How to reset a garbage disposal (A simple step by step guide)

How to reset a garbage disposal (A simple step by step guide)

Resetting a garbage disposal is not rocket science.

In fact, it is one of the easiest things you can do to.

But many of my readers, including those who have been using disposal units over the years, are not quite sure how to do that.

That’s why I finally decided to do a short post on that topic.

What is the reset button for?

When your garbage disposal is overloaded or clogged its motor won’t be able to provide enough power to run the disposal. In short, your disposal gets stuck. It is possible that its motor will get damaged if you keep it ON for a long time.

In order to avoid this scenerio, all disposal units come with a circuit breaker that breaks the electrical connection when the unit is overloaded.

A rest button restores this electrical connection so the disposal can run again.

Where is the reset button located?

The locations of the reset button on a garbage disposal vary with models. But all disposal units have one.

For all InSinkErator models including Badger and Evolution series, the reset button is located on their bottom side.

For most Waste King, Whirlaway and Moen disposal models you can find the reset button at the bottom of the front-facing side (the side where their logo is).

For most disposals, the reset button is red in color and easier to find but for some brands like Moen, they are black.

How to reset a garbage disposal?

Time needed: 5 minutes.

To reset a garbage disposal, follow these simple steps;

  1. Switch OFF the disposal

    Simply turn off the disposal switch. You do not have to disconnect it from the mains, just switching off the unit will do.

  2. Press the reset button

    Find the reset button and press it gently. Make sure that it stays in.

  3. Switch ON the disposal

    Once you pushed the reset button, turn on the disposal and see if it is working.
    If the disposal is working fine, then your job is done.
    If the disposal doesn’t run and the reset button pops out again go to Step 4

  4. Find out why the disposal is stuck

    It is possible that the disposal is clogged or something fell into it that prevents the disposal from running. In this case, switch OFF the disposal again, look into it from the top and see if there are any visible obstructions. If you find any such obstructions please remove them with pliers or tongs.
    Press the reset button and switch on the disposal again.

  5. Unclog the disposal

    If you cannot find any visible obstructions in the disposal try unclogging it using an Allen wrench or any other unjamming tool.
    Once unclogged press the reset button and turn ON the disposal.

  6. Contact a professional

    If the disposal isn’t still working the matter is out of your hands. It is probably some issue with the electrical connections in the unit. In this case, it is better to call for professional help than trying to rectify it by yourself.

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