Trash Compactor: Drawer difficult to open

Bent support rollers or a damaged trash container can bind up the drawer when opening.

Open the drawer and check the support rollers at the bottom of the trash compactor. If the support rollers don't hold the drawer high enough and the back of the drawer binds up when opening, bend the support rollers up slightly so the drawer slides out easily. Replace the support rollers if they're damaged.

Check the drawer bottom because the drawer won't open smoothly if the bottom is bent or warped. Replace the drawer if its bottom is bowed or warped.

trash compactor

These repairs may help solve your trash compactor problem

Replace the trash compactor drawer

Replace the trash compactor drawer

The drawer holds the trash under the ram for compacting. Overloading the drawer can bend the sides of the drawer when the ram compacts the load, preventing you from opening the trash compactor. Replace the drawer if it's bent or damaged.

Symptoms common to all trash compactors

Choose a symptom to see related trash compactor repairs.

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

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.

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
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

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.

January 1, 2019

7 uncommon tips for kitchen cleaning

By Sears PartsDirect staff

These 7 kitchen-cleaning tips are out of the ordinary and super helpful.

December 16, 2015

Using a wiring schematic to trace a current video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Find out what’s wrong with your appliance by following a circuit.

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.