Weber County
Brigham City
Salt Lake

Indicators Your Trash Compactor Needs Repairs

For those who utilize trash compactors within their homes or businesses, these can be extremely valuable items that help with everything from waste disposal to storage and more. They can only provide this value if they're in top working order, however, and there may be a few signs you'll notice if yours is having trouble and requires either repair or replacement. 

At Dick Kearsley Service Center, we're happy to provide a wide range of appliance repair services to clients around Ogden, Roy, Kaysville, Syracuse and nearby areas, including for any trash compactor issues you're having. Here are some possible signs that your trash compactor is experiencing issues, a couple minor troubleshooting suggestions you may be able to perform on your own, but also some notes on situations where professional repair or replacement is likely necessary. 

Trash Compactor Will Not Turn On

One of the most common issues with a trash compactor, as with many other appliances, is that it will simply not turn on. If this happens, the first thing to check is whether or not the unit is properly plugged in and receiving power - you'd be surprised how often this simple issue is the culprit! 

If you do find that it's properly plugged in and receiving power but still not turning on, there may be a few different issues taking place:

  • Directional switch problems: This switch is used to control the direction of the compactor, and if it's broken or otherwise not functioning properly, you may need professional repair.
  • Motor issues: The motor is what actually powers the compacting mechanism in these units, so if it's experiencing problems or has simply worn out over time, this could be the cause of your issue.
  • Circuit board troubles: In some cases, the issue may also be with the circuit board that controls the motor and other functions of your trash compactor. This will require professional repair or replacement.
  • Food pedal problems: For units that utilize a foot pedal to activate the compactor, there may be issues with this component that are causing some or all of the unit's functions to fail.
  • Switch corrosion: Over time, the switches that control your trash compactor may corrode and become less effective. This can usually be fixed by simply cleaning or replacing the switch.

If you're unable to troubleshoot and fix these issues on your own, it's best to contact a professional appliance repair service for further assistance.

Strange Noises

Another common sign of trouble with a trash compactor is when it starts making unusual or loud noises during operation. This could be a sign of a few different issues, such as:

  • Worn out bearings: The bearings are what allow the compactor to move smoothly and quietly, so if they're worn out or damaged, you may start to hear grinding or other strange noises.
  • Loose screws: As with any appliance, loose screws can cause parts to rattle or vibrate during operation, leading to unwanted noises.
  • Motor issues: As mentioned before, motor problems could also be the cause of strange noises in your trash compactor.

If you're experiencing any of these issues with your trash compactor, it's important to address them as soon as possible. Ignoring them could lead to further damage and ultimately the need for a full replacement. 

Weird Odors

Another sign that your trash compactor is in need of repair or replacement is if you start to notice strange odors coming from it. This could be a sign of:

  • A dirty unit: If you haven't been regularly cleaning and maintaining your trash compactor, it may start to develop unpleasant smells.
  • Food particles stuck in the mechanism: Sometimes, food particles can get lodged in the compactor's gears or other parts, causing a foul odor.
  • Motor issues: If the motor is overheating or experiencing problems, it may start to give off an unpleasant smell.

If you're noticing strange odors coming from your trash compactor, be sure to thoroughly clean and maintain it first. If the problem persists, it may be time to call in the pros. 

Stuck Panel

Finally, you may notice that your trash compactor's door panel becomes stuck or difficult to open and close. This could be a sign of:

  • Worn out rollers: The rollers that allow the door panel to move smoothly may become worn out over time, causing sticking. It may just require lubrication, or the rollers may need to be replaced.
  • Debris buildup: Similar to the issues with strange odors, debris can also get stuck in the compactor's gears and cause problems with opening and closing.

With the right maintenance and occasional repairs, your trash compactor can continue to provide valuable waste management assistance for years to come. And in the event that it does need replacement, Dick Kearsley Service Center is here to help you find the best unit for your needs and budget. Contact us today for any appliance repair or installation needs around Ogden, Roy, Kaysville, Syracuse or other parts of Northern Utah!


520 S State, Clearfield, UT 84015

[email protected]

Hours Of Operation:

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sunday: Closed

Find Us On:


Davis/Morgan: 801-773-4836

Weber County: 801-393-1265

Brigham City: 435-553-4556

Salt Lake: 801-292-1636


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