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Trash Compactor Repair Tips

Trash Compactor Repair Tips

Trash compactor won't start

When a trash compactor won't start, try troubleshooting some of these items to see if you can diagnose and fix the problem.
  • Check the safety switch.  When the compactor door is open, the safety switch opens, preventing the compactor from starting.  If the switch is faulty or broken, the compactor won't start.

  • Check the compactor start switch.  Use a multi-meter to determine if the switch is defective or broken.  If there is continuity, or the compactor is making a noise, indicating that there is power, then it could be the motor is faulty or broken.

  •  Check the door switch.  If the door switch is faulty or broken, the compactor will think the door is open when you close it and it's safety mechanism will prevent it from starting.

  • As a last resort, check the drive motor.  Use a multi-meter to check to see if the motor is getting power.  If it is, it needs to be replaced.  Call an appliance repair professional to help get your compactor working again.

Compactor is making loud noises

There are a number of reasons why a trash compactor can be making irregular noises. If most cases, it consists of gears, nuts and the drive chain that are the culprit. Start by troubleshooting some of these items to help resolve the noise.
  • Check to see if the trunnion nut is dry or stripped.  If so, lubricate or replace it.

  • Check the drive gear.  If it is loose, tighten the set screw.  If this does not solve the problem, check to see if the gear is worn down.  If so, replace it.

  • Locate the gear box and inspect the gears for damage, stripped, or loose.  If so, replace the gears.

  • Locate the drive chain to see if it is loose,  If so, tighten it.  If you can't tighten it enough, replace it.

  • After checking everything mentioned above, check your drive motor.  It could be defective.

Trash compactor won't stop

When a compactor stays running all of the time, it could be one of the following issues.
  • Inspect the directional switch.  This stops all current flow to the motor when the ram returns back to the top of the compactor.  If this is failing for any reason, broken or faulty, the current will continue to the motor keeping it running.

  • Locate the start switch and inspect it to see if it is closed.  The start switch is what sends electricity to the motor.  If it is stuck, the motor will keep running.

  • Inspect the centrifugal switch on the drive motor to see if it is stuck open.  This switch opens and the motor runs the ram up and down to compact garbage.  If the switch remains open, the motor will keep running that the ram will keep moving up and down.

Trash compactor door won't open

  • Inspect the door latch to see if it is broken.  If so, replace it.

  • Check the drive chain to see if it is damaged, fell of the gears, or is jammed.  If so, the ram will move back to the top of the can and the compactor will keep running.  Either reassemble the chain, un-jam it or replace it, given what you find.

  • It might also be the trunnion bolt.  If it is stripped or defective, it will need to be replaced.  This in turn will make it so the ram makes it all the way back to the top of the can and stop the compactor from running, enabling the door to open.
  • Inspect the foot pedal for damage.  If there is damage, go ahead and replace it.

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