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  #1  
Old 12-03-2009, 06:08 PM
Mr. Lahey Mr. Lahey is offline
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Garbage disposal just hums?

My gabage disposal does not work. It only makes a humming sound. I have used the wrench at the bottom to rotate it and make sure it's not jammed. I also have tried pressing the breaker switch on the bottom but I still only get the humming sound when turning it on.

I'm fairly mechanical but have never worked on a disposal before. What else might be causing the problem?
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2009, 06:10 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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This is just an all around bad idea, but if there's anyway you could manually spin it while it's on it might tell you something. BTW it's a bad idea because once you give it a little push it could start spinning and with the way a disposal is set up it would be hard to get out of it's way once it's going.
Eitherway, I'm gonna guess the motor is shot (or the capacitor if it's a cap start).

ETA if you turn it with the wrench, hard, will it carry on a bit under it's own momentum? What you could do is have someone at the switch, give it a push and then have them flip the switch before it stop spinning.
But like I said, since you said it spins freely, but it's only humming when you turn it on, it's probably shot.

Last edited by Joey P; 12-03-2009 at 06:12 PM..
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2009, 06:49 PM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Lahey View Post
My gabage disposal does not work. It only makes a humming sound. I have used the wrench at the bottom to rotate it and make sure it's not jammed. I also have tried pressing the breaker switch on the bottom but I still only get the humming sound when turning it on.

I'm fairly mechanical but have never worked on a disposal before. What else might be causing the problem?
Does it drain?
If the drain is clogged you'll get a humming noise from the blades turning. In that case the disposer is fine but the distal pipe is clogged.

If the reset button doesn't fix it and the blades turn freely (you can test this when it's off if you like, it may have croaked.
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2009, 06:53 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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I will NOT make the obvious joke.
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2009, 07:14 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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I have used a broomstick or something similar to spin one from the top, not the bottom a brunch of times while it is OFF and then turn it ON after I was sure that everything turned freely. It worked but it took quite a bit of leverage to turn it that way through the first revolution though.
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2009, 07:14 PM
samclem samclem is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
I will NOT make the obvious joke.
YOu're a better man than I.

But, to the OP, replacing a garbage disposal is a quick and easily done job. Relatively speaking.
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2009, 08:11 PM
Rack-a-Bones Rack-a-Bones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
This is just an all around bad idea, but if there's anyway you could manually spin it while it's on it might tell you something. BTW it's a bad idea because once you give it a little push it could start spinning and with the way a disposal is set up it would be hard to get out of it's way once it's going.
Eitherway, I'm gonna guess the motor is shot (or the capacitor if it's a cap start).

...
Please don't try this.


If you've ruled out clogged drain and tried the reset button on the bottom I'd try Shagnasty's idea and if that doesn't work it is most likely a shot motor.

Last edited by Rack-a-Bones; 12-03-2009 at 08:12 PM..
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2009, 08:19 PM
Arnold Winkelried Arnold Winkelried is offline
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I have managed to change a garbage disposal by myself before, and if I can do it, anyone can. It might be easier just to get a new one.
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2009, 08:40 PM
usedtobe usedtobe is offline
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First -NEVER put a hand in a disposal uless you know the power is, AND WILL REMAIN off. See the folks who unjam wood chippers without turning them off...
Do you know what a capactor-start motor is? Or at least what a capacitor is?
Swapping out a capacitor is quite easy, the entire disposal only slightly more difficult,

p.s. - manually turning a capacitor-start motor is doing exactly what the capacitor does - you turn it, it WILL start. Your hand will never forgive you
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2009, 08:52 PM
Ca3799 Ca3799 is offline
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Doesn't the disposal have a nut on the side or bottom and a special wrench that is supposed to be used to turn the blades (and hopefully clear them) when jammed?
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  #11  
Old 12-03-2009, 10:11 PM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Lahey View Post
My gabage disposal does not work. It only makes a humming sound. I have used the wrench at the bottom to rotate it and make sure it's not jammed. I also have tried pressing the breaker switch on the bottom but I still only get the humming sound when turning it on.

I'm fairly mechanical but have never worked on a disposal before. What else might be causing the problem?
If it turns freely and hums when you turn it on, it is gone.
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2009, 06:20 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Okay, I will.

Print out the lyrics and throw 'em down the sink...
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  #13  
Old 12-04-2009, 07:53 AM
JuliaSqueezer JuliaSqueezer is offline
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An old landlord taught me his basic procedures before swapping out an old disposal for a new one. Now that I'm a homeowner, I've used them several times and they usually work.

First, press the reset button on the bottom. Then, with the power swich OFF, poke a broom handle down the disposal and slowly push clockwise, then counter clockwise. If there's a seed or something stuck, it should drop out. If it drains slowly, there's probably a clog of grease or whatever. Stand back and pour a teakettle of boiling water down into the drain.

If those don't work, get a new disposal. Sayeth the landlord.
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  #14  
Old 12-04-2009, 10:17 AM
gazpacho gazpacho is offline
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There is a hole for a hex key at the bottom of every disposal that I have owned. Get the correct sized hex wrench and spin the disposal by hand. Then turn it on.
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