One of the biggest kitchen nightmares for homeowners is when they find out that their garbage disposal unit just hums and does nothing else. When this happens, they’ll have to put up with a machine that won’t grind their food waste properly and give them a huge headache. If this happens to you, the first thing you should do is to determine why your machine is no longer working properly. Here are some of the most common scenarios and how you can solve them.
Your Garbage Disposal Is Jammed
This is one of the most common reason why your unit just hums and no longer functions properly. Fortunately, fixing most jammed disposals is easy. Unplug the machine and look at its underside to locate a hexagon-shaped hole. Once you find it, check if your machine comes with a hex head wrench tool; if it doesn’t, use your own ¼ inch Allen wrench. Insert the wrench into the hole and wiggle it back and forth. Doing this moves the shredding plate and hopefully removes the object that has jammed your unit.
If your garbage disposal doesn’t have an opening at the bottom, you can push a slim broom handle through the drain opening and use it to turn the blades back and forth. Make sure to unplug the machine before doing so! Once you’re done, turn on the unit and see if it now functions properly.
To prevent jammed garbage disposal units, avoid putting in items that are hard to grind, such as bones, metal, glass, and fibrous materials (like flower stems or artichoke hearts). Make sure to pour enough water so food waste can easily flow to the drain pipes, and don’t use hot water as it can melt fats and make them stick to the garbage disposal blades or to your sewer line.
Your Garbage Disposal Has Overheated
Garbage disposals can overheat when they’re jammed for a long time. When this happens, turn it off and let the motor rest for some time. Press the reset button and check if your machine now works well.
Your Garbage Disposal Has Broken Blades
Blades can break if they’re exposed to too-hard objects (like metal or glass) or if they’ve been used for a long time. If you’ve tried to unjam your garbage disposal but it still doesn’t work, check if the blades are damaged. If they are, you might want to replace your machine altogether instead of just replacing the blades; it’s cheaper and won’t give you a headache.
Your Garbage Disposal Has a Damaged Motor
A damaged motor might be causing your garbage disposal to stop functioning and just hum loudly. You’ll know you have a broken motor if your machine hums even when it grinds well or if you’ve already unjammed it and removed the offending object but the unit still emits a loud noise. It’s important to note that your garbage disposal’s motor can’t be repaired. If it’s defective, you’ll need to replace it or buy a new machine.
Use these tips now to fix a humming garbage disposal unit!