Garbage Disposal Reset Button

A garbage disposal reset button is the overload protector of the disposer. It is usually a quarter an inch (0.635cm) beneath the disposer. Accessing the reset button is a challenge at times because of its location.

What is a garbage disposal reset button?

garbage disposal reset button


A garbage reset button is a circuit breaker that trips when the motor of the disposer is overheated. This button will trip when the engine is not functioning correctly by disconnecting itself from the power source.

The button will trip when there is no consistency in the power supply, when the disposer’s motor is damaged, or when the disposer’s flywheel is stuck.

The reset button is located in a garbage disposal.

The garbage reset button is located at the bottom of the disposal. It is usually red in almost all models, but it sometimes can be black in other disposers. The reset button should not pop outside the disposer.

The garbage disposal reset button can sometimes be hidden at the backside of the disposer where it is not easily visible; furthermore, it may also be located at the lowest point almost to the unit’s floor, making it difficult to access it.

What is the purpose of the reset button?

It acts as a circuit breaker protecting the disposal from being overheated and purposefully disconnecting from the power supply.

It detects any fault that occurs in the garbage disposal and trips to protect the whole device. The button will pop out when it trips.

Resetting a garbage disposal

Almost all garbage disposals have a reset button. Usually, it is red in most of the disposers and black in a few designs. Garbage disposal sometimes fails to turn on due to clogging and overloading. Pushing the reset button is the key to restarting it again.



Here are some of the problems associated with the reset button of garbage disposals;

When the motor produces a humming sound

Sometimes the garbage disposal will produce a strange humming sound either when grinding or not. It means that the disposer’s flywheel is stuck. When this happens, the reset button trips blocking the power supply into the disposer.

The flywheel will not spin because there are food leftovers stuck in it.

To solve this, then: remove the food leftover using a wooden stick or pliers, after which you push the reset button.

Garbage disposer not turning on.

The first thing to do is to turn the disposer off to prevent electricity supply to the device. Then, locate the reset button at the bottom of the disposer, and push the button in if it had popped outside. Try plugging the system on and see if it works.

If the garbage disposal does not turn on;

  • Check and confirm that the disposer is plugged in to supply power to the system
  • Push the reset button in should it be popping out
  • If it still does not work out, check the house’s main fuse and figure out if the circuit breaker toppled.

If there is no reset button

In rare cases, some disposal does not have the reset button. It still does not mean that the disposal cannot be reset. If the button does not exist at your disposal, find a hex keyhole at the disposer’s bottom.


The hex keyhole can be used for resetting purposes if the unit does not have a button. It can also be used in dislodging jams that occur in the unit.

Twisting and turning the Allen wrench tool in the keyhole turns the blades in the unit. This would free the edges if they were jammed. The obstruction caused by leftover foods will get grinded.

Steps of resetting a garbage disposal

The following are steps that are to be followed when resetting garbage disposal;

  • Turn off the disposer

Disconnect the disposer from the power supply. It prevents you from getting electrocuted by the device, either disconnecting it from the disposal unit or the house’s main electrical panel.

  • Push the reset button in

The unit’s reset button should always be in. If it popped outside, push it inside and make sure the disposer is not overloaded.

  • Turn the disposer on

Turn the disposer on by plugging it back into the power supply. Once the reset button is pushed inside, try running the disposal to check if it is working.

The disposal should be up and running when the resetting is complete; if not, proceed to the fourth step

  • Check the reasons for the disposer being stuck

There is a possibility of food leftovers getting stuck at the flywheel of the disposer. Turn the disposer off and check for any visible food particles and remove them.

After removing the debris, reset the disposal and switch on the disposer. If there are no visible food materials, try unjamming the disposer using the Allen wrench.

Leaking of garbage disposal from the reset button.

Garbage disposals soak up at times, blocking the passage of food materials into the pipe drains. The reset button begins to leak when the system becomes soggy. The new model of disposals is essential and saves a lot of time.

Here’s what to do should the disposer be leaking from the reset button;

  • Check for cracks in the unit’s wall

If the unit walls have cracks, it will lead to leaking. The lining of the walls cannot be rectified. The best that you can do is get a new disposer.

The wall lining of the disposer can crack because the machine is old

  • Discover the leaks.

Cut the power supply of the unit. Try Looking for standing water in the unit. The process of removing the standing water requires the removal of everything in the sink to create room for working on it.

Run water in the unit to find out where the leaks emerge from. Preventing the leaks involves inspecting the unit and avoiding food materials like fibrous foods, pasta, and bread dough since they cause nasty clogging.

  • Leaks from the bottom of the disposal

If the bottom of the disposer leaks, there is a possibility that the unit’s seal is broken. The occurrence of the leaks may be due to the old age of the garbage disposal.

Replacing the unit is the best method rather than repairing it.