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How to Protect My Garbage Disposal and Prevent Leaks

A garbage disposal just like any other equipment is subject to damages. This may happen because something hit it hard or due to non-replacement as it gets older.

Sometimes these leakages may still occur even though the disposal is not old and this can be due to several factors. When you allow things like glass, bones and other hard materials to go through your garbage disposal, don’t expect it to last you long.

avoid-a-garbage-disposal-leakWhen proper care is not taken with it, it is not checked frequently and not maintained well; you may one day be subjected to cleaning water from your damaged disposal.

When your garbage disposal leaks, there are times you can repair it yourself and sometimes a professional may need to assist you or in the worst case, you will have to replace it.

If you notice your disposal is leaking, here are some of the steps you can follow to address it yourself.

• To prevent an electric shock, the first thing you need to do is unplug your garbage disposal or switch off the plug.

• Many people use the under the sink cabinet space where the disposal is attached as a storage area. If you are one of them, then you have to free the space of everything.

• You can then place an empty pan or bucket under the disposal.

• When that is done, plug in your disposal again.

• Fill your sink with water and then release it as you switch the garbage disposal on. As the water is flowing, you can then detect from looking at the disposal where the leak is coming from.

• If the leak is not from the disposal itself, then you may need to check other outlets and the inlets.

Depending on where the leak is detected will determine whether you can do it yourself or consult a professional. It is very difficult to do it yourself when there is a crack on the disposal, the connection is broken or the hose is affected.

1. Precautions to Take

Though there are steps you can employ to fix your disposal when there are leakages, it is better to take precaution. It has been said that prevention is better than cure. Here are some steps you can take as precautionary measures.

• Prevent hard things from entering the garbage disposal. When hard things are let to pass from the sink to the disposal, as time passes, the shredder will become weak and ineffective.

Food particles like bones, egg shells, shrimp and vegetable fibers must not be put through the garbage disposal. This can cause blockage and prevent smooth running of water through it. It is better to put these food particles in a trash bin rather.

• Avoid starchy materials in the disposal, starchy foods passing through the disposal can also cause blockages, especially when in bulk. So foods like potato, banana peels, and other starchy foods should not be allowed through the garbage disposal.

• Cut large items into smaller parts: Before you allow food particles to pass through the disposal, make sure you cut them into small pieces. This will enable smooth shredding of it and prevent any blockage.

• Run cold water through it: You have to run cold water frequently through the disposal while it is on. This helps cool the motor, shredder, and bearing and prevents overheating. It is a bad idea to use warm water when doing this because the warm water melts and solidifies the particles again which can cause a blockage.

• Ensure regular cleaning: The garbage disposal gets dirty as food materials pass through. This can also cause the disposal to emanate bad odor. To prevent this, you should ensure routine cleaning of the disposal and even deodorize it when needed. Also, you can sharpen the blades by applying some ice to it.

2. Check the Connections

garbage-disposal_360After taking precautions in maintaining the disposal, there is the need to always check on the connection.

Your attention must also be on both inlet and outlet connections. Here are some of the connections you should inspect frequently.

Sink Flange: This is the topmost portion of your disposal. At this point, the disposal is connected to the sink drain. Since this point is a joint (meeting place) it can leak whenever it is loose at any point.

So when you notice there is a leak from that part, all you need to do is tighten the bolts there or you can add more plumber putty when you notice it has weakened or is not enough.

Dishwasher Connection: your disposal may also be connected to the dishwasher drain pipe. If this is the case, you can check the connecting hose when there is a leakage. Remember there can be a leak from where the dishwasher connects to the disposal.

Discharge Pipe: The discharge pipe is located at the bottom of the disposal and connected to the drain of the sink. This connection can loosen and cause leaks. So whenever you detect a leak, you can check the discharge pipe as regular use can weaken the connection.

3. Inspect for possible cracks

garbage-disposal-connectionsJust as any other equipment, the garbage disposal can grow weak and have cracks on it when it gets old. The cracks can be from the interior shell or inner shell. When this happens, the disposal will begin to leak.

The disposal, however, will have to be replaced when the crack is within the inner shell. So when you experience a leak from the disposal, it is probably the first thing you have to check.

4. Knocked Loose

The garbage disposal can get loose when it has been knocked hard by an object. Many people use the area where the disposal is fixed as storage and this can cause it being knocked from time to time. You will have to straighten it and fix the affected area when this happens.
Remember that the garbage disposal is not a grinder that every item should be allowed to pass through. There are basic precautions you can follow to extend the lifespan of your disposal.

Also, it is not always that you can fix problems by yourself as the problem can even aggravate when you attempt to do it. When your leakages are out of the ordinary, just call in a professional to help you fix them.

There are several experienced plumbers at All Purpose Plumbing you can reach out to by dialing (253) 473-5100 when you face a leak in Tacoma, WA.