How to Reset a Garbage Disposal

garbage disposal
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-200
What You'll Need
Long screwdriver
Protective eye wear

A garbage disposal reset device will turn off the appliance if a solid object is stuck inside it. This safety feature protects the blades and internal parts of your garbage disposal from becoming damaged. If your disposal is making a humming noise, or the blades are making no noise at all, that is a signal that the automatic shut-off has been activated. In order to reset your garbage disposal, you will have to find out what caused it to engage the safety feature, before you do anything else.

Step 1 - Stay Safe

If your garbage disposal is turned on, turn off the power. Shut off the power to the entire kitchen. Empty the sink of any dishes, utensils or pots and pans. Put on your protective eyewear.

Step 2 - Examine the Inside of the Disposal

double sink

Turn on your flashlight and shine it down into your garbage disposal. Look carefully for anything that might be caught inside. Move the light around to see as much of the internal parts as possible.

Step 3 - Remove the Obstruction

When you have found the object, use the long screwdriver to pull the item up from the inside of the garbage disposal. For your own safety, never put your hands inside the disposal, even when the power to the appliance has been disconnected.

Step 4 - Reset the Garbage Disposal

Reach down and open the cabinet door below the kitchen sink. Crouch down and shine the light on the bottom of the disposal. Find the red reset button and press it. Listen carefully to hear if the disposal makes a click noise. The sound indicates that the garbage disposal has been reset.

Step 5 - Run the Cold Water

garbage disposal

Close the kitchen cabinet door. Turn on the cold water. Allow the water to run for a minute. Turn off the cold water.

Step 6 - Check the Garbage Disposal

Turn the power to the kitchen back on. Turn the disposal back on. You should be able to hear the sound of the turning blades. If a humming sound is coming from the garbage disposal, turn it off again. Turn off the room power source again as well. Take out the flashlight and look for any other item that might be caught inside the disposal. Once again, remove the object then press the red button to reset the appliance. Recheck after turning the power back on.

Step 7 - Seek Professional Assistance

If the humming sound returns, contact a plumber in the area for professional advice.

Step 8 - Prevent Obstructions in the Garbage Disposal

Use only cold water when your garbage disposal is running. Be sure the cold water is always running before you turn on the disposal, while it is operating and a few seconds after it has been turned off. If you are unsure about grinding an item, read the manual for the appliance to be sure it is safe.