How to Fix a Jammed Trash Compactor

What You'll Need
Nut driver

A trash compactor is a handy appliance that can be located in your kitchen. There's a lot of air in your kitchen waste which a trash compactor essentially removes. A trash compactor can handle any garbage that you would normally put into a garbage can. A large metal plate that is powered by pneumatics crushes the garbage down into a small block. This not only removes the air but creates a smaller chunk of garbage. With a trash compactor you save money on trash bags and waste disposal as well as labor. One of the most common problems found with trash compactors is that they can easily become jammed. There are two ways you can solve this problem: pay to have someone fix it or do it yourself. There is no reason to waste money on a repairman because you can easily fix this problem on your own. The following article will show you how to fix unjam the trash compactor.

Step 1 - Check the Switch

When a trash compactor functions, the metal ram pushes the garbage against the back wall of the trash compactor. The air is removed and the trash becomes more manageable. Trash compactors come in two different operational styles. The first has a switch on the top of the unit. The other style uses a foot pedal to operate the trash compactor. Sometimes the metal ram needs a jolt of power to dislodge itself. Flip the switch or step on the foot pedal. The sudden jolt may cause the metal ram to come loose and begin to work compacting garbage again. Flip the switch on and off several times to give it a proper chance at working. The same applies to trash compactors that use foot pedals to operate.

Step 2 - Loose Connections

A trash compactor relies on a series of wires and mechanisms in order to work. If any of these connections are loose or have come disconnected then unjamming the trash compactor becomes as simple as reconnecting the loose connections. First, look at the plug and make sure that it is properly plugged into an outlet. The strength and power that a trash compactor exudes can cause the power plug to loosen. This is the obvious problem but there are other connections that could suffer. Use the tools to open the access panel of the trash compactor. Make certain that all of the wires are properly connected and all the gears are properly in place.

Step 3 - Check the Trash Compactor Bin

The trash compactor bin is meant to be 1/3 full before using it. If the bin is too full the ram will not work properly. Open the top of the trash compactor and remove the bin. Look inside the trash compactor for garbage that was pushed out of the garbage bin. Remove any such items that could hinder the metal ram from moving. Look in the garbage itself and remove all of the excess. Put everything back and start the trash compactor.