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Help! My Garbage Disposal Is Not Working After Reset

Help! My Garbage Disposal Is Not Working After Reset- picture of a reset button

It is not very uncommon to have a jammed garbage disposal. Without being careful, we can drop various unwanted items into garbage disposals such as spoons, rings, and other ornaments along with various food items like a potato skin, eggshell, or banana peel, which causes your garbage disposal to jam.

Running jammed garbage disposal can overheat the disposal motor quickly and the red reset button pops out from the bottom of the garbage disposal. This protects the garbage disposal from getting damaged by stopping the flow of electricity.

But, sometimes, the reset button does not work and could not fix the garbage disposal. In such a case, you need to free the blades to unjam the disposal.

In this article, we will guide you on how to fix your garbage disposal when your reset button is not working in 5 easy steps.

Video of How to Fix a Garbage Disposal When It’s Not Working After Reset

This video shows you how to fix your garbage disposal and free the blades when the reset button just won’t work.

Tools Required To Fix Your Garbage Disposal

  • Flashlight
  • Hex Key or Allen Wrench
  • Pliers

Steps To Fix Your Garbage Disposal

Under sink view of a garbage disposal

Step 1 – Before you get started, the first thing you need to do is turn off the garbage disposal and unplug it from the wall outlet to make sure you are safe.

Step 2 – The next thing you want to do is look inside the garbage disposal with the help of a flashlight. If something is jammed in the blades, then it will not allow the reset button to work.

If you see anything, take pliers, and pull out all the visible items. Never make the mistake of putting your hands inside the garbage disposal until and unless you are sure of what you are doing and aware of how the mechanism inside the garbage disposal works.

Step 3 – Now, get underneath your garbage disposal and there you will see an opening in the bottom of the garbage disposal. Insert an allen hex or wrench key into the center opening.

Allen wrenches

Note: If you don’t own a hex wrench, you can get them at almost any home improvement store or you buy them on

Now, rotate the hex key back and forth a couple of times to release the jam.

Rotating the key will be difficult in the beginning. You can use a hammer to tap the key if it is too hard to move. Keep on rotating the hex key until you have freed the blades.

Step 4 – Turn on the garbage disposal, run the cold water for a few minutes, and allow it to flow into the disposal. Now, press the reset button again. If the reset button does not stay in the garbage disposal, then wait for 10 minutes for the garbage disposal motor to cool. Press the reset button again.

A faucet running water

If the reset button still does not work and garbage disposal does not run, then you need to check your household circuit breaker.

Step 5 – In the circuit panel you will find a circuit breaker powering the garbage disposal. Turn it off and turn it on to reset the breaker. Now, check if the reset button is still pushed in, turn on the water, and turn on the garbage disposal.

Sideways view of a kitchen sink and counter

Your garbage disposal should start working by now. If the garbage disposal still fails to operate after completing all the steps, then either its motor is permanently damaged and you need to replace your garbage disposal or there might be some electrical fault with the wiring for which you will need to call an electrician to get it fixed.

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