Garbage Compactor Repair Tips

A garbage compactor has become a great addition to many homes and its importance cannot be overestimated. Not only do homeowners not have to take the trash out very often, but it can also help save space and keep the trash confined and neat. Here is one appliance that can reduce the volume of your garbage by 80%. Bye to a trashy, dirty space,. However, if anything goes wrong with this appliance, it is an invitation to smelly odor and trashy space. What are the common problems and how can one carry out a garbage compactor troubleshooting? How can these problems be fixed? Here is a simple guide with detailed instructions on how to get your trash compactor up and running.

Garbage compactor jammed or ram is stuck:

A lot of things can be the reasons why the garbage compactor jammed or the ram got stuck in the down position preventing you from opening the trash compactor drawer.

Main causes: faulty drive gear, a problem with the directional shift, damaged power nuts


Inspect the drive gear for any defective parts, get it replaced and lubricate with grease. Don’t forget to check the motor drive to ensure it is in good shape.

If the problem persists, it might be the directional switch. The directional switch contact can become close or open causing the ram to become stuck at the bottom. You may need to check the directional switch with a multimeter for continuity. Use an electrical schematic to know the proper terminals to check.

Power nuts that have seen better days can also become worn or damaged and this can also be the reason for the ram to be stuck. Replace if broken and lubricate it.

Garbage compactor won’t start:

If your trash compactor won’t start, any of these can be defective or damaged.

Main causes: damaged start switch, bad drive motor, defective directional switch.


If the switch is corroded or damaged, it may not provide continuity and the compactor won’t start. Check the continuity of your switch using a multimeter and get it replaced if defective.

However, if there is continuity, the drive motor could be the culprit. Check if the wiring connections are loosed and reconnect it. Check the motor windings and centrifugal switch for continuity using a multimeter. It should normally measure no resistance in the centrifugal switch and few ohms of resistance in the motor windings. If otherwise, the motor drive is damaged and needs to be replaced.

If the motor drive is ok, check for continuity on the top limit and directional switch. If it m, measures infinite resistance, it is faulty. Get it replaced. You don’t know how to check the continuity? Go through your garbage compactor manual guide if you still have it.

If your compactor works with a foot pedal for activation of the start switch, see if the mounting screws of the foot pedal are loose or damaged. Tighten if loosed, replace if damaged.

Lastly, check if the problem lies with the door switch, if the door is defective, the compactor won’t start as it assumes the door is opened when you close it.

Garbage compactor makes unusual noise:

If your trash compactor is making unusual noise such as thumping, whining, or banging, many things might be the reasons. Troubleshoot some of these to make repairs easier.

Main causes: power nuts( trunnion nuts ), faulty drive gear, the problem with motor gear, faulty directional or top limit switch, bad motor drive


Turn off the power unit to locate the motor gear. The gear usually contains plastic teeth that can be damaged or broken hence, producing the unusual noise. Replace the teeth if damaged and apply grease for lubrication.

Check the directional switch /top limit with multi-meter to know the continuity. To get it checked, first turn off the compactor and remove the switch from the cabinet. Then, unscrew the top panel and verify to ensure that the tab on the ram is properly positioned with the switch lever for activation

Sometimes the problem might be with the power nuts. If the power nuts are dry, apply grease to get it lubricated. If damaged or stripped, get it replaced

If the drive gear is also loose, it can make your compactor produce annoying sounds. Try tightening the mounting nut or set screw if loose.

Garbage compactor drawer is hard to open/close

Are you finding it hard to open/close the garbage compactor drawer? Defective drawer rollers are most times the problem. Follow this guide to troubleshoot the problem and repair

Main causes: defective foot pedals, faulty drawer rollers


Check the rollers beneath the compactor to see if it is supporting properly and moving easily. Lubricate it if dried or get it removed if damaged.

Inspect the foot pedal for any damage. If there is any, go ahead and replace it

If any of these problems still persist, a trash compactor repair near me is only a google away. Get an experienced appliance repairer to get your trash compactor in the utmost condition and enjoy the convenience of compactor all day.