Garbage Disposal Humming But Not Working

You turn on the switch, expecting the waste to vanish in a whirlwind of efficiency only to be met with an irritating hum. In this we will explore common reasons behind a humming garbage disposal and provide you with step-by-step solutions to fix it.

We’ll also share some maintenance tips to keep future problems at bay and discuss environmentally friendly alternatives for those looking for greener options. So let’s dive in and put that annoying hum to rest once and for all!

Common Reasons for a Humming Garbage Disposal

There can be several reasons why your garbage disposal is humming but not working. One common culprit is a jammed impeller. Which is the rotating component responsible for grinding up food waste.

If something like a bone, fruit pit, or large chunk of food gets stuck in the impeller blades, it can cause the motor to hum without any actual grinding happening.

Another possible reason could be a tripped reset button. Garbage disposals are equipped with an overload protector that shuts off power to the motor when it becomes overheated or overloaded. If this happens, you’ll hear a hum but no movement from the disposal unit. Simply locate the reset button on the bottom or side of your disposal and press it to see if that resolves the issue.

In some cases, a humming garbage disposal may indicate a faulty start capacitor. The start capacitor helps give an initial boost of power to get the motor running smoothly. If it’s defective or worn out, you might hear a continuous hum instead of proper functioning.

Additionally, check for any electrical issues such as loose wiring connections or blown fuses that could be causing disruptions in power supply to your garbage disposal.

Remember, troubleshooting these problems requires caution and safety measures such as turning off power before attempting any repairs. Now let’s move on to how you can fix these issues step-by-step!

Steps to Fix a Humming Garbage Disposal

When your garbage disposal is humming but not working, it can be a frustrating and inconvenient problem to deal with. Luckily there are steps you can take to fix the issue and get your disposal back up and running smoothly.

First, make sure to turn off the power to the disposal before attempting any repairs. This will help prevent any accidents or injuries. Next, check for any obstructions in the disposal by using a flashlight to look down into the drain. If you see anything blocking the blades, use tongs or pliers to carefully remove it.

If there are no visible obstructions try manually turning the blades with an Allen wrench or hex key. Insert the tool into the bottom of the disposal and rotate it back and forth several times. This may help dislodge any stuck debris that is causing the humming sound.

If these steps don’t solve the problem, you may need to reset your garbage disposal. Look for a small red button on either side or underneath of the unit and press it firmly until you feel it click. Then turn on power again and test if your disposal is now functioning properly.

Remember that proper maintenance can help prevent future problems with your garbage disposal. Avoid putting large amounts of food waste down at once as this can overload and clog up your system. Instead, feed smaller amounts gradually while running plenty of water.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Future Problems

1. Keep it clean: Regularly cleaning your garbage disposal will remove any build-up of food particles or debris that can cause clogs or unpleasant odors. Simply run cold water while grinding ice cubes or citrus peels in the disposal.

2. Avoid certain foods: Certain foods should never be put down the garbage disposal, as they can damage the blades or cause blockages. These include grease, oil, fibrous vegetables (like celery), bones, pasta/rice, and coffee grounds.

3. Run water before and after use: Before turning on the garbage disposal, always start with a steady stream of cold water running through it. This helps flush out any remaining debris and prevents clogs from forming.

4. Use it regularly: Believe it or not, using your garbage disposal on a regular basis actually helps maintain its proper function. Grinding up small amounts of food waste each day prevents rusting and keeps everything lubricated.

5. Be gentle with foreign objects: While it may be tempting to use your garbage disposal as a catch-all for various items like bottle caps or utensils, resist the urge! Stick to only disposing of biodegradable food waste.

By following these simple maintenance tips for your garbage disposal unit, you can prolong its lifespan and avoid costly repairs in the future.

Professional Help and When to Call Them

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a humming garbage disposal may require the expertise of a professional. While it can be tempting to try and fix the issue yourself, there are certain situations where calling in a professional is the wisest choice.

One instance when you should consider seeking professional help is if you have already attempted all the DIY fixes outlined earlier without success. A licensed plumber or appliance repair technician will have the knowledge and experience necessary to diagnose and fix more complex issues that may be causing your garbage disposal to hum but not work.

Another reason to call in a professional is if you suspect there may be an electrical problem with your disposal. Dealing with electricity can be dangerous for those who are not trained in handling it properly. A qualified electrician will ensure that any electrical issues are resolved safely.

Additionally, if your garbage disposal is still under warranty, attempting repairs yourself could void that warranty. It’s always best to consult with professionals authorized by the manufacturer before taking any action.

Remember, sometimes it’s better to leave certain tasks in the hands of experts who have specialized knowledge and training. By reaching out for professional assistance at the right time, you can avoid potential hazards and ensure that your garbage disposal is repaired effectively.

Environmentally Friendly Alternatives to Garbage Disposals

1. Composting: Turning your food scraps into nutrient-rich compost is not only beneficial for the environment but also for your garden. By composting organic matter like fruits and vegetables, you can reduce landfill waste and create a natural fertilizer that enriches the soil.

2. Worm Bins: Vermicomposting is another fantastic option for dealing with kitchen scraps. A worm bin allows red worms to break down food waste into castings or worm compost, which can be used in gardens or potted plants.

3. Municipal Green Waste Programs: Many cities offer green waste collection services where residents can dispose of their food scraps along with yard trimmings and other organic materials. These programs often turn the collected material into compost or renewable energy sources.

4. Food Banks and Community Gardens: Instead of throwing away excess edible food, consider donating it to local food banks or community gardens where it can benefit those in need while reducing unnecessary waste.

5. Reduce Food Waste: One of the most effective ways to minimize the need for any disposal method is simply to reduce how much food we throw away in the first place! Being mindful of portion sizes, properly storing leftovers, and planning meals carefully can go a long way in cutting down on wasted food.

By exploring these environmentally friendly alternatives to garbage disposals, you can make a positive impact on both your household’s carbon footprint and overall sustainability efforts without sacrificing convenience or cleanliness in your kitchen routine!


A humming garbage disposal can be a frustrating issue to deal with, but it is often fixable with some troubleshooting. By understanding the common reasons for a humming garbage disposal and following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to resolve the problem on your own.

Remember to always exercise caution when working with your garbage disposal. Make sure to turn off the power before attempting any repairs or maintenance. If you are unsure or uncomfortable working with electrical components, it’s best to call a professional plumber or handyman.

Regular maintenance is key in preventing future problems with your garbage disposal. Remember to regularly clean and maintain your unit by running cold water while using it and periodically grinding ice cubes or citrus peels. This will help prevent clogs and keep your garbage disposal functioning properly for years to come.

If all else fails, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help. A licensed plumber can diagnose and repair any issues that may be causing your garbage disposal to hum but not work.

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional garbage disposals, consider composting organic waste instead. Composting not only reduces landfill waste but also creates nutrient-rich soil that can benefit gardens and plants.


Q: Why is my garbage disposal humming?
A: A humming sound typically indicates that there is something blocking the blades of the unit from spinning freely.

Q: Can I fix a humming garbage disposal myself?
A: Yes! In many cases, fixing a humming garbage disposal can be done at home without calling a professional.

Q: What should I do if I’m unable to fix my humming garbage disposal?
A: If you’ve tried troubleshooting steps outlined in this article without success, it’s time to call in a professional plumber who specializes in appliance repairs.

Q: How often should I perform maintenance on my garbage disposal?
A: It’s good practice to clean and maintain your garbage disposal every month to prevent odors and keep it functioning

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