Compacting unit would compact trash and return but the motor would not turn off and it made a rotary grinding sound.

ApplianceJenn-Air Trash Compactor


Level of DifficultyDifficult

Time to do repairMore than 2 hours

Age of Appliance5 - 10 years

Tools Nutdriver
Screw drivers

Ronald From Brentwood, TN

Feb 19, 2013

I read the Parts Select trouble shooting guide which indicated that 99% of the time the problem was with the Directional Switch so I ordered one. I pulled the unit out from under the countertop, unplugged the electrical plug from the outlet and took the trash tray out of the unit and set it aside. I took the top panel off with the nutdriver as well as the front panel along with the handle of the power switch. Better access to the Directional Switch can be made by removing the compacting unit. This can be done by sliding it up out of appliance and setting it aside. I used a phillips screw driver to unscrew the two screws on the right side of the switch and the two thin compression plates on the left side which hold the switch in place. I then carefully removed the contact wires from the Directional Switch one at a time and placed them on the new switch in the proper locations. The switch can then be reinstalled with the screws and compression plates. The compacting unit can then be loaded back into the appliance with the activating bracket to the front, BUT be very careful that the arm on the Directional Switch is out of the way when it is slid back into place and be sure that the bracket that activates the Directional Switch is facing the switch in order to send the message to the On/Off Switch to stop the motor when the cycle is completed. The bracket on the front of the compacting unit will force the thin arm on the back of the switch to activate a relay button that is supposed to tell the Rotary switch to shut off the motor and stop the cycle. The front panel and the top panel can then be reinstalled. I checked to see if it solved the problem before putting it back under the countertop. I had to tape the black cutoff switche on the front and on the inside of the container compartment to accomplish this. I then plugged it in and turned the Off/On switch. The unit cycled down and back up but did not shut off and the same noise came from one side at the bottom of the unit. I unplugged the unit and turned it on it's side and removed the bottom plate to inspect the gears and drive chain belt. All the gears and the drive belt were in good condition. So that was not the problem either. That left the Rotary Switch to be the faulty part. I then had to order the Rotary Switch Kit and wait for it to arrive which it did in a short period of time. The old switch was removed by pulling off the handle then using needle nosed pliers to loosen the ring nut that holds the switch in place. This released the old Rotary Switch from the front frame. A flat head screw driver was used to release the wires from the terminals on the switch and place them on the new switch. As per the instructions with the switch kit, the hole for the threaded end of the switch to fit through the hole in the front plate needed to be enlarged. The instructions tell you to use a 9/16 inch drill to carefully enlarge the hole size. Since I did not have that size drill bit, I used a small rat tail file to enlarge the hole. I placed the threaded end of the switch through the hole in the front plate and tried to screw the ring nut back on to the threaded end of the switch. The threads did not pass far enough through the front plate to allow the ring nut to thread and hold the switch in place. I found that there were two plastic ridges on the back side of the front plate that did not allow the threaded end of the switch to fit far enough through the hole to attach the ring nut. I then had to take the front plate off and used a chizel and hammer to carefully chip off the ridges so the theads would fit through the plate and allow installaton of the ring nut. The wires could then be placed on the Rotary Switch, ring nut installed and tightened, the front panel replaced and the top plate reinstalled and the unit tested. This time it worked and the trash compactor was plugged in and shoved back in place under the counter top. Now for the rest of the sto

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Diagrams and Parts List for this repair

Part PhotoPart DescriptionPriceAvailability

Rotary Switch Kit

Part Number: PS382679

In Stock