Can You Overheat Garbage Disposal? (Explained)

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You can overheat garbage disposal. It usually happens when you turned it on, and it doesn’t even hum. The overfilling has triggered the breaker, resulting in overheating. Under the unit, you will find a red overload button that you can press to resolve this issue.

Garbage Disposal

What Happens If Garbage Disposal Overheats?

Overheating can occur quickly when a disposal motor jams, causing a red button to rise from the disposal bottom. Electricity cannot overload the motor in this way.

The grinding plate or wall needs to be freed to release a jammed grinding machine when the reset button doesn’t work.

Can You Overheat Garbage Disposal?

The garbage disposal may have overheated if it has been working without any issues, and suddenly it no longer makes a humming sound.

Garbage disposals can jam if water is not used or items such as jewelry or flat wear are dropped. Food items like corn husks can also cause clogged disposal. An overheated disposal motor can pop the red button from the bottom if it jams and causes it to overheat rapidly.

By this, it protects the motor from being overloaded due to electricity. For a jammed grinding plate or wall, free the grinding plate or wall by pressing a reset button.

Method to Fix Garbage Disposal

Using the wall switch, shut off the garbage disposal. Turn off the wall outlet below the sink to unplug the disposal. Make sure to keep a garbage disposal wrench inside the center opening at the bottom.

In the absence of a garbage disposal wrench, use a hex key. You can release the jam by rotating the hex key. You can either try rotating it in a clockwise and counterclockwise position.

You can use a wooden broom or plunger to clear the garbage disposal with the help of an opening in the sink. To unlock the jam, turn the bottom grinding plate using the handle.

Grinding walls are sometimes present in disposals. To make the handle rotate, push it against the grinding wall. Be sure the jam has been released from the wall or plate by rotating the hex key or disposal wrench one more time.

The garbage disposal needs to be plugged into the outlet. Allow water to flow into the disposal by letting the faucet run. To reset your disposal, push the reset button at the bottom.

You may require shutting off the water and wait for the drive motor to cool for 10 minutes if it does not stay at your disposal. Reset the disposal by pressing the reset button.

Make sure the sink has water running. Connect the wall switch to the disposal. Then turn off the water and switch, and check the circuit breaker if the reset button doesn’t work.

To access the circuit board, unlock the door. Disconnect the power to both the garbage disposal and the circuit breaker in the kitchen. Replacing the breaker requires re-enabling the breaker.

To check that the button remains pushed into the disposal, look at the bottom. You must operate the disposal by activating the wall switch and the water.

Try pushing the reset button again if it continues not to work. With the switch in the ON positions, place a voltage detector adjacent to the wall switch.

When the detector detects electricity, it will emit a beeping and flashing sound. The switch should be on, and you must hold the detector against an outlet underneath the sink.

The switch may have failed, and the disposal motor is not receiving electricity if the detector does not sense electricity at the outlet. So, if the issue is with the switch, install a new wall switch.

Cause and Effec

What Can Cause the Garbage Disposal to Overheat?

Various problems with garbage disposals may arise, some of which are easily fixed and require further training. If you’re not qualified, never take unnecessary risks, and choose whatever you’re most capable of. Among the problems you may encounter are:


The garbage disposal has likely tripped itself off because it became overheated as a result of overfilling. Locating the red reset button under the unit is the first step.

After you push the button, see if a breaker was tripped in your circuit panel if nothing happens. Even though this is a common problem, you should handle it at home: the cost of hiring a professional is not justified here.


Garbage disposals often jam if they are humming but not working. Avoid touching drains with garbage disposals. You do not need to be told this. Typically, this error leads to homeowners losing fingers each year.

You should turn off the garbage disposal with the appropriate circuit breakers. In case that doesn’t work, unplug the unit under the sink—using the hex Allen wrench to tighten the screw from the bottom.

You should make sure that the hex-shaped hole is placed under the disposer. Make sure to turn the motor shaft of your disposal counterclockwise.

You can also turn it clockwise if that doesn’t work. Whenever an obstruction is dislodged, repeat this process. Once the motor shaft is spinning freely, your work has been successful.

A plumber should be able to reach the shaft’s spinning point if you cannot. After that, remove the wrench and plug the disposer. Start the garbage disposal by filling the sink with water and turning on the garbage disposal.

Your garbage disposal will run if it’s not clogged. Be careful when using the garbage disposal since the impellers can quickly remove a finger.

Other Issues

It may be better to buy a new unit if neither of these issues appears to be at the point. Find out if your manufacturer’s warranty covers your product. If not, you can also consider installing a garbage disposal, but that isn’t cheap.

Though the instructions come with the appliances, these appliances take some time to install. Therefore, you may be better off just hiring a professional if you don’t have any experience with plumbing.

New garbage disposal and professional installation are a good idea at this point. The manufacturer’s warranty should cover the replacement if you keep the receipt for that unit. You can still get garbage disposal that is reasonable priced if you do not own one.

Generally, you’ll need to hire a professional to install the garbage disposal if you buy one. It’s not easy to DIY these appliances. To install it calls for professional help from a plumber.

How Long Can You Leave the Garbage Disposal On?

In general, it takes 30 seconds for the food to go down to the disposal. If the drain is still not flushed, turn the water off and allow it to run for 10-15 seconds.

Moreover, try never to use your garbage disposal to grind fibrous foods or metal. Overfilling it is never a good idea. Never try to unclog a clogged drain with a chemical cleaner, or you will end up with toxic liquids in your sink.

Make sure the water is cold whenever the machine is being used. You should install drain strainers to avoid clogs. To make your sink smell better when things get stuck in the unit for too long, grind up some lemon peel with ice and run warm water while the item is stuck.


Overfilling and jamming are the prime causes of overheating garbage disposal. If you deal with overheating your garbage disposal, you should try fixing it not to damage the machine.

When the jamming of the garbage disposal motor happens, overheating occurs. You may also notice a glow in the red button if the motor has jammed.

However, fixing the overheating is not a problem. If you know the right approach, you can deal with the overheating concern. Read this article to know easy methods if you want to deal with overheating of the garbage disposal.