Five Tips to Keep Your Garbage Disposal in Top Shape!
It’s a classic case we’ve all experienced as homeowners: You’re working in your kitchen – preparing dinner or baking for a special occasion. You love your kitchen, and you love this activity. You turn on your garbage disposal to grind the orange peels you didn’t need for that summer salad or the leftover yogurt you used for your tzatziki sauce. But then you notice it.
Something’s not quite right. Your garbage disposal is spewing water every time you turn it on. Or, below the sink, you notice a slow, methodical drip into your cabinets. What to do? This is not sustainable for any kitchen-goer, as a leaking garbage disposal can cause major related issues in your home.
Water left standing below or in a sink can create odors and perpetuate the growth of mold. So before the problem gets out of hand, fix it as soon as you can with these five handy tips that the plumbing pros use every day. We’re confident you can do it right now!
Tip #1 Locate the Source of the Leak
If you’re going to quickly and efficiently diagnose and fix your leaky garbage disposal, then you’ve got to go to the source of the leak. To find it, conduct this experiment:
Make sure you unplug your disposal and remove everything from beneath the sink so that nothing important gets wet. Plug your sink and fill it with water. Drop a few droplets of food coloring in the water. Now wait for the water to appear.
Tip #2: Fix the Sink Flange
If after this experiment, you notice water dropping below the sink, then your culprit is the sink flange. Over time, flanges can form gaps or tear, creating the perfect space for water to escape. This is a super easy fix, as all you need is a little plumber’s putty to reseal the flange. If the flange is in bad shape, it’s also fairly easy to replace it completely.
Tip #3: Inspect and Tighten Your Drain Lines
If you always wondered how the food and water that goes down your garbage disposal makes it way out of your house, then you’re about to learn! Your garbage disposal has two points of connection called drain lines. If you have a dishwasher, there is a small pipe that goes from your disposal to the dishwasher to drain the water in the dishwasher.
There also is a larger pipe that moves the water and food from the disposal to your sewer system. The sewer line often is connected using a rubber gasket and screws. The dishwasher line often is connected with screws. Sometimes stopping the leak is as simple as tightening these two drain connections.
Tip #4: Examine the Entire System for Parts That Visibly Need to Be Replaced
If you live in a home that has appliances that are getting close to 10 years old, then you can expect some parts to begin failing. It’s very common for a garbage disposal to last between five and 10 years, but over time things do go wrong with parts of finicky appliances.
That’s why it’s a great idea to examine your entire system — from the garbage disposal to the pipes to the drain lines to the connections — to see if there are any parts that visibly need to be replaced. Is that rubber gasket on the drain line splitting or cracking? Are there any cracks or punctures in the pipes? Is the sealant on the flange wearing away or gaping?
Sometimes you will need to replace the entire disposal or the drain lines. Sometimes you just need to replace a part. But by doing a thorough inspection, you will be able to do maintenance before a potential issue becomes a real problem.
Tip #5: Did My Disposal Take a Hard Hit?
Have you done major plumbing work on your garbage disposal ahead of discovering the leak? If you have, then it is likely that your garbage disposal took a hard fit – much like in football – and all of that clanging your plumber did loosened the garbage disposal.
Knowing the history of your garbage disposal can help save you time, money and a headache. A good plumber will be there for you and will want to correct any problem that he or she initiated or made worse through repair work.
If you have a good one, he or she will come back — but you have to be willing to ask the plumber to return to your home and to fix the issue caused by a hard hit to your system. At the end of the day, all you can do is ask!
Now is the time to act if you’ve got a leaking garbage disposal. It may seem like a big job — and sometimes it is — but don’t be overwhelmed. Once you tackle this leaky garbage disposal, you won’t be intimidated ever again!
We’re equipping you with the expert advice you need to know to turn things around in your kitchen and make it a stress-free zone for weeks, months, and years to come!
Hold onto this guide of plumbing pro tips – five quick things you can do today – to fix your disposal issues. Water is a true beast, and when it begins wreaking havoc on your home, you have to intervene quickly. With our guide, you’re empowered to take on that leaking garbage disposal with a vengeance – and to show it who’s boss in your kitchen.
Need help? The pros at Arrow Plumbing are here to help all residents of Little Rock, AR. Call us today at (501) 588-3200.