How To Fix A Leaking Commercial Garbage Disposal?

A leaking commercial garbage disposal can turn your kitchen into a stinky mess and reduce productivity. So, if you notice that there is a leakage from the garbage disposal, you must either hire commercial appliances repair services for an inspection or try a few things yourself.

Determining The Location Of The Commercial Garbage Disposal Leakage

Before fixing your leaky garbage disposal, you should determine where it’s leaking from because the leakage causes differ depending on the location of the leak. Moreover, some leaks are obvious while others are not quite noticeable. During checking or fixing the garbage disposal, make sure to never put your finger or hand into the disposal because it can cause injuries.

Begin your inspection from the top. Check the upper part of the unit connected to the flange. There may be water dripping down from there. Then, move your attention to the drain pipes. Look for loose connections as they are common. However, in some cases, the drain pipe is damaged or its seal is worn. Lastly, check the bottom of the garbage disposal.

Fixing A Leaking Commercial Garbage Disposal

Leakage From The Top

If the dripping is visible from the top part of the disposer, it’s either the gasket or the disposal flange. If you can’t determine which one is leaking, hire an expert or replace both.

Replacing The Rubber Gasket

There is a rubber seal on the garbage disposal that is mounted to the flange. It becomes loose with time or due to an impact. Another reason for this rubber gasket becoming ineffective is no use of the garbage disposal and the sink for some time. The seal dries up and when it’s used after some time, it can’t stop water from leaking.

Moreover, if you ever remove your commercial garbage disposal and place it back again, you will need to use a new rubber gasket. Using the same one will cause leakage and you will have to remove it again to replace the rubber seal.

You can easily replace the gasket if it’s leaking:

  1. The first step is to unplug the power cord of the garbage disposer because you will need to remove the unit to change the rubber gasket. Moreover, disconnect the drain hose as well. If your garbage disposal is connected to your dishwasher, then remove the dishwasher drain hose too.
  2. Unlock the garbage disposal from its position. Use a wrench on the mounting nuts on the sides and move it counterclockwise. If there is another person with you, tell them to hold the bottom of the disposer because it will drop down and can be damaged if no one is there to hold it. In case no one is near you, create a support for the disposer by placing things under it so when you unlock it, it doesn’t fall on the floor.
  3. Remove the round, black gasket on the garbage disposal. Use it as a sample to buy an exact one. Put the new rubber seal on the disposer. The correct position of it is flat and inside the lip of the unit.
  4. Ask a helper to put the disposal into its position under the sink and look at it from above the sink to ensure that the gasket is sitting flat. Then, do the locking procedure of the disposer.
  5. Reconnect the drain and power cords and check the garbage disposal. If it still leaks, consult a professional.

Sealing The Disposal Flange

A disposal flange is a drain or ring that connects the disposer with the sink making sure the water and fluids go from the sink to the disposer and nowhere else. It’s sealed with plumber’s putty. Moreover, it also has a mechanism for tightening. Both of these things ensure a sealed flange.

You can try your luck by just tightening the flange. If the issue was just a loose flange, tightening will do the trick. But if the seal is worn, you will need to reseal it:

  1. You will have to remove the commercial garbage disposal. So, disconnect all of its connections. Remove the power cord from the outlet and remove the drain hose.
  2. Use a wrench on the mounting nut to move the unit counterclockwise to disconnect it from the sink. Use your leg or ask another person to hold the disposer as it becomes free.
  3. Remove the flange by removing or loosening its bolts. Pop out the clip under the flange and then take out the flange from the top.
  4. Clean the area where the flange was so the new seal doesn’t leak.
  5. Take a decent amount of plumber’s putty and create a putty rope by rolling it on your palms. The putty rope should be dense enough to fill the gap where you’re going to put it.
  6. Wrap the putty rope on the flange’s rim. Put the flange in its place and tighten its screws. Plumber’s putty dries up quickly so you don’t need to wait. During this part, if the putty rope is short and is not enough to go around the whole rim, don’t make another small putty rope to fill the remaining part because this will cause leaks. Discard the existing putty rope and make a new, larger one.
  7. Use another person’s help to keep the disposer in its position under the sink and lock it into its place.
  8. Connect its drain hose and plug it into the outlet to test.

Leakage From The Side

A leakage from the side of the commercial garbage disposal means that the drain hose is the culprit. In many cases, drain hoses are merely loose and only need to be tightened. This effectively stops the leakage.

However, if the leak doesn’t stop, have an expert to look at it. They may replace the rubber seal of the drain hose or replace the entire drain hose if it’s damaged.

Moreover, some garbage disposals have a dishwasher drain line. Check that as well because it may be loose and cause leakage. Tighten its clamp.

Leakage From The Bottom

If you notice that the water is dripping directly from the bottom and it’s not coming from the top or the sides, then it’s a huge problem. This shows that the internal seal of your commercial garbage disposal is damaged. This repair is costly and it’s only suggested if your disposer is under warranty. If not, you’re better off replacing the entire unit instead of pursuing a repair.

This is because even if you do have it repaired, there is no guarantee of how long the seal will last. You may have to deal with the same issue quite soon. So, replace your commercial garbage disposal because once you have installed a new unit, you’ll be set for years.


A leakage from a commercial garbage disposal can be from three different places. So, you have to determine where it’s leaking from. If it’s from the top or the side, it can be fixed easily, but if the leakage is from the bottom, you will need to replace the unit. Call in a commercial garbage disposal repair Northern VA technician to inspect and fix your disposal. The inspection will also be helpful in identifying problems that might become a huge later.



Commercial Garbage Disposal Troubleshooting

A garbage disposal ensures your facility’s plumbing doesn’t clog every other day. It also helps you stay compliant with your local and federal food waste management laws. Therefore, if it breaks down, waste management can become a problem. You can summon a commercial appliances repair service to fix the garbage disposal. However, you can also train your staff to handle some of the problems themselves. Use this guide.

Fix A Commercial Garbage Disposal That Won’t Start

Power Cord And Outlet Issues

A common cause of disposers not working is no electrical supply. The unit is not receiving power to turn on. You should check the power cord and the outlet where the cord is plugged in. Make sure the power cord is plugged in firmly. If the unit doesn’t start, remove the power cord from the outlet and plug it into another one to see if there’s something wrong with the outlet.

In case the outlet is fine, inspect the power cord as well because it could be damaged. However, the cause of no power is commonly a loosely attached power cord or a faulty outlet.

Circuit Breaker

Once you have made sure the power cord and outlet are not causing the issue, it could be the circuit breaker. An electrical problem in an appliance usually means an emergency situation for its circuit breaker and it trips to prevent any electrical problems. So, check the circuit breaker. If it’s tripped (turned off), turn it on and try to start your commercial garbage disposal.

However, if your garbage disposer keeps tripping the circuit breaker, it may be due to another problem like a jammed shredding plate, worn out motor bearing, old unit, circuit breaker overload, or poor wiring.

The last two issues are electrical problems of the facility while others are related to the garbage disposal. Therefore, hire experts who can inspect both the electrical issues of your place and also check the appliance.

Tripped Internal Circuit Breaker Of The Unit

Commercial and household garbage disposals have their own circuit breaker as well that turns off the appliance when it’s jammed, there’s a power surge, or for any other reason to keep the appliance and its components safe.

Once this internal circuit breaker is tripped, the garbage disposer won’t start even when it’s receiving power. To turn on the unit again, you will need to press the reset button. The reset button is commonly placed at the bottom of garbage disposals.

However, if you suspect a problem that tripped the internal circuit breaker, then you should not push the reset button and consult an expert instead.

Jammed Disposer

A disposer is jammed when it won’t grind the food, but you will hear the humming sound of the machine. When this happens, the unit is usually turned off by the safety settings of the garbage disposal and the internal circuit breaker turns off the machine.

If the appliance is not turned off when it’s jammed, the motor of the garbage disposal will burn out. Keep in mind that the motor is one of the essential parts of a garbage disposal and the replacement of the motor will cost a small fortune.

Sometimes, the facility’s circuit breaker will be tripped due to a disposer jam so check out the breaker panel of the place as well if your garbage disposal won’t turn on.

The essential part of this practice is that you should not turn on the machine before fixing the jam. Else, the disposer will keep on tripping the reset button or circuit breaker. And if it doesn’t, the disposal’s motor will burn out.

Fix A Jammed Commercial Garbage Disposal

A jammed garbage disposal is caused by a food item or any other foreign object stuck between the shredder and the impeller. So, remove the object causing the jam and start using the garbage disposal again.

  1. Remove power to the disposer by turning off the circuit breaker.
  2. You will need to use an offset wrench for this. Insert it into the flywheel hole to reach the bottom of the disposer.
  3. When you reach the bottom, rotate the flywheel clockwise with the wrench. This will remove the stuck object from the flywheel.
  4. If the object is somewhere higher inside the unit, you can use pliers to remove the object.
  5. Once the object is removed, restore power to the unit and also push the reset button because the jam may have tripped the internal circuit breaker.
  6. Pour some water into the unit and turn the power button on and off to wash the unit. Repeat this quick on and off process one more time to ensure that the remnants of the obstruction are removed.

Fix A Leaking Commercial Garbage Disposal

A leak is also a common issue with commercial garbage disposers. You should perform the fix by checking the location of the leak.

Sink Flange Leak

Garbage disposal leaking from the sink flange is due to usage. This is not a major problem because it can be easily fixed by applying plumber’s putty between the sink flange and the sink. This will renew the seal and prevent leaks.

Dishwasher Connection Leak

If your garbage disposal and dishwasher are connected, there can be another type of leak at the dishwasher connection. This is the hose that flows wastewater from the dishwasher to the disposer.

To fix this leak, all you need to do is tighten the hose clamp of the dishwasher that is connected to the disposer. However, if the connection still leaks water after tightening, it means the hose has a leak. Replace the hose entirely to bid goodbye to leaks.

Drain Pipe Leak

The drain pipe is the pipe that carries wastewater from the disposer to the drain trap. When the gasket seal becomes old, it tends to leak water and create a mess.

Firstly, you should ensure that the bolts fastened to the drain pipe are tight. If not, tighten them. However, if tightening them doesn’t stop the leak, you should replace the gasket seal that is between the pipe and the disposer. While you’re at it, consider replacing the drain pipe as well if required.

Leaking Bottom Of The Disposal

A leak coming from the bottom of a commercial garbage disposal is an alarming sign. It hints that an internal seal of the unit is damaged. This usually means that you will need to replace the entire garbage disposal which can cost you a lot of money.

So, before making that decision, hire an expert to inspect your unit and make sure that nothing can’t be done to fix the issue without a replacement. However, if your disposer is old enough, a replacement is a better option because an older unit becomes high maintenance and you need to spend more money on it to keep it functional.

So, if your commercial garbage disposal is leaking and it’s 10 years old, you should bite the bullet and replace the entire unit.


A commercial garbage disposal can run into various problems. The most common ones are the unit not turning on and some parts of the appliance leaking. If you find yourself dealing with an issue that is difficult to fix, don’t try it yourself and get the services of authorized commercial garbage disposal repair Alexandria technicians.