How to Troubleshoot a Trash Compactor

A trash compactor can be an effective appliance for those people who don't have enough space to store trash until pickup day. Trash compactors also are useful because they provide a sealed place in which homeowners can place trash, meaning that odors that come from the trash receptacle are minimized. While trash compactors are simple to operate, there are occasions when they don't work as they should. Understanding how to troubleshoot trash compactors can make it easier to fix them.

Trash compactors can minimize odors.

Step 1

Check to make sure the trash compactor cord is securely plugged into the wall, if the trash compactor makes no sound and will not run. If the plug is loose, plug it in and try to turn the compactor on again. If this does not work, check the breaker box to make sure the switch to the room that includes the compactor is not tripped. If it is in the "Off" position, move it back into "On" position and try to turn the compactor on again.

Step 2

Make sure the trash compactor drawer is completely closed. The compactor will not operate until the door is fully shut.

Step 3

Unplug the trash compactor and check its chain if it runs continuously without shutting off. A loose chain means the key switch is not able to control the compactor's motor. Stretch the chain back around the gears, plug the appliance back in and turn the compactor on. Wait a few moments to make sure the compactor turns off by itself.

Step 4

Hold the key in place for a longer period of time if you start up the trash compactor and it immediately begins to move in reverse and there is a sound of rhythmic buzzing coming from the appliance. You must press the key button in for about a second for the device to work properly.

Step 5

Arrange the bottles and cans in the compactor in a different order if you are finding that the cans and bottles are not being compressed when the compactor runs. Bottles and cans that are standing upright or lined up are able to withstand a large amount of pressure. Make sure the cans and bottles are placed into the compactor in no kind of order, thus allowing the compactor to apply enough pressure to smash or crush the items inside.

Step 6

Make sure the trash bags inside the drawers are installed into the slit or notch on the side of the compactor's drawer, if you find that the trash bag is being pulled down into the drawer along with the trash as it is compacted.