Trash Compactor Common Questions

These common questions about trash compactors are the ones our experts hear the most often from our customers. You might also find the help you need by checking the common symptoms and solutions for trash compactors. When you’re ready to make a repair or need trash compactor bags, has the part you need, no matter where you bought your trash compactor.

Why is my trash compactor not compacting the trash?

The trash compactor container must be more than half full for the trash compactor to compact the trash.


Why isn’t my trash compactor working?

If your trash compactor won’t start, make sure the power cord is fully plugged into the power outlet. Close the drawer completely and turn the power switch on before pressing Start. 

Check whether the wall outlet is receiving power by plugging in and starting a small appliance such as a blow dryer. If the wall outlet is dead, replace the fuse or reset the house circuit breaker.


Why won't the trash compactor drawer open?

If the door of the trash compactor won’t open, it’s likely that the motor stalled with the ram in the lowest position. The motor stalls if the unit jams and tilts the door open. If the top of the drawer is tilted out, push the door in, hold the top of the door closed and then restart the compactor.

Place large, hard items in the center of the container to help prevent jamming. Some items, such as glass, should not be compacted.


How do I remove the trash compactor drawer?

To remove the trash compactor drawer, pull the drawer out until it stops. Lift the front of the drawer to clear the stops. Grasp the drawer on the sides and pull it out the rest of the way. Set the drawer down gently.


Why does my trash compactor not have enough compaction or force?

Once the compactor is at least half full, compacting works best when you run the compactor frequently, after loading only a few items.  



What kinds of trash bags can I use in my trash compactor?

Only use trash bags designed especially for use in your trash compactor. You can order replacement trash compactor bags on Sears PartsDirect by looking up the part number on the bag; through your local dealer; or by calling the toll-free number in your owner’s manual. 


How do I clean the trash compactor ram?

Wear work gloves to protect your hands from sharp trash. Remove the drawer as described above. Wipe glass particles off the ram cover with a cloth or paper towels. Remove foods with a clean sponge or soft cloth and a mild detergent in warm water. 


How should I prepare my trash compactor before going on vacation?

To prepare your trash compactor to be idle for more than a couple of days, remove the compactor bag. Remove the key knob or key switch and store it out of children’s reach.