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Your trash compactor is made up of these components:

a.. A trash container, at the bottom of the unit.
b.. A motor, at the top or bottom of the unit.
c.. A flat, steel ram that's stored in the top of the unit.

How it works

When you put trash into the trash container, close the door, and press or turn the start button, the motor starts. It rotates a set of reduction gears or a belt-and-pulley system that slowly lowers the ram. The ram (the platform that presses down on the garbage) exerts tremendous pressure on the trash, flattening it. When the ram pressure reaches its setpoint, the motor reverses and raises the ram back up to the top of the compactor.

The trash compactor compresses the trash so much that two to three times as much garbage fits in the same size bag. This saves trash storage space, removal time, and disposal labor. You can put the same kind of trash into it that you would normally put into your kitchen wastebasket. This includes glass bottles and jars . . . but don't put them at the bottom of the bag or near the sides. Otherwise, broken glass could tear the trash bag or injure the person who changes the bag. However, if your community has a glass recycling program, it would be better to recycle your glass than to compact it with your trash.

Trash compactors do not need much maintenance. Aside from routine cleaning of the chute and other surfaces the garbage touches, trash compactors are mostly maintenance free.

Common problems

It doesn't work at all - if your trash compactor doesn't work at all, check the wall socket, ground fault circuit interrupter and the switch.

a.. Wall socket - trash compactors usually plug into a wall socket. Try plugging something else into the socket to be sure the socket is getting power. If it isn't, check the household fuses or circuit breakers.
b.. Ground fault circuit interrupter - if there's no power to the outlet but the fuse/circuit is okay, the compactor may be plugged into a circuit that's protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)-a special wall socket with a Test and a Reset button. If so, try pressing the Reset button.
c.. Switch - If there's power but your compactor still doesn't function, there may be a problem with the compactor's door switch, key switch, or the micro switches that sense when the ram is fully up. But also make sure that nothing is caught behind the drawer, keeping it from closing all the way.
d.. The ram is stuck - If the ram won't go down-or if it has gone down but won't come back up-there may be a broken drive belt, chain, or gears. Or the switches inside the cabinet that control the direction and starting/stopping points of the ram may be defective or out of adjustment. Trash compactors can be tough to work on because they are, themselves, compact and difficult to move. We suggest that you consult the repair manual for your trash compactor.
e.. The drawer is hard to open - Over time, food spills and other garbage may clog the track the drawer rides on. If you can remove your drawer, thoroughly clean the tracks, glides, rollers, and so on using degreaser and some dish detergent on a damp rag. Then wipe all of the components with a clean, damp rag and lightly oil the track with a household lubricant. If the drawer continues to be stiff, you may need to replace the rollers, ball-bearings, or tracks.


You need to regularly, thoroughly clean the interior of your trash compactor. Use a bacteria-fighting cleaner and/or degreaser to clean the ram (the platform that presses down on the garbage) and any other part of the compactor that comes into contact with the garbage.

Odor control

Because you put food waste into it, bacteria can grow on the inside of your trash compactor. For temporary odor control between cleanings, spray the interior with a germ-killing deodorant/disinfectant. Also replace the filter (if there is one) once or twice a year.

Adjusting drive-chain tension

Periodically check the chain's tension by pressing your thumb against it. If there's more than + inch of play, loosen the motor mounting bolts, move the motor to adjust the chain's tension, and retighten the bolts.

For any other problems, or problems with these tips, contact a qualified repairman.