Garbage Disposal Humming But The Flywheel Is Not Stuck: What Do I Do?

If you’re experiencing a humming sound coming from your garbage disposal, but the flywheel is not stuck, you may be wondering what to do next. A humming garbage disposal can be frustrating, especially when it’s not clear what’s causing the issue.

Fortunately, with a bit of troubleshooting, you can likely get to the bottom of the problem and get your disposal back up and running in no time.

Before you start, it’s important to understand the role of the flywheel in your garbage disposal. The flywheel is a rotating disc that’s attached to the motor shaft. When you turn on the disposal, the motor turns the flywheel, which in turn spins the impellers and grinds up the food waste.

If the flywheel is not stuck but the disposal is still humming, it’s likely that there’s an issue with the motor or the electrical connections. In the following sections, we’ll walk you through the steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue and get your disposal working again.

Understanding the Flywheel’s Role in Your Garbage Disposal

You’ll gain a deeper understanding of how your garbage disposal works by learning about the important role the flywheel plays in keeping it running smoothly.

The flywheel is a circular metal plate with impellers that grinds and chops food waste into small bits.

When the garbage disposal is turned on, the motor spins the flywheel, which in turn rotates the impellers and shreds the food waste.

The flywheel is connected to the motor shaft with a hexagonal hole, and if the flywheel becomes stuck or damaged, the garbage disposal may stop working or emit a humming sound.

To prevent flywheel damage, it’s crucial to perform regular flywheel maintenance.

This includes removing any food debris that may have accumulated in the garbage disposal, using cold water to run the disposal, and avoiding putting hard or tough items like bones or potato peels into the disposal.

If the flywheel becomes damaged or stuck, it may require a flywheel replacement, which should be performed by a professional plumber or garbage disposal technician.

Attempting to remove or replace the flywheel on your own can be dangerous and cause further damage to the garbage disposal.

Troubleshooting a Humming Garbage Disposal

If you hear a sound like a small engine running but nothing is happening, it might be that something is preventing your grinder from turning. In this case, your garbage disposal is humming, but the flywheel is not stuck.

There are several possible causes for this issue. One of the most common causes is a clogged drain or a jammed impeller. Another possible cause is a faulty motor, which may require professional repair or replacement.

If you want to troubleshoot the problem yourself, there are a few DIY fixes you can try. First, turn off the power to your garbage disposal and unplug it from the outlet. Then, use a flashlight to inspect the grinding chamber for any debris or foreign objects. You can use tongs or pliers to remove any visible debris or objects.

Next, try resetting the circuit breaker or the reset button on your garbage disposal. If none of these solutions work, it may be time to call a professional plumber or electrician to diagnose and repair the problem.

Checking for Clogs in the Disposal

Once you hear the small engine sound, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and check for any clogs in the belly of the beast.

To begin, turn off the garbage disposal and unplug it from the power source.

Next, use a flashlight to inspect the drain line for any obstructions.

If you see any foreign objects, use tongs or pliers to remove them from the drain.

If there are no visible obstructions, it’s time to move on to the garbage disposal itself.

Using an Allen wrench, turn the flywheel manually to check for any resistance or blockages.

If the flywheel turns freely, the issue may be with the motor or wiring.

However, if you feel any resistance or hear any grinding noises while turning the flywheel, there may be a clog in the disposal.

In this case, remove the clog and run water through the disposal to ensure it is fully cleared.

Resetting the Disposal’s Motor

Hey, it’s time to get your hands dirty and reset the motor on your clogged-up garbage disposal! If you’ve checked for clogs and the flywheel isn’t stuck, the next step is to try resetting the motor. This restarting process can be done easily and quickly, so don’t worry.

Here’s how to reset the motor on your garbage disposal:

  • First, turn off the power to the disposal by unplugging it or turning off the circuit breaker that controls it.
  • Next, locate the motor reset button. This button is usually located on the bottom of the disposal unit. It may be red or black and may be labeled as a reset button or overload protector.
  • Press the motor reset button firmly and hold it down for a few seconds. You may feel a slight click as the button resets.
  • Once the button has been reset, turn the power back on to the disposal and test it to see if it’s working properly.

By following these simple steps, you can reset the motor on your garbage disposal and get it back up and running in no time.

If the disposal still isn’t working after trying this method, it may be time to call in a professional plumber to take a closer look.

Inspecting the Wiring and Electrical Connections

To inspect the wiring and electrical connections, you’ll need to make sure that the power is turned off and then use a screwdriver to remove the wire nuts and check each wire for damage or loose connections.

Start by inspecting grounding wires, which are typically green or bare copper. These wires should be securely fastened to the disposal’s grounding screw and to the grounding wire in the electrical box. Check for any damage to the wires or loose connections, and tighten any loose screws or nuts.

Next, test the voltage at the disposal’s electrical box. Use a voltmeter to check that the power is off, then remove the cover from the electrical box and test the voltage at the wires.

If there is no voltage, check each wire for damage or loose connections and fix any problems that you find. If there is voltage, the problem may be with the disposal’s switch or motor, and you may need to call a professional to diagnose and fix the issue.

Calling in a Professional for Repairs

If you’re unable to diagnose and fix the issue with your garbage disposal, it’s best to call in a professional to handle the repairs.

While it may be tempting to try and fix the issue on your own, attempting to do so can lead to further damage and additional costs.

A professional will have the necessary tools and expertise to properly diagnose and repair the issue, ensuring that your garbage disposal is working efficiently and effectively.

When calling in a professional, it’s important to consider the cost of repairs and finding a reliable professional.

Be sure to get a quote for the repairs and ask for references or reviews from previous customers to ensure that the professional you hire is trustworthy and reliable.

Additionally, consider scheduling regular maintenance appointments to prevent future issues and ensure that your garbage disposal is working properly.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your garbage disposal is in good hands and working effectively for years to come.

Preventing Future Issues with Proper Garbage Disposal Maintenance

Maintaining your garbage disposal is like taking care of a car – just like how regularly changing the oil can prevent costly engine repairs, running cold water and cleaning the blades can prevent future issues with your disposal.

One important aspect to keep in mind when it comes to maintenance is lubrication. It’s recommended to use a food-grade lubricant to help keep the moving parts of your disposal running smoothly. This can prevent the blades from getting stuck and the motor from overheating. Simply add a few drops of the lubricant down the disposal while it’s running to distribute it throughout the entire system.

Another important aspect of maintenance is proper cleaning. While it’s important to keep your disposal clean to prevent odors and bacteria growth, there are certain dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

Do run cold water and turn on the disposal while putting small food scraps down the drain. This helps to prevent clogs and ensure that the blades are working properly.

Don’t put non-food items, such as glass or plastic, down the disposal as this can damage the blades. Additionally, avoid putting hard or fibrous foods, like bones or celery, down the disposal as these can cause damage or clogs.

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can help prevent future issues with your garbage disposal and save yourself from costly repairs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I replace the flywheel on my garbage disposal?

To maintain your garbage disposal’s flywheel, it’s important to troubleshoot any humming sounds that may indicate a problem.

If you need to replace the flywheel, begin by turning off the power to the disposal and removing the drain trap and mounting assembly.

Then, remove the old flywheel and install the new one, making sure to line up the keyway and secure it with the retaining ring.

Finally, reassemble the mounting assembly and drain trap, and restore power to the disposal to test it.

Proper flywheel maintenance can help ensure the longevity and efficiency of your garbage disposal.

Can a humming garbage disposal cause a fire hazard?

To prevent fires and ensure electrical safety, it’s important to be aware of potential hazards from a malfunctioning garbage disposal.

While a humming garbage disposal may not necessarily indicate a fire hazard, it’s possible for electrical issues to arise and cause a fire if left unchecked.

To prevent this, it’s important to regularly inspect and maintain your garbage disposal, and to address any malfunctions or strange noises as soon as they arise.

Additionally, it’s important to ensure that you’re using appropriate electrical connections and following all safety guidelines when using your garbage disposal.

By taking these steps, you can help prevent fires and ensure your home is safe and secure.

What are some common causes of garbage disposal clogs?

Preventive maintenance is key to avoiding common causes of garbage disposal clogs.

Contrary to common misconceptions, grease and oil should never be poured down the disposal as they can solidify and cause blockages. Similarly, fibrous foods like celery and corn husks, as well as starchy foods like pasta and rice, should be avoided.

In fact, according to a study by the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, improper disposal of food waste is responsible for up to 50% of all clogged pipes.

Regular cleaning and flushing with hot water can also help prevent buildup and keep your garbage disposal functioning properly.

How often should I have my garbage disposal professionally inspected?

If you want to keep your garbage disposal in good working condition, it’s important to have it professionally inspected regularly. The cost of inspection can vary depending on the provider, but it’s generally a small price to pay compared to the potential cost of repairs or replacements if something goes wrong.

However, there are also some DIY inspection tips you can follow to keep an eye on your garbage disposal in between professional inspections. You can check for leaks, listen for unusual sounds, and inspect the blades and flywheel for any damage or clogs.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your garbage disposal stays in top shape and avoid any unexpected breakdowns.

Are there any household items that should not be put in a garbage disposal?

You may think that your garbage disposal can handle anything you throw at it, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

It’s important to know what not to put in a garbage disposal to avoid costly repairs and potential damage.

Plastic bags and eggshells are two common items that should never be put in your garbage disposal. These items can easily get stuck in the blades or clog up the drain.

Proper maintenance, such as avoiding putting the wrong items in your disposal and regularly cleaning it, can prevent these issues from occurring.

Remember, taking care of your garbage disposal can save you time and money in the long run.


In conclusion, a humming garbage disposal can be frustrating and confusing, especially when the flywheel is not stuck. However, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to identify and resolve the issue.

By checking for clogs, resetting the motor, and inspecting the wiring and electrical connections, you can often get your disposal up and running again in no time.

For example, let’s say you’re preparing a big family dinner and your garbage disposal suddenly starts humming. You try everything you can think of, but nothing seems to work. Frustrated and stressed, you decide to call in a professional.

The technician arrives and quickly identifies a small piece of bone lodged in the disposal, causing the motor to struggle. The technician removes the bone and your disposal is back to its normal function. You breathe a sigh of relief and realize the importance of regular maintenance to prevent future issues.

Remember to always be cautious and safe when working with your garbage disposal, and don’t hesitate to call in a professional if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with any troubleshooting steps.