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What Are the Different Types of Trash Compactor Parts?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many different types of trash compactor parts, from small screws and electric motors to power rams. The trash compactor is basically an automatized smashing device that squishes and compresses rubbish into a neat and compact package, thereby requiring far less room as compared with standard garbage. Many models of compactors include a large bolt or screw as the primary operating component, and it is often the most important of all the trash compactor parts. Switch panels and micro switches are also among the many trash compactor parts.

The typical home garbage compactor operates on the same basic principle as the large units often used to compact boxes at supermarkets. When garbage goes into the compactor, it activates a micro-switch. As the compactor door is closed, the switch signals the electric motor to start up. The motor is connected to a ram screw or bolt by a chain and sprockets. These begin to turn the ram bolt, which passes through the ram — a heavy piece of flat metal attached to a large nut.

The ram bolt is threaded through the ram and drives the ram down as the bolt turns in the ram nut. This presses against the garbage, effectively driving it down inside of the compactor basket. When the ram senses a predetermined amount of pressure by way of a pressure-sensitive sensor on the gear drive, the motor is reversed, bringing the ram back to the raised starting position. Once the compactor is full, a capacity sensor sends an electronic signal to the full indicator light, which illuminates to signal that the compactor is in need of emptying.

Other key trash compactor parts include the frame, sound insulation and electric wire. Smaller trash compactor parts, such as nuts, bolts and screws, are often listed in a part's manual as superficial components. Indicator lights and guide rollers for the receptor basket are also among the trash compactor parts in this category. Some models of compactor also include a drainage hose and collection pan, elements which allow for the elimination of liquids from the compacted garbage. Other optional features usually included on the more expensive models are interior lights and built-in air freshener dispensers.

The very body panels that make up the machine are trash compactor parts, along with the compactor's cover panel and hinge. Plastic clips and wiring harnesses are available for both the motor and control panel of many compactors. Mounting brackets and support bars are also offered for built-in cabinet models.

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Discussion Comments

By truman12 — On Mar 09, 2012

The trash compactor in my kitchen stopped working a few years ago and I looked into getting it repaired. Well, in the end I realized that it would be cheaper to replace it than to try and have it repaired.

To take it out of my kitchen would have involved ripping up one of the cabinets which would have to be replaced. There were no repairman or repair shops in my area so I would have had to ship it to the manufacturer at a great cost because it is so heavy. It was not under warranty so I would have to pay for all the repairs. And on and on and on. It was much cheaper to just buy a new one.

By backdraft — On Mar 09, 2012

My parents remodeled their kitchen when I was a teenager and they put in a trash compactor. I think the most important part is the bags. A lot of people don't realize that they take specialized bags that cost a little more money. And they really are necessary. You can't swap out a regular trash bag or even a contractor bag.

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