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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Clean the area where the flange was so the new seal doesn’t leak.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use another person’s help to keep the disposer in its position under the sink and lock it into its place.
- 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.