Humming Garbage Disposal Not working: Troubleshooting

In every household, effective garbage disposal is of paramount importance. Nothing comes in handy than having a working garbage disposal unit in your kitchen. Like any other appliance, there are times when you will find that your unit is not working as efficiently as it should. One of the most encountered issues with garbage disposal units is the humming sound. When your garbage disposal is humming, it means that it is getting power, but the blades are unable to spin. So you have flipped the switch on your garbage disposal, but it only hums but not grind? Before we learn how to fix this problem, we first need to learn what caused it. That way, we might be able to prevent future happenings of the same.

Reasons of Garbage Disposal Making Humming Sound

garbage disposal humming and leaking

1. Stuck Foreign Object

It is the most probable cause. The object may be something which was not supposed to be in the disposal, to begin with; maybe a child’s toy. It is easy to fix because all you will need to do is to use a flashlight and check if you can see the stuck object. Make sure you unplug the disposal from power source first. Be careful not to use your fingers because the blades are sharp. You can reach out with a pair of tongs.

2. The circuit breaker tripped

This usually happens when you were running other kitchen appliances at the same time as your garbage disposal. The circuit breaker may have tripped due to the electrical overload. Look for the main power panel; there is a switch labeled kitchen. The switch has three settings, “On,” “Off,” and a neutral position. Set it to the neutral middle position and then back “On.”

3. The garbage disposal unit overheated

Your garbage disposal may overheat due to either overuse, if the motor has jammed or if you have forced things down the drain. Switch the disposal unit off, wait for a few minutes, then switch it back on. If that fails, look for the cabinet below the sink and locate the red “RESET” button and press it. This should get your disposal started.

4. The garbage disposal is jammed

It is possible for a disposal unit to clog considering all kind of stuff is put in there. It may jam the blades preventing them from spinning. If you have tried the above and it is still humming but not working, your disposal may be jammed.

How to Fix a Jammed Garbage Disposal

The following are the steps you should take when your disposal is jammed.

– Unplug your garbage disposal from the socket

Before attempting to fix your disposal unit, please remember to disconnect it from power. Never reach with your hand for anything inside the disposal, even when it is not connected to power. This is because the grinding blades are very sharp and can easily slice your hand. To avoid accidents, always be careful and remove the power cord before starting any work.

– Pour boiling water into the unit

Cooking items contain fat and oils that can easily get stuck in a garbage disposal. These can harden over time and jam the blades. Shredded vegetables and starchy substances like pasta can also get jammed. Boiling water can easily melt the hardened fats and wash out the substances hidden in corners leaving them clear and clean. Let the hot water rest in the disposal for a few minutes before running cold water. The cold water should wash away the remaining greasy water from the unit.

– Look into the drain using a flashlight to check for any stuck objects

Using a torch, look inside the grinding chamber of the disposal unit. These maybe are cutleries or glasses which accidentally slipped into the grinding chamber. They may be stuck between the blades causing the jam. Use a pair of tongs to pliers to carefully remove them.

– Use an Allan wrench to turn the breaker docket

Most garbage disposals come with an Allan Wrench attached. In the case of jamming, this is your best friend. At the bottom of the disposal unit, beside the red “RESET” button, you will find the breaker socket. This is the hex shaped hole underside the garbage disposal. Using the 1/4inch Wrench, fix it into the hole. Free the impellers from the objects blocking them by working it back and forth. You will know the stuck is removed when the Allan Wrench moves around easily without making a cracking noise. If your disposal doesn’t have a Wrench hex hole, use a broomstick. Force it down the hole and try to spin the impeller back and forth.

– Screw tge bottom back on using the Allan wrench

Use the Allan Wrench to screw the bottom of your unit back on. Connect the disposal back to power, and switch it on. Press the “RESET” button (the one on the bottom of your unit). With the water running, check if your disposal is working.

-Remove and clean the garbage disposal unit

If you have tried everything above and nothing seems to work, the humming sound won’t stop, and the disposal unit still won’t work, you will need to remove the unit and thoroughly clean it. To do this, you first need to disconnect and unplug the garbage disposal from the wall. Next, remove the drain trap. This is the pipe connecting the garbage disposal to the drainage pipes. You will need to use a container to catch water draining from the pipes.

Remove the trap nuts, pull the trap pipe down and pull the pipe out. If your garbage disposal is connected to your dishwasher, make sure you disconnect the dishwasher drain line before removing it. Once removed, it will be easier to inspect any clogging and remove any object stuck inside. Thoroughly clean your disposal unit paying special attention to hidden corners and dark spots. Use white vinegar and baking soda to remove any spots and odor. When it is all clean, install it back and remember to fix back the nuts and the drain trap. Check to see if the humming sound has stopped.

Final Verdict

If you have tried all the above fixes and your disposal unit is still humming and not working, you might need to replace it. The motor may have burned out. Repairing broken disposal is sometimes more costly than purchasing a new one. If it is still new, remember to follow up with the warranty from the manufacturer.