Almost every home nowadays has a garbage disposal machine. This small piece of equipment performs a highly valuable function and often works without issues for many years. However, this does not imply that it will not ultimately fail or stop working at some point. The good news is that putting it back in working condition is generally simple. But what does it indicate when your garbage disposal starts humming?
How Does a Garbage Disposal Work?
Understanding how your garbage disposal works will enable you to accurately diagnose odd noises coming from it. Your garbage disposal’s motor starts when you turn on the switch. The impeller plate is then spun by the motor. Many people mistakenly think that food gets chopped up by blades in garbage disposals, but that is untrue.
A shredder ring is used to grind up the waste instead. The food is gathered in a tiny chamber that is surrounded by the shredder ring. The impeller plate at the bottom of the chamber rotates when the disposal is turned on. The food scraps are sent outside the shredder ring by a centrifugal force created by the plate’s rapid spinning. You may imagine it as a Gravitron rollercoaster for your leftover food.
Why is My Garbage Disposal Making a Humming Sound?
If your garbage disposal is humming, the sound is typically the motor operating while other components are still. The impeller plate may be having a problem rotating for any reason. The appliance may have another issue in addition to the otherwise moving elements malfunctioning.
A garbage disposal that is not rotating cannot get rid of food waste. You can tell the appliance is malfunctioning when you hear a buzzing noise, and it may not work until you fix it. The most common causes of humming garbage disposals, as well as their fixes, are listed below.
A Foreign Object is Stuck Under the Shredding Plate
Almost every garbage disposal will malfunction when a piece of cutlery falls into its chamber. When you live in a home with children, such an occurrence is almost always inevitable.
You’ll be able to tell when that time has come by the manner in which the appliance stops functioning. The shredding plate will become glued to the object. The engine will continue to operate and hum, but the plate will be static.
To remove the obstruction and allow the blades to operate freely, use a gripping instrument (tongs). Avoid sticking your fingers down the garbage disposal as well. Instead, use a spotlight to locate the thing that is hindering motion.
If you don’t have tongs, pliers will suffice. If you don’t have any, it’s best to go to a nearby hardware store and purchase one. You can get a set of household tools from the Cartman Store on Amazon.
After removing the obstruction, turn on the machine and listen for the humming sounds. If you detect any, it means you have another issue.
Garbage Disposal is Clogged by Food Items
Food that has been trapped in the disposal can occasionally cause it to turn on and then stop on its own. There are times when a piece of fibrous food will become trapped between the impeller plate and the drain hole. You can check this by rotating the plate manually.
Before doing anything further, be sure to disconnect the device. The particles may then be unjammed with a hex Allen. In fact, many disposals even have a wrench of their own.
To begin, turn off the disposal by disconnecting it and interrupting the electrical connection to prevent the motor from wearing out and avoid being electrocuted.
Insert the hex-head Allen wrench into the breaker socket at the bottom of the waste disposer.
To cause the flywheel to turn and release the imprisoned particles from the impeller blades, turn the wrench tool back and forth. In the absence of an Allen wrench or a hex hole in the garbage disposal, insert a short broom into the device. As you physically rotate it back and forth, be sure to press it firmly onto an impeller blade.
Check to see if the garbage disposal is operating normally after reconnecting it to the power supply. Listen carefully to hear whether the device is still producing a humming or buzzing sound.
A garbage disposal might overheat, which could lead to electrical problems and perhaps produce a buzzing sound. If the appliance is left on or used excessively, it will frequently overheat. When something is forced through the garbage disposal, it can occasionally cause overheating.
The GFCI outlet or the circuit breaker may trip when the machine overheats. By resetting the disposal, you can determine if the buzzing is caused by an electrical problem.
A button on the device’s bottom is used to do this. If it doesn’t work, it’s best to get professional assistance from a nearby plumber. You may not need to replace the entire unit if the cause of the humming is minimal.
Garbage Disposal May Be Outdated
If your trash disposal is still humming after you’ve unclogged it, manually turned the grinding plate, or pressed the reset button, it could be because it has become too old to function properly.
A garbage disposal that is buzzing and not working properly may just be old and beyond its prime. The typical lifespan of a garbage disposal is eight to fifteen years. If your appliance has been in use for a while, it might be time for a replacement.
While you’re at it, go over the reset switch to make sure it’s not worn out or defective in any way. When this switch fails or becomes worn, it typically signifies that the entire unit has to be replaced. If you are unfamiliar with garbage disposal installation, you should hire an expert.
Before you buy a new garbage disposal, it is advisable to compare brands to enable you to pick the one that suits your needs and budget. You might want to see our comparison of Waste King vs. Insinkerator or Moen vs. Insinkerator.
General Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips
In the hopes that once you’ve resolved your problem, you won’t have to deal with it again, here is some basic maintenance advice to keep your disposal in good working order.
Put hard bits of food, such as little chicken bones, through it on a regular basis. When these materials are pulverized, the fragments of hard material scour the edges of the grinding chamber and eliminate buildup. This aids in the cleanliness of your waste disposal.
Let cold water run down the drain when using the garbage disposal. In general, disposals operate best when used in combination with cold water. In addition, the cold water helps to solidify oil and fat, making them simpler to drain through the system.
Fill your waste disposal with ice cubes once a month to clean it. This will aid in the removal of any grease or muck that has accumulated on the sides of the disposal.
Don’t overfill the waste disposal. Attempting to put too much food down the disposal at once can cause it to clog. Fill the disposal only halfway.
When you put food in the garbage disposal, make sure you run it right away. Don’t leave food sitting there for long. Food that stays in the disposal causes corrosion, so turn it on whenever you put food in it.
Non-food objects should be kept away from the garbage disposal. The most common method of damaging a garbage disposal is to drop cutlery, jewelry, or other valuables into it by accident.
Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Fixing Garbage Disposal
1. Consider repairing your garbage disposal if it is buzzing but not functioning. Always start by removing the device from the source of its power supply. This action can help you avoid mishaps.
2. Even if the device is unplugged, you should never stick your arm into a garbage disposal. Remember these guidelines since a malfunctioning garbage disposal might injure you.
3. Move under the sink disposal device and remove the plug to detach it. The fuse can also be turned off at the appliance’s central panel.
4. Remove the plug and turn off the circuit breaker to put any uncertainties to rest. This allows the unit to be dormant for whatever length is necessary.