Why Is My Garbage Disposal Not Working?

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Not Working?

Garbage disposal humming is a common issue faced by many homeowners. It occurs when the motor of the disposal unit is running, but its blades are not moving. This can cause a continuous humming sound that can be both annoying and a sign of a larger problem with the disposal unit.

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Is Your Garbage Disposal Humming But Not Working? 

If you hear a humming sound from your garbage disposal, but its blades do not turn and process food as expected, it could be due to a few reasons. The humming sound indicates that the device still receives power, ruling out any electrical supply issues. However, the unit may not function due to a jam or a damaged motor.

Possible Reasons for This Issue

If your garbage disposal hums but does not work, more often than not, it is still receiving power but not functioning correctly. In these cases, a clogged or jammed motor is often the cause. Clearing the clog from the flywheel can usually resolve this issue.

A garbage disposal not working can also be caused by a tripped GFCI outlet or a tripped disposer. In these cases, the lack of electricity reaching the motor can make a humming sound. A humming garbage disposal that is not turning could also be due to a faulty motor. While the motor may be repairable, it is often easier to replace the entire appliance.

Is Your Garbage Disposal Clogged?

As previously mentioned, a clog may be causing problems with your garbage disposal. A clogged garbage disposal can be challenging to diagnose as the clog can result from a single item, multiple items over time, various things at once, or even a non-food object. The clog can also occur in the blades, the appliance’s construction, or the sink drain.

What Causes A Clogged Garbage Disposal?

A clogged garbage disposal can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Overloading: Putting food waste into the disposal at once can cause it to become clogged.
  • Stringy or fibrous waste: Some waste, such as celery, can wrap around the blades and cause a clog.
  • Hard or stringy waste: Fruit pits and bones can damage the disposal or cause a clog.
  • Oil or grease: Pouring oil, grease, or fat down the disposal can cause it to solidify and clog the drain.
  • Foreign objects: Objects that are not food, such as silverware or glass, can get stuck in the disposal and cause a clog.
  • Built-up waste: Over time, food waste can build up inside the disposal, leading to a clog.
  • Avoiding these common causes can help prevent clogs from occurring in your garbage disposal.

More Reasons Your Garbage Disposal Isn’t Working 

Along with the above, there could be additional reasons why your garbage disposal is not working. They include:

Water Leak

Water leaks can cause problems with a garbage disposal. If water leaks onto the motor or electrical components, it can cause corrosion, short circuits, or other issues that can damage the unit or make it inoperable. Leaks can also cause clogs by allowing food waste to accumulate in the unit or the sink drain. To avoid these issues, repair any leaks promptly and keep the area around the disposal clean and dry.

Drainage Issues

If the drain pipes are damaged or misaligned, they can also cause leaks or backups that can cause damage to the disposal or create unpleasant odors. Always keep the sink drain clear and regularly maintain the pipes and connections to ensure proper drainage.

What to Do If Your Garbage Disposal Isn’t Working 

Here are the steps you should follow to check when you have a non-functioning garbage disposal:

  • Look at the circuit breaker: Make sure the breaker that controls the disposal hasn’t tripped. You can always reset it to see if the disposal starts working.
  • Check the power source: Ensure that the disposal is properly plugged in and that there are no loose connections in the electrical cord.
  • Check for a jam: If the disposal is humming but not turning, it could be because there’s a jam in the blades. 
  • Check the reset button: Some disposals have a reset button. If the disposal isn’t working, try pressing this button to reset the unit.
  • Check the mounting assembly: Make sure that the disposal is adequately secured to the mounting body under the sink. 

While these issues may seem like DIY projects, they can be dangerous. In many cases, you will need to shut off the power and work with sharp components. Let the professionals repair your garbage disposal. Always err on the side of caution and call a plumber for further diagnosis and repair.

If you need assistance with your garbage disposal or another plumbing issue, reach out to Ierna Air. From garbage disposals to drain cleaning, we are ready to help you. Book your appointment today!