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How to fix garbage disposal humming but not working?

If your garbage disposal is giving you trouble, humming but not working, you’re not alone. This common household dilemma often leads homeowners to the phone to call in a professional plumber. But before you are dialing that number, you might be pleasantly surprised to know you can fix the issue yourself. In this comprehensive guide, we will help you understand why your garbage disposal is humming but not working and provide streamlined steps to fix it on your own, potentially saving you money while adding another feather in your DIY cap.

Understanding the Problem

Garbage disposals are sturdy and dependable appliances, but only as long as they are not overburdened. When your garbage disposal hums but doesn’t spin or grind, it indicates that it’s powered on but unable to spin the blades due to a jam. This is often due to hard food particles or non-food items trapped between the impeller blades and the drain hole.

Resetting the Garbage Disposal

A simple way to fix a humming garbage disposal is to try resetting it. Resetting the disposal is often overlooked by many homeowners, yet it is highly effective. Follow this process:

1. Shut off the garbage disposal and unplug it from the socket to ensure safety.
2. Locate the reset button, typically situated on the bottom of the disposal unit.
3. Press the reset button and wait a few minutes.
4. Plug the unit back in and test by turning it on.

Dislodging the Blockage

If resetting doesn’t work, chances are there might be a blockage causing the humming. Never attempt to remove the obstruction with your fingers, especially when the unit is plugged in, to avoid potential harm. Instead, this is what should be done:

1. Switch off the unit and make sure it’s unplugged.
2. Use a flashlight to inspect for any visible jamming in the drain hole. You can also use kitchen tongs or pliers to pull out the obstruction if it’s not deeply lodged.
3. If the blockage still can’t be removed, you’ll need to manually rotate the impeller blades. Most garbage disposals come with a hole underneath that’s designed to manually turn the blades using an Allen wrench.

Replacing a Faulty Garbage Disposal

In some instances, if garbage disposal continues to hum but not work despite the above-mentioned actions, it might be a sign of a more grave underlying issue. Most garbage disposal units have a lifespan of 5-10 years. If yours has reached or exceeded its life expectancy, consider purchasing a new one.

Fixing a humming garbage disposal doesn’t always necessitate a service call. With some patience and a bit of effort, addressing the problem can be straightforward. Nevertheless, although it’s essential to be handy, it’s equally vital to know when a problem surpasses your skills. If you’ve exhausted all efforts and the problem persists, it’s time to tap into a professional’s expertise to ensure the proper functioning of your garbage disposal. So, whether fixing a garbage disposal that’s humming but not working or managing a total unit replacement, remember, you’re not alone on this journey.

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