7 Most Common Repair Needs For a Trash Compactor

For any business that generates a sizable amount of waste or recyclable materials, a trash compactor can help you save money. After all, less material means lower collection and transportation costs, right? But your commercial compactor is a hard-working, complex piece of equipment that needs regular maintenance. So, what happens when you need a trash compactor repair? Here’s a review of the most common frustrations you might experience with your commercial trash compactor. 

1) It Won’t Turn On

This is a common issue that a professional may need to troubleshoot for you. While it could be as simple as checking the power source or circuit breakers, there’s also the possibility that the drive motor or directional valve are acting up. Check these things first:

  1. Power Supply
  2. Stop Button
  3. Key/Start switches
  4. Loading Door Safety Switch
  5. Hydraulic Hoses on Self-Contained Compactor
  6. PLC activated

If everything looks like it should be up and running, you’ll need to call in a professional to diagnose and repair the problem. Fortunately, if the start switch is faulty, this is an easy fix. It’s common for the switch contacts to become corroded over time without proper maintenance. 

2) Strange Sounds

Strange sounds coming from your commercial trash compactor can be alarming, especially since it’s already a loud machine to begin with. Yes, your commercial compactor will always make some noise while it’s running, but unusual sounds generally mean that you need a trash compactor repair. Take a look inside with a flashlight for unusual debris like a pallet or something that shouldn’t be there. Peak at the ram wear guides to see if something is lodged inside and not allowing ram to run free.  Be sure to call a technician to determine if any parts are damaged or need to be replaced. Turn the unit off if it continues to make unusual noises during a cycle. Letting it run may cause more damage. 

3) The Cycle Won’t Stop

Your commercial trash compactor should come to a stop after the cycle is finished, but what if it doesn’t? This might be an issue with the start switch, PLC, pressure switch or the directional valve. If the problem doesn’t resolve itself in 10 cycles, cut the power source and call a specialist who offers commercial trash compactor services. 

4) Stuck Access Panel/Ram

Trying to force the panel to open can cause more damage. It’s not uncommon for debris to get behind or on top of the compaction plate. Although, the reason may also be mechanical in nature. Note, if you try to pry the panel open, it can become more pricey to fix. 

Cleaning out your compactor on a regular basis can prevent debris from creating these kinds of blockages. If you’re able to, check to see if any trash has collected on top of or behind the ram.. Moving it out of the way can sometimes resolve the issue. An experienced technician will also make sure the cylinders aren’t damaged. Sometimes lubrication is all that’s needed to get things back on track. 

5) It Turns Off

If your commercial trash compactor is turning off in the middle of a cycle, it won’t fully finish the job. Incomplete cycles won’t compress waste as efficiently as possible. This means a greater volume of waste or recycling, and, in turn, higher collection costs.  

If your compactor is turning off mid-cycle check to make sure the loading door is fully closed and quick disconnect hydraulic hoses are properly attached. A professional compactor service company will have the experience and the correct tools to safely perform the trash compactor repair. 

6) Smelly Unit

Unless you are using a Glacier Ozone sanitizing unit on your compactor your commercial trash compactor may start to smell, but if it’s particularly smelly lately, a good cleaning can help. Don’t attempt this before unplugging the unit, though. Make sure to clean on top of or behind the ram and lube any grease fittings while inside.  You can remove any debris and clean the trash compactor with antibacterial products, but be sure to wear gloves. This should help to curb the worst of the odors. 

7) The Ram Won’t Move

Ram is responsible for compressing the waste inside your machine, making it a key component of the operation. If it’s not functioning properly, then your commercial trash compactor can’t do its job.  Check the hydraulic hoses. If the motor is running yet the ram is not moving, this is another problem you shouldn’t attempt to DIY. It could be an indication that a variety of parts may need a commercial trash compactor repair. Only a specialist will be able to narrow down the source of the issue.   

Reasons to Schedule Preventive Maintenance

There are a number of reasons why regular maintenance is essential for the care of your baler or compactor, but here are the main key points to consider:

  • Extend the life of your equipment: Scheduling quarterly, biannual or annual service visits is simply the most effective way to keep your commercial trash compactor up and running.
  • Avoid the need for expensive repairs: It’s easy to overlook maintenance when your unit is functioning properly, but having your equipment serviced is also the best way to prevent the need for costly trash compactor repairs. A skilled specialist can catch minor issues before they cause real damage, saving you money in the long run. 
  • Increase efficiency: Equipment that is serviced regularly also functions more efficiently, meaning that it’s more reliable and does a better job of handling a large volume of waste and recycling. 
  • Staff Training: When our techs perform scheduled maintenance they are available to train staff on safety procedures and proper compactor and baler operations.
  • Peace of mind: Peace of mind is invaluable. Knowing that your maintenance needs are covered is one less thing to think about. Once it’s on the calendar, you can forget about it until your next appointment.  

Contact Bay Area Trash Compactor 

A commercial trash compactor is a worthwhile investment for any business that generates a lot of waste or recyclable materials. At Bay Area Trash Compactor, we offer a wide variety of different compactors to choose from, like indoor compactors, outdoor compactors, corral compactors, solar compactors, sidewalk compactors and chute-fed compactors. But regardless of the design you prefer, all options can help you save space, and cut down on hauling costs and labor while improving sanitation at your facility. 

We’re here to help you slash you trash and recycling costs by 35%-75%, improve your operation, and maintain recycling compliance. While we are happy to provide emergency compactor service, contact us to learn more about our Preventative Maintenance Programs. We offer three levels of service agreements to choose from, so you can pick the one that’s best suited for your business. The level of compactor service you need is largely determined by how often the unit is in use. Click here to sign up or learn more about the levels of protection that we offer. You can also give us a call at (925) 465-5133