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How To Fix a Garbage Disposal That Is Humming

Your garbage disposal is something you come to count on. So, if you flip the switch and hear nothing but humming, it is pretty concerning. The good news is there are easy ways to fix a garbage disposal that’s humming, in most cases.

The best part about this common issue is usually 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 your garbage disposal humming, we must familiarize ourselves with the various causes. Knowing the cause allows you to quickly determine how to fix your disposal.

What Causes a Humming Garbage Disposal?

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.

Nope, no jam, what now?

If there is no item stuck in the blades of the disposal get 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.

No, not the breaker socket…Reset

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.

The Bad News

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. It 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 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 of the disposal. It is better to use a tool to wedge out items or to check the blades for blockage.

Not sure which one to buy?

Check out our comparison table below:

  • Model
  • Horsepower
  • Our Review
InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Compact Garbage Disposer
5,850 Reviews
InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Compact Garbage Disposer
  • NOTE: Item do not come with a power cord attached, it is a separate add-on accessory
  • SPACE EFFICIENT, DURABLE COMPONENTS: Perfect for small households or houses with restricted cabinet space, this garbage...
  • QUIET BUT POWERFUL: This innovative food waste disposal features noise reducing SoundSeal Technology, our exclusive,...

InSinkErator Evolution Compact

Learn More

3/4 HP

Read Review

InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Badger 1, 1/3 HP Continuous Feed
2,108 Reviews
InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Badger 1, 1/3 HP Continuous Feed
  • RELIABLE & EASY INSTALL: Badger Series disposers are a reliable & functional choice when affordability is the prime...
  • DURABLE COMPONENTS: This garbage disposal features our exclusive 1/3 hp Dura-Drive Induction Motor and long lasting...
  • AMERICA'S #1 DISPOSER BRAND: There are more American-built InSinkErator garbage disposals in US homes than all other...

InSinkErator Badger 1

Learn More

1/3 HP

Read Review

Waste King L-3200 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, 3/4 HP
2,752 Reviews
Waste King L-3200 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, 3/4 HP
  • COMPACT SIZE: Smaller and lighter ¾ HP design is 7-3/4 inches in diameter, 13-3/4 inches long and weighs 8.6 lbs
  • HIGH-SPEED MOTOR: The 3/4 HP, 2700 RPM (115 volts) permanent magnet motor is sound-insulated and jams less
  • EASY INSTALLATION AND CLEANING: EZ Mount for a quick and easy kitchen sink installation, removable splash guard for easy...

Waste King L-3200 Legend Series

Learn More

3/4 HP

Read Review

InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Evolution Excel, 1.0 HP Continuous Feed
2,931 Reviews
InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Evolution Excel, 1.0 HP Continuous Feed
  • QUIET BUT POWERFUL: This innovative food waste disposal is the quietest disposal on the market, featuring advanced noise...
  • DURABLE COMPONENTS FOR THE TOUGHEST FOOD SCRAPS: This garbage disposal features alloy stainless steel components with...
  • AMERICA'S #1 DISPOSER BRAND: There are more American-built InSinkErator garbage disposals in US homes than all other...

InSinkErator Evolution Excel

Learn More

1.0 HP

Read Review

Waste King Legend Series 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal with...
6,293 Reviews
Waste King Legend Series 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal with...
  • HIGH-SPEED MOTOR: The 1/2 HP, 2600 rpm permanent magnet motor jams less
  • EASY INSTALLATION AND CLEANING: EZ Mount for a quick and easy kitchen sink installation, removable splashguard for easy...
  • 5 YEAR PROTECTION: 5-year Limited In-Home Warranty

Waste King L-2600 Legend Series

Learn More

1/2 HP

Read Review

Model

InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Compact Garbage Disposer
5,850 Reviews
InSinkErator Evolution Compact 3/4 HP Compact Garbage Disposer
  • NOTE: Item do not come with a power cord attached, it is a separate add-on accessory
  • SPACE EFFICIENT, DURABLE COMPONENTS: Perfect for small households or houses with restricted cabinet space, this garbage...
  • QUIET BUT POWERFUL: This innovative food waste disposal features noise reducing SoundSeal Technology, our exclusive,...

InSinkErator Evolution Compact

Learn More

Horsepower

3/4 HP

Our Review

Read Review

Model

InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Badger 1, 1/3 HP Continuous Feed
2,108 Reviews
InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Badger 1, 1/3 HP Continuous Feed
  • RELIABLE & EASY INSTALL: Badger Series disposers are a reliable & functional choice when affordability is the prime...
  • DURABLE COMPONENTS: This garbage disposal features our exclusive 1/3 hp Dura-Drive Induction Motor and long lasting...
  • AMERICA'S #1 DISPOSER BRAND: There are more American-built InSinkErator garbage disposals in US homes than all other...

InSinkErator Badger 1

Learn More

Horsepower

1/3 HP

Our Review

Read Review

Model

Waste King L-3200 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, 3/4 HP
2,752 Reviews
Waste King L-3200 Garbage Disposal with Power Cord, 3/4 HP
  • COMPACT SIZE: Smaller and lighter ¾ HP design is 7-3/4 inches in diameter, 13-3/4 inches long and weighs 8.6 lbs
  • HIGH-SPEED MOTOR: The 3/4 HP, 2700 RPM (115 volts) permanent magnet motor is sound-insulated and jams less
  • EASY INSTALLATION AND CLEANING: EZ Mount for a quick and easy kitchen sink installation, removable splash guard for easy...

Waste King L-3200 Legend Series

Learn More

Horsepower

3/4 HP

Our Review

Read Review

Model

InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Evolution Excel, 1.0 HP Continuous Feed
2,931 Reviews
InSinkErator Garbage Disposal, Evolution Excel, 1.0 HP Continuous Feed
  • QUIET BUT POWERFUL: This innovative food waste disposal is the quietest disposal on the market, featuring advanced noise...
  • DURABLE COMPONENTS FOR THE TOUGHEST FOOD SCRAPS: This garbage disposal features alloy stainless steel components with...
  • AMERICA'S #1 DISPOSER BRAND: There are more American-built InSinkErator garbage disposals in US homes than all other...

InSinkErator Evolution Excel

Learn More

Horsepower

1.0 HP

Our Review

Read Review

Model

Waste King Legend Series 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal with...
6,293 Reviews
Waste King Legend Series 1/2 HP Continuous Feed Garbage Disposal with...
  • HIGH-SPEED MOTOR: The 1/2 HP, 2600 rpm permanent magnet motor jams less
  • EASY INSTALLATION AND CLEANING: EZ Mount for a quick and easy kitchen sink installation, removable splashguard for easy...
  • 5 YEAR PROTECTION: 5-year Limited In-Home Warranty

Waste King L-2600 Legend Series

Learn More

Horsepower

1/2 HP

Our Review

Read Review

Last update on 2021-01-18 at 08:09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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 21 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?

Reply
    Justin Curtis - February 9, 2017

    Not that I’ve ever done…

    Reply
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?

Reply
    Jin - November 12, 2019

    The disposal turns freely, but all I get is a humming sound. What next?

    Reply
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

Reply
DIXA - August 22, 2017

DISPOSAL HAS A HUMMING SOUND.CHECKED THE BLADES THEY DO TURN. DID THE RESET RED BUTTON BUT STILL NOTHING BUT HUMMING

Reply
    Justin Curtis - August 22, 2017

    Sounds like it’s time to buy a new one…sorry.

    Reply
Mel - December 28, 2017

Thanks Justin! I was afraid my insinkerater was a goner! I followed your advice and now it’s functioning properly.

Reply
Cindy - December 29, 2017

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I fixed it tried clearing it. Resetting it. Nothing. The Allen wrench turning on the bottom worked. I didn’t know that is why that wrench is in the flip down drawer in the front of the sink . So thankful for people like you on the internet that help

Reply
    Amy - February 4, 2018

    The Allen wrench fix just worked for me too! Thank you so much!!

    Reply
jcobal - January 28, 2018

Thank you! Rotating the breaker back and forth with the allen wrench did the trick.

Reply
Steven Burt - October 24, 2019

My almost new GrindSmart 1/2 hp disposer is humming. Can’t see anything jamming it. With my old Insikerator I would use the allen wrench in the hole at the bottom and rotate it a few times. Cannot find such a hole in this unit. There is, however, a metal cover over the center spot on the bottom. Should I take that off and see if there’s an Allen wrench hole there that I can rotate?

Reply
Johnny - November 2, 2019

Great tips, thanks. The allen key fixed it, saved many $$$.

Reply
Clint Harper - November 15, 2019

Thank you Allen wrench worked!

Reply
Mitch Mitchell - November 29, 2019

This was great advice. Luckily I had a large hex wrench in my toolbox to work the screw until it came loose. I’m sure that saved a lot of money; thanks!

Reply
Adrian - December 24, 2019

I turned it and it turns on. Once I turn it off and attempt to turn it back on it continues to hum. I once again turned it and it worked but once I turn it off then back on it hums not sure why?

Reply
Lani - January 18, 2020

Awesome blog! I was going to use the broom handle method to free the blades, but your tips did the trick. My 1978 garbage disposal is back on line…for how long no man knows. Thank you so much!

Reply
s. leslie - March 21, 2020

Thanks very much. Turning the allen wrench underneath unstuck a screw that fell in. You just saved me about $150.

Reply
EarlN - April 6, 2020

The Allen key trick worked for me. Thanks for the tip!

Reply
Deborah Bobo - April 30, 2020

Thank you soooo much for these suggestions! The allen wrench tip did it for me!

Reply
Steve - June 11, 2020

Thanks for the helpful tips on garbage disposal upkeep!

Reply

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