June 1, 2013

How to replace a trash compactor power switch

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a trash compactor power switch

This DIY repair guide explains how to replace the power switch on a trash compactor. Located in the control panel, the power switch turns on the trash compactor when you turn the knob. If the power switch breaks, the trash compactor won't start at all. Replace a broken power switch with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.

This repair procedure shows how to replace the power switch on Kenmore, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, JennAir and Maytag trash compactors.

Quick links
Tools required
Phillips screwdriver
Pliers
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Disconnect electrical power

    Shut off the house circuit breaker or unplug the trash compactor to disconnect electrical power.

  2. 02.

    Release the front control panel

    Open the drawer fully.

    Turn the power switch to Off position and pull the control knob off the power switch.

    Remove the mounting screws at the top of the control panel.

    Pull the control panel out and set it on its face. The wires are still attached to the back of the control switches on the control panel.

    Open the drawer.

    Open the drawer.

    Remove the control knob.

    Remove the control knob.

    Remove the control panel screws.

    Remove the control panel screws.

    Fold the control panel down.

    Fold the control panel down.

  3. 03.

    Remove the power switch

    Note the location of the wires connected to the back of the power switch or take a digital photo.

    Pull the wires off the power switch.

    Remove the circular mounting nut on the front of the power switch.

    Pull the power switch from the back of the control panel.

    Disconnect the power switch wires.

    Disconnect the power switch wires.

    Loosen the switch mounting nut.

    Loosen the switch mounting nut.

    Remove the mounting nut.

    Remove the mounting nut.

    Remove the power switch.

    Remove the power switch.

  4. 04.

    Install the new power switch

    Position the new power switch in the control panel and secure it using the circular mounting nut.

    Connect the wires on the back of the power switch, using the digital photo or your notes for reference.

    Install the new power switch.

    Install the new power switch.

    Reinstall the power switch mounting nut.

    Reinstall the power switch mounting nut.

    Connect the power switch wires.

    Connect the power switch wires.

  5. 05.

    Reinstall the control panel

    Position the control panel on the front of the trash compactor.

    Secure the control panel with the mounting screws.

    Reinstall the control knob on the front of the power switch.

    Shut the drawer.

    Reinstall the control panel.

    Reinstall the control panel.

    Reinstall the control knob.

    Reinstall the control knob.

  6. 06.

    Restore power

    Reset the house circuit breaker or plug the trash compactor back into the wall outlet.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all trash compactors

Choose a symptom to see related trash compactor repairs.

Main causes: bent drawer support rollers, damaged trash container
Main causes: lack of power, faulty drawer safety switch, bad power switch, momentary start switch failure, bad drive motor, wiring failure
Main causes: broken drive gear and sprocket chain, stripped power nuts, faulty top limit and directional switch
Main causes: stripped or broken power nuts, broken or disconnected drive gear and sprocket chain, damaged drive parts
Main cause: broken top limit and directional switch
Main cause: faulty drawer tilt switch
Main causes: stuck foot pedal, bad momentary start switch, power switch failure

Repair guides common to all trash compactors

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your trash compactor.

How to replace a trash compactor motor centrifugal switch

If the trash compactor ram won’t return to the top position, replace the motor centrifugal switch by following the instructions in this repair guide.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
June 1, 2013
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a trash compactor power switch

If the trash compactor won’t power up, use the steps in this repair guide to replace the power switch.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a trash compactor momentary start switch

The momentary start switch starts the motor when you lift the foot pedal. This repair guide shows how to replace the switch if it stops working

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all trash compactors

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your trash compactor.

December 9, 2015

How to read a wiring schematic video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to decipher symbols so you can buy the right part for your problem.

December 26, 2014

How to load a trash compactor

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn the proper way to place your trash in your trash compactor.

July 1, 2014

Trash compactor common questions

By Sears PartsDirect staff

See what questions our experts most often get about trash compactors.