How To Fix a Garbage Disposal That Is Humming

One of the most common garbage disposal issues encountered is when the switch is flipped and the disposal simply begins making a humming sound. The good news is that generally speaking this is an easy fix. In fact, in most cases it only takes a matter of seconds to rectify the issue.

The best part about this common issue is that in most instances anyone can fix the problem regardless of their skill-set. Additionally, you won't necessarily have to purchase any tools in order to get your disposal back in working mode. Most disposals come with an Allen wrench attached to them which should be the only tool you may need to fix a humming garbage disposal.

Before we tackle how to fix garbage disposal humming we must familiarize ourselves with the various reasons that could be causing this. Knowing the cause will allow you to quickly determine how to fix your disposal.

Keep in mind that when the disposal is humming this means that it is getting power, but is not functioning properly. This is generally due to a jam.

In most cases if your garbage disposal is humming it is because a foreign object is stuck in the disposal. If an item has been jammed in the blades of the disposal they will be unable to rotate. This can result in a humming noise. If this is the case simply unplug the disposal under the sink then survey the drain hole. If you discover that an object is stuck in the blades remove it. Once you have done this you can plug the disposal back in and flip the switch. This should clear up the problem.

If there is no item stuck in the blades of the disposal obtain the Allen wrench that should be attached to your disposal or that came with it. There is a breaker socket located on the bottom of most disposal brands. Place the Allen wrench in the breaker socket and turn it back and forth. By doing this you may be able to unlock the source of the problem. Just be certain that the disposal is not turned on when doing this.

Another simple fix for this type of issue is by pushing the reset button located on the disposal. This button is usually located on the bottom of the device. If the button has "tripped" push it and it could rectify the issue immediately.

If none of the above methods have worked when it comes to fixing the humming of a garbage disposal, then chances are that the disposal is no longer operational and has reached the end of its life. In this case you will have no other option than to completely replace the disposal.  Here are some our our recommended brands.

When it comes to safety always remember to make sure the disposal is not plugged in when attempting any of these quick fixes. Additionally, if possible, avoid placing your hands directly near the blades in the disposal. It is better to use a tool to wedge out items or to check the blades for blockage.

Justin Curtis

I am not a professional plumber, but I do feel like I am pretty handy :). I would love to hear your comments about this post or others. Thanks for reading!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Sharron Towner - January 23, 2017

Thanks Justin, we were able to get our garbage disposal working with your instructions. This disposal is in our condo in Florida, so we only use it in the winter. Is there anything we can do before we leave to keep it from locking up?

rita - April 3, 2017

I did all the things that you said. I finallyt called the home warrenty company. They said that there was a penny stuck and I had to get a new disposal. He took a pciture so I could see. I asked him why he didnt try to get the penny out and he said that he would just replace After he left, I put my hand in to see if I could get the penny lose. I could not see it so I put my hand in again and got all the food out and there was the penny. I then tried to get it to run and it is still humming. What should i do? Do I really need a new disposal?

Carla - May 12, 2017

My garbage disposal will not work I can’t unplug it because I don’t see a plug for it,it will make a humming sound I want to try to fix it myself it a Whirlpool disposal also my dishwasher is backing up into my sink every time I turn it on to wash dishes I need help


Leave a Reply: