Disposal humming sound, but blades not turning

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A humming sound may run on for a short time and then it stops. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the disposal needs replacing.  The overload protection may have kicked in and shut the unit off to help prevent burning up the motor because the disposal is jammed.

It’s Jammed ?

Nearly all the time that you hear a disposal humming and the blades are not turning; it is jammed with something in the hopper.

  •  Too much food clogged it
  • Heavy bones put in it
  • Silverware fell in it
  • Or some other foreign object fell in it


Try using a disposal service wrench (Allan type wrench), which usually comes with the unit. Look for a slot that fits the wrench, on the bottom area of the disposal that is made for the wrench. Place the wrench in the slot and try turning the wrench to un-stick the blades.

If you cannot find a wrench, then you will probably find one at the local hardware store or at a large building center. The wrenches are very inexpensive.

Safety tip

Turn the power off to the disposal before working on it, do not stick your hand down in the disposal and wear safety glasses.

Who to consult? Appliance repair man or technician; or a qualified handyman.

Home owners will usually un-jamb their disposal. Also, appliance repair men or technicians and qualified handymen will likewise work on the problem. At times replacement may be needed.