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Trash Compactor Repair Guide

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1. Why doesn't my trash compactor work?
2. Why won't the drawer open or close?
3. Why is my trash compactor so noisy?
4. Why is the ram stuck?
5. Can I put glass and metal cans in the trash compactor?
6. How often do I empty my trash compactor?
7. Is a trash compactor sanitary?
8. Why is my trash compactor so smelly?
9. What's the best way to clean my trash compactor?
10. Why isn't my trash compacting?

WARNING: To avoid personal injury or death, disconnect your appliance from its power source before you start any troubleshooting or repair work. Use caution working inside any appliance.

Why doesn't my trash compactor work?

Check to make sure the unit has power. Trash compactors usually run off of 110V outlets. To verify power, plug in a different appliance, such as a hair dryer. If you have no power, check the fuse, GFCI, or circuit breaker.

The ground fault circuit interrupter is a safety plug that is used for the power supply to many appliances these days. This is like a mini-circuit breaker that’s built into the outlet. A little switch pops out if the electrical demand is too high. Just push the Reset button back in. It’s located in the middle of the outlet.

Make sure the drawer is completely closed. There are micro-switches that sense if the drawer is closed or not. The compactor will not work if the door isn't closed all the way.

Verify that the Key Lock Switch is turned all the way to Start.

Some models of compactor need you to press On before pressing Start.

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Why won't the drawer open or close?

If the ram is not all the way up, the compactor door will not open. Make sure that it has returned to the top before trying to open the door.

As with any appliance, keeping it clean is important. As you use your compactor, garbage and other things can build up in the tracks, guides, rollers, and wheels. Periodically clean these items making sure that the power is disconnected! If a roller or wheel is damaged, replace it as soon as possible.

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Why is my trash compactor so noisy?

You hear noise from the unit because a motor is running, and operating a ram that is driven by a belt or by gears. You may also hear the trash getting compacted.

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Why is the ram stuck?

Sometimes the ram can get jammed. There are a multitude of reasons why this can happen. There are multiple switches, a drive belt or chain, or gears. Check the owners’ manual that came with your unit.

There are several switches involved in the operation of trash compactors. There is a door switch, key switch, micro-switches that sense where the ram is presently located and others that control stopping and starting of the unit.

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Can I put glass and metal cans in the trash compactor?

You can put most household items in your compactor. Sometime the glass that you put in will not break. It depends on the thickness and strength of the glass, and the type of trash around it. We suggest keeping these kind of items in the centre of the compactor. You wouldn't want the bag to rip and you to get a cut from anything dirty.

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How often do I empty my trash compactor?

You can wait until the trash is compacted to the top of the drawer. Since the compactor can reduce the size of the non-compacted waste by up to 75%, it may be heavier than you think. Load it as heavy as you can safely lift it.

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Is a trash compactor sanitary?

A trash compactor is as sanitary as you keep it. Clean the outside and inside parts of this appliance regularly. We sell many different types of cleaners on our website.

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Why is my trash compactor so smelly?

Sometimes scraps of food waste and other biodegradable items spill out of the drawer or bag into the track or sticks to the ram. After awhile, these items can start to stink. The key is to keep the compactor clean. Periodically use either household cleaners or specialty cleaners to clean all accessible areas of the compactor. 

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What's the best way to clean my trash compactor?

The best way to clean your compactor is to start with the outside. For a compactor with an outside finish of stainless steel, you can use Stainless Steel Magic Spray, Stainless Steel Cleaner, or Mean Green Cleaner and Degreaser. For other surfaces you may want to use Microbryte Appliance Cleaner. You should wear rubber gloves when cleaning the compactor, especially the inside areas as bits of broken glass or sharp edges of metal parts can cause nasty cuts. If you are going to remove the drawer to clean the track and rollers, make sure you look how it comes out so that you can easily replace it. You can use a Shopvac to vacuum the inside area of the cabinet. Make sure to wipe all surfaces dry.

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Why isn't my trash compacting?

For a compactor to properly compress trash, it needs to be at least half to three quarters full.

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