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?

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.

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.

I will NOT make the obvious joke.

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.

YOu’re a better man than I.

But, to the OP, replacing a garbage disposal is a quick and easily done job. Relatively speaking.

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.

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.

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

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?

If it turns freely and hums when you turn it on, it is gone.

Okay, I will.

Print out the lyrics and throw 'em down the sink…

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.

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.

SHAGNASTY, you the man!!! Took me 30 seconds to fix my disposal after reading your reply.

There you go. The eternal value of even a half-decade-old zombie is proven yet again.

Glad to hear it!!!

I was really hoping it was the OP reviving this thread. The antithesis of 'Need answer fast".