Why Is My Trash Compactor Not Working? Common Problems and Solutions

If your trash compactor has stopped working, it can be frustrating trying to figure out what’s wrong. However, many common issues can be easily diagnosed and fixed with a little troubleshooting. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most frequent problems that cause trash compactors to stop working and provide solutions to get your appliance back up and running.

Trash Compactor Won’t Start
One of the most common reasons a trash compactor won’t start is a defective drive motor. The start or run switch is responsible for supplying power to the motor to initiate the compaction cycle. If the windings in the motor are open or if the motor centrifugal switch is open, the unit will not start.
To check for a defective motor, you’ll need to remove the unit from the cabinet and disconnect the power. Remove the bottom or back panel to access the motor wire harness connections and then remove the wires from the motor terminals. Using a multimeter, test the motor windings and the centrifugal switch for continuity. If you don’t get the expected readings, the motor is most likely defective and will need to be replaced.

Drawer Won’t Open or Stay Closed

Another common problem is when the trash compactor’s drawer won’t open or stay closed. This is usually due to issues with the drawer rollers or the foot pedal. The drawer rollers may have become damaged or warped, or they may simply need to be greased. To check them, lift the drawer out of its opening and inspect the rollers for damage. If they need to be replaced, you may need to use a socket to take off the hex nuts securing the drawer frame.
If the rollers look good, check the foot pedal mounting screws. Tighten them if they are loose. Inspect the foot pedal and drawer catch for damage, and ensure that the foot pedal is aligned to come into contact with the drawer catch.
Ram Gets Stuck
If the ram in your trash compactor gets stuck, it could be due to several reasons. The drive gear may be worn out or not securely fastened to the drive shaft, causing the motor to continue running even though the ram is not moving up or down. Inspect the drive gear and replace it if necessary.
Another potential issue is that the power nuts may not be gripping the drive screw grooves properly. If this is the case, place the ram in the top position and check the power nuts for damage. Lubricate them if needed.

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Trash Compactor Won’t Stop

If your trash compactor won’t stop running, it could be due to a worn-out or loose drive gear. If the drive gear is not securely fastened to the drive shaft, the motor may continue running even though the ram is not moving.
To fix this issue, inspect the drive gear and ensure it is properly secured to the drive shaft. If the gear is worn out, replace it with a new one to restore proper functioning.
In conclusion, while a malfunctioning trash compactor can be frustrating, many common problems can be easily diagnosed and fixed with some basic troubleshooting. By following the solutions outlined in this article, you should be able to get your trash compactor working again in no time.

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