How to Replace a Trash Compactor Momentary Start Switch

 

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This DIY repair guide explains how to replace the momentary start switch on a trash compactor. The momentary switch, located behind the front frame cover on the right, starts the motor to compact trash when you lift the foot pedal. If the motor won't start when you activate the momentary start switch, replace the switch with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Follow these steps to replace the momentary start switch on Kenmore, KitchenAid, Whirlpool, Maytag and JennAir trash compactors.

Repair difficulty:
     
Time required:

Less than 30 min.

Parts Required:

  • Momentary start switch

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Nutdriver set
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pliers

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.

Lay cardboard in front of the trash compactor to protect the floor.

Instructions

 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.

Step 1: Pull the trash compactor out of the counter

Remove the mounting screws that secure the trash compactor in the counter.

Pull the trash compactor out of the counter.

 Tip: Use your installation manual as a guide.

Step 2: Disconnect electrical power

Unplug the trash compactor or shut off the house circuit breaker.

Step 3: Remove the drawer

Pull the drawer out until it stops.

Grasp the drawer handle firmly and lift the front of the drawer until the rail stops clear the drawer rail.

Carefully lift the drawer out of the compactor and set it aside. 

Step 4: Remove the top cover

Remove the mounting screws that secure the top cover to the trash compactor frame.

Pull the top cover off and set it aside.

Step 5: Release the front frame

Remove the air filter.

Remove the mounting screws that secure the front frame to the trash compactor.

Pull the frame off the front of the trash compactor. The switch wires are still attached.

Step 6: Remove the momentary start switch

Note the location of wires or take a digital photo of the connections before removing the wires..

Pull the wires off the start switch.

Release the clips that hold the switch in the front frame and pull the switch out.

Step 7: Install the new momentary start switch

Push the new momentary start switch into the front frame until the locking tabs snap into place.

Connect the wires to the new momentary start switch, using the digital photo or notes for reference.

Step 8: Reinstall the front frame

Position the front frame on the front of the trash compactor and install the mounting screws.

Reinstall the air filter.

Step 9: Reinstall the top cover

Position the top cover and install the mounting screws.

Step 10: Reinstall the drawer

Tilt the drawer up and insert the drawer rails into the rails on the inside frame of the compactor.

Slide the drawer in and make sure that it shuts and opens properly.

Step 11: Restore power

Plug in the trash compactor or reset the house circuit breaker.

Step 12: Reinstall the trash compactor in the counter

Slide the trash compactor into the counter opening and install the mounting screws.