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Garbage Disposal Reset Button Not Working: Fix (InSinkErator, Waste King, Moen)

What is a reset button and how does it work

Sometimes your garbage disposal can overload and suddenly stop working. This is because all garbage disposals (of any brands including InSinkErator, Waste King, and Moen) come with an electrical circuit that trips when it gets overloaded. Once this circuit is tripped, the current to the disposer is cut off, causing it to stop.

The function of this overload-tripping circuit is to save the garbage disposal from any electrical damage. Once the circuit is tripped, it must be reset for the disposal to work again. For this purpose, the circuit comes with an external button called the reset button of a garbage disposal.

When the circuit is tripped, this reset button pops out. When it is pushed back into position, the electrical circuit becomes active again, and the garbage disposal starts to work.

But like any other mechanism, the reset button too can run into problems. These problems include;

  • the garbage disposal not working after reset
  • Reset button keeps popping out
  • Reset button gets stuck

Let’s see what causes these problems and how to fix them;

Why is garbage disposal not working after reset?

If your garbage disposal is not working even after resetting it, there could be a few reasons why. Here are some of the most common causes:

  1. Jammed Impeller: While the reset button is designed to protect the motor from overheating, it won’t do anything if the impeller is jammed. If you’ve reset the disposal but it’s still not working, there could be something stuck in the impeller. To check this, unplug the disposal, use a flashlight to look inside, and use tongs or pliers to remove any visible debris. If you can’t see anything, you may need to use a hex key to manually rotate the impeller and dislodge any obstructions.
  2. Faulty Electrical Connection: If the reset button doesn’t work, it could be due to a faulty electrical connection. Check the power cord and outlet to make sure they are functioning properly. If there are any frayed wires or loose connections, the disposal won’t receive the necessary electrical current to turn on.
  3. Tripped Circuit Breaker: Sometimes, resetting the disposal isn’t enough to restore power to the unit. If the circuit breaker has tripped, you’ll need to manually reset it to restore power. Check your home’s circuit breaker panel and locate the switch for the disposal. If it’s in the “off” position, flip it back to “on.”
  4. Burned-Out Motor: If the motor has burned out, the reset button won’t help. A burned-out motor will need to be replaced, which can be a complex and expensive repair. If you suspect that the motor is the problem, it’s best to call a professional to diagnose and repair the issue.

In conclusion, if your garbage disposal is not working even after resetting it, there could be a variety of causes. By checking the impeller, electrical connection, circuit breaker, and motor, you can narrow down the issue and determine whether a DIY repair is possible or if you need to call a professional for help.

garbage disposal keeps tripping the reset button

If the reset button keeps tripping, it is due to the impellers being jammed by obstructions. When the impellers are obstructed, it overloads the disposal motor which inturn trips the reset button.

The only solution is to unjam the garbage disposal as detailed below;

To fix the reset button, follow the steps below;

Time needed: 30 minutes

  1. Unplug the garbage disposal

    The first step is to disconnect the garbage disposal from the main power supply unless you want to get electrocuted during the unjamming process. If your disposal is hardwired, turn off the circuit breaker from the mains.

  2. Locate the jam

    Use a flashlight and look into the disposer through the sinkhole. See if you can find anything that is jamming the disposal. It could be food debris or some foreign objects like spoons or broken glasses. Suppose you find anything you can remove, remove it with the help of a pair of needle-nose pliers. Please do not put your hand into the disposal even though it is disconnected from the mains.

  3. Unjam with a wrench

    If nothing is jamming the disposal large enough for you to see, rotate its blades with an Allen wrench. Insert a 1/4 inch Allen wrench into the hex hole under the disposal and rotate it to and fro until the blades are free. If there is no hex hole beneath your disposer, insert a long broom handle through the sink hole and rotate the blades. Repeat this until the blades start to rotate freely.

  4. Push the reset button

    Once the jam is cleared, push the reset button again. It should stay in place now.

  5. Turn on the garbage disposal

    Once the reset button is pushed back, plug the disposal back in and turn it on. It should start running now.

Fixing a garbage disposal where the reset button doesn’t work: video

Here is a detailed guide on how to unjam a garbage disposal.

What if the reset button is not staying in position

If the reset button is not staying pushed in after loosening the blades from any jams, there must be some problems with its internal wiring or motor. In most cases, repairing this can cost as much as buying a new disposer, so the general advice is to replace it with a new one.

Why is garbage disposal reset button missing

All garbage disposals come with reset buttons. If the reset button is missing on your garbage disposal, it could be due to a few reasons:

  1. Manufacturer Error: In some rare cases, the reset button may be missing from the garbage disposal due to a manufacturing error. This is unlikely, but if you suspect this is the case, you should contact the manufacturer to request a replacement or repair.
  2. Tampering: It’s possible that someone may have intentionally removed the reset button from the garbage disposal. This could be due to curiosity. If you suspect that the reset button has been removed, it’s important to replace it as soon as possible to ensure that the disposal is safe to use.
  3. Wear and Tear: Over time, the reset button can become worn out or damaged. If the button has been used frequently, it may become loose or break off completely. If this happens, you’ll need to replace the reset button to ensure that the safety feature is working properly.

In conclusion, the reset button is an important safety feature on a garbage disposal. If the reset button is missing, it could be due to a manufacturing error, tampering, or wear and tear. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to replace the reset button as soon as possible to ensure that the disposal is safe to use.

It is also possible that you are looking for the reset button in the wrong place. Here is a list of reset button locations on all brands of garbage disposals.

My name is Thomas Anderson, author of DisposalQA. I have 15 years experience working as a plumber in CA, and this is where I answer common questions about garbage disposals.