Garbage Disposal Leaking From Bottom—What To Do?

The garbage disposal is an easily forgotten small appliance installed beneath the kitchen sink. Perhaps you have one, and you are wondering why it is leaking from the bottom of the appliance? Also, is it advisable to run the dishwasher when the garbage disposal is leaking?  We've researched these questions and have found well-researched results to share with you!

There are a couple of reasons why the bottom of the garbage disposal is leaking beneath your kitchen sink. Generally, the leakages are caused by a failed seal, or the unit's shell has cracked. 

Are you interested in learning more about garbage disposals and how they work? Perhaps you are wondering how much it costs to repair a  garbage disposal or how to tell if it is worth repairing? Or how many years does a garbage disposal last on average? Please continue to read this post; we have informative research results to share with you!

Photo of a modern garbage disposal photographed under the sink, Garbage Disposal Leaking From Bottom—What To Do?

Why is the bottom of my garbage disposal leaking?

The bottom of a garbage disposal will leak from internal cracks, failed seals, or when the unit's shell has cracked. Suppose the garbage disposals outer shell is damaged. You will have to purchase a new garbage disposal because you cannot repair the cracked exterior.

Also, if water is dripping from the reset button. This is dangerous because the internal electrical wiring is exposed to water which will ruin the wiring and create hazards when plugged into a wall outlet.

Anytime a garbage disposal is leaking water from the reset button, you will need to replace the unit or contact a professional to install your new garbage disposal. Word of caution—never attempt to plug in or use a garbage disposal that is leaking from the reset button. Doing so could result in personal or property damages.

A modern garbage disposal under the sink leaking water

Can you run the dishwasher if the garbage disposal is leaking?

Yes, the dishwasher will turn on and run without issue. However, depending on the reason for the leakage, the wastewater exiting the dishwasher could drip out of the garbage disposals' leak and pool under the kitchen sink. If the leak goes undetected, the dripping water will rot the wooden cabinetry and create the ideal environment for bacteria, mildew, and mold growth.

For the best results, find the cause of the leakage and repair it before running the dishwasher to prevent potential mold growth and property damages.

Suppose your kitchen has a quality dishwasher. You might wonder whether it has a built-in garbage disposal? Read Do Dishwashers Have Garbage Disposals?

How much does it cost to fix a leaking garbage disposal?

According to HomeGuide, the average cost for a basic garbage disposal repair includes removing the appliance, resetting, and resealing the garbage disposal ranges between $51 to $137. Generally, these estimates do not include a basic call-out or travel charge fee. Please note that depending on where you are located and the repair service you contact, the final repair costs could vary greatly.

Suggestions to try before contacting a plumber

Disclaimer! Before attempting any of the following suggestions. Make sure the garbage disposal is turned off, and you turn off the circuit breaker to the garbage disposal to avoid accidental injuries or property damages!

Before you call a repair service, look into the garbage disposal with a flashlight to see if there are any visible clogs. Often the blades are jammed with a clog that could be removed with a small pliers or plunged loose.

The vinegar solution method

Try cleaning the drain with a baking soda and vinegar solution. Simply pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain and one cup vinegar. Allow the solution to sit for about 3o minutes.

Next, rinse the drain with hot water for about three to five minutes to flush any dislodged debris out of the drain and garbage disposal. Also, using this solution is excellent for maintenance purposes and is more cost-effective than most garbage disposal-safe drain cleaners on the market.

The plunger method

Suppose a clog is an issue—place the plunger over the sink drain where the garbage disposal is located and make sure it suctions to the drain. If it does not suction, you will not be able to plunge the drain.

Once the plunger is well suctioned, forcefully plunge the plunger up and down for a few minutes. Depending on the clog, you could plunge the drain with intervals of six to eight plunges and then recheck the drain.

You will hear the water moving in the pipes during this time, and the plunger's suction will increase. After a few minutes of plunging, the clog should release, and the water will drain out of the sink. Once the water starts to drain, turn the hot water on and let it run for three to five minutes to flush the garbage disposal and kitchen pipes.

Never use a plunger that was used in a toilet in the kitchen sink. It will transfer harmful fecal bacterias to your kitchen which are dangerously harmful to human health and food safety, and should never be present in a kitchen.

A worker checking the garbage disposal under the sink

Is it worth fixing the leaking garbage disposal?

Deciding if fixing the garbage disposal is worth the expense depends on what is wrong with the appliance.  For example, the garbage disposal is only a few years old and has a significant clog jammed within the blades. Fixing the appliance is worth it because the garbage disposal will last several years if repaired and maintained correctly.

Moreover, if your garbage disposal is a decade old and the reset button is sticking, and you have noticed it is slow to grind up foods. Then, one day it didn't turn on and flooded the kitchen sink with nasty, murky water. It is safe to say, purchasing new a garbage disposal is in your best interest.

Often many homeowners opt to purchase a new garbage disposal. Rather, than pay for a repair tech to assess the appliance and possibly generate a hefty bill. Especially since many retailers offer several affordable garbage disposals that will accommodate any budget ranging from $50 to $600 depending on the brand and model.

Has your garbage disposal been working less than optimally? Are you wondering if the spoon that fell into the garbage disposal last week has affected its functionality? Click to read Can A Spoon Break A Garbage Disposal?

How many years does a garbage disposal last?

The average garbage disposal lasts an estimated 12 years with proper usage and regular maintenance. Also, other factors will contribute to how long the appliance will last. Such as how often it is used, the quality of the water, and if the homeowner only uses garbage disposal-safe drain cleaners.

Moreover, if a garbage disposal is misused and receives little to zero maintenance, it could break within the first year. The only way to get your money's worth out of your investment is to follow the owner's manual and always provide the appliance with regular maintenance.

Click here to view the Arm and Hammer garbage disposal cleaner on Amazon. 

The Arm and Hammer drain cleaner is an excellent non-toxic product that will clean, freshen, and deodorize your garbage disposal in minutes. Also, a great product for taking excellent care of your garbage disposal!

In closing

A modern garbage disposal under the sink leaking water

Garbage disposals are small but mighty appliances that will significantly reduce your trash output and help lessen the burden on your local landfill. Which is excellent news for Mother Earth, less food waste going into landfills! We hope that this article has helped you learn valuable information about garbage disposals. Please visit soon for additional educational content and culinary inspirations!

Learning about small appliances is exciting and will help you become a better-educated consumer. Before you go, please, be sure to check out some of our other posts to find helpful suggestions for everyday household issues.

How High Should Kitchen Counter Outlets And Light Switches Be?

Does A Trash Compactor Need A Dedicated Circuit?

How To Keep Your Kitchen Trash Can From Sliding On The Floor


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