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Why Is My Home Garbage Disposal Humming?

If you have a garbage disposal humming in the kitchen of your Birmingham home, something is not quite right. This hum isn’t quite like the unit’s regular operating noise, so it clues you in to the presence of a problem that can lead to damage and an expensive repair.

The licensed Birmingham plumbers of Douglas Cooling & Heating explain what causes a garbage disposal to hum and how to fix it. If troubleshooting does not work, give us a call to schedule service, as we are happy to assist you with any plumbing issue you face!

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Humming?

A humming garbage disposal is likely caused by an object in the drain that has jammed the blades. When the blades are jammed, they are unable to rotate. If the garbage disposal is turned on while an object has blocked the blades from spinning, its use has the potential to burn out the unit’s motor. With a bad motor, you’re probably looking at garbage disposal replacement rather than a repair.

Several things have the potential to jam up your unit’s blades and cause a humming sound. Pieces of food that have collected in the unit may clog it up, or kitchen debris like bones that shouldn’t be in garbage disposals at all. a foreign object, such as a kitchen utensil, are common culprits that cause a jammed garbage disposal.

How to Unclog Your Garbage Disposal

Luckily, as long as garbage disposal humming sound is addressed right away, this problem isn’t too complicated to solve on your own. The solution is often as simple as removing the object from the unit. Due to the nature of the equipment and the sharp blades within, you need to be sure you do so in a safe manner. Our licensed plumbers outline the steps to follow to remove objects stuck down in your garbage disposal.

  • Turn off the power to your disposal. Turning it off at the wall switch is not enough – cut power to the unit at your home’s electrical panel.
  • At the bottom of your garbage disposal, there is a small hex-shaped hole. Using the hex wrench, which is also called an Allen wrench, included with your unit, insert the Allen wrench into the hole. 
  • Turn the wrench clockwise. Doing so turns the disposal’s flywheel, which helps to break up the material jamming the blades.
  • Once you feel the resistance release and are able to turn the flywheel with ease, the jam has been eliminated. Use a pair of tongs or pliers to reach into the garbage disposal from the drain to pull out the offending object. And remember, never put your hands down the drain.
  • Make sure to pull out the Allen wrench and turn the power back on by resetting the circuit breaker at your home’s electrical panel. 
  • Turn on the disposal at the wall switch. If it runs, flush it with hot water for about a minute to clear out any debris left down in the unit.

Call Douglas for Plumbing Help!

If your garbage disposal hums when you flip the switch but can’t fix the jam or don’t know the cause, call your plumber for assistance. Douglas Cooling & Heating helps homeowners throughout Birmingham with plumbing repairs for garbage disposals as well as other components of a home’s plumbing system. Contact us today to schedule a service call.

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