How do you reset a garbage disposal?

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Garbage disposals are the workhorse appliances of the kitchen. It is no wonder they will occasionally stop working. In many cases all that is required to get it functioning again is a simple reset.

A garbage disposal will shut down by itself if it has been running for too long, it overheated, or it is jammed. This built-in safety measure is called the overload protector. It prevents the garbage disposal from breaking.

Before you call your plumber, you can try to reset your garbage disposal. We can tell you that a simple garbage disposal reset will fix 95 percent of the cases where a garbage disposal stopped working.

How do you reset a garbage disposal?

Follow These 5 Easy Steps:

  1. Cut the power. Turn off your garbage disposal and unplug it. Always remember: safety first.
  2. Clear any jams. Look down the sink drain and see if you can locate any jams. This could be one reason your garbage disposal decided to shut down. Use a flashlight to guide you and tongs/wooden spoon to clear the jam.
  3. Wait ten minutes. You will want to give your garbage disposal a few minutes to cool down. If it has overheated, been running for too long or been strained from any jams, it will not want to reset. So let it rest.
  4. Locate and push the red reset button. When the overload protector kicks in, the reset button will pop out. Normally it is retracted. When it is visible you have to push it back in. The reset button is either underneath or at the bottom of your garbage disposal. Give the button a push and it should retract. If it doesn’t stay retracted, let your disposal rest a little longer before trying to push the button again.
  5. Run the water and turn on the power. Run a stream of cold water through your garbage disposal and turn the power back on. Once you switch it on it should start working again.

What happens when the reset doesn’t work?

If nothing happens when you try to reset your garbage disposal, and you don’t see any signs of jamming, it could be an issue with the power supply.

Check your circuit breaker to see if it has tripped, and fix it by pushing the switch completely to the “off” position before flipping it back to the “on” position. If that doesn’t fix the issue, it could be a problem with the garbage disposal itself. It might need to be serviced or replaced.

A good sign that your garbage disposal needs to be replaced is if you need to reset it frequently. If it doesn’t turn on again, it has reached the end of its life. Rather than repairing an outdated, worn model, we recommend purchasing a new garbage disposal. Here are some of the best garbage disposals for sale today:

Our Recommendations
5-Star Rating Review Price
KitchenAid KCDB250G garbage disposal

KitchenAid KCDB250G (1/2 HP)

 4.6 Read our review
Moen GX50C garbage disposal

Moen GX50C (1/2 HP)

 4.5 Read our review
Waste King Legend 3200 garbage disposal

Waste King Legend 3200 / Waste King Legend 9940 (3/4 HP)

 4.5 Read our review
InSinkErator Evolution Essential Garbage DisposalInSinkErator Evolution Essential (3/4 HP)  4.7 Read our review
InSinkErator Evolution Excel garbage disposalInSinkErator Evolution Excel (1 HP)  4.7 Read our review

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