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Why Is My Garbage Disposal Leaking? A Florida Plumber Answers.

If your garbage disposal is leaking, you might be experiencing foul odors, gnats, mold, and other unpleasant symptoms. Here in Florida, the hot and humid weather can worsen those issues.

The good news is that four culprits typically cause garbage disposals to leak, and they’re all easy to identify.

Common reasons why your garbage disposal may be leaking include:

We’ll go into more detail on the causes below. In most cases, you may be able to do a quick DIY fix, but we still recommend hiring a professional plumber to avoid damaging the disposal.

Need a garbage disposal repair ASAP?

Call Climate Design at (727) 592-5040 or schedule an appointment online. We’ll send one of our licensed plumbers to perform an expert diagnostic and provide you with an upfront estimate on repair costs.

Reason #1: The disposal flange needs to be reset

Garbage disposal flange highlighted

Your garbage disposal connects to your sink via the “disposal flange.” If your garbage disposal is leaking, your flange may need to be reset.

What is the flange?

The garbage disposal flange is a ring, usually made from metal, that allows water to drain into your pipes. It’s typically connected to the sink with plumber’s putty, a type of water-resistant silicone. Over time, this putty can degrade, causing water to leak through cracks formed in the sealant.

When this happens, the flange needs to be removed from the garbage disposal and reset with fresh putty. However, depending on its age and condition, you may need to replace it.

Reason #2: The gasket seal is broken

Visible garbage disposal gasket seal

The garbage disposal gasket is the part that most people think of when they hear “garbage disposal” because it’s the black, flexible rubber piece that you can visibly see in your sink.

Once water and food particles pass through the gasket, they get pushed into the grinding chamber. A silicone sealant similar to the flange seals the gasket. So, if you’re experiencing a leak, you might have a broken gasket seal.

While it may look simple enough to reseal, a broken gasket is a critical component of the disposal that a professional plumber should handle for you. It is an expensive part to replace if it’s accidentally damaged because it connects to your dishwasher drain hose.

Reason #3: The grinding chamber is cracked

Garbage disposal grinding chamber

The grinding chamber is the large unit mounted beneath your sink, where food particles and wastewater collect before draining to the pipes.

Many garbage disposal chambers have historically been made of steel to prevent corrosion and rust, but now they’re frequently constructed from a thermoplastic polymer. The polymer is a high-grade, heat-resistant plastic. With time and, depending on what you've put in your garbage disposal, the plastic chamber can start developing cracks. When that happens, water can leak through the cracks.

Instead of just repairing the cracked grinding chamber, it's often more budget-friendly to replace the entire garbage disposal. With an in-person inspection, a professional plumber can assess the extent of the crack and recommend the best course of action.

Reason #4: The drain lines are loose

Garbage disposal drain lines

If you notice water leaking from the sides of your garbage disposal, you probably have loose drain lines.

Typically, garbage disposals have two drain lines—one connecting the disposal to the sewer line and another connecting to the dishwasher.

These drain lines can become loose, allowing water to leak. When this happens, you can use a screwdriver to tighten the metal clamp that connects them. Depending on the severity of the loose connections, you may need to have the drain lines replaced.

Need to schedule a garbage disposal repair? Contact Climate Design.

When you schedule with Climate Design, our expert plumbers will perform a thorough diagnostic. Just give us a call at (727) 592-5040 or schedule online, and we'll fix your garbage disposal accurately, quickly, and at a time that works for your schedule.

We’ve earned a reputation as Florida’s most dependable, go-to plumbing company. But don’t take our word for it— see what happy customers have to say in our many 5-star reviews!