Garbage Disposal Keeps Tripping Reset Button: Reasons & Fixes


A garbage disposal that continually trips the reset button isn’t just frustrating; it can signify a deeper issue with your disposal system.

So why does your garbage disposal keep tripping the reset button, and what can you do to address the underlying problem?

If your garbage disposal keeps tripping the reset button, it may be clogged, overheated, or have an overloaded motor. It could also be aging or have loose wiring. You can reset your garbage disposal by pushing the reset button. Still, you’ll need to troubleshoot and resolve the underlying issue to prevent your disposal from tripping the reset button again.

In this article, we’ll discuss the various reasons why your garbage disposal reset button keeps popping out.

We’ll also explain what you should do when your garbage disposal trips the reset button.

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Reset Button Keep Popping Out?

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There are a few reasons why your garbage disposal keeps tripping the reset button and causing it to pop out.

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Typically, when the reset button pops out, the disposal is clogged, overheated, or its motor is overloaded. Other reasons behind a tripped reset button are an aging disposal and loose wiring.

When these problems present themselves, the disposal’s internal circuit breaker automatically trips. You’ll notice that the reset button pops out about a quarter-inch. This is a protective mechanism meant to keep the disposal from burning out.

Simply press the reset button, and power to the disposal will be restored. However, if the issue that caused the disposal to trip the reset button is not resolved, it’s likely to happen again.

How Often Should My Garbage Disposal Trip The Reset Button?

If you only have to push the reset button once every few months, that’s usually nothing to worry about. It’s when you’re frequently having to push the reset button because it’s constantly tripped that you’re dealing with a more severe issue.

Removing Clogs And Blockages

When a disposal is clogged, removing any items that are clogging it should solve the problem. Use pliers or tongs to remove any obstructions.

You can also manually move the flywheel and impellers from underneath the disposal using an Allen wrench to loosen anything that is stuck inside. Then, return to the top of the disposal and pull out any dislodged objects.

Other solutions for blockages include using a plunger, cleaning out the disposal with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, and thoroughly rinsing the system with water.

Preventing An Overheated Disposal System

If your disposal overheats, causing the reset button to pop out, you may wish to replace your disposal with one that has a motor with more horsepower. Another option is to reduce the amount of food waste you put into the disposal.

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How To Handle An Overloaded Motor

An overloaded motor typically signifies a larger problem. In most cases, you’ll need to replace the motor or the entire garbage disposal system.

When the reset button is tripped frequently, there are two possible causes: an aging garbage disposal and loose wiring.

How To Identify An Aging Disposal

Garbage disposals usually last around ten years. If your disposal’s reset button doesn’t stay in place after repeated attempts to push it in, or if it needs to be reset every time you use it, you probably have an aging disposal on your hands.

It’s likely that the motor has become weaker over the years and needs to be replaced. If your garbage disposal system was installed more than ten years ago, it’s smart to replace it entirely. 

How To Fix Loose Wiring

If your garbage disposal is relatively new and seems to be in good condition, loose wiring may be to blame for a constantly tripped reset button. 

It could be that the wiring was not installed correctly initially, or it’s possible that the wiring became looser over time. Call in a plumber to rectify this issue.

What To Do When Your Garbage Disposal Trips The Reset Button

Here is a quick step-by-step process to follow when your garbage disposal trips the reset button.

Step 1: Turn Off The Disposal

Ensure that the disposal’s power switch is in the off position. If the reset button was tripped due to a clog, follow the instructions above to remove it before continuing.

Step 2: Push The Reset Button

Locate the red or yellow reset button on the bottom of the disposal. If it’s been tripped, it will stick out about a quarter of an inch. Gently push it in to reset the garbage disposal system.

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If the reset button doesn’t stay in and pops back out, wait about 10 minutes, and then try pushing it again.

Step 3: Turn The Disposal Back On

Before you flip the power switch to the on position, turn on the tap to run cold water into the disposal. Then, flip the switch on. The disposal should run normally.

Step 4: Call A Plumber

If you have to reset the disposal repeatedly, or if the reset button will not stay pushed in, then it’s time to call a professional. It’s likely your garbage disposal needs to be repaired or replaced.

Other Signs Your Garbage Disposal Needs To Be Serviced

Aside from constantly tripping the reset button, here are a few other signs that your garbage disposal system needs to be examined and repaired by a professional.

  • It takes longer to grind up waste than it used to.
  • It makes strange squealing, whirring, humming, rattling, or grinding noises.
  • It leaks water.
  • It has an unpleasant odor that doesn’t go away with regular rinsing and cleaning.
  • It gets clogged constantly, even if you’re only disposing of soft food waste.
  • It doesn’t run consistently and seems to have power issues.


There are a few potential explanations when your garbage disposal keeps tripping the reset button. This problem can result from loose wiring, an overheated system, an overloaded motor, a clog, or a disposal that’s reached the end of its lifespan.

Pushing the reset button will restore power to your disposal. However, you’ll need to determine and address the underlying issue that’s causing the reset button to be tripped. Otherwise, the reset button will continue popping out until the problem is solved.