Garbage Disposal Humming But Not Working? (We Have A Fix)

Garbage Disposal Humming But Not Working

Garbage disposals are a piece of machinery that has gained popularity in the last 15 years. No need to throw away food and stink up your kitchen when you can chop it up, run some water and rinse it away. However, with machinery comes malfunctions. If you start hearing a hum from the garbage disposal, that is a sign that it needs to be fixed right away.

If you hear humming from your garbage disposal unit, this usually implies something stuck or that the unit may need to be replaced. If the garbage disposal is not working, then all the waste you are feeding into it won’t move through, which is why it needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

This article will cover several of the common reasons your garbage disposal develops a humming noise. Additionally, we will give you some tips on fixing it, so you can start using your garbage disposal again.

What Does It Mean If My Garbage Disposal Is Humming?

When your garbage disposal is humming, it usually means that the motor is working, but the blades are not turning. If this happens, turn it off immediately as it can burn the motor out. The hum is an indicator that something is wrong, and you will need to inspect the unit so you can fix it before the problem becomes more serious.

How To Fix A Garbage Disposal That Hums

Several different things can cause humming, including:

  • An overheated garbage disposal
  • Something jammed that is blocking the blades
  • Your disposal is worn out
  • The disposal needs a reset
  • Your system is clogged

Overheated Disposal

The truth is, while garbage disposals are powerful, they’re not exempt from issues and or damage. Therefore, if you’ve been forcing items constantly into your garbage disposal, you may have overheated it. However, the fix is easy.

  1. Give your disposal a rest. Let the disposal sit for about 5 to 10 minutes so that it can cool down before you try it again.
  2. Press the red reset button. At the bottom of the appliance, there should be a red reset button. If it still doesn’t work after waiting a few minutes, then press it.
  3. Run your water. After you’ve reset the garbage disposal, run your water for about 10 seconds, and then turn the disposal on to finish chopping the waste. Always run your water when you are using your garbage disposal.

Caught In A Jam

The most common cause for a humming noise is usually an object that is caught in the grinder. This is also a quick and easy fix. However, you need to be careful because the blades are sharp.

  1. Inspect the issue. Grab a flashlight and check the unit. Keep your fingers out of garbage disposal. Grab a fork or a butter knife to probe around.
  2. Shut the power off to the appliance. Upon finding something, you will need to shut off the power to the disposal. You can do this by unplugging it from the wall. This will help reduce any risk of accidents and save you a trip to the hospital.
  3. Take the garbage disposal apart. If you can’t pull the culprit from the top, you’ll have to pull it from the bottom. Use a hex key wrench to remove the unit. Separate it and remove any foreign objects in there. If there are no foreign objects, inspect the blades for rust. If you find rust, you will need to replace the unit.
  4. Put it back together. Put the disposal back together and use the hex key wrench to screw everything back into the same place. The places will differ with different models.
  5. Plug the unit in. Turn the water on and try the disposal. It should work fine now. If it still does not work, reset it and try again.

Your Disposal Is Old And Worn Out

If you hear a humming sound, but there is no jam, yet the blades aren’t turning, then most likely, your unit is old and needs to be replaced. It’s not worth it to repair as the repair costs. It’s better to get a new one and install it yourself instead.

Your Unit Needs A Reset

Sometimes you will notice that your garbage disposal is humming, but the flywheel is not stuck. In this case, your device may require a hard reset. The only thing you need to do is look for the reset button on the bottom of the disposal and press it.

Also, it’s a good idea to check for any wear and tear on the switch. If you find any, you will need to replace your appliance, as this is another sign of old and worn-out equipment.

Your Disposal May Be Clogged

Sometimes if you’re shredding lettuce or another leafy vegetable, it can clog up because the leaves cling to the gadget. The clog will need to be removed using the following steps:

  1.  Unplug the disposal. After you unplug the unit, it’s safe to stick something down the drain. In this case, you can run some water while you use a spoon to stir the blades around a little bit. Try to scrape along the middle to see if any leaves or noodles come up.
  2. Take the disposal apart. If you cannot get to the clog through the top, again, you will need to go through the bottom. Take your wrench and open the disposal. Clean the clog out.
  3. Put it all back together. Replace the disposal, and plug it back in. Let the water run for a minute and turn the disposal on. If it doesn’t turn back on, you may need to press the reset button.

How To Install A New Garbage Disposal

Step 1: Read The Instructions For Your Particular Model

The very first thing you’ll need to do is become familiar with your particular model. Each model is different; therefore, the installation instructions for your device may vary slightly from ours. Use our instructions as an essential guide in addition to yours.

Step 2: Wire Your Disposal

First, you need to disconnect the power at the circuit breaker to avoid any electrical shocks. You will then need to remove the plate cover on the disposal’s underside and plug the power cord in.

Most disposals have the same colored wires. Connect black to black and white to white. The green wire is the ground wire, which will connect to the ground screw.

Step 3: Insert Your Drain Flange

Most disposal replacements will require a new drain flange. Take a rope of plumbers putty that’s about 3/8″ round and apply it to the flange’s bottom. Put the flange in the drain hole at the top and press down firmly and evenly. You will now need to attach the backup ring, as well as the rubber gasket and mounting rink to the flange under the sink.

Step 4: Install The Mounting Ring And Attach The Disposal

You will need to line up the rubber gasket between the flange and the mounting ring. Tighten the mounting screws evenly to create an airtight seal.

Connect your disposal to the mounting ring. The disposal outlet should face the drainpipe connection. You will need to turn the lower ring clockwise until the mounting ring is supporting the disposal. From there, you will need to insert a disposal wrench into the mounting bracket and turn clockwise until the disposal is in place.

Step 5: Connect The Outlet And The P-Trap

Look in your manual for exact directions on cutting the tube, which will differ with each model. Once your tube is cut per manual instructions, you can then connect the outlet and the P-trap. Tighten all your fasteners and run the water. Look under the sink for leaks. If you don’t discover any leaks, your disposal is ready to go!

Related Questions

How expensive is it to replace a garbage disposal?

On average, people will pay between $80 and $300 depending on the horsepower and type of garbage disposal. However, this price typically includes labor fees, so if you install it yourself, you can save quite a bit of money.

What is the average lifespan of a garbage disposal?

Most disposals last about ten years. However, some can last upwards of 20 years with reasonable care and maintenance, although this is not typical.

Can I remove a garbage disposal myself?

Yes! You can remove a garbage disposal yourself. However, you need to be careful to turn the power off at the circuit breaker. You also need to be cautious of the blades as they are sharp.

Wrapping It Up

While the cause of a humming garbage disposal is usually nothing to worry about, you need to take the time to fix whatever is wrong immediately. If you don’t fix it right away, this can cause more damage to your disposal, resulting in the cost to replace it.

On the other hand, sometimes humming is an indicator that you need to replace your appliance. However, with our DIY guide, you will have a brand-new disposal that you can use in no time!

Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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