Troubleshooting a Trash Compactor that is Noisy Troubleshooting a Trash Compactor that is Noisy

A trash compactor is, by its very nature, a noisy piece of machinery. But when the noise level really starts to get out of hand, or the compactor is making strange sounds that you’ve never heard it make before, then you can be pretty sure that there’s a problem. Fortunately, the problems that might be at the root of a complaining compactor are usually pretty easy to resolve; it’s just a matter of troubleshooting the situation so that you can figure out what course of action can take. Keep reading to find a handy guide to troubleshooting a noisy trash compactor.

Tip 1 - Check for Blockages

Check for the obvious: foreign objects stuck in the compactor that strike the metal chain when the mechanism is on. Make sure that the power to the compactor is cut, put on a pair of rubber gloves and root around to see if there’s something large, metal or anything else that just doesn’t belong in a trash compactor. Remove it and see if the problem is solved.

Tip 2 - Check the Screws

Problem still not solved? If you didn’t find anything inappropriate in the compactor, or you removed it and the machine is still making noise, then you should check the mounting screws next. The mounting screws are what secures the metal chain inside of the compactor, and keeps it from getting loose and moving around. If the screws are loose, they’ll start to shimmy and shake when you turn the trash compactor on, causing an incredibly annoying noise. Take a screwdriver and tighten the screws, then test the contraption to see if the problem is solved.

Tip 3 - Check the Chain

If the screws aren’t loose, then there’s a good chance that it’s the chain itself that’s causing the problem. Tighten the chain to make sure it’s not waggling around during the compaction cycle.

Tip 4 - Lube it Up

If none of the above solves the noise problem, then your trash compactor may simply be in need of some lubrication. Especially in older models that haven’t exactly been receiving too much tender loving care, a lack of lubrication can cause the parts of the machine to grind together when in use, causing annoying sounds. Grease it up and see if that helps to improve the noise level.

Tip 5 - Check for Broken Parts

Steps 1 through 4 addressed the most obvious problems you can have with a trash compactor. Unfortunately, if none of them were at the root of your noise problem, then you need to start considering the fact that parts of the compactor could be broken. The flywheel might be broken, for instance. In this case, you’ll either need to order new parts from the manufacturer, or replace the trash compactor unit as a whole. 

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