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Bryan
Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 12156
Experience:  15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
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Trash compactor is not working. It is making a humming noise

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Our GE Profile GCG1580LOSS trash compactor has a problem. When we lift the pedal to start the compactor, it makes a humming noise but the ram does not come down. I have looked and felt for jammed food items but no luck. Do you have any ideas?

Is the humming sound like the motor running or not starting?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I would guess that the motor is trying to run but for some reason the ram can't come down.

Ok, can you pull it out and tip it over on its side and remove the bottom panel? Check the plastic drive gears, these break a lot. Part 269615

It may be jammed up. Let me know, thanks.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I did this and the plastic gears and chain drive look in perfect condition. They are clean (no dirt) have lots of oil and can be turned easily in either direction. They are not the problem.

If you can turn them easy then its not good news, this means the motor is shot. Part(###) ###-#### width=

Are you able to turn this a lot like its moving the rams up or down so you know its not jammed up somewhere else? If so, the motor needs to be replaced. This is $197.00 @ http://www.repairclinic.com/SSPartDetail.aspx?s=t-GCG1580LOSS-%3d%3di1514996&PartID=1514996

Thanks

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Can the problem of the ram not coming down be due to micro switches going out. Is that a possibility instead of the motor?

Well, its a possibility but you said the motor tries to start you think. If the switch was bad usually the motor wouldn't even try to start because the switch isn't sending power to it. The micro switches reverse the motor to bring it back up or down in the beginning of the compact cycle.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

That makes sense. As long as my foot is lifting up, the motor is humming and engaged. I just tried turning the gear in both directions. The ram did not move. This makes me think that there may be a belt between the motor and the ram or something that may be broken. Thoughts?

There is no belt but there is screw rams and power nuts.

Power nut, ram drive screw
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Part 269627

One of these could be broken. You need to remove the top and look down inside to see these. If you can fully turn the gears and bring this up or down then its jammed or broken somewhere in the ram drive. Sometimes these can get cocked too. There is one on each side. Heres a link to all the diagrams for this, http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/getModel!retrieve.pd?modelNumber=GCG1520F0BB&pathTaken=partSearch

Thanks

Bryan and 2 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Just to let you know. Looked in the top per your last message and found nothing. However, after I I put everything back together, it worked! However, when I tried it again, it started humming. I took it apart on the bottom and found that if I moved the gear sprocket somewhat, and then turned it on, the ram would engage and come down. Sometimes it would work two times in a row, but usually I had to move the gear on the bottom slightly in either direction in order for it to engage, so now I'm stuck. I'm pretty sure there is something deeper in the machine involving taking off the chain and and the visible gears and I'm not prepared to do that, so it looks like I'll need a repair man. Bummer! Thanks for the help.