Why Is My Garbage Disposal Humming but Not Turning?

Is your garbage disposal turning but not humming? Does it sound like something is moving around under the sink?

Your garbage disposal is designed to grind up small pieces of food waste so that it can be washed down the drain. However, if your garbage disposal is overloaded or if there are any hard objects in the disposal, it can cause the blades to become stuck. When this happens, the garbage disposal will start humming but it won’t turn. This is because the motor is still running but the blades are not moving

Take a look at this article to learn more about that, and how to fix it so that your disposal will start working as it should again.

Clogged Motor

A humming garbage disposal usually indicates a clogged motor. The first thing you should do is check to see if there is something blocking the blades. If there is, remove it and see if that fixes the problem. If your disposal is still humming, it’s probably because the motor is jammed. You can try to reset it by pressing the reset button on the bottom of the unit. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to call a plumber to take a look at it.

Tripped GFCI or Disposer

One reason your garbage disposal might start humming but not turn is because it has tripped the GFCI, or ground fault circuit interrupter. This can happen if the disposer is overloaded or if there is water in the sink. To reset the GFCI, simply push the reset button located on the outlet. If this doesn’t work, then there may be an issue with the disposer itself. In this case, you’ll need to call a professional to take a look at it.

Faulty Motor

The motor in your garbage disposal can start to fail in a few different ways. One way is that the bearings can start to go bad. When this happens, you will hear a humming noise but the motor won’t actually turn. This can cause the blades to get stuck and not be able to chop up the food waste. Another way the motor can fail is if the windings inside the motor burn out. This usually happens because of a power surge or because the motor overheats. When this happens, you will also hear a humming noise but again, the motor won’t turn.


The motor can overheat if it’s jammed or if there’s something caught in it. If the motor overheats, it will shut off automatically to prevent damage. To fix this, turn off the power to the disposal and remove any jammed or caught objects. Once you’ve done that, you can turn the power back on and see if the disposal is working properly.

Wear and Tear:

Over time, the blades in the disposal can become dull and less effective. This can make it difficult for the motor to turn the blades.

How to properly care for Your Garbage Disposal?

You should always run cold water through your garbage disposal for about 15 seconds before and after using it. This will help keep it clean and prevent it from clogging. You should also avoid putting hard-to-grind items, such as celery or chicken bones, down the disposal. These items can damage the blades and cause the disposal to break down. To clean the disposal, you can grind up a lemon or lime in it. This will freshen up the smell and remove any built-up grime.

Get Professional Help

Plumber To Your Door is a family owned plumbing company that specializes in garbage disposal repair and replacement. We have been servicing Toronto and the GTA for over 25 years. We are fully licensed and insured. We offer a wide range of services, including 24/7 emergency service. We are committed to providing our customers with the highest quality of service possible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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