How To Reset A Garbage Disposal With or Without A Reset Button

How to Reset a Garbage Disposal: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction:
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to reset a garbage disposal unit. Garbage disposals are invaluable appliances in any kitchen, efficiently disposing of food waste and keeping your sink clean. However, like any mechanical device, they can encounter issues from time to time. One common problem is the need for a reset due to overload or jamming. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of resetting your garbage disposal safely and effectively.

How To Reset A Garbage Disposal With or Without A Reset Button

Chapter 1: Understanding the Need for a Reset
Before we dive into the reset process, it’s essential to understand why your garbage disposal might need resetting. Overloading the disposal with too much food waste, encountering a jam, or experiencing a power surge can trigger a safety feature that shuts off the disposal to prevent damage. Resetting the disposal allows you to restart it and restore functionality.

Chapter 2: Precautions and Safety Measures
Before attempting to reset your garbage disposal, it’s crucial to take necessary precautions to ensure your safety:

  • Turn off the power: Locate the power switch or unplug the disposal from the electrical outlet to prevent accidental activation.
  • Never insert your hand: Avoid putting your hand or any foreign objects into the disposal chamber to prevent injury.
  • Use a flashlight: If needed, use a flashlight to inspect the disposal chamber for any visible obstructions or signs of damage before resetting.

Chapter 3: Step-by-Step Reset Process
Now, let’s walk through the step-by-step process of resetting your garbage disposal:

  1. Locate the reset button: Most garbage disposals have a small red reset button on the bottom or side of the unit.
  2. Press the reset button: Use your finger to press the reset button firmly until you feel it click. This action resets the safety mechanism.
  3. Wait a moment: Allow a few moments for the disposal to reset fully before attempting to use it again.
  4. Restore power: After resetting the disposal, restore power by flipping the switch back on or plugging it back into the electrical outlet.

Chapter 4: Troubleshooting Tips
If resetting the garbage disposal doesn’t resolve the issue, here are some troubleshooting tips to consider:

  • Check for jams: Use a flashlight to inspect the disposal chamber for any lodged food particles or foreign objects. If you find a jam, use a disposal wrench or hex key to manually rotate the disposal blades and dislodge the obstruction.
  • Clear clogs: If the disposal is clogged, avoid using harsh chemicals and instead try using a plunger or a combination of baking soda and vinegar to clear the clog.
  • Consult the manual: Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific troubleshooting steps and recommendations tailored to your garbage disposal model.

Chapter 5: Maintenance and Preventive Measures
To prevent future issues with your garbage disposal, consider implementing the following maintenance tips:

  • Run cold water: Always run cold water while using the disposal to help flush out food waste and prevent clogs.
  • Avoid overloading: Dispose of food waste in small batches to prevent overloading the disposal and causing jams.
  • Regular cleaning: Periodically clean the disposal by grinding ice cubes, citrus peels, or baking soda to eliminate odors and buildup.
  • Schedule professional maintenance: Consider scheduling annual maintenance with a qualified technician to inspect and tune up your garbage disposal.


Resetting a garbage disposal is a simple yet essential skill for any homeowner. By following the steps outlined in this guide and practicing preventive maintenance, you can keep your garbage disposal running smoothly for years to come. If you encounter persistent issues or are unsure about performing the reset yourself, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from a professional plumber or appliance repair technician.