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Question DetailsAsked on 2/10/2015

There's crack in my hose from my dishwasher to my garbage disposal. Why does it leak if I never use my dishwasher?

It's a clear accordian hose and it has a crack in it and leaks. We only run water down the garbage disposal and wanted to know why that hose leaks when it's suppose to be the drain for the dishwasher only?

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1 Answer


Garbage disposal manufacturers put a nice little connection "hose barb" or nipple on the side of disposals for the dishwasher drain line to connect to - convenient, and eliminates a direct connection to the drain pipes so looks neater. But - commonly the ground up food and slime in the disposal backs up into that line because the barb fits inside the line - bad for a drain line, blocking it. Also, unless the dishwasher line runs horizontally out of the disposal and then immediately upwards so water from the disposal cannot go into and lie in the dishwasher line, debris and water from the disposal can sit in that drain line and plug it up with infrequent dishwasher use.

If you do not use the dishwasher at all you could just disconnect the dishwasher drain line from the disposal and put a cap on the barb at the disposal - a few types are threaded, but generally it will require a piece of flexible hose, then a stub nipple with a threaded on (with pipe dope or teflon tape) cap - or glued cap if using PVC. Some plumbing places have male plugs for hose that can be clamped straight into the hose without using a separatenipple and cap. The flexible hose (I use a piece of correct sized rubber hose) has to be clamped to the disposal hose barb and to the nipple with hose clamps - spring type may work, but I prefer the stainless steel screw type. And of course be sure to put a BIG, bright colored piece of paper inside the dishwasher saying the discharge line is disconnected - do not use. Safer to unplug it too, and turn off the water valve to it. Unfortunately, if you do not use it peariodically (every week or two at least) it may go stagnant and start stinking, and can also start corroding out and motor seals can go dry so if it is used in the future (or tested for house sale) it may then leak - sometimes profusely.

If your crack in the hose is a ways from the disposal, you may be able to just tie the hose upwards in the space under the sink so the cracked point is above at least the bottom of the sink - but in case of trap blockage, would actually have to be above the highest possible water level in the sink to assure no possibility of leakage. Whether or not feasible to do that, I would tightly tape the crack as a preventative measure in case you do get a drain pipe backup with full sink, as the water in the hose will rise to the water level in the sink if the drain pipes (like the trap) get blocked. I would use a high quality (3M) electrical tape, preferably the mastic type, pulled tight down into the grooves in the hose as you wrap it, then overlaid with 2 duct tape layers. May not hold under pressure (dishwasher use) but will certainly greatly limit if not totally stop leaking if water just backs up in there.

If you want this fixed correctly so dishwasher can be used you have two solutions - replace drain hose (about $10-15 for parts but commonly means pulling dishwasher out to get to that connection, though may just need a short run under the sink from the air vent, if you have one. Some of the accordion hoses have special heavier duty end fittings so you cannot just cut the hose and shorten it - some you can just cut the hose to length (if crack location allows that) and stick the removable (typically gray) soft rubbery adapter fitting into the hose and onto the air vent or disposal barb.

Professional fix - almost certainly minimum service call charge by a Plumber of typically about $75-150 labor except in a few very high labor cost big city areas, plus $10-20 typically for new hose.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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