How to Install a Trash Compactor

What You'll Need
A trash compactor
Electrical outlet
Circuit breaker
Household liquid cleanser and water
Soft cloth
Utility knife/scissors
Rubber gloves
Safety goggles (if you are using carpentry tools)
Carpentry tools (saw, smoothing plane, etc.)

A trash compactor is an extremely useful household appliance. It is relatively easy to install, albeit it is recommended that you do so when remodeling your kitchen or installing new cabinets. Placing a trash compactor in an existing cabinet can be tricky and difficult. If you are not remodeling your kitchen, consider installing one in your garage or getting a portable trash compactor. 

Step 1 – Determine the Location

Finding the right location is the foremost step in the installation process. While a trash compactor can be fitted anywhere—requiring only a electrical outlet—if you are placing one in your kitchen cabinet, you will also need to ensure that there is enough space to fit it.

If you are remodeling, decide the location of the trash compactor and ensure that the cabinets/counter top are of the right dimensions, based on your desired model or type of trash compactor. 

Step 2 – Fit a Circuit Breaker

It is recommended that you also install a circuit breaker for the trash compactor. If you are unable to install one yourself, it is best to seek professional help. This will prevent any potential electrical or fire damage. Keep in mind that you will need a 115-V, 60-Hz fused electrical supply. 

Step 3 – Prep the Area

This step is relevant only if you are placing a trash compactor in an existing cabinet. Typically, you will need at least 6 inches of free space on the right side of the compactor (to remove bags), about 25 inches of free space in the front (to open the compactor drawer), and enough room to fit a trim kit on the counter top. For this, you will need all your carpentry tools. If you are not good at carpentry, consider taking professional help to prep the cabinet. You will also need to ensure that there is an electrical outlet at the back of the cabinet, and you might want to consider installing a circuit breaker. 

Step 4 – Install the Trash Compactor

Once you have removed all the packaging (tape and protective padding), remove the remaining waxy residue with the help of a household liquid cleanser and water, using a soft cloth. Keep in mind that the base of the trash compactor may damage your flooring when you move it; so always place it on a cardboard. Attach the power cord to the rear end of the compactor.

Next, adjust the toe plate according to your floor area. Use a knife or scissors to cut along the indicated line. You will also need to adjust the height of the compactor and correspond it to the cabinet’s height. With the help of pliers, adjust the compactor leveling feet such that the height of the compactor is ¼ of an inch less than the height of the cabinet opening. Now, plug the compactor into the electrical socket, and slide it into position. Make sure that the knob is in the OFF position when you do so. Your trash compactor is now ready for use.