A disposal leak may start as a minor annoyance but if left uncorrected it can lead to a huge mess. That’s why if you have a leak it is vital that you find the cause and repair or replace it immediately. We’ve put together some basic information to help you with the first steps in diagnosing the problem–and advice on how to proceed from there.
If possible, remove all items stored under the sink. This will give you the best possible view of the disposal and plumbing piping. Use a powerful flashlight and find the area where the leak originates. Inspect all piping and connections, as it may not be the disposal itself causing the problem.
Check the connection points to see if tightening may correct the leak. If you find that the leak is coming from the disposal itself, chances are good that it will not be repairable and should instead be replaced.
Can I DIY Disposal Replacement?
If you have a moderate knowledge of tools and electricity, it is possible to replace a disposal on your own. You’ll need a voltage checker to make certain electricity has been shut off from the disposal and you will need a variety of other household tools.
Pros of DIY Disposal Replacement
- The job fairly quick to complete–on average it requires about one hour to replace with basic mechanical knowledge.
- It’s less expensive. You may be able to perform the job for about 1/3 the cost of hiring a professional.
Cons of DIY Disposal Replacement:
- Installing a disposal yourself will save you money but it requires you to spend time (a non-renewable resource). You’ll spend time diagnosing the problem, going to the home improvement store, shopping & buying, and then still have to go back home and install the disposal. You are looking at around a 3-hour task, at the minimum.
- This task requires you to be comfortable laying on your back with your head and shoulders crammed under the sink performing an unfamiliar task with poor lighting.
- You need to be comfortable with tools and electricity. If you are not, do not perform this job.