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Thread: Question---Garbage Disposer Dead?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
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    Question---Garbage Disposer Dead?

    Hi,

    I am not sure this question is appropriate. If not, will the moderator please delete it.

    I have a garbage disposer. When the switch is on, the motor hums. It does not run. The shaft and impellers (not sure if that is correct word---the thingies that bat the garbage around inside of the unit) move freely. Water runs through the unit freely.

    Has this garbage disposer become garbage? Have I missed something? Should I just steal away to the nearest BORG and purchase a new disposer?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Enjoy,

    Jim
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Odessa, Tx
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    Jim, if the motor hums, it is getting power and has not yet popped the little red reset button, but it sounds like some debris has wedged inside and hung the unit up. Looking down inside the disposal unit there is a plate at the bottom that should have one to three tabs (I call Shredder tabs) and these tabs should be free to rotate a few degrees back and forth loosely on the bottom plate. The bottom plate should also rotate freely as it is directly connected to the arbor shaft of the motor.

    To see if that plate will rotate freely, (and to free it up) if it is hung by some garbage that has wedged between it and the surrounding housing (shredder cage), there is a place on the outside of the disposal unit, under the bottom (about in the center) where you can insert a hex wrench into the arbor shaft of the motor. A hex wrench comes with the disposal unit when new, OR you can use ANY hex wrench of the appropriate size to turn it back and forth to free it up. NOTE: Be sure the power is disconnected to the disposal unit Before inserting the wrench.

    IF you cannot free it up by moving the wrench back and forth (or even hitting the wrench with a hammer), OR if the wrench turns freely but when you remove the wrench and turn the power back on, the motor still just hums but the disposal bottom plate inside does not turn, then you need a new disposal unit.

    Hope this makes sense.

    PS: any time you turn on a garbage disposal unit and it neither turns OR hums, turn off the power and look under the bottom of the unit for a red reset button. press it in (you probably will hear a slight click) and then try turning on the motor again.
    Last edited by Norman Hitt; 03-21-2009 at 06:58 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    It's dead, Jim.



    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    I'd replace the disposal. Usually if they hum, they don't spin. Since yours hums and spins, I'm guessing it's something deeper. (Maybe start capacitor on the motor?) It may only need a $2 part to fix it, but for me, it'd be well worth the money to buy a new one to just avoid having to take the old one apart and put it back together. (Leak-free, of course.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    It's dead, Jim.



    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    I'd replace the disposal. Usually if they hum, they don't spin. Since yours hums and spins, I'm guessing it's something deeper. (Maybe start capacitor on the motor?) It may only need a $2 part to fix it, but for me, it'd be well worth the money to buy a new one to just avoid having to take the old one apart and put it back together. (Leak-free, of course.)
    I'm really sorry Vaughn---you got the wrong Jim. However, I would really like to have his age and income.

    Enjoy,

    Jim Star Struck, Not Star Trek
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  5. #5
    Jim,
    Another approach is using two sticks leveraged against the tabs. It's akin to the broom stick, but gives a bit more leverage and doesn't put as much stress on the mounting collar etc. It may be dead, but they usually let you know they are going with lots of nasty noises.

    Wes

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    It's dead, Jim.


    Sorry, couldn't resist.
    My former boss was a Jim. When he asked for something a bit out of scope he always got the "Darn it Jim, I'm a Designer not a 'fill in the blank'." Oh, guess you had to be there - he got a kick out of it. (I cleaned it up a bit, but he did say it on TV.)

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