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Helpful Information on Plumbing, Heating, & More

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How to Reset a Garbage Disposal

 Man installing garbage disposal in home.

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, we often take our kitchen appliances for granted until they suddenly decide to go on strike. If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of a non-functioning garbage disposal unit, you know just how disruptive it can be to your daily routine. From the unsettling hum of a jammed disposal to the complete silence when you flip the switch, dealing with a malfunctioning garbage disposal can throw a wrench in your kitchen operations.

The good news is that resetting a garbage disposal is often a simple DIY task that can save you time, money, and the headache of dealing with a repair technician. South West Plumbing will be walking you through the process step by step, so you can quickly get your kitchen back in action and dispose of food scraps with ease. 

Signs You Need to Reset Your Garbage Disposal

Resetting your garbage disposal can resolve some common issues, but it’s not a universal solution for all problems. If you encounter recurring or severe disposal issues, it’s advisable to consult a professional plumber or technician for a thorough inspection.

Here are some signs you need to reset your garbage disposal:

  • Unusual Noise: If your garbage disposal is making strange, loud, or grinding noises, it could be a sign that something is stuck or obstructing the blades. Resetting the disposal can help address this issue.
  • Slow Draining: When you notice that your sink is draining slower than usual, it may indicate a clog or jam in the disposal. A reset can help resolve this and improve drainage.
  • No Response: If you flip the disposal switch, but it remains unresponsive with no sound or movement, a reset might be necessary to kick-start it.
  • Frequent Tripping: Garbage disposals are equipped with overload protection that can cause them to trip if they encounter excessive resistance. Frequent tripping may signal a problem that requires a reset.
  • Foul Odors: Lingering, unpleasant odors emanating from your disposal can result from trapped food debris and gunk. A reset, combined with proper cleaning, can help eliminate these odors.
  • Leaks: Any signs of water leakage from the garbage disposal unit or the sink flange can be indicative of a problem. Resetting the disposal might help alleviate the issue.
  • Jammed or Stuck Blades: If your disposal’s blades are stuck due to an object or food item, resetting the unit can often free them and restore normal functionality.
  • Reset Button Popped Out: Most garbage disposals have a built-in reset button that pops out when the unit overloads or gets jammed. If you find the button has popped, it’s a clear sign that a reset is required.

Tips for Resetting Your Garbage Disposal

Resetting your garbage disposal is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to reset it:

  • Turn Off the Power: Before attempting to reset your garbage disposal, it’s crucial to ensure that it is completely disconnected from the power source for safety. Locate the disposal’s power switch or circuit breaker in your electrical panel and turn it off to cut the power.
  • Access the Reset Button: Most garbage disposals have a reset button located on the bottom or side of the unit. This button is typically red or black and may be recessed.
  • Press the Reset Button: Using your hand or a tool (like a wooden dowel or a non-metallic object), press and hold the reset button down. Keep it pressed for a few seconds.
  • Release the Reset Button: After holding the reset button for a few seconds, release it. This action should reset the internal circuitry of the disposal.
  • Turn the Power Back On: Return to your electrical panel or switch and turn the power back on for the garbage disposal.
  • Test the Disposal: Run some cold water into the sink and turn on the disposal. Listen for any unusual noises or obstructions. If it runs smoothly without any issues, your garbage disposal has been successfully reset.

If the disposal still doesn’t work or continues to make strange noises, it may be jammed, or there could be a more significant issue. In such cases, it’s best to turn off the power again and inspect the disposal for any visible obstructions or consult a professional plumber or technician for further assistance.

Always exercise caution when working with electrical components and follow safety guidelines. If you’re unsure about the process or don’t feel comfortable resetting your garbage disposal yourself, it’s a good idea to seek professional help.

Drain Services in Greater Seattle

In the heart of the Greater Seattle area, South West Plumbing is your trusted partner for all your drain and sink needs. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to provide top-notch services to keep your kitchen running smoothly. Contact us today to experience the excellence of South West Plumbing, your local plumbing experts.

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