Trash compactor repair
compactor is a device to compress rubbish. It consists of a ram or
crushing device that has 2,000 or more pounds of pressure and a motor to
push it. The motor assembly, at the rear, is a chain drive and sprocket
combination. Threaded shafts, turned by the chain drive, force the ram
are various electrical controls and safety devices . Some models have
blowers to keep heat and odor levels down. No maintenance is required,
but electrical and mechanical problems can arise. Electrical problems
are those common to all motored appliances — switches and the motor, the
leads and their connectors. These appliances do have a number of
switches. Thus a typical KitchenAid model has a filter switch,
key interlock switch, start-stop program switch, directional switch,
drawer front interlock switch, interlock bypass switch, and ram switch.
All these switches can be tested for continuity. They control the operation and safety features. If the trash compactor
refuses to start, you go through the usual steps — first check power
sources including the cord, plug, the wall plug itself, the fuse or
circuit breaker involved, then check out the front safety switch and
rear safety switch. Any switch can fail.
the motor and relay (if it has one — the KitchenAid under discussion
uses a starting winding rather than a relay) must be checked out. Always
assume that the motor is not the culprit in an appliance with a heavy
duty motor, such as this one, but distrust everything up to the motor.
principal switches on a compactor are filter switch, key interlock
switch, and start-stop program switch. In the Kitchen Aid model, the
small fan motor (a 2-speed motor) is not in the main motor circuit. The
electrical circuit goes from the three prong, grounded switch (ground is
a green wire) to the interlock front switch via the black wire, to the
key interlock switch, to the start-stop switch and the ram switch. The
ram switch is wired with brown and orange leads off the start-stop
switch. Next is the blue lead from the start- stop switch to the
directional switch, then to the motor. The Perils of Pauline have
nothing on the flow of electrical current to the motor. The motor's
start windings are black and red. The main winding lead is blue; a black
lead that becomes brown feeds into the motor protection device, then
goes to the opposite pole of the main winding, turning on the motor.
interlock switches, and the ram switch, are simple, basically 2-lead
affairs. The directional switch that controls motor operation has six
positions. The start- stop switch has two leads for the ram switch and
two for the key interlock and directional switches.
you test switches for continuity, you have to sort out the leads. Some
leads can be tested from nearby connectors that come apart. Others will
require clips or prongs that penetrate the insulation. On trash compactors with relay switches instead of starting windings in the motor, the relay should be tested for continuity before anything else.
making continuity tests, you can test often by the color of the leads.
(When only two leads are involved, there is no problem.) But in a switch
such as the directional switch of the KitchenAid compactor, with six
leads in and out, and not necessarily on opposing sides of the switch,
it becomes tricky to test all the leads. You need a color-coded chart of
wiring destinations to do a thorough test.
it happens, the only way to test the motor in this unit is by
eliminating that directional switch from suspicion. Of course, you can
disconnect the motor and test it, or you can use probes that penetrate
the insulation and test its leads. But testing a motor for continuity or
resistance, using an ohmmeter or a light tester, can be deceptive with
its leads connected. If the leads go to switches that are defective, the
motor will give a false reading. To some extent, the reverse of this
situation is true; a defective switch reading can be falsified because
of its connection to a motor, but that would generally be true only in
the closed-switch position.
the trouble spots in a compactor would involve the sprockets, the
gears, the drive chain, and the threaded shaft or jack-like posts which
drive the ram. The chain can break or wear, and the shafts or posts can
get so gummed up that the ram can't move completely through its cycle
(down and up).
compactors are both free-standing and under- counter types. If you deal
with the latter, you have to disassemble mounting brackets. If yours is
freestanding, you have the usual peeling of the outer skin. Anyone who
has taken off the outer metal covering (or plastic) on any appliance
will have no difficulty with this one. Having said that, it should be
noted that a special, slotted tool is required for top removal on some
Whirlpool compactor models. Mostly, the old screwdriver, pliers, and
sockets are involved. Top removal exposes switches; back panel removal
exposes the motor, motor relay, and various other electrical and
reason for so many switches in compactors is that safety precautions
are required in a kitchen appliance that crushes things. Some models
have two or more switches designed to stop the operation when the door
is opened during the actual movement of the crushing ram. These
fail-safe switches can, of course, stop the appliance from functioning
altogether if they fail.
the trash compactor refuses to budge, the order of procedure in
troubleshooting is: Check out the cord, the plug if any, and the circuit
breaker or fusebox.
at the drawer (which slides open to receive the trash). If it is not
completely closed, because of some object or defect, the motor will not
run. Check the safety key lock position (which works much like your car
drive sprocket may be binding, either because of the drive belt or the
chain being too tight. The chain should flex about one-eighth to
one-quarter inch, the belt about the same or a little more.
the check of the switches. When you close the drawer and turn on the
key, you have already sent electrical current through the key switch,
and drawer interlock switch. When you push the start switch, the circuit
breaker overload switch also comes into play. All these switches must
be tested for continuity if the appliance does not start.
top limit switch keeps the appliance in operation when you take your
finger off the start pushbutton switch. The top limit switch, at the top
of the power posts, is normally open, and it closes only when the ram
moves away from its resting position at the top.
unbalance switch will operate when the drawer is forced out of position
by the incorrect placing of trash. Large objects are supposed to be
centered; if they are not, the appliance can go out of balance and force
the drawer open, which opens the unbalance switch and stops the motor.
At that point, you can push the start button, thus causing the ram to
rise. This will confirm the problem — unbalanced load, rather than any
defect in the unit.
direction switch reverses the motor. It is near the top limit switch
and is a double-pole, double-throw switch. This switch is in down
position when the ram is near the top; it is in its up position the rest
of the time excepting at the very beginning and very ending of the
compacting cycle. If the ram doesn't reverse correctly, or stops at the
bottom of the cycle, it is probably the top limit switch, or something
other than the direction switch — for example, the circuit breaker, or
of the unusual number of switches — probably more than in any other
appliance — the odds rise that a switch is at fault, rather than the
motor or some other aspect, when the appliance fails to operate. If any
mechanical problems arise involving the chain or belt, or the posts,
pulleys, gears, and other components, these can be checked visually.
Don't rush into disassembly without checking the guarantee. In any case,
because of the switching complexity, don't take any switches out
without marking the leads and consulting the wiring diagram which is
pasted on an inside panel and is color-coded.
If you need to have someone repair your trash compactor, call us at 918-355-4545 and we will have a trash compactor repair person contact you
promptly to assist you with your problem. Our customers are our greatest
asset and your recommendation to your friends is you’re your greatest
compliment to us.
Broken Arrow, and the Tulsa
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