How to Reset Garbage Disposal? – Discuss the Matter from All Angles

In the course of using the garbage disposal to grind the wastes before passing the same to the municipal drainage, there is usually the possibility of jamming it to the extent of it stalling completely. If and when this happens, the disposal may have to be reset to let it resume proper operations. You definitely have to know how to reset garbage disposal. We are here to help you in articulating this end.

To do this, we are going to discuss the matter from all angles that be. At the tail end, we are confident that you shall obtain the insight you badly need to tackle this end appropriately well.

How to reset garbage disposal?

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Even before we belabor how to reset garbage disposal, we must know what makes the disposal to need a reset in the first place. The reset is mainly employed to jump-start the item after it has stopped working. This stoppage is largely brought about by the stalled motor, jammed drainage, and the difficulty in the passage of the wastewater to the municipal drains.

The precise step or process followed largely depends on the root cause of the stall in the first place. In many cases, the stall is mainly due to the improper working of the motor system and the electrical component. Follow the steps below to reverse the issue and return the disposal to the path of proper operations:

Step I: Switch off the mains outlet

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For your own safety, you are advised to switch off the mains outlet. That is to protect you from the dangers that may potentially arise from the electrical shocks and executions. Proceed thereafter to make the interior properly lit and well cordoned off from the passersby. Let the circuit cool off before re-switching the mains outlet.

Step II: Reach out to the reset button

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You now have to reach out to the reset button. In many models of the garbage disposals, this button is red in color, located at the bottom of the disposal, and pops out at around one quarter of an inch or just about 5 mm from the horizontal elevation. Just if you cannot see it, check out your manufacturer’s manual.

Step III: Switch off the disposal

Prior to resetting the garbage disposal, you have to place the switch at the off position. This is for the sheer purpose of upholding your own safety and that of the entire electrical circuit. Chances of the current overload the unit and resulting in some burns are hence significantly reduced.

Step IV: Press the red button gently

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Now move ahead to press the red button gently. This is the action that shall ultimately reset the garbage disposal. It should stay in the retracted position for it to tackle the rest. In case this does not happen, you may have to wait for some 10 minutes or so and then try again. Do so repeatedly until you get what you want.

Step V: Test the system

You now have to test the system by turning on the cold stream of water and running the same down the drains. As you do so, revert the garbage disposal switch to the ‘ON’ position. Typically, the gadget ought to run well now. If it does not, you may have to redo a couple of the steps above.

Step VI: Revert to the manual approach if the issue persists

In case the issues persist even after you have gone through the steps we have delineated above, you may have to revert to the manual approach. This entails the freeing of the grinding plates or the walls in order to physically release the jam. That of course will demand the use of the Allen wrench or other specialized gadgets.

Step VII: Call for help

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If even after attempting the manual approach the problem still persists, you may have to seek help from a competent and well-qualified technician. Let these people come to your rescue and do the thing. Alternatively, you might need a complete overhaul of the garbage disposal’s power unit.


How to reset Insinkerator Badger/Moen Garbage Disposal with an Allen Wrench?

Following the steps below will surely help you to attain this end:

Step I: Insert the Allen wrench in the access hole

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Start it out by inserting the Allen wrench in the access hole. This is found at the bottom part of the garbage disposal. Go ahead now to turn the key backward and forwards. Rotate the blades until you get some feeling of the breakup of the clogs and the subsequent free movements of the blades.

Step II: Disconnect the garbage disposal

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You should disconnect the garbage disposal unit from the mains electricity outlet. In case the unit is hardwired in such a way as to possess no outlet, you should place the switch in the ‘off’ position. Also, turn off the circuit breaker that is found in the service panel of the home. The object of this is to prevent accidental tripping.

Step III: Look out for any obstructions

At this stage, you may have to look out for any obstructions. To do this, you may have to make use of a flashlight. Shine it on the sink to find out whether you may come across any hidden debris. If you come across any, attempt to eliminate it by the use of your hands.

Step IV: Make the jams looser

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Yet again, this is the time to make the jams looser. It is here that you will locate the hex socket that is typically found at the center of the underside of the garbage disposal. Insert a hex wrench in this socket and move it back and forth. This is to free the jam and also ascertain that the impeller is unclogged.

Step V: Restore power

Having done all these, you should now restore the power supply to the garbage disposal. Simply switch the mains electricity supply to allow the smooth flow of the power to the gadget. Be sure to stay at a safe distance to avoid being electrocuted or harmed by the machine altogether.

Step VI: Reset the disposal

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The time has now come for you to reset the garbage disposal. To do this, you have to press the small reset button that exists on the disposal unit. This action automatically reverts the power back to the gadget and allows it to resume working as properly as it should ideally do.

Step VII: Test the garbage disposal

Before you go, you now have to test whether the system is properly functioning or not. To do this, you have to run smooth cold water. In case it spins freely, know that you are done. However, if the system hums but spins not, that could be indicative of a persistent problem that needs further study and handling.


Things you should never put down the garbage disposal

Preventing the jamming is better than letting things get out of hand first and then remedying the same later. To help you to achieve that end, we take you through the list of the things you should never do as part of our peek into how to reset garbage disposal.

  • Non-food materials

Garbage disposal, by its sheer nature and design, is wholly intended to crash the food wastes. As such, you should never even be tempted to place the non-food items in it. Common examples of the things we insert and which later cause trouble are plastic wrappers, paper towels, and bones.

  • Grease, oil, and fat

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Grease, oil, and fats have the ability to clog the sinks and the municipal drainage on the whole. You should never attempt to pour any of these in the garbage disposal hence. Instead, you have to find other channels within which to dispose of them completely.

  • Potato peels

Potato peels are too heavy and bulky to allow for smoother handling and engagement thereof. You hence have to keep them way off the sinks. When ground up, they do form a starchy paste that is very thick and less viscous to pass through the drains as smoothly as should.

  • Fibrous or stringy fruits and vegetables

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Fruits and vegetables that have high fiber contents or are stringy are also majorly capable of clogging the disposal units and the plumbing mechanism on the whole. Thus, you should always ensure that they do not get into the garbage disposal at all. The chances of them entangling the blades are quite high.

  • Eggshells

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Garbage disposals do rely on impellers to grind the food wastes before channeling the same to the municipal drains. These impellers, unlike the normal blades, are quite blunt. They hence lack the capability of crushing the eggshells. Thus, allowing the shells to go through them is a sure recipe for clogging the system.

  • Onion layers

Onion layers do have the tendency to wrap around the impellers in such a way as to clog the same. If and when that happens, the end result is that the system can no longer work as smoothly and flawlessly as is naturally supposed to be the case.

  • Pits and seeds

Pits and seeds are harder, impervious, and difficult to biodegrade. Letting them get to the garbage disposal will only serve to clog the motor and other moving parts. Take some time to sieve them out before pouring the resultant waste contents into the garbage disposal for smoother movements.

  • Nuts and shells

Nuts and shells, just like the seeds and pits, are also harder and hence quite difficult to crash. You want to keep them as far away from the garbage disposal as you can. If you must pass them through, be sure to crush them in the finest particles to the powdery forms.

  • Animal bones

Needless to say, you may never attempt to pass the animal bones to the garbage disposal units. These are usually strong, agile, and difficult to biodegrade. Additionally, they may also pose some serious and irreversible mechanical damages to the moving parts and components of the machine altogether.

  • Pasta, rice, and bread

Pasta, rice, and bread expand upon absorbing water. In doing that, they clog the passages and also impede the smooth drainage of the water to the holes. From time to time, you may have to use a rubber sucker to unclog the drains and allow the smoother passage of the wastewater.

  • Coffee grounds

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Ground coffee is ordinarily too coarse to pass through the drains fairly simply. When poured in the drains, the droplets will most always clog the same to prevent further passage of the wastewater. You are hence advised to sieve out the grounds prior to letting the water flow through smoothly.



Now that we have already belabored the key issues that pertain to how to reset garbage disposal, we now want to answer some of the questions that are persistently asked with regards to this awesome subject matter. We dedicate the segment below to just that:

Q1. Why does garbage disposal need to be reset?

Resetting the garbage disposal serves to give it a new lease of life. This is mostly when the same has stalled or jammed to the extent of not working properly as should naturally be the case. The exercise also allays the possibility of overheating which tends to wear the major parts of the item.

Q2. Do all garbage disposals have reset buttons?

YES, almost all modern garbage disposals do have reset buttons. This button indeed comes as a standard to prevent the possibility of the system malfunctioning or stalling unnecessarily when in use. Even those that lack it allow for the retro-fitting of the same at a later date.

Q3. Where is the reset button on my garbage disposal?

You will find it at the bottom of the lower backside of the appliance. Then again, it is proper for you to check out with your manufacturer’s manual. There is no guarantee that you will find it there. If still stuck inquire from your dealer on just how to locate it in your model.

Q4. What size Allen wrench do you need for garbage disposal?

About a 1/4-inch would be suitable. This is the standard dimension of the Allen wrench that is for a large part used when tackling tasks of these kinds. It fits most holes perfectly and does not need any further adjustments if need be. Need we add that it is a safer dimension to work with?



Our long and in-depth peek into the how-to reset garbage disposal comes to an end there. We now trust that you have the preparedness you need. Why not go ahead now and utilize the insight we have generously furnished to make some good of them? Of course, that can only mean you knowing how to maintain the garbage disposal appropriately.