My Kenmore Garbage Disposer Is Leaking

A leaking Kenmore garbage disposer can be a downright disaster in the kitchen.


In addition to causing you stress and frustration, the leak can lead to expensive and time-consuming repairs. Whatever the horsepower of your Kenmore disposer, there are several strategies, tips and manufacturer instructions that can help you identify and fix the problem.

If a Kenmore garbage disposer is leaking at the point where the unit connects to your sink, this could be the result of loose mounting bolts, which secure the disposer’s flange. Another possibility, if the disposer is leaking from its bottom through the motor, is that you have a damaged flywheel seal. The flywheel spins the impellers that grind up food waste, and the flywheel seal prevents liquid from penetrating into the disposer’s motor.

Short-Term Solutions

When you first notice that your Kenmore garbage disposer is leaking, grab a large bowl or a bucket and place it under the spot of the leak to catch the liquid. If you notice that liquid is seeping from a particular joint or seam, you may want to wrap a towel around that joint or steam. However, such measures will only mitigate the impact of the leak and are by no means long-term solutions.

Long-Term Solutions

To repair a leak that is coming from the point where the disposer connects to the sink, you will first need to turn off power to the unit and remove the unit from its mounting flange. Next, tighten the mounting bolts. If the bolts are already tight, the leak could be the result of an opening in the plumber’s putty. To remedy the problem, loosen the bolts and insert fresh putty between the sink and the flange. If your Kenmore garbage disposer is leaking through the motor, you will need to disassemble the unit and replace the flywheel seal. However, if that's the case, it may be easier to take the disposer in for servicing.

Installation Leaks

When installing a Kenmore garbage disposer, you will need to rotate the unit so that its discharge tube is aligned with the sink’s drain tap. To prevent leaks from developing, never bend or pull the discharge tube into alignment. Instead, if the tube is too short, purchase an extension piece from a hardware store. If the tube is too long, use a hacksaw to cut the tube to size.


According to Kenmore, you should regularly inspect your garbage disposer and plumbing fittings for leaks. If left unchecked, leaks can lead to property damage, which the manufacturer cannot be held responsible for. Following the installation of a Kenmore garbage disposer, you should fill the kitchen sink with water, remove the stopper, turn on the disposer unit and check beneath the sink for leaks. Read all of the safety and operating instructions included in the user’s manual before operating your Kenmore garbage disposer.

About the Author

Erik Devaney is a writing professional specializing in health and science topics. His work has been featured on various websites. Devaney attended McGill University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in humanistic studies.