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How To Reset Your Garbage Disposal

We’ve all been in the same situation. You’re doing the dishes after a large meal. The dishes are stacked up in the kitchen sink and all of the scraps that didn’t go into the garbage can are quickly piling up. You turn on the garbage disposal does not work. What do you do now? Do you call the Good Guys at Smylie One, where our plumbers are standing by every day ready to serve? Or do you attempt to try to fix it yourself?

Remember this, your garbage disposal is extremely sensitive to clogs and will automatically shut off when it gets clogged, overheats, or if there is a definitive motor issue. However, there may be a simple fix. 


First and Foremost, Never Put Your Hand Down the Garbage Disposal! Use a Wooden Spoon or a similar object to dislodge any debris that is stuck!

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Make sure your disposal is turned off
  2. Check to make sure you find the little red button, and that it has popped out about a quarter of an inch.
  3. Press the red button in and turn on the disposal. 
  4. Most of the time that will fix the problem. 
  5. If it does not turn on make sure you check your breaker panel to see if it needs to be reset.

If the motor is humming and the disposal will not grind, this could mean that your flywheel is stuck.
This will occur when something is lodged between it or the impellers and the shredder ring.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. You can turn the flywheel from under the garbage disposal with an Allen wrench.
  2. Insert the proper size Allen wrench and turn it clockwise to dislodge the stuck impeller or flywheel. When it dislodges, you will sense that the flywheel will turn easily.
  3. Once it turns freely, turn the power back on and press the reset button before attempting to turn on the disposal. 
  4. Run water down the disposal and switch your switch on and off quickly to spin the flywheel, dislodge any obstruction, and rinse it down the drain. 

If any of these steps fail, please contact Smylie One. You may need additional expertise, or a new garbage disposal.

Here is a list of Items that you should never place down your garbage disposal.

  1. Grease
  2. Bones
  3. Celery
  4. Coffee Grounds
  5. Eggshells
  6. Corn husks
  7. Artichokes
  8. Fruit Pits
  9. Potato Peels
  10. Pasta
  11. Oatmeal
  12. Nuts
  13. Onion Skins
  14. Pumpkin and Fibrous Vegetables
  15. And of course, any body parts like your fingers!

There are many reasons and other items that professionals suggest do not go down garbage disposals. These are highly suggested items to avoid to keep your disposal running smooth and to keep your drains clog-free for many years to come!

If you have any questions or assistance from a Smylie One Plumbing Professional please give us a call at 440-449-4328  or visit our website at