How To Fix Garbage Disposal Humming; Step By Step Instructions

The worst thing to hear while washing dishes or doing chores around the house is a strange humming noise from the kitchen sink. As we know, it’s your garbage disposal breaking down on you! Don’t panic just yet—how to fix garbage disposal humming can be easy if you know what to do.

Your experience level doesn’t really matter because we break down each step to ensure you get to the root of the problem. We have all the information you need to get your disposal running smoothly again.

After reading this guide, you will be able to fix that pesky humming yourself without bringing in a professional. So grab a flashlight (you’ll need one), and let’s get started!

Overview of Garbage Disposals and Common Problems

Garbage disposals are complicated machines, just like any other appliance you have in your home. From the coffee maker to your wall-mount garage vacuum, they can have problems.

The most common issue you might encounter is a humming noise when you turn it on.

This is caused by a broken or misaligned flywheel, which can be easily fixed without professional help.

To ensure that is the problem with your disposal, let’s start by looking at how garbage disposals work and other potential issues you might encounter.

Garbage disposals comprise three parts: blades, motor, and flywheel.

The blades cut up food that goes down the sink and into the disposal—think of it like a blender but in reverse! The motor then turns the blades to further grind up the food particles so they can pass through plumbing safely.

The flywheel is responsible for engaging the motor when needed.

So if it’s loose or misaligned, it won’t spin and will cause that humming sound when you turn it on—which is where we’ll start looking first to get your garbage disposal working again!

What Are the Signs of a Humming Garbage Disposal?

One of the first signs that you might need to fix your garbage disposal is a humming noise.

This sound typically means it’s stuck in the “on” position and can’t open and close properly.

Other indications that your garbage disposal needs attention include water draining slowly from the sink, an odd smell coming from the drain, or a burning rubber odor.

If something other than food is causing the disposal to hum, it’s usually caused by a foreign object caught in the grinding mechanism.

Try using tongs or pliers to pull out anything wedged in there before tackling a repair.

If your garbage disposal is still making a humming noise even after you’ve cleared out any particles, it could be an issue with the motor that calls for more advanced troubleshooting.

What Causes a Humming Garbage Disposal?

Have you heard a loud humming coming from your garbage disposal? If you didn’t already know, this sound happens surprisingly often, however, it is nothing to worry about as you can quickly fix it.

But before fixing it, try to understand what is causing the sound. Here are some of the most common culprits:

Objects stuck in the disposal blades.

Corroded or damaged blades.

Jammed flywheel.

Electrical problems.

Malfunctioning switch or reset button.

A humming garbage disposal can be annoying, but with the proper knowledge and a few simple tools, you can fix this problem quickly and get back to enjoying your kitchen!

How to Reset a Garbage Disposal After It Hums

So, let’s say you’ve identified your problem—and it’s a buzzing garbage disposal.

That means something is jammed inside, usually some stubborn food. Something may also be stuck to the rubber impeller at the bottom of the disposal.

Luckily, you can reset your disposal to get things going again. Here’s how:

Step 1: Unplug it

Before anything, ensure your device is disconnected from the power source. Safety is key.

Step 2: Insert an Allen Wrench in its Hole

In most garbage disposals, a square-shaped hole on the side or bottom of the unit can be used to spin the blades manually.

Insert an Allen wrench into this hole and turn it in either direction for at least five seconds.

Step 3: Plug it back In or turn on the breaker

After you spin the blades manually, plug your garbage disposal back into its power source—or turn on the circuit breaker in your breaker box—to check if it runs correctly.

If not, chances are something is stuck inside, and you should call a plumber for help removing it.

DIY Troubleshooting Steps for a Humming Garbage Disposal

When all else fails and the humming persists, it’s time to get your hands dirty and see the issue. Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem yourself:

Check for Obstructions

First, turn off the power to the disposal unit and unplug it from the wall. Make sure your disposal is completely free of any food or debris.

If any objects are in the disposal, use an insulated glove and a long-handled spoon or tongs to remove them.

Power Cycle

After removing any obstructions, power cycle your disposal unit by plugging it back in and turning it on.

Remember to press the reset button if your unit has one. Give it plenty of time for the motor to discharge after being unplugged, as rushing this step can cause further damage.

Check Connections & Wires

If that doesn’t work, check for loose wires or connections by carefully removing its cover plate using a screwdriver.

Then inspect each wire connection, ensuring they’re securely attached at both ends — you may have to tighten them slightly with a wrench if needed.

If all else fails, reset the breaker that powers your garbage disposal and hope for a miracle!

If these fixes don’t help resolve your garbage disposal’s humming noise, always remember you can call in an expert like Mr. Rooter Plumbing anytime when things get too complicated!

Professional Help for Fixing a Humming Garbage Disposal

It can be hard to diagnose and repair a humming garbage disposal yourself, but there are some things you can do if you’d like to try it!

Step 1: Turn Off the Power

The power needs to be turned off before starting anything. To be extra safe, unplug the disposal from the outlet or turn off the circuit breaker that supplies the outlet.

Step 2: Check for Debris in the Disposal Area

Once the power is off, remove any debris clogging up your disposal.

You can use a flashlight and long-handled tools such as tongs or pliers to reach the disposal and remove any debris blocking it. If your disposal isn’t blocked, move on to step three.

Step 3: Reset Your Disposal

If you haven’t found any blockages, your next step is resetting your disposal by pressing the reset button on the bottom side of the unit.

If this doesn’t work, then it’s time to call in professional help! A qualified technician will have access to special tools and parts needed to get your garbage disposal humming again.


In a nutshell, if your garbage disposal is humming, the first step is to examine the inside and make sure nothing is stuck blocking it.

If there are no items stuck, try and press the reset button. At times this works as a quick fix. But if the reset is not working it might be time to change the motor assembly.

No matter what, have patience, take your time, and don’t be afraid to get a little dirty. With some effort and the right tools, you can figure out why your garbage disposal is humming and fix it quickly. Good luck!

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