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How To Reset a Garbage Disposal in 6 Steps

Oct 08, 2021

Kitchen sink water running down into a blue sink drain into the garage disposal.

Like any appliance in your home, your garbage disposal can malfunction at times. If your garbage disposal is clogged or if it’s been run for too long of a time—causing it to overheat—it can shut down automatically to protect itself and prevent serious damage to itself and your hand. This is great for safety, but annoying if you don’t know how to reset your garbage disposal. 


Below are all the steps involved in resetting a garbage disposal, carefully explained for your safety. If you’re ever unsure how to proceed or uncomfortable at any point, you can always have a professional plumber handle the project.

6 Steps to Reset Your Garbage Disposal

Quick steps that specify how to reset garbage disposal

1. Switch Your Garbage Disposal OFF

It’s very important that you never attempt to tamper with your garbage disposal when it’s on. Not only does it contain blades capable of pulverizing various materials, but it’s a piece of electrical equipment that can harm you via electric shock. Simply turn OFF your disposal using the disposal switch. There’s no need to disconnect it from the power line.

2. Press the Reset Button

Once the garbage disposal is OFF, locate the garbage disposal reset button. Give it a press and make sure that it stays all the way in. 

3. Switch Your Garbage Disposal ON

Yes, learning how to reset garbage disposal can actually be this easy. Once you have fully pushed the reset button, you can turn your garbage disposal back ON to see if it’s operating properly. If you find that it is working again, you’re done! If the disposal fails to turn on, it could be that the reset button has popped out again and you need to investigate further.

4. Examine Your Garbage Disposal for Issues

Your garbage disposal could be clogged with something that’s keeping the blades from rotating, causing humming or other strange sounds. When you turned your disposal ON, the clog could have triggered the reset switch again. Turn your garbage disposal OFF again, then grab a flashlight and look for any obstructions in the blades of your disposal. If you find any clogs, carefully remove them using tongs or a pair of pliers. Never stick your hand down the disposal. Once the clogs are clear, press the reset button, turn your display to ON, and test.

5. Use an Allen Wrench to Unclog Your Garbage Disposal

You may be wondering how to reset garbage disposal with Allen wrench. If you cannot see any visible obstructions or if clearing visible obstructions didn’t work, you may need to unclog your appliance by disassembling it. Use an Allen wrench to help remove more serious clogs, but be sure you know how to put everything back together before pulling your disposal apart. Once it is properly clean and reassembled, press the reset button. Turn your disposal to ON then test.

6. Call in a Professional Plumber

Your last resort to reset your garbage disposal is to call a plumber. If none of these steps resolved your issue, then you may need the connections replaced or repaired. Don’t attempt to fix your garbage disposal beyond the above steps, since a lack of knowledge and skill, could end up causing more harm than good.

Garbage Disposal Services

Your garbage disposal is an important aspect of your kitchen. A failing garbage disposal can make cooking and cleaning much more of a hassle. CroppMetcalfe offers a variety of garbage disposal services to help keep your kitchen working smoothly. Contact us online or feel free to call our knowledgeable staff with questions.



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