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Garbage Disposal Humming Not Working (Causes & Fix Methods)

Today, most homes use garbage disposal. This machine performs a vital role in the kitchen sink while enduring many years of use. However, after repeated uses, you might start hearing annoying humming sound.

This sound comes as one of the common issues in a garbage disposal unit. Most times, this problem comes from stuck parts and inadequate power supply. Sometimes this sound indicates that the device can’t break down any waste that flows into it.

Do you want to know what causes garbage disposal humming? Are you looking for a solution that garbage disposal humming noise? If yes, read on to have all the answers to your questions.

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Unit Hum?

If you want to know what causes garbage disposal humming, you will have to understand why a refrigerator makes the same noise. First, the sounds from a dead disposal unit come from its motor. Moreover, it also means that the unit has power, but its blades will not move.

Anyone can catch the noise of a refrigerator while a disposal’s hum, especially over its moving blades. Overall, the noise of a motor cannot go over the grinding sound of the unit.

Safety Measures to Keep In Mind

If your garbage disposal is humming but not working, consider fixing the device. Begin by disconnecting the unit from its power supply source. With such a move, you can prevent accidents.

Never put your arm into a waste disposal unit even if you have not plugged the item. Ensure you remember these rules as a working disposer can harm you.

To disconnect the sink disposal unit, move under it and pull out the plug. You can also switch off the fuse at the central panel of the appliance.

To erase any doubts, pull out the plug and use the circuit breaker. This makes the unit remain inactive for as long as needed.

What Causes Garbage Disposal Humming and How to Fix These Issues

A garbage disposal making humming sound requires repairs. But before you grab your tools, you must know about the source of the noise. Now let’s show you various reasons for the strange sound in your unit.

1. Jammed Items

A stuck object stands as a common cause of a noisy sink disposal grinder. To discover caused it, get a flashlight, and inspect the unit. Remember to keep your fingers out of the appliance.

When you find the culprit, disconnect the unit from its power source (wall socket).

  • Check if the socket under the sink works well. Test the outlet by removing the garbage disposal and plugging in another appliance. You can use a blender or food processor.
  • If any of these devices remain off, look out for a circuit breaker that supplies your disposer. If it’s tripped, switch it on and confirm if the appliance works.
  • Hit the reset switch because an overheated unit can push this button out. The reset switch works like the circuit breakers of a building by cutting off the excess current. To solve this fix, start by turning off the power on the wall socket.
  • Allow the unit to simmer down for some minutes. Head for the storage space under the sink, then find the container that attaches to the sink disposal grinder. Look for the colored reset switch, and then press it. If the unit makes a hum, then it still has a problem.

Is your garbage disposal humming but not spinning? Then you have a jam in your sink disposal grinder. The simple procedure above should free the appliance.

2. How to Unclog a Sink Disposal Unit

How to Unclog a Sink Disposal Unit

It’s advisable to check for jams, especially when you want to start working on a humming waste grinder. When you have clogs in the unit, they restrict the blades from moving even if the motor is rotating.

So you must turn off your unit as soon as you notice any weird noise. If you keep on using the appliance, the motor will overheat or burn.

Luckily, you can solve this problem with some tools such as a hex wrench and flashlight. You will also need a fork or pair of tongs. Now let’s get started with the following steps.

  • Turn off the garbage disposal unit. As soon you have cut the power supply, look out for any items that can clog the unit.
  • Check the base of the garbage disposal unit for a tiny hole with sides. Work this space (the beaker socket) with an Allen wrench.
  • With the wrench, you can rotate the flywheel in any direction, especially without using your hands. Overall, this action stands as a safe way to work on your sink disposal grinder.
  • Restore the power to the unit and confirm if the fix worked. If it doesn’t, you should find an alternative way to unclog the waste grinder.

There are some models of garbage disposal that has a hexagonal hole which cannot be handled with an Allen wrench. To unclog these types, use the handle of a broom or any lengthy object.

  • Push and pull it to remove the blockage. Make sure your hands don’t get into the disposal.
  • The procedure above is similar to when you’re using an Allen wrench. However, the broom works better than the Allen key.

Apart from food waste, some massive objects can cause clogs in the unit. Such materials include silverware, stones, or dishware. To handle this issue, you will need a more direct approach by using the following tips.

  • Use a gripping tool (tongs) to clear the blockage and allow the blades to move freely. You should also avoid placing your fingers down the garbage disposal. Instead use a flashlight to find the object obstructing the movement.
  • If you don’t own a pair of tongs, go with pliers. But if you don’t have any, it’s advisable you head to a local hardware store to get one.
  • After taking out the blockage, power up the unit, and then check for the humming noise. If you notice any, then you have another problem.

3. The Unit Produces Excess Heat

Are you still looking for what causes garbage disposal humming? Well, an overheated unit can make strange noises. Most times, the overheating comes due continuous use of the machine.

So even if we don’t know why a garbage disposal hums but spins freely, overusing or forcing items down a drain can cause problems. Overall, dumping a large amount of waste in the unit can damage your grinder.

How to Fix an Overheated Sink Disposal  Grinder

Allow the Unit to Cool Off

Have you overused your unit? Turn off the switch to shut down the garbage disposal. After some minutes, turn it on. If it does not come on, look for the reset button on the device and press it.

You can also inspect the load center (breaker panel) of your building. Find the kitchen switch and confirm if the circuit breaker has tripped. If yes, move it to the “neutral” mark, then the “On” position.

Reset and Flush

Do you force food waste down the garbage disposal? Then turn it off for a few minutes and switch it on. Press the reset button and flush with cold tap water. If the “reset” switch did not work, hold on for 15 mins and press the switch again.

4. Tripped Circuit Breaker

Tripped Circuit Breaker

Using other kitchen appliances with your garbage disposal can also cause problems. For instance, the circuit breaker for the kitchen can trip off. If this is the case, you can solve this problem with the following steps.

  • Locate the load center in your building. Most times, it’s found in the cupboard, hallway, or garage. You can also check the kitchen cabinet or pantry.
  • Look for the switch that controls the power to the kitchen. It should have a “Kitchen” label on it.
  • This breaker has three markings: neutral, off and on. If the switch lies in the “neutral” spot, push to the “off” mark. Finally, move it to the “on” spot.

5. Clogged Sink Disposal Grinder Unit

Dumping loads of trash into a garbage disposal, it could clog up the device. You can clear out the clogs with the following steps.

  • Gather your tools for the project. They should include a lengthy rod, a pair of tongs, and an Allen key. If you can’t find any tongs, use a pair of pliers.
  • Unplug the unit or move the kitchen breaker to the “OFF” position. Go under the sink and insert the wrench into space on a cylinder. Then shake the tool to free the clogs.
  • Take the rod and remove any blockage in the opening of the sink. For stuck items, remove with the pliers or tongs.

6. Worn Out Sink Disposal Grinder

If you notice a garbage disposal humming (not jammed), you should consider buying a new one. When a unit stops working, it’s advisable to get a new one, especially if the current device has exceeded at least eight years of use. Repairing this item costs money and time.

7. Needs a Reset

Needs a Reset

Is your garbage disposal humming, but flywheel not stuck? This means that your device requires a hard reset. Start by looking for the “RESET” button and press it.

Also, check the switch for wear and tear. If you find any, get a new sink disposal grinder. Since the installation might require technical skills, seek the services of a plumber.

Wrap Up

A humming garbage disposal is quite annoying when using the kitchen. However, this could indicate the machine is faulty, clogged, or stuck.

If you notice the garbage disposal humming sink clogged due to hard material, use this guide to find the cause of the noise. You can use the steps in this article to solve the problem.

If the steps do not work, try getting a new sink disposal grinder. Fortunately, you can choose from a selection of powerful but affordable options.

Avoid placing your hands in the unit and use tools to take out clogs. If you cannot use tools, seek the help of a professional.