How to Fix Garbage Disposal Overheating

If your garbage disposal lacks its usual hum, then it is probably because of overheating. Generally, overheating is a consequence of overfilling and a tripped breaker.

In hindsight, a few causes for such mishaps are when the garbage drain lines are clogged. Among numerous reasons, some notorious conditions for such uncertainties are shoving fibrous waste, food, fat, or grease down the garbage disposal.

These obstructions hamper the garbage disposal’s functionality, causing it to overheat.

However, it is still tough to pinpoint the culprit and even more challenging to figure out the solutions. But, I’m here to ease that distress in this article. I will discuss how you can stop and fix your garbage disposal from overheating with a few effective measures. So, check them out!

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Hot?

The most usual overheating conditions comprise of the following:

  • Perhaps, you’re overusing the device without even realizing it.
  • Sometimes intentionally and other times unknowingly, you could be pushing down food bits and chunks in the garbage disposal. As the elements remain fastened, restraining the garbage disposal’s mechanism, it overheats and comprises its functionality.
  • Lastly, a jammed motor might be another deep-seated reason for such setbacks. Although with overloaded motors, the machine will hum, the garbage disposal will not work as expected.

Can My Garbage Disposal Catch Fire?

Over the decade, there have been several complaints regarding garbage disposal and fire hazards, mostly between the years 2005 and 2017. More often than not, the underlying inferences for a fire threat were power module damages or jeopardized sink outlets.

Moreover, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were around 1.4 million garbage disposal switch recalls during this time. However, the actual case and origin of the falsely accused garbage disposal might surprise you.

This phenomenon occurs particularly when water travels behind the disposal’s button, causing a fire. It was later confirmed that even with few of the reported incidents of fire hazards, they were all induced due to electrical issues with the outlets or switch and were not directly posed by the garbage disposal.

On the contrary, it is almost unlikely for a garbage disposal to cause a fire. All the reports were about garbage disposal burning smell or smoking. Therefore, reaching the stages of catching fire is highly improbable.

Some more rationalizations for such aftermath are metal items falling into the garbage disposal or other food objects getting into the motor, causing it to burn.

You must also be aware of the continuous running water that goes hand in hand with such scenarios. Most cases of overheating, burn, or smoke is also because of motors capacitors being burnt out.

When it gets jammed with unwelcoming and hard substances, it stops the grinding chamber from running, leading up to overheating or smoke.

How to Fix An Overheated Garbage Disposal:

Since there are several causes why you might feel your garbage disposal warm to touch or even confirm that it is overheating, I will let you in on a few reciprocal solutions.

Now, it is up to your comprehension of concluding the issue’s origin and picking the corresponding method to stop it from overheating.

Working the Reset Button

Sometimes, the primitive trail to start fixing the garbage disposal is by resetting the main switch. Here’s how to do it.

Extract the plug from the outlet to unplug the garbage disposal. Once you deactivate the electrical connectivity, working on the garbage disposal will be safer.

Find the reset button beneath the disposal. Crawl beneath it to get a good look and locate the thermal overload button. The red button must be probing out for better ease. Push it once, and if you’re lucky, you might see positive changes immediately.

Wait approximately 15 minutes to see if the red button pops back into its former state. This is another sign of overheating as the red button darts out if pushing the button once didn’t do the job.

If that’s the case, let the device cool down and repress the button. Keep repeating this process until the button stays put.

Turn on the faucet and let cold water run through the sink, drain, and garbage disposal for around a minute or two.

Test the disposal by plugging the unit into the outlet. Turn it on and assess if the garbage disposal starts to spin while the red button remains pushed back. Monitor for the motor running and the humming sound.

If, in any case, this method doesn’t work out for the garbage disposal, do not worry. Keep reading to know the other ways.

Will Allen Wrench Work?

Now that the former action hasn’t bode well with your garbage disposal, read the following solution and give it a try.

Start by unplugging the garbage disposal assembly from the electric outlet. Squirm beneath the sink and discover the hole underneath.

Insert an Allen wrench in the hole placed beneath the garbage disposal. The hole must have a hexagon shape and should be placed right at the center.

As you push the Allen wrench’s head in the hole, turn it in an anticlockwise motion, as far as it allows you to. Consequently, turn it in the clockwise motion for the next round and notice how far it lets you access. Continue cranking the device until you can revolve it entirely in a full circle.

Turn on the faucet and let cold water flow through the sink and disposal. Let the cold water run for about a minute to unhinge any remaining debris.

Plug back the unit and turn it on. If you had no issues rotating the wrench, even with a bit of force, then the garbage disposal must be as suitable as new by now.

Fix Overheating Manually

Lastly, you have to endure some manual labor if there’s no sign of betterment. Let’s take a gander at how it is done.

Switch off any electric supply to the garbage disposal.

Scrutinize the sink to spot any evident blockage. You can take the aid of a flashlight at this stage to look through the sink and disposal. It is essential to accurately evaluate the small teeth on the garbage disposal blades to check if any object obstructs its mechanism.

Remove any evident blockage with the help of pliers or tongs. Disclaimer: It is wiser not to stick in your hands inside the disposal for safety reasons. Utilize pliers or tongs to fish out and break away any debris and objects that might be inactivating the disposal.

At this stage, if you still notice that the garbage disposal is still fastened, you can utilize the special garbage disposal wrench to perform the task. The special disposal wrench isn’t Allen wrenches and has a claw-like prong that can unstuck objects quickly.

Once the hard part’s done, spin the blades clockwise and counterclockwise motion to rotate them freely. This step might require some extra force, but it is necessary to free up the formerly jammed blades.

As you remove the blockages and keep the wrenches aside, it is time to turn on the disposal. Plug back the disposal to restore its electrical power. Turn on the garbage disposal for one final test run.

Final Words:

I’m hoping that this detailed article has vanished all your horrifying experiences and untimely war with your garbage disposal. However, it is recommended to purchase a new motor if the issues persist even after trying all of our suggested techniques.

Note that it is also a smart move to consult a professional if none of these home remedies work out. Before you splurge your hard earned bucks on these last resorts right off the bat, venture into our methods and be patient with the handy garbage disposal.

Thank you for patiently reading till the end. Good luck!