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Appliance Tech Dave
Appliance Tech Dave, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  30 years experience specializing in Whirlpool, KitchenAid and Kenmore
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Kenmore trash compactor porblems

Resolved Question:

OK Kenmore trash compactor model# XXXXX kept tripping breaker. Thought it was breaker but it was ok. Next it quite working all together. Thought it was directional limit switch - changed it - no luck, tried on off switch - changed it - still no power - found where cord had been crimped between a screw on lower back panel and wall - small black burn area on wall and back of compactor, small hole in wire to bare wires - Was SURE this was the problem - fixed the cord and STILL NO POWER!!! NOW WHAT??? Thanks!


STOP THE PRESSES!!!  Just realized the outlet may be bad so plugged it in another outlet - NOW it starts making a TERRIBLE bagging noise as soon as you plug it in  Unplugged it immediately - what is going on??

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for using this service,

So it starts banging when it is on?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Let me reinterate as ther eis a lot of information for you to read in my post.


1. a month or so ago compactor kept tripping breaker. checked breaker - no problem - check outlet no problem.


2. quit working all together - no power - Kelly on Just answer suggested changing the directional switch - did but no power.


3. Kelly said try the on/off switch - changed - still no power.


3. Older son discovered very tiny burn mark on wall by outlet/plug and on a screw/bolt on lower left off compactor back AND a hole burned completely through the power cord - bare wire showing! I KNOW-we should have checked this first but I digress....


4. We were sure this was the problem so we cut past bad spot and securely rewired cord - hubby is pretty handy with stuff like that - I call his work over kill - he calls it being safeLaughing


5. Plugged compactor in - original plug - no luck - so tried another plug and as soon as you plug it is it makes a terrible banging, rattling sound - it "feels" like it is at the top in the back but who knows!(hopefully YOU do!Laughing)


SO.....there you have it - afraid to leave it on to long - could it be the chain? is it the motor?


WOULD recording the sound and putting it on youtube for you to hear help?
THANKS!!


Paula

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

HELLO???? Is anyone working on my question?? Its been 3 hours and nothing!Frown

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
he did not answer
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name isXXXXX think you found the breaker tripping problem when you fixed the cord. The noise you are hearing could be that the motor is running to bring the ram up and it is lifted off the ram screws. This does not cause permanent damage unless it was run for a long time. When you replaced the top limit switch if you switched the red and gray wires this would reverse the direction. Red to Yellow should be closed when the ram is up and Grey to Yellow when the ram is down. The other thing to check is to be sure the metal trip lever is pressed in and holding the switch plunger in when the ram is at the top. Let me know what you find.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So what do I do first - Is it ok to let it run while making that bad noise to see if ram resets?


Where is the metal trip lever? Thanks


 

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
The top limit switch that has the Violet, Yellow, Red and Gray wires should have a metal arm attached tat gets held in to push the switch button when the ram is at the top. If there is no lever it will never know the ram is up and keep trying to bring the ram up which causes the bumping sound when the ram comes off the drive screws. Can you see the lever?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes when we replaced it it had a lever on it and i see the lever I took pictures if they help I can post them


 

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
I shouldn't need pictures but will describe how the lever works. It should contact the ram when up and push in on the switch until the motor starts and the ram goes down. Then the switch lever is away from the switch just like it was before you installed it. If this is how it works you have the wires wrong as I mentioned in my first post.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I checked the wires - they are clearly labeled v- violet; y-yellow and o-orange they are all on correctly I see the lever. I don't know what the ram is doing because when you plug it in you don't have to start it it just immediately makes a terrible noise. Should I let it run for 30 seconds or so or will this damage it further?


Would hearing the noise help?

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
If the motor is running and going the wrong direction it will sound like a rapid tapping or bumping. You will see the top of the ram screws turning and if you lift the ram it will come up because it is unscrewed from the drive nuts. Hearing the sound and seeing what you see would help because as you know that is very important to the service tech and not easy this way.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK - I took the top o f the unit off and the whole ram cam out very easily - Cry


Now what ? How did it come unscrewed and how do I get it back on or screwed back on - I am sorry for all the questions but I LOVE to fix stuff but just not sure how to go about it - the dishwasher, 3 freezers, computers and vacuum cleaner were much easier!Innocent


Thanks!


Paula

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
Paula, when the motor starts in the down direction it will thread the screws into the nuts and pull the ram down. Nothing is broken. What you describe is the noise we hear when we don't let the top limit switch change position when the ram comes up. At the highest position of the ram that metal lever on the switch must have the switch pushed in. If not it will keep trying to come up. The lever could be bent. Hold the lever in when you try to start and the ram should go down. Let go of the lever and when the ram hits bottom and stalls it will reverse and come up. When the lever pushes the switch in with the ram up it will stop as long as the lever pushes the switch closed. Let me know what it does and if you can adjust the switch lever to the held closed position.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok motor running backwards - did I cross wires when did the plug(hubby actually did that) or is the directional switch wired wrong or is the on off switch wired wrong?FrownLaughingSurprised or the screws are turning backwards

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
From what you said the top switch is wired correctly so I think it is not getting the lever to change position when the ram is up. If you pull in on the switch lever do you hear a click? If so you need to bend the lever until it is "clicked" all the time the ram is up. Does that make sense to you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes - if you pull in on the lever it clicks - what about the screws turning backwards? Hubby admits he broke his cardinal rule and did not mark the wires when he cut the cordSurprised he is taking it apart and we taped it up GOOD! We can see the screws turning and they are backing OUT of the ram instead of in when it is turned on.

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
Okay, as mentioned before, the top switch needs to be clicked in when the ram is up. If the switch clicks when you pull the metal lever away from the edge of the ram, that is the problem. The ram needs to hold the switch clicked until it starts to go down. Test it by holding the switch clicked and press start. The ram should go down but let go of the lever after it starts so it can come back up. It will bump off the screws again if the switch can't click closed in time to stop it at the top. You need just need to adjust the switch by moving the lever. Without seeing it I don't know if you have it installed correctly but the top of the lever should be up and the ram should push it against the switch when the ram is up.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Here is another problem - when you plug it in it starts immediately - you do not even have to turn the start switch - Sorry to be so dnese but I think there is something else going on here -


1. When you plug in the screws start turning - backing out of the ram


2. When you hold the switch in the ram does not move but the screws still keep BACKING OUT of the ram


3. when you flip the lever back the screws still BACK OUT of the ram -


The screws are not turning the right direction


4. all of the wires are in the correct order on the switch - the lever is up and is does not change the direction when you click it on or out.


WHY is it starting immediately upon plugging it in WITHOUT turning the start button?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

BTW - have checked the wiring on the on off switch 6 ways form Sunday and it is clearly marked and plugged up correctly. It SHOULD NOT be running when plugged in if the start switch IS NOT turned on should it???


 

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
Yes, you are correct, that could be a different problem but you said you replaced the start switch I thought? It should have Yellow, Violet and Tan/red stripe. Make sure the Yellow is in the right place. With the yellow pulled off to test it should not start when plugged in.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Like I said we checked it 6 ways from Sunday and all of the wires are clearly marked and clearly connected to the correct terminals.


1. WHY are the screws turning the wrong direction?


2. WHY does it start when you plug it in but the start switch is NOT turned on?


I turned the start switch to the remove switch position and it stops.


Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
Power is getting to the yellow wire right away. This can be a bad switch if it is wired correct but you replaced the switch. You may need to try the old start switch. This model doe not have the start with the foot petal does it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

NO - you can open the drawer with foot pedal but not start it.

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
Okay, power getting to the yellow wire seems to be the issue. Pull the yellow wire at the start switch, tape it and plug the compactor back in to see what it does. If it does not start either the switch is bad or wired wrong.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Did you see my question about WHY the screws are turning the wrong way?????????????????????????????


Taking the yellow wire OFF and taping it does just what I said it did when you had me remove it - IT starts IMMEDIATELY upon plugging in - IT SHOULD NOT. You should have to TURN the switch to start.


TO RECAP:
With the YELLOW wire REMOVED from the terminal marked Y the unit starts running IMMEDIATELY upon being plugged in -


This unit is designed to run ONLY when you turn the start switch to the right one time then it springs back to the upright position - the ram should start to go down - compact- come back and complete the cycle.


 


I AM NOT sure if you are READING my ENTIRE question - you still have not explained WHY THE SCREWS are turning the wrong way???


I realize I have several problems -


Something is making the start switch malfunction - IT COULD be a bad switch - I AM POSITIVE it is plugged in or the wires are correct!!!!!


UNLESS the switch is MARKED incorrectly - HOWEVER - I took the wires off and put them on the opposite terminals with NO SUCCESS.


I apologize but I am getting really frustrated here -


I know how difficult it is on your end - you can only go by what I am telling you and I KNOW how confusing I can beEmbarassed


SO-------I am telling you - the switches are hooked up correctly


The ram is NOT going down because the screws are turning the wrong way - backing out of the unit


I realize this sounds like a bad directional switch and or a bad on off switch and they were both just changed. I guess one or both could be bad.


PLEASE - - is there anything else that would cause the motor or the screws to turn the wrong way?????


WOULD the xcord shorting out have caused anything like this?

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
The screws are turning the wrong way because the switches are set up to send power to the wrong start winding. Going back to a much earlier answer about the top limit switch about the red and gray wires... The red wire gets power to run the ram down. The gray wire gets power to bring the ram up. When the ram is up you should not have continuity from V to Y on the switch. You should have continuity from R to Y but not Gy to R. You need a meter to check this but since the motor starts with the yellow wire off the start switch we know that switch is not the problem. It has to be a mis wired or defective top limit switch or out of adjustment. You need to check it with a meter as I just mentioned above.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Could the screw receivers or whatever they are that the long screws go into be stripped - would that make them not go in? If so how do you tell and can they be replaced?


The switch is not the problem - checked continuity and all just as you said.


Top limit switch seems ok.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could the screw receivers or whatever they are that the long screws go into be stripped - would that make them not go in? If so how do you tell and can they be replaced?

The switch is not the problem - checked continuity and all just as you said.

Top limit switch seems ok.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

HELLO???? I had a follow up question and it has not been answered - should I post it to another appliance tech??

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
I would be happy to help. What is your question?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It si posted as a follow up to my trash compactor questions just above this post - it actually posted twice - sorry - Once on the 4th of Feb and again on the 6th. Here it is again:


 


Could the screw receivers or whatever they are that the long screws go into be stripped - would that make them not go in? If so how do you tell and can they be replaced?

The switch is not the problem - checked continuity and all just as you said.

Top limit switch seems ok.

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
Now I can see the question you asked about the screws. If the screws were stripped the ram would fall down. Your problem is that the motor is running the wrong direction and trying to go up when it is already up. When sitting with the ram fully at the top, the top limit switch should have continuity from yellow to red but nothing else. The start switch should not have continuity from violet to yellow until you hit Start. Can you check this with a meter? This has been a long post and you already did some of this but somehow thew motor is getting power on the clockwise winding, (gray wire) at the start.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes it has been a long post and I apologize - I will check what you suggested with a meter. I GUESS the new switch could be bad or something - Thanks - will let you know.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes it has been a long post and I apologize - I will check what you suggested with a meter. I GUESS the new switch could be bad or something - Thanks - will let you know. THANKS ... Paula

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
Best wishes. I will only be available until Monday morning and then I am off all next week. I hope I can assist you before I leave.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK - Start switch has continuity from violet to yellow and nothing else until I hit start so it tests OK


Top limit switch has NO CONTINUITY on ANY wire combo!


Could the NEW switch be bad?


Could you please tell me or send me a picture of HOW the switch should be placed when in the compactor - Right now the long thin metal blade or switch is facing or against the front of the ram - When you pull it forward it clicks - HOWEVER - when you pull it forward when the compactor is running it DOES NOT change the direction of the screws.


BOY am I confused!!!


UNLESS the switch is MARKED wrong - it clearly tells you what color wires go where - OR for orange,GR/T for gray/tan etc.


T


 

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.

Okay, the momentary start switch should NOT have continuity from violet to yellow until you press start. You said you pulled off the yellow wire and it still started when you plugged it in? Is that correct?

The top limit switch should have continuity ONLY from red to yellow with the ram at the top. If there was no continuity on any combination the motor could not run.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Start switch DOES NOT have continuity - when you turn the start button it does.


NOW - it will not start at all!! All of the wires in the switches are plugged in tightly the breaker is turned on the outlet is working- checked it with another appliance!


ARRGH!!! I am ready to toss the compactor in the TRASH!!!

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
WOW! With the run switch on but start not pressed you should have 120vac from violet to yellow on the top limit switch. That will prove you have power to the compactor.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Mine is not a push button start switch if that matters. Mine is a switch you turn to the right to turn it on - it has 3 positions =


left is to remove the switch to prevent kids from starting it - straight up is off and turn it to the right(it bounces back to straight up) turns it on.


NOW - I just re-checked continuity on the top limit switch and it has continuity pegged all the way to the right of the ohm meter on yellow to ALL other colors - red, orange, gray and violet!! IS THIS POSSIBLE - I readily admit I have not a clue what is going on or what to do!


 

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
Okay, here is the problem. When you check a component you need to remove the wires and check on the contacts. If you do the test with the wires attached it could read through other components out in the appliance.

I understand about the rotary switch and when I said press I should have said turn.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK ALL wires unhooked - checked continuity:


Y to R- NO


Y to V- NO


Y to O- NO


Y to Gr-YES


Or to all but Violet - no


Or to V-YES


 

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
That is your problem. If the switch is being held in by the ram those are the wrong readings. Did you mount the switch backwards? Is there a metal lever on the switch that makes the switch click when you pull it towards the switch? That lever should be pressed in against the switch when the ram is up if it is installed correctly.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK - I give up! I re-positioned the switch so the thin metal lever that the ram pushes in it firmly against a metal piece that sticks out from the ram to trip the switch -


I double checked the wires and all plugged in ok


Breaker on


Outlet working


Continuity from yellow to red and nothing else on top limit switch


BUT NO POWER!! IT WILL NOT START!!


 


 

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
You are almost there now. The top limit switch is what I thought was the problem when we first started and that is corrected but now that it is dead it might be a bad connection where you repaired the power cord? I would hate for you to give up now.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK - When the power cord was repaired the compactor would come on as soon as you plugged it in - WITHOUT turning the switch to ON or START - it came on and ran continuously in the OFF position.


I have done NOTHING other than reposition the top limit switch - EVERYTHING is still plugged in where it was before!


IF the unit was working AFTER the poser cord repair and NOTHING has changed could there be something ELSE causing the problem??


 


I am STILL not understanding how the top limit swtich has anything to do with the problem - I know it was not "touching the ram but we could manually flip the switch and it did NOT change the direction of the screws!


 


IF we were able to manually pull or click the metal lever on the top limit when the screws were turning why didn't it stop or turn the other way?


 

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
I will give you the theory and then maybe you can understand. The top limit switch needs to have the metal lever pushed in to the switch BEFORE the motor starts because it determines the direction the motor will start. The motor continues to run going down but with the ram going down the lever moves away from the switch so that the next time the motor starts, (when it stalls at the bottom) it starts in the up direction. None of this helps with the current problem of why it is dead.

It could be the drawer is out a little and the drawer tilt switch is open. Try to open the drawer and push it back in harder. It could be other things too but lets start with something simple.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!!!!! I adjusted the top limit switch - again and plugged it in and tada!! IT WORKS!! The ram went down and back up and turned the switch off just like it should!


I think the cord was probably the problem the entire time - I don't think either switch was bad but when I replaced the top limit switch I just did not know it had to be adjusted just so -


I THANK YOU so very much for being SOOOO patient!


I will definitely give you the top rating and a bonus!!


 


THANK YOU!!


 


Paula

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
to your credit you stuck with it even when you thought you had more problems than were really there. Best wishes. Dave
Appliance Tech Dave, Home Appliance Technician
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Experience: 30 years experience specializing in Whirlpool, KitchenAid and Kenmore
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