Garbage disposals are a staple of home kitchens and make clean-up after meals much easier— when they’re working properly. 

If your garbage disposal is making a humming noise, read on for steps you can take to get it working again. 

What Does a Humming Garbage Disposal Indicate?

If your garbage disposal is humming, it means that the blades are stuck or jammed. It generally means that the blades are spinning but unable to grind anything up.

Troubleshooting Your Garbage Disposal

Troubleshooting a humming garbage disposal isn’t usually too tricky—it’s a matter of figuring out what’s blocking the blades and removing it. Once you do that, the device will typically start working again.

Consult your unit’s manual for specific troubleshooting tips and see a diagram to get a better idea of what you’re working with.

To get your disposal working again, try the following: 

  • Turn the disposal off and on three times. This may reset the disposal, allowing it to start up again.
  • Ensure the outlet has power and that the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped.
  • Make sure that there isn’t any excess food in the disposal. You can try using a drain snake or plumber’s auger to loosen any blockages that may be causing the humming noise.

A buzzing sound might occur when tough food gets stuck in your disposal. 

These are common items that can cause the humming noise:

  • Stringy bits of food
  • Food pieces
  • Paper towels or other paper products
  • Stuck utensils or spoons

Sometimes you can simply remove whatever is blocking the blades and allow the machine to run again until it destroys the clog.

If a large item is stuck in the blades, try switching off the power and using tongs or pliers to remove it.

A loud banging noise indicates that something is trapped inside the blades, most likely a solid object or something non-dissolvable like plastic utensils. 

If the disposal is still humming, the next step is to turn off the power, remove the unit from beneath the sink, and manually clean out any debris built up on or around the blades. Again, consult your disposal’s manual for specific steps and additional information.

Once you’ve cleared out the garbage disposal and restarted it, give it a few seconds to make sure everything is working properly before attempting to run water through it again.

When Troubleshooting Doesn’t Help

If you continue to have problems with your garbage disposal after you’ve taken all the steps to fix it that you feel comfortable with, contact an appliance service technician for further assistance. Don’t get in over your head. 

When your garbage disposal just hums, it’s more than just an annoying sound—it’s a situation where food waste can back up into the pipes connected to your sink.

If not addressed, this relatively small problem can cause a major mess that could lead to a flood in your kitchen and a costly service call from a plumber.

Call in the Professionals at America’s Appliance

Sometimes, a humming garbage disposal indicates a minor problem. But if you’ve tried these tips and the noise persists, it’s time to call in the professionals before a garbage disposal problem causes clogged pipes and a messy, costly plumbing issue. 

Contact America’s Appliance today or call 800-639-9340.