How to Reset a Badger 5 Garbage Disposal

The InSinkErator Badger 5 garbage disposal is one of the best-selling garbage disposals in the United States, and its small size and efficient operation make it a great choice for smaller, energy-conscious households. Like all garbage disposals, it can get stuck, and when it does, the motor shuts off automatically and the garbage disposal won't turn on. The design provides an easy way to reset it when this happens.

Installing Garbage Disposal
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How to Reset a Badger 5 Garbage Disposal

Garbage Disposal Reset Button

The Badger 5 garbage disposal canister consists of a rotor upon which are mounted impellers that force food into the shredder ring. There is a small gap between the rotor and the shredder ring, and when small bits of food or bone get stuck there, the rotor can't spin. To prevent the motor from burning out, an internal breaker trips to shut off the unit.

The purpose of the reset button, which is red and mounted on the bottom of the canister, is to reset this breaker. Before you press it, you have to clear the material clogging the impellers, or the unit will just shut off again. Because this happens often, InSinkErator provides a clog-clearing wrenchette with new units, which is essentially a 1/4-inch hex wrench.

How to Clear a Clog and Reset the Badger 5

When the Badger 5 garbage disposal gets clogged and shuts off, the first thing to do is unplug it or switch off the power to the circuit to prevent it from switching on unexpectedly. After you've done this, follow this procedure to get the garbage disposal up and running:

  1. Insert the wrenchette into the slot on the bottom of the canister.

  2. Use the wrenchette as a lever to turn the rotor back and forth to clear out the debris from the gap between the rotor and the shredding plate. It usually helps to turn on the water when doing this. Keep moving the rotor back and forth until it spins freely.

  3. Plug in the unit or restore power and then press the red reset button located next to the slot for the wrenchette.

  4. Turn on the faucet and turn on the switch. The machine should run normally. If it stops again, repeat the procedure.

InSinkErator Badger 5 Troubleshooting

You may find that the garbage disposal keeps stopping as soon as you turn it on, and the reset button keeps tripping. There are two possible reasons:

  • The unit is overheated. Wait three to five minutes before trying again.

  • A large piece of debris is interfering with the rotor. Extract this with salad tongs or some other implement. Never reach into the mouth of the disposal with your hands.

If the reset button pops out immediately after you release it, that's usually a fault with the internal circuitry. Garbage disposal repair is a job for an appliance pro and isn't something most homeowners should attempt. Call a licensed service technician.

How to Prevent Clogs

A number of food items can clog the garbage disposal and should be avoided. They include:

  • Stringy foods, such as celery and asparagus
  • Starchy ones, such as potatoes and rice
  • Greasy ones, such as bacon fat
  • Hard ones, such as fruit pits

Small bones are usually OK but avoid overfilling with bones or trying to dispose of large ones.

It's a good idea to regularly clean the garbage disposal by filling it with ice, adding a half cup of coarse salt and allowing the mixture to sit for 30 minutes before grinding it. The cold ice congeals greases and oils on the shredder ring, and they go down the drain when you grind the ice.


Chris Deziel

Chris Deziel

Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience, and he is also an avid craftsman and musician. He began writing on home improvement topics in 2010 and worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. He currently contributes a monthly property maintenance blog on Landlordology.com. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com.