humming garbage disposalJamming discarded food down your kitchen sink and flipping the switch to hear the satisfying grinding is almost an act of rebellion. Organic matter is masticated into nothingness and then it is gone. But there is an equal and opposite reaction in the pit in your stomach when you turn on the disposal only to hear a soft and gentle hum. If that happens, the panic can set in quickly while you try to figure out what’s wrong and what do next.

Why is it Humming?

Of course, that’s the literal question, right? But here’s something you should know. If the disposal is humming, it’s getting power. So you can rule out any possible electrical problems. From there, it’s a matter of learning why it’s getting power but not working. A jam is the most likely culprit.

Unplug it

Before you reach into your sink or use any hand tools on the unit, unplug it. This is for your safety, of course. Because it’s getting power, it could start working at any moment and that could lead to a bloody scene if your hand is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Remove the Jam

The first thing to try, once you’ve disconnected the power, is to remove the jam. This might work if you can reach whatever it is directly from the sink. If it appears to be more complicated, you can remove the disposal and take it apart to determine what’s causing the jam and remove it. But if you do this and don’t find a jam at all, there’s an entirely new set of steps to take.

Have you turned it off and turned it back on again?

If you can’t find evidence of a jam, you can try to plug it back in and hit the reset button. On most models you’ll find a red reset button designed to fix exactly these kinds of issues. It cancels out mechanical issues and should start up again. It’s worth a try, but don’t count on it.

Call the Plumber

If these simple fixes don’t solve your problem, it’s time to call in the big guns. Rather than trying to take apart a complicated piece of machinery and trying to put it back together again without any prior knowledge or experience, it’s safer for everyone to call a professional. In fact, your garbage disposal isn’t the only fixture that can hum when there’s a problem. If none of the quick fixes work, call someone who knows what they’re doing to help.

Does your garbage disposal only hum when you turn it on? Call the professionals at Simpson Plumbing to help today.