Posted in Blog  
  on Sep 27, 2014

How To Fix A Trash Compactor

One of the most useful appliance in kitchens and garages today is the trash compactor. This small unit helps to condense the garbage a household collects and compress it into a more manageable solution. Many items that get thrown away have lots of air remaining in them and this creates wasted space. By removing that air, more trash can be put into the weekly pickup container.

As with any appliance, there can be times when the unit just doesn't work the way that it should. By knowing how to fix a trash compactor, you'll be able to keep producing the small blocks of trash so that you may continue managing your home.

Problem #1: No Power

For most homes, the primary issue that the trash compactor faces is a lack of power. This can happen for a number of reasons, so let's cover the most common reasons why power would be lost.

The appliance has become unplugged. If this is the case, just plug it back in and begin using it once again.
The breaker has been tripped. Sometimes a breaker can trip on your electrical panel that affects the kitchen. If you have multiple outlets that do not have power and the overhead lights won't turn on, then check your box and press every switch to the on position.
The GFCI outlet needs to be reset. Every outlet circuit that could be exposed to water or moisture is required to have a GFCI outlet installed. There are two buttons on this outlet: a test and a reset button. If you've got power to some outlets, but not your trash compactor, then try resetting your GCFI.

Direct power issues that deal with a disconnected cord, frayed wiring, or internal issues within the trash compactor are best left to the professional. If you open up the appliance, you may void any warranty that you may have.

Problem #2: It's Stuck

No matter how careful you are, the trash compactor will eventually get something stuck inside of it. This can cause the metal arm to jam up and become stuck inside of the appliance. Here are some ways you can fix that issue.

Remove the trash. Trash that slides along the arm and doesn't get compacted can cause a jam. Try to remove the trash that is in the way and keep your fingers clear of the pressing mechanism. Avoid add flat, thin items to the compactor in the future.
It's just stuck. The metal arm is a basic hydraulic gear and over time, it can get dry and that can cause it to get stuck. Use some WD-40 or other similar product, let it soak in, and then try again.
Flip the switch. Sometimes a brief power surge can help to remove stuck items because it rattles the presser arm. Flip the switch rapidly a few times to see if you get any movement.

Problem #3: It's Grinding, Moaning, or Making Strange Sounds

The reason why it is grinding is either because trash has become stuck or there is an issue internally that must be immediately addressed. Look for trash that could be stuck and if there is none, unplug the unit and call a professional.

Sometimes you can fix a trash compactor, but sometimes you need a little help. Use this guide to solve common problems and you'll be able to keep using this appliance when needed.


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