DIY trash compactor repair

Your trash compactor compresses your garbage into a fraction of the space it would occupy in a trash bag. If your trash compactor is malfunctioning, Sears PartsDirect can help your narrow down the possible causes by matching the trash compactor's symptoms to our troubleshooting tips. Once you figure out what's wrong, we also have DIY repair guides that show you step-by-step instructions for installing replacement parts.

Follow the tips in our trash compactor articles to help avoid smelly odors and trashy messes when using your compactor. To find the owner’s manual or a complete list of replacement parts for your trash compactor, search for your model number. Sears PartsDirect sells replacement parts for major brands of trash compactors such as Kenmore, Whirlpool, KitchenAid and GE.

Trash Compactors
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: stripped or broken power nuts, broken or disconnected drive gear and sprocket chain, damaged drive parts
Main cause: faulty drawer tilt switch
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 cause: broken top limit and directional switch
Main causes: broken drive gear and sprocket chain, stripped power nuts, faulty top limit and directional 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.

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
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
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
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 6, 2015
Troubleshooting a stuck trash compactor drawer
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn what to check if you are having problems with the drawer sticking on your trash compactor.

December 26, 2014
Preventing trash compactor odors
By Sears PartsDirect staff

Here are helpful tips for keeping your trash compactor clean and fresh.

July 1, 2014
Trash compactor common questions
By Sears PartsDirect staff

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