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Trash Compactor Will Not Stop

The part(s) or condition(s) listed below for the symptom Trash compactor will not stop are ordered from most likely to least likely to occur. Check or test each item, starting with the items at the top of the page.

Most Frequent Causes for Trash compactor will not stop

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Cause 1Directional Switch

When the compacting ram reaches the top of the compactor, the directional switch interrupts all current flow to the motor. If the directional switch fails, the motor can continue to run after the ram reaches the top. To determine if the directional switch is defective, use a multimeter to test it for continuity. If the directional switch has shorted contacts, replace it.

Cause 2Start Switch

The start switch sends voltage to the motor to start the compacting cycle. If the electrical contacts in the switch are stuck closed, the switch will send continuous voltage to the motor, causing the motor to run continuously. To determine if the start switch is defective, use a multimeter to test it for continuity. If the switch has continuity when it is in the off position, replace it.

Cause 3Drive Motor

The drive motor has a centrifugal switch. When the trash compactor is started, current flows through the centrifugal switch. The centrifugal switch then opens, causing the trash compactor ram to move down. If the centrifugal switch fails, it can stick in the open position, causing the motor keep moving the ram up and down. Since it is difficult to test the drive motor, first test all of the more commonly defective components. If none of these components are defective, replace the drive motor.