How Do You Reset a Garbage Disposal?

To reset a garbage disposal, push the Reset button in on the underside of the machine. This is the first troubleshooting step when you want to fix an electrical issue that's causing the garbage disposal to malfunction when the power supply to the unit is working.

  1. Find the Reset button

    Using your fingers, feel for a square-shaped button on the bottom of your garbage disposal. Look under the disposal if you cannot feel the button; the Reset button is red on many models and protrudes a fraction of an inch from the underside.

  2. Push the Reset button

    Press the Reset button until you hear a clicking sound and the button pops out. If the button is already popped out, there may be a problem inside the disposal that has activated the button.

  3. Test the disposal

    Turn the water on in the sink, and then turn on the garbage disposal. Listen for the grinding sound of the motor operating or the humming sound of the motor attempting to operate in the presence of a clog. Follow the instructions for resolving the clog in the disposal if you only hear a humming sound, and go to the circuit panel to see if you need to reset that breaker or replace a fuse if there is still no sound coming from the motor.