In most cases if your garbage disposal is humming it is because a foreign object is stuck in the disposal. If an item has been jammed in the blades of the disposal they will be unable to rotate. This can result in a humming noise. If this is the case simply unplug the disposal under the sink then survey the drain hole. If you discover that an object is stuck in the blades remove it. Once you have done this you can plug the disposal back in and flip the switch. This should clear up the problem.
While you were testing the red switch at the bottom of the unit, you may have noticed a small opening in the center. If the unit is clogged or humming, you can try to free up the unit by using the wrenchette (Hex-Torx key) that came with your unit or a 1/4 inch allen wrench. Simply place the wrench into the center hole and move it back and forth until the whatever is clogging your unit is dislodged. Once your unit is moving freely, turn it back on to test. If the unit still won't turn on, it may be necessary to take the unit apart.
The metal sink flange that sits directly inside the sink drain is typically sealed around the top with plumber’s putty (a clay-like sealant) and then secured from under the sink with bolts. If the plumber’s putty deteriorates, or the bolts loosen, the flange can no longer form a watertight seal between the sink drain and the disposal—which could cause a leak at the top of the unit.
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Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.