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Is Your Garbage Disposal Humming? Causes & Maintenance Tips

garbage disposal humming

If you have garbage disposal humming, then you are not alone. This is a common problem that many homeowners face when they are using their garbage disposal in the sink.

The compost doesn't always create noise because of its size or power, but if it does make noise, there is likely something in the drain line or garbage disposal unit preventing it from working properly.

In today's blog post, we'll be discussing the causes of this garbage disposal humming sound and provide some tips on how to maintain it. Keep reading for more info!

How does a garbage disposal work?

Garbage disposal is a handy kitchen appliance that is installed under a kitchen sink. It is used to grind up waste material so that it can be flushed down the drain hole.

The disposal system is connected to the main water supply and has a grinding chamber that is activated by a switch. When the switch is turned on, the motor starts, and the blades begin to spin.

As the food waste is fed into the chamber, it is shredded by the blades and then flushed away with the water.

Types of Garbage Disposals to Know

There are many different types of disposal units on the market, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Here are some of the most popular types of garbage disposals:

  • Batch feed garbage disposal -  A batch feed waste disposal grinds up food waste into small pieces so that it can be safely disposed of.
  • Continuous feed disposal - Continuous feed waste disposal is a reliable way to grind large amounts of waste product quickly and easily. And, because it doesn't rely on batch processing.
  • Undercounter waste disposal - This type of disposal is installed directly beneath the counter. Most standard waste disposal are installed under the kitchen sink.
  • Manual garbage disposal - The type that you manually grind by turning on the switch to power the appliance.

Causes of Garbage Disposal Humming

  • Jammed Items - Something is stuck in the blades or grinding chamber of the appliance.
  • Clogged Grinder - Something is keeping the grinder from turning or operating correctly.
  • Overheating - It's been overused and is too heated. This might cause humming or the fuse to trip, depending on the severity of the problem.
  • Tripped Circuit Breaker - This might occur for a variety of reasons, including misuse of kitchen equipment, faulty wiring, power outages, and so on. This should be an easy fix by an expert.
  • Wear and Tear - With any garbage grinder, there will be some normal wear and tear. This can include things like a dull blade or a broken motor. It's time to get a new one
  • Need a Reset - In some cases, you might just need to use the reset button on your garbage disposal. This can fix various issues, such as humming.

15 Recommended Items To Keep Out of Your Disposal Unit

There are some items that you should avoid putting down your disposal system, as they can cause damage to the blades, blockage, or clog up the pipes. Some of the items include:

  1. Certain vegetables
  2. Potatoes
  3. Corn husks
  4. Stems
  5. Rinds
  6. Grease and oils
  7. Grease disposal
  8. Hot water
  9. Pits and seeds
  10. Coffee
  11. Bones
  12. Egg Shells
  13. Pasta and rice
  14. Dough
  15. Marshmallows

How to Fix Garbage Disposal Humming

Most garbage grinders will start to hum when they become jammed. Follow these steps that you can use to fix a disposal humming sound.

1. Remove the Foreign Object

Humming noise is usually caused by a foreign object, such as a piece of glass or metal, being caught in the blades. If this happens, don't panic. There are a few simple steps you can follow to fix the problem.

  • First, turn off the power to the disposal at the circuit breaker and disconnect it from the power source.
  • Then, use a flashlight to look inside the disposal and locate the object that is causing the humming noise.
  • Once you have found it, use a pair of pliers to remove it.
  • Finally, turn on the power and run the disposal for a few seconds to make sure that the humming noise has stopped.

If it hasn't, then you may need to call a professional plumber for help.

2. Press the Reset Button

If your garbage disposal is humming but not working, then you may need to press the reset button. This button is usually located at the bottom of the compost.

  • To press the reset button, first, make sure that the power to the disposal is turned off at the circuit breaker.
  • Then, use a flashlight to locate the reset button.
  • Once you have found it, use a paperclip or other small object to press the button.
  • Finally, turn on the power and run the garbage disposal unit for a few seconds to make sure that it is working correctly.

3. Turn the Garbage Disposal Blades Manually

If your garbage disposal is jammed and the reset button doesn't work, then you may need to turn the blades manually. This can be done by using a pair of pliers or a hex Allen wrench.

To turn the blades manually, first, make sure that the power to the disposal is turned off at the circuit breaker and also check the socket under the sink works well.

Then, use a flashlight to look inside the waste disposal and locate the blades. Once you have found them, use a pair of pliers or an Allen wrench to rotate them. You can also use tongs if you don't have pliers.

4. Remove the Garbage Disposal

It's likely that you have a clog in the drainpipe or P-trap if your waste disposal unit is humming and draining slowly or not at all.

A P-trap or S-trap is a U-shaped pipe that is located under the sink. The P-trap connects the garbage disposer to the drainpipe and keeps sewer gases from entering your home.

If you think that there is a clog in the P-trap, then you will need to unplug the unit and clean it out.

  • To do this, first, make sure that the power to the compost is turned off at the circuit breaker.
  • Then, use a wrench to loosen the nuts that are holding the P-trap in place.
  • Once you have done this, you should be able to remove the P-trap and clean it out.
  • Finally, put the P-trap back in place and tighten the nuts.

Tips to Prevent a Humming Garbage Disposal

There are a few simple things you can do to prevent the disposal unit from humming in the first place.

  • First, make sure that the sink is properly drained before turning on the disposal. If there is standing water in the sink, it will cause the blades to spin too quickly and create a humming sound.
  • Second, avoid putting hard objects into the disposal unit. Things like bones and fruit pits can damage the blades and cause the unit to jam.
  • Lastly, run cold water while the disposal is running. This will help to lubricate the blades and prevent them from overheating.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your garbage disposal unit running smoothly for years to come.

Call in the Experts for Garbage Disposal Repair

Most people take their garbage disposal for granted until it stops working. When that happens, it's important to call in a professional if your garbage disposal makes a humming sound.

Trying to fix the problem yourself can be dangerous, and it's often not as effective as calling in an expert. A professional plumbing expert will be able to quickly diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my garbage disposal just making a humming noise?

If your garbage grinder is just making a humming noise, it could be because there's an object stuck in the blades.

Why is my garbage disposal humming but not jammed?

If your waste disposal is bustling but not jammed, it's likely that the problem is with the flywheel. The flywheel is a small piece of metal that helps to keep the blades moving smoothly.

Why is my garbage disposal humming but not turning

If your garbage disposal is humming but not turning, it's likely because the impellers are jammed. The impellers are the plastic fins that act as blades, and they can become bent or damaged if something gets stuck in the disposal.

What does a broken garbage disposal sound like?

A broken compost can make a pretty unpleasant noise. It may sound like grinding, screeching, or even growling.


If you’re like most people, when your garbage disposal hums, it probably means one of two things.

Either something is blocking the blades and needs to be cleared away or the disposal is just old and needs garbage disposal replacement.

No matter what the issue may be, it’s important to address it as soon as possible so that your kitchen can continue running smoothly.

If you need help diagnosing or fixing your disposal unit, give our plumber a call – we would be happy to assist you!

About The Author:

Scott Reyes, our proficient Managing Editor and a true plumbing aficionado with over 10 years of dedicated expertise. With an in-depth understanding of the plumbing industry, Scott is your go-to source for all things plumbing-related. His wealth of experience ensures that our content is not only informative but also a reliable resource for your plumbing needs. Dive into Scott's articles to tap into his extensive knowledge and insights.
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