I have a Broan trash compactor, model 15XESS, about 2.5 years old. We've never been too happy with it. It frequently tears the bags and leaks. Taking the bags out is pretty messy, and now that I've taken it apart to repair it, there was a lot of corrosion inside. It also has the problem that very frequently trash gets stuck above the ram/compactor plate. The odor control mechanism doesn't function all that well. That said, it sure is attractive in our kitchen! And it does compact the trash quite well. It was quite expensive, and worth fixing.
So... we came home from work one evening to find the motor running, and the granite countertop hot to the touch. The ram was almost all the way down. Had to unplug it to get the motor to stop. I uninstalled it, and took the back off. It sounded like it might be the upper limit switch. Both limit switches were corroded, but tested OK. I called the Broan tech support, and they were pretty helpful. Suggested that it was a drive belt, and e-mailed me the service manual.
This thing has the motor on top, with a drive belt and two drive wheels (two screws) at the very top. To get to these, it is necessary to take the cabinet completely apart. You start with the electrical components, and just take everything apart. Step one is to remove the bucket. Uhhh... here's the problem. The ram is stuck in the down position. Other models I've seen have a drive screw nut easily accessible from the back which lets you manually raise or lower the ram. This one does not have any way that I can see to manually raise the ram, and nothing in the service manual addresses this.
So, I proceeded to take everything else apart, in the hopes that I could somehow get the cabinet off the drive mechanism. (Another problem found during this was that two of the screws holding the stabilizer plates on were completely corroded, and inaccessible due to the fact that I couldn't get the bucket out.) With everything taken apart properly, I can see how the cabinet is supposed to tip forward, and then one can lift it off, tilting it forward then backward and wiggling it up and off. But with the ram stuck down in the bucket, I can't move it like it needs to.
Catch 22 it looks like. Anybody have any ideas? There must be a way to manually get the ram up, or get the cabinet apart with it down. If not, a major design flaw. I'll call the tech guys at the company tomorrow. It does look like he was right, and the belt is probably broken. I tried to manually turn the drive wheels, but they are pretty inaccessible, and they don't move more than about 1/4 revolution, and there is a lot of torque required. It looks like I would have to turn them about 300 revolutions to get the ram out of the bucket.
Thanks for any input,