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The PVC pipe connection from the garbage disposal is leaking. I have hand tightened the washer on the PVC and then did a 1/4 turn wrench tighten. Still leaking. It looks like the PVC has a little lip on the end and butts up to the disposal outlet instead of fitting inside the opening. What kind of connection should it have?

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The common disposal unit drain pipe connection looks like the following picture:

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There may be some variation in the design of the tail pipe assemblies from manufacturer to manufacturer but the ones for the above type connection generally follow the form shown here:

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These tail pipe pieces are generally supplied with the disposer. It is possible to purchase manufacturer specific tail pipes at appliance parts outlet stores and from online sites. It may also be possible to purchase a generic replacement at some hardware and big box home stores. If you purchase a new one make sure to include a new rubber gasket.

It has been my experience that a common cause of leaks at the disposer outlet is the corrosion of the body housing of the unit around the drain hole. In the cases I have dealt with it was time to replace the disposer unit with a new one. One thing to check is if the lower part of the disposer housing is wet or showing signs of rust and corrosion separate from the drain pipe attachment. If so this is often an indication of the sealed bearing inside the disposer starting to leak and is another reason for replacement. On disposers that I have replaced I have noticed leaks from both the bearing and the drain pipe area.

  • Excellent answer, I would add that the washer is a special one specifically for disposers. It has an internal slot to slide over the flange on the tailpiece, and a shoulder that mates with the disposer outlet. – Jimmy Fix-it Jan 1 '15 at 16:38
  • @JimmyFix-it - Indeed. The rubber gasket is designed to capture the end of the tail piece and then expand into the inside of the opening on the disposer housing as the bolt on metal bracket compresses the gasket into place. This type of connection allows for a very flexible joint that isolates vibration in the disposer from the rest of the drain pipes. Although it must be said that if there is a lot of disposer vibration whilst it is running it may very well due to a bad bearing brought on by a leaking bearing seal. Again time for a replacement. – Michael Karas Jan 1 '15 at 17:10

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