My Garbage Disposal Hums But Doesn't Work

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Why Is My Garbage Disposal Humming But Not Working?

Have you turned on your garbage disposal only to hear a faint humming and not the blade-turning and food processing you’re used to? There are a few reasons this may be happening.

If the disposal is humming, you are still getting power to the device, which rules out any electrical supply problems. Something else, usually a jam or a bad motor, is preventing the unit from working.

A Jammed Disposal

Jammed blades are often to blame when your garbage disposal is humming but not working properly.

Determine whether your disposal is jammed by following these steps:

  1. Turn off power to the disposal. You can simply flip the switch to the OFF position, but we suggest also unplugging the disposal.
  2. Visually check for food or foreign objects in the disposal. If there’s anything inside, remove it and try running the disposal. If you don’t see any blockage or if you clear the disposal and it still doesn’t work, move on to step #3.
  3. Use a wooden spoon to push and rotate the blades gently. After a few rotations, check to see if the disposal runs correctly. If not, continue to the next step.
  4. Use an Allen wrench to rotate the flywheel manually. Stick a ¼ inch Allen wrench into the hole at the bottom of the disposal.
  5. Turn the Allen wrench back and forth. Then check to see if the disposal runs normally. If the disposal still only hums and water doesn’t drain well, have a professional check for a clog in the P-trap under your sink.

Always run water while you are testing the disposal. Also, avoid keeping the disposal on for more than a minute at a time to prevent damage to the motor.

A Faulty Motor

If you’ve determined that your disposal isn’t jammed, you most likely have a disposal motor that needs to be repaired or replaced. If your disposal motor is at fault, it’s probably more cost-effective to just replace the garbage disposal altogether instead of repairing it.

If your disposal motor needs to either be repaired or replaced, consult with a professional plumber to get a quote so that you can make the right decision for your home.

Garbage Disposal Humming? 24/7 Emergency Repairs

If these DIY solutions didn’t work, there may be a deeper issue in your drains or with your disposal. Contact the Aztec Plumbing & Drains team today at 239-932-2959 for expert advice and service.

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