Garbage Disposal Humming: Common Causes and Solutions

garbage disposal humming

If you’ve ever experienced a humming sound coming from your garbage disposal but no grinding of food scraps, you’re not alone. This frustrating issue can disrupt your kitchen routine and leave you wondering what’s causing the problem. In this article, we’ll explore the common causes of garbage disposal humming and provide practical solutions to resolve the issue.

Understanding The Humming Sound

Common Causes Of Garbage Disposal Humming

  1. Overheating: If your garbage disposal overheats due to prolonged use or attempting to grind rigid materials, it may shut down temporarily and emit a humming sound when powered on again.
  2. Clogging: Blockages in the disposal unit or drainpipe can prevent the blades from turning, leading to a humming noise without any grinding action.
  3. Stuck Impeller Plate: The impeller plate, which chops food waste, can become jammed or stuck, causing the motor to hum without functioning correctly.
  4. Faulty Components: In some cases, internal components such as the motor or wiring may be incorrect, leading to a humming sound but no grinding action.
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Always wear protective gloves to shield your hands from sharp edges or debris inside the disposal unit. Additionally, never put your hand into the disposal chamber, even when the unit is switched off, to avoid the risk of injury.

Troubleshooting Steps

Now that we’ve identified potential causes let’s explore the steps you can take to troubleshoot and resolve the garbage disposal humming issue:

Turn Off The Disposal

Safety is paramount when dealing with garbage disposals. Before troubleshooting, ensure the disposal is switched off and unplugged to avoid accidental activation.

Wait And Reset

If the disposal has overheated, allow it to cool down for 10-15 minutes. Afterward, locate the reset button on the bottom of the unit (refer to your manual for its exact position) and press it to reset the disposal.

Inspect For Blockages

Use a flashlight to check inside the disposal unit for any visible blockages or foreign objects obstructing the blades. Carefully remove any debris using tongs or pliers.

Clear the Drainpipe

Run water while turning the disposal on and off multiple times. This can help dislodge minor blockages in the drainpipe. For more stubborn blockages, consider using a plunger or disconnecting the drainpipe for thorough cleaning.

Manually Rotate The Blades

With the disposal still turned off, use an Allen wrench or similar tool to manually rotate the impeller plate and blades. This can help free up any stuck components.

Check The Power Source

Ensure the disposal is appropriately plugged in and the circuit breaker is not tripped. If necessary, reset the breaker and test the disposal again.

Professional Inspection

If the humming persists despite your efforts, it may indicate a more severe issue, such as a faulty motor or internal component. In such cases, it’s advisable to contact a professional plumber or appliance repair technician for a thorough inspection and repair.

Preventing Future Issues

Once you’ve resolved the humming problem, adopting good maintenance practices can help prevent similar issues in the future:

  • Avoid overloading the disposal with large quantities of food waste or rigid materials.
  • Run cold water before, during, and after using the disposal to help flush out debris.
  • Regularly clean the disposal using safe cleaning methods such as baking soda and vinegar to prevent buildup.
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