Running the garbage disposal without water or accidentally dropping items, such as flat wear or jewelry, can cause the disposal to jam. Food items, such as corn husks and potato skins, can also cause your disposal to jam. When the disposal motor jams, it can overheat quickly and cause the red button to pop from the bottom of the disposal. This stops the flow of electricity to protect the motor. When the reset button doesn’t work, you need to free the grinding plate or wall to release the jam.
If you’re unsuccessful using the wrench, you may need to go in through the drain in an attempt to remove the clog. Disconnect the power to the disposal by unplugging the unit or turning off its circuit breaker, then use long-handled tongs and a flashlight to try to remove the jam. Never use your hands for this task, even if the disposal is completely disconnected from its power source! Fumbling blindly around a disc of sharp blades is asking for injury.
Disposers fasten to the sink drain fittings in a number of ways--some use threaded plastic nuts, others large hose clamps--but the mounting-ring assembly shown here is the most common. To remove the disposer, support it from below and rotate the large, 3-tab mounting ring at the top counterclockwise until the unit falls away. Remove the remainder of the drain assembly by loosening the three bolts and prying off the retaining ring. Push the drain out through the sink hole and clear away any old caulk or putty.
Another common cause for a leaking garbage disposal is the disposal flange. A leak at the very most upper area of the garbage disposal could be the garbage disposal flange which goes through the sink. A garbage disposal flange should be sealed with Plumber’s putty and then tightened from underneath the sink. If this is not tight enough or if it has managed to come loose (which can happen) then the garbage disposal will have to be taken down so the flange can be resealed and then the garbage disposal can be rehung.