You can make use of the detailed steps provided in this tutorial to accurately diagnose the reason behind the humming noise coming from your garbage disposal. Additionally, you will find helpful guidance on the specific actions you can take in order to address this common issue with your kitchen appliance.

If you’re a new homeowner, many household sounds can be a source of mystery and even concern. Among these puzzling sounds, you may encounter a humming sound emanating from your garbage disposal. If you find yourself asking, “Why is my garbage disposal humming?” this blog post aims to shed light on the matter and guide you through potential solutions.

What is a Garbage Disposal and How Does it Work?

Ever wonder about that mysterious contraption tucked away beneath your kitchen sink? It’s called a garbage disposal, or sometimes referred to as a waste disposal unit. This unsung hero of your kitchen is actually a pretty ingenious device that tackles the unenviable job of grinding up your food waste into tiny, manageable pieces. 

Picture this – your disposal is like a mini food processor for your leftovers. It is essentially composed of two chambers, one for holding the food waste (the hopper chamber) and the other for the heavy-duty work (the grinding chamber).

When you flip that switch to activate your disposal, an electric motor springs into action, powering the impellers in the grinding chamber. Think of these impellers as the hardworking blades of this kitchen food processor. They spin around with gusto, reducing the food waste into small bits that can easily glide through your plumbing without causing a blockage.

So, the next time you’re scraping off those dinner plates into the sink, take a moment to appreciate your garbage disposal. This unsung kitchen hero is there, ready to make dealing with food waste a breeze, quietly grinding away and humming its own unique tune.

What Could a Humming Garbage Disposal Mean?

You might be wondering, “What’s up with my humming garbage disposal?” This unexpected symphony from under your sink could be signaling a few potential issues.

First off, it’s possible that an unwelcome item has taken up residence within the grinding chamber. Perhaps a rogue piece of silverware or a small bone made its way into the disposal, putting a halt to the normally smooth operation of the impellers. It’s like trying to blend a spoon in your blender – things are bound to get noisy!

Secondly, this humming concert could be the aftermath of an enthusiastic clean-up session. We all know that feeling of triumph as we clear the dinner table and send a mound of leftovers down the disposal. But overloading your disposal can cause it to jam, and that stubborn hum could be its cry for help.

Finally, the hum could be a distress call from the heart of your garbage disposal – the motor. If the motor is struggling, it might create a persistent hum as it tries to keep up with the demands of its job.

Remember, your garbage disposal isn’t just a fancy kitchen accessory; it’s a hardworking piece of machinery. So, when it starts to hum, it’s trying to communicate with you. The key is to listen, understand, and take appropriate action to keep your kitchen running smoothly.

garbage disposal humming

How to Fix a Humming Garbage Disposal?

Let’s dive into the world of garbage disposal troubleshooting. Your first step is to ensure you’re safe before beginning any type of repair work – unplug your unit or disconnect its power source to avoid any shocking surprises.

If your kitchen concert seems to be the result of a jammed disposal, roll up your sleeves and grab a garbage disposal wrench or a trusty broom handle. Remember to be gentle as you try to dislodge any stuck debris. On the other hand, if you suspect an object has gone rogue and snuck its way into your disposal, pliers or tongs should be your weapon of choice. Never reach into the disposal with your bare hands – your safety is more important than any errant spoon or bone.

Motor woes can sometimes be resolved with the simple push of a button – specifically, the reset button located on the underside of your disposal unit. Pressing this might give your overworked motor the breather it needs to get back into its grinding groove.

But if none of these solutions hit the right note, you may have to face the music and consider replacing your garbage disposal unit. Don’t despair – remember, it’s all part of the grand symphony of homeownership.

When to Call a Professional Plumber?

Even with the best-laid plans, sometimes you just have to throw in the towel and bring in the pros. If your disposal’s humming concert hasn’t stopped playing its tune despite your troubleshooting efforts, it’s time to let a certified plumber take the stage. Not only will a professional have the expertise to swiftly diagnose the issue, but they will also know the best way to restore harmony to your kitchen.

Perhaps your disposal’s motor needs more than a reset, or a stubborn piece of debris is causing an unseen blockage. In the worst-case scenario, if your trusty garbage disposal has reached the end of its life and is due for a replacement, a professional plumber can execute a flawless installation, ensuring your new unit is ready to perform without a hitch.

So, when your efforts to quell the humming have hit a sour note, don’t hesitate to reach out to the pros. You can rest assured knowing your garbage disposal is in capable hands, and your kitchen will soon be back to its melodious best.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Garbage Disposal Humming

Ready to conduct a symphony of silence from your garbage disposal? Here are some preventive strategies that can help your disposal stay in harmony. First and foremost, practice restraint when it comes to sending food waste down the chute. Overloading your disposal can lead to an unwelcome humming solo. Instead, feed your disposal gradually to keep it operating smoothly.

Remember the saying “garbage in, garbage out”? It holds true for your disposal too. Not everything belongs in the disposal. Hard items like bones or non-food items such as silverware can be an unwanted fanfare in your disposal’s symphony. Also, fibrous materials like corn husks or celery can wrap around your disposal’s impellers, stifling their ability to grind and leading to that distinctive hum.

Keeping your disposal clean can also prevent it from singing out of tune. A regular cleaning regimen using vinegar and baking soda not only keeps your disposal smelling fresh but also prevents the build-up of grime and debris that can trigger humming.

So, keep these tips in mind and help your garbage disposal maintain its harmonious hum. With these preventive strategies, you can keep your disposal in tip-top shape, ready to tackle your kitchen cleanup without any unnecessary fanfare.


What’s the deal with my garbage disposal humming?

The humming (or occasionally buzzing) sound made by your garbage disposal indicates that power is being supplied to the appliance but the blades are not spinning. The humming sound could indicate that the motor is blocked or stuck, causing it to fail to grind.

How can I tell if my garbage disposal motor has failed?

If your garbage disposal emits a burning odor or smokes, the motor or motor capacitor may have failed. This could indicate that it is clogged with food waste, or that a persistent object is caught in the grinding chamber, causing the motor to overheat.

What’s the deal with my garbage disposal spinning but not draining?

Almost always, this is due to impacted food waste obstructing the pipes. There are two possible explanations for this. First, there is too much food in the waste disposal, which has formed a blockage. Second, anything should not have gone down the garbage disposal.


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