I was doing my dishes last week when I dumped the dishpan in the sink with the garbage disposal and turned it on. I heard the disposal made a funny noise and I heard water splashing underneath the sink, and sure enough, I had a puddle of water and water still dripping from the pipes. I quickly pushed a bucket beneath the still dripping water and began fretting about the cost of hiring a plumber.
I tested the garbage disposal a few times after that, just running the water and turning it in, and the disposal worked fine – and no water leaked. That peaked my curiosity. Why would dumping a lot of water cause a flood of water, but a regular faucet was fine? I dug out my disposal manual, found the Allen wrench and turned the mechanism a few times like the booklet said. Another test and the disposal sounded normal again, but then I heard the dreaded water dripping (this time into the still-placed bucket).
I got a flashlight and tried to see where the water was actually coming from. I poked around a bit and discovered the pipe that was supposed to connect to the pipe coming out of the disposal was no longer connected. I didn’t have a leak, I had loose connection between the pipes! So, I pushed the two together and twisted the tightening thingy until it wouldn’t turn anymore and tested the sink again. The disposal ran fine and no water leaked. Yah! I had fixed it!
Proud of myself, I finished up the dishes and dumped the used water down the drain with the disposal running – and heard the water splashing again. The puddle was back and I discovered the pipes weren’t connected anymore. I took the disposal manual with me to the hardware store and showed the very nice gentlemen helping me exactly where the pipes weren’t connecting and asked if the thread was worn out on the pipe. He showed me various pipes and we talked about what the problem might be. He sold me a new twisty-thing to tighten the pipes together. Since the plastic pipes didn’t actually have threads on them, he suspected the seal was broken or just plain worn out, and sold me another one.
I nervously removed the old twisty-thing. I put the seal over the pipe, added the twisty-thing to the other pipe, and turned it as much as it would go. Then I pulled on the pipes, testing the bond. It seemed pretty solid to me, and further washing and disposaling have been successful.
With a little investigation, a bit of deduction, some help from a knowledgeable source, and less than $3, I fixed my sink problem. What if I’d called the plumber, only to discover it was a part that cost less than $5, but had to pay him well over $60 to tell me that? I would have felt foolish and berated myself about not checking first. So, always do a bit of investigation first; you may find out that you can save money by doing it yourself.