking… This is not good, you say to yourself. But before you panic, let’s go through the best way to deal with the situation. There are three places the garbage disposal can leak from and there are different ways to deal with them.
Leaking from the bottom - There are internal seals on the garbage disposal that can wear out over time, which can cause a leak. The fix is to get a new garbage disposal. They can last 5-10 years, so if it has been less time between replacing the disposal, check the warranty on the one you have installed to see if it is still valid.
Leaking from the side - This means that the leak is coming from the drain lines. There are two connections on the side of the disposal, the bottom, bigger hose pipe is the drain out the disposal to the sewage system, and the top, smaller pipe is where the dishwasher drains into the disposal. This is an easy fix. Just tighten the connections to your disposal. The metal clamp that is on the pipes can be tightened with a screwdriver. The main drain line is connected with screws, with a rubber gasket on the inside. So you can tighten the screws, or possibly have to replace the rubber gasket.
Leaking from the top - There is a seal on the top of your disposal that connects to your sink with a plumber’s putty or a flange. This can loosen or rust over time and cause the top of your disposal to leak. To fix it, you can just re-seal the disposal by removing the old putty and replacing it with new plumber’s putty. If your unit has a flange, then you can tighten the screws. It may need to be replaced, if you can’t get it to tighten. This is a bigger job to do, if you are not familiar with garbage disposals.
Some of these fixes, you can handle yourself. But if you find yourself having trouble with repairing these leaks or disposal on your own, you can give us a call at Tony’s Plumbing and we can get it all fixed up and running like new again.
Hearing rattling in your garbage disposal? Or just generally concerned on how to maintain this particular appliance in your home to avoid repairs or replacement? Here are a few tips to keep your garbage disposal running smoothly.
If you have any questions or need help with your disposal, give Tony’s Plumbing a call and we can get your garbage disposal moving.
Garbage Disposal Woes
One of the worst misnomers in the plumbing world is the concept of the garbage disposal. The name would suggest that you can dispose of garbage in the sink, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. A garbage disposal allows you to avoid a stinky rotting waste bin, and eliminates some of the worry about food waste washing down your drain. Garbage obviously doesn’t belong down the disposal, but neither do a lot of other items! Most garbage disposals are finicky machines that will go on strike at a moment's notice if you try to feed them something they don’t like.
There are numerous food waste items that seem like they wouldn’t be an issue to put down the drain, but actually do a lot of damage if done too often. Another thing to consider before putting something down the garbage disposal is beyond the machine itself. It’s important to think about what you are sending down the drain into your pipes and plumbing. The better you treat your garbage disposal, the fewer times you’ll have to call Tony’s in for repairs!
We’ll say it again for anybody who needs to hear this; do not put coffee grounds, egg shells, or bones down your disposal! Most people are aware of these big issue items, but it’s always good to refresh your memory. All three of these items are solid examples of the mushy clog, fibrous build up, or just too tough on the machinery reasons you should think before you grind!
As a general rule, starchy scraps and mushy items are going to wreak havoc on your system, no matter what they are. You’ve likely put small vegetable or fruit scraps in your disposal, sure. But if you put potato skins in the disposal, you’ll end up with a soupy mess and a nasty clog. The same goes for items like banana peel, onion skins, and other fibrous vegetables.
Oatmeal, nuts, rice or pasta belong nowhere near the disposal either. For similar reasons to above, they break down and cling to each other, binding the gears and coating the drain pipes. These items along with fruit pits and any kind of shell, oyster or otherwise, should be tossed in the trash where they can be disposed of without damaging your kitchen.
You should also avoid putting oil, grease or cooking fats down the drain. Anything that coagulates as it gets cold shouldn’t go down the drain, because it will cause a clog. Even things like paint aren’t a good idea, as it can coat the walls of the pipes to create a slow clog over time.
Biodegradable items can go down the drain safely, and aren’t something to worry about. Your disposal can handle small amounts of food waste, but it’s a great idea to throw out what is waste, or try a compost if that option is available to you. Garbage disposals are a great and helpful part of the kitchen, but they do their best work when you pay mind to what you give them. As your favorite local Oakdale plumber, we are always around to help if you have an issue or even just a question! Give Tony’s a call today!
At Tony's Plumbing & Heating, we offer outstanding residential and commercial plumbing and heating services in the East Twin Cities metro. With our blog, we hope to bring you useful tips and tricks for ever day life!