How to Fix a Garbage Disposal that Hums

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Humming garbage disposal is not only annoying but can also be a sign of something wrong with the unit. This comprehensive guide will guide you on how to fix a garbage disposal that hums.

Whether you are a DIY homeowner or need to know what to do if your garbage disposal starts humming, keep reading for our expert advice!

Reasons for Garbage Disposal Humming

If your garbage disposal is humming, it’s probably because something is jammed in the drain, preventing the blades from rotating. If you turn on the disposal while this object is still blocking the edges, you risk burning out the motor. And if that happens, you’re looking at replacing rather than repairing your unit.

Several things have the potential to cause a humming sound by jamming your unit’s blades. For example, food collected in the unit may clog it up, or kitchen debris like bones that shouldn’t be in garbage disposals. In addition, foreign objects like kitchen utensils are common culprits of jammed garbage disposal hums.

How to Fix a Garbage Disposal that Hums?

Garbage Disposal Machine
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1. Jammed Items

Grab a flashlight and look down the garbage disposal to see if anything is caught. Keep your fingers out of the way!

If you realize that one of your gear is frozen, follow these steps:

  • Disconnect the garbage disposal from the power source. You may need to turn it off using the circuit breaker.
  • Use an Allen key to pry out whatever clogs the hole by gently twisting it in and out of the opening beneath the unit.
  • If your garbage disposal is still humming after you turn it on, don’t worry! You will be able to resolve the problem in no time by following these simple steps.
  • If your garbage disposal is jammed, insert a long-handled item like a broomstick in the entrance to unclog it. You could also use a garbage disposal cleaner.
  • Remove the item after you’ve cleared the jam. Use needle nose pliers to remove it.
  • Disconnect the power and run cold water into the sink.
  • Turn on the garbage disposal and make sure it’s working.
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2. Clogged Grinder

The grinder can quickly become clogged if you overfill your device or don’t have a high-powered one. To fix this, follow these steps:

  • Remove the appliance from the outlet and turn off the electricity at the main panel.
  • To unclog your garbage disposal, insert an Allen key into the hole at the bottom of the unit and move it back and forth until the clog loosens.
  • If you detect a block, continue to push the Allen key through it until it is entirely free.
  • If the clog is near the sink’s top, use a long rod to break it free.
  • Remove things from the garbage disposal with a pair of pliers, pulling them out of the sink top.
  • Connect the garbage disposal to a power supply.
  • Turn the garbage disposal back on. Fill a sink with ice water and set it aside.

3. Overheating

Garbage disposals overheat when they’re used or full. The easiest way to avoid this is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for what type of food to put in and how much.

  • Turn off the garbage disposal and allow the machine to cool down.
  • A few minutes later, turn your device back on. If everything appears normal, you can start using it again but be cautious.
  • If it doesn’t function or is still humming, shut off the appliance and press the reset button, which is generally located at the bottom.
  • Turn it back on. If it doesn’t come back on, check the circuit breaker to see if the trip has been switched. If it has, moves it to the neutral position and then to “on.”
  • Turn off the machine and run some cold water through it.
  • Turn on the garbage disposal.

If your appliances aren’t working or if they’re making weird noises, contact an electrician.

General Garbage Disposal Care Tips

Following these tips can fix your current issue and hopefully prevent future problems.

  • Put small chicken bones or other hard items through it from time to time. The particles of hard material will scour the walls of the grinding chamber and remove build-up when the disposal pulverizes these things. Maintaining a clean garbage disposer is important.
  • When running the garbage disposal, pour hot water down the drain. The performance of disposals is typically best when they are used with cold water. The cold water also aids in the transformation of grease and fat to a solid form, making them easier to flush through the system.
  • You should clean your garbage disposal monthly by putting ice cubes in it. Then run cold water and turn on the disposal. Using this method will assist in removing grease and other debris from the garbage disposal walls.
  • Don’t overfill the garbage disposal. Trying to force too much food through at once will cause it to jam. Instead, fill it loosely.
  • Immediately turn on the garbage disposal after you put food in it. If you don’t and let the food sit, corrosion will occur over time.
  • You should keep non-food items away from the garbage disposal. The most common way to harm garbage disposal is to drop silverware, jewelry, or other things into it by mistake.

The Bottom Line

Humming is one of the most common issues people have with their disposals. Luckily, it’s usually an easy fix. If your garbage disposal is humming, there are a few things you can do to try and fix it. Follow the above-mentioned steps to troubleshoot and hopefully it will repair your garbage disposal.


Why is my garbage disposal humming but not spinning?

Jammed blades are often to blame when your garbage disposal is humming but not working properly. To determine whether your disposal is jammed, follow these steps: Turn off power to the disposal by flipping the switch to the OFF position and unplugging the appliance.

How do you know if your garbage disposal motor is burnt out?

The motor or motor capacitor may be burnt out if your garbage disposal has a burning odor or is smoking. A jammed device may indicate that food waste has blocked the grinding chamber and caused the motor to overheat.

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