(Updated) How To Fix a Garbage Disposal That Is Humming
If your best garbage disposal is making a very simple humming noise that is smooth sounding but noticeable, then you probably have a stuck flywheel. It is a fairly predictable problem and not that difficult to fix. For a handy person you are looking at maybe a half hour worth of work, and if you are not much for mechanical repair, I would say you could be running again in about an hour.
- Before you do anything concerning the actual mechanics of the disposal, please turn off the unit and unplug it from the wall. Of course, you will never be putting your hand down. You will read this a lot of times on this website, but a garbage disposal can grind old food just like it can grind your hand so please keep your hands out of there, even if it is unplugged or even if you have gloves.
- Likely if the flywheel is spinning freely there is something lodged in the drain portion of the disposal. This is a very simple task of taking a large wooden spoon or a similar object and trying to move the propeller at the bottom of the drain manually. Often a peach seed, ice cube or just built up debris can cause the flywheel to become stuck. If you can manually move the propeller with your spoon, then you are in luck. Try to lift the stuck object out with your utensil (not your hand!). If you can get it out, then turn on the disposal and plug it in to give it a try.
- If it still makes a humming sound with little success, then you can try loosening the flywheel nut at the bottom of the disposal. Typically this nut is located in an offset position and requires a wrench that would have come with the unit from the manufacturer. If you are sure, nothing else is lodged in the disposal you can attempt to tighten and loosen the nut to better position the flywheel.
- This is the largest cause and solutions for the steady humming noise. If this does not fix your issue, then you may want to look into more electrical issues listed and solved on this website. Remember that if you hear a noise that means the motor is running but not engaging for some reason. The reason is usually a lodged object that can be dislodged by removing the debris or dislodging it by adjusting the flywheel nut on the bottom of the nut.
Keep those hands safe and good luck!