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Can a Leaky Garbage Disposal Be Fixed?

If you’re wondering if your leaky garbage disposal can be fixed, you’re in the right place. Short answer: yes. Long answer: yes, but in some cases it makes more sense to replace the entire unit. How do you determine whether you need to repair or replace your garbage disposal?

We’ll answer that question–as well as a couple of others–below.

When is it necessary to have my garbage disposal replaced?

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspections (InterNACHI), garbage disposals should last up to twelve years. If yours is having problems and is older than that, then it’s likely better served by replacement instead of repair.

Another reason to replace instead of repair are electrical issues. If you find yourself frequently pressing the small red reset button on the unit, the motor could be wearing out. It’s far easier to replace the unit than it would be to fix this problem. Fortunately, leaks aren’t as serious as electrical problems. You could likely fix garbage disposal leaks relatively easily by changing your use habits and replacing one or two parts.

When can I just have it repaired instead?

The first step toward repairing a garbage disposal problem is diagnosing the problem in the first place. In most cases, you can tell something is wrong because it’s not working. When that happens, you call a professional plumber to come out and fix it. The plumber will likely find one of the following issues:

  • A problem with the sink flange. The sink flange is the area where the garbage disposal is connected to your sink. The seal holding this connection in place can erode over time.
  • The inner seals have worn out. Internal seals, like the sink one, can wear out over time. If your disposal is leaking from the bottom, this is commonly the culprit.
  • There is something wrong with the drain lines. Is your disposal leaking from the sides? Then there might be something wrong with where the drain lines connect to the main unit.

Can I repair my garbage disposal by myself?

A garbage disposal is a complicated device that involves mechanics, electricity, and sharp blades. Because of this, we always recommend leaving garbage disposal repair or replacement to professionals. That way you don’t have to worry about the risk of accidentally shocking yourself, losing a finger, or making your existing problem even worse.

Another benefit to employing professionals is our repair warranty. If you accidentally mess up your existing (or new) unit while attempting to replace or repair it, you’re out of luck. If on the off-chance something goes wrong during professional repair, however, you’ll be covered.

Leaks are the silent killer of the plumbing world. They wear away pipes and mechanics while wasting water and increasing water bills. Getting them fixed as soon as they’re noticed is an important part of being a proactive homeowner.

The next time you need help fixing a leak, garbage disposal or otherwise, give Ben Franklin Plumbing a call.