Reset Garbage Disposal

Yesterday I tried to turn on my garbage disposal. I heard a low electrical hum at first. The noise was the same as you might hear when an ice cream maker doesn’t have the noise to turn anymore. Then the noise became nothing and all subsequent attempts to operate the disposal resulted in no noise and the disposal didn’t run.

My first thought was – Oh shit. Then I went to Amazon. They have a pretty badass garbage disposal buyers guide here. The Amazon guide is pretty good at trying to help you buy a new disposal, but it isn’t intended to help you fix your current disposal.

I called my father. He quickly informed me that my disposal wasn’t dead. He suggested either shoving a broom handle into the sink to move the blades or use a 5/16 hex wrench. The latter approach is better if you have the time to find the right tools. Here is a nice standard set with a 5/16, and this is a more specialized 5/16 hex key that might allow you to get more torque. He said the next step after the disposal turns some is to press the reset key. Here is a youtube video with similar steps in case you learn better that way –

Here is the picture from the underside of my disposal.

garbage disposal reset

After turning the blades some, I hit the reset button, and I was back in the business. The disposal is up and running like this dark and tragic incident had never happened.

If you end up having to replace the disposal, here is a really good Youtube video. This guy has a plug in the wall for his. I am pretty sure I would have to flip the circuit breaker in my house to turn off the electricity to the unit in my place. When I thought I might have to buy a new unit, I asked if I could replace a 1/3 HP unit with a 1/2 HP unit. i was told that was no biggie. My friend also recommended splurging since the more expensive units are substantially more quiet. Since I am a bachelor who might run the disposal once a week, I felt like that wouldn’t have been a worthwhile investment.

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