Garbage disposals are a convenient appliance that makes cleanup easy but they also need proper care and maintenance to keep them running at maximum capacity.
If you notice that your garbage disposal is humming, it may be an indication of a serious underlying problem.
Read on to learn more about this annoying noise, what it means, and what you can do to fix it.
The Motor is Jammed
If your garbage disposal is humming, it’s likely because the motor has become clogged up or jammed. Over time, pieces of food can get stuck deep inside the garbage disposal between the impeller blade and drain hole.
Thankfully, you can correct this common plumbing issue in a few simple steps. First, turn off the power to your garbage disposal by unplugging it and turning off the electrical circuit. This will prevent the potential for electric shock, and it will also keep your motor from burning out.
Use a hex head Allen wrench and turn it on the breaker socket found at the bottom of your garbage disposal. Turn the wrench back and forth, which will eventually help get the flywheel to turn.
As you turn the wrench, it should free up any particles or grime that may have been caught in the impeller blades. There may be no hex hole at the bottom of your garbage disposal. If that is the case or you don’t have the right tool, you can use a small broom handle.
If you use a broom handle, do so carefully. Be sure to force it against one of the blades as you rotate it back and forth. Either of these methods should be effective at removing the jam so the motor turns as normal again.
Turn the power back on and check to see if this corrected the problem. If you still hear an annoying humming sound, it could be the result of a different issue.
Your Garbage Disposal is Humming Normally But Stopped Making Any Sound
A mild hum is completely normal when you turn on your garbage disposal, and it indicates that the motor is operational. If you notice that there is no humming sound whatsoever, it may be an electrical problem. No noise or movement could also mean that your garbage disposal needs to be replaced.
When you flip the switch and the disposal does not engage, you may need to do some investigating. Make sure the disposal is plugged in and then press the reset button. The reset button is usually located on the bottom of the unit.
The reset button on your garbage disposal should be red in color and works in a similar way as a circuit breaker. If the reset button is tripped, it should be protruding from the garbage disposal. Push the button back in, and this should reset it.
Once you press the reset button, try your garbage disposal again. If it still doesn’t work, check your main breaker panel to look for a tripped circuit breaker and reset it there.
It’s possible that you have a wiring problem if neither of these reset methods work. Faulty wiring might be the cause of your garbage disposal failing to turn on, or the actual unit itself may be faulty or broken.
If you’re not confident about how to proceed, consider contacting an experienced plumber who can help diagnose the problem. They can identify issues with wiring or switches and replace the disposal as needed.
Other Common Causes for Humming Garbage Disposals
Have you ruled out a jammed motor and tried pressing the reset button? If that’s the case there could be other reasons why your garbage disposal is humming. If a large object or a food item is jammed in the drain, this may be the culprit.
Never stick your hands or fingers in the garbage disposal as it could result in serious injury. Instead, turn the power off and grab some tongs. Use the pair of tongs to try and grab the stuck item and pull it out.
Another possible reason why your disposal is making a humming noise is that the motor is overheated. If you turn the disposal on for too long, it might need to take a rest.
Turn off the garbage disposal and wait for several minutes so the motor can cool down. If you’re still not getting results, try the Allen wrench option or hit the reset button to see if this corrects the problem.
If you notice that your garbage disposal is not grinding food as it should, it could be time to replace it. Most disposals last a long time, but they’re still vulnerable to wear and tear like any other appliance.
Never throw large items down your drain to avoid potential issues like clogs or burning out the motor. Rinse the drain clean after you use the garbage disposal so that any leftover residue goes all the way down.
Say Goodbye to Humming Sounds
While a low hum is completely normal, if your garbage disposal is humming loudly, there’s likely a problem lurking under the surface. Examine your disposal carefully and look for any signs of clogging.
Use the reset button to “trip” the disposal and never work on the unit unless everything is unplugged and turned off. A few troubleshooting tactics should help you identify the problem so you can fix it yourself.
When all else fails and you need a professional plumbing service, be sure to visit our website and contact us today to schedule an estimate or appointment.