So you’ve got a pull out trash can and it’s causing some problems.

We know, it’s a bummer.

Most trash pull outs cost a pretty penny, so no doubt this is the last thing you want to be working on. Luckily there are a few things to troubleshoot when learning how to fix a pull out trash can.

The number one issue that I see on a regular basis is issues within the slides. More often than not, it’s a slide bearing that has become defective and is causing the slide to grind or not close properly.

Troubleshooting

Since trash pull outs utilize slides on both the right and left sides of the frame, it is most likely an issue with one of those or a component within the slide itself.

Unfortunately, in order to troubleshoot the problem we may need to dis-assemble the trash pull out to diagnose the problem.

Here are some things to look for:

  • Cycle the trash pull out in and out and listen for any noises or grinding
  • Look for any loose components that may have fallen off the slide assembly or in the cabinet itself
  • Make sure there are no loose components within the wood or metal frame
  • Look for any trash that may have gotten lodged within the slides

Fixing Slides on a Trash Pull Out

Extend the trash pull out all the way out of the cabinet and remove the bin(s). You’ll want to see if you can remove the frame from the slide assembly.

Often times slides have “release clips” internally within the slide or on each side of the frame. This may require grabbing a flash light and doing some exploring to figure out how your frame is attached to the right and left slides.

Fixing A Trash Pull Out That Doesn’t Stay Closed

Is your pull out trash can slide assembly refusing to stay shut? If it’s slowly sliding outside the cabinet there are a few things to diagnose and fix.

First and foremost, peek inside (if you can) and see if there are any visible obstructions in the back of the cabinet. It could be a large piece of trash that has fallen back or a small wood chip from your cabinet. Either way, make sure the coast is clear.

If you don’t see anything in the rear of the cabinet preventing the pull out trash can to slide back, your cabinet may not be 100% level. This sometimes happens when cabinets are made off-site and then later brought to the home for final installations. 

In order to check and see if your cabinet is level, if possible, remove the trash slide out and place a level on the cabinet floor. It may be rolling forward because the cabinet is slightly tilting from back to front.

Another thing to look at is the trash pull out slides themselves. Sometimes these can get loose due to old ball-bearings within the slide. This can prevent the slide from engaging when returning to a closed position. Cycle the unit in-and-out and look and listen to see if anything stands out.

If you have a slide component that is causing issues, you may need to remove the unit completely to further inspect.

Possible Solutions

  • A simple fix might be shim up the front of the unit, so it prevents it from sliding forward
  • You can also try to use thin magnetic cabinet catch. One side would adhere to your cabinet door and the other would adhere to the cabinet frame.

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Is Your Trash Pull Out Under Warranty?

If a new part is needed or perhaps an entire new product, you want to check with the manufacturer, installer or initial seller of the product to see if your trash pull out is under warranty.

Often times trash pull outs are under a limited lifetime warranty and the manufacturer may offer a replacement part to try and fix the issue.

Of course, if your trash pull out has arrived damaged, be sure to check the return policy of the store you purchased from.

How to Avoid Damages During Install

We’ve all been there before. We get that cool new thing and throw caution to the wind when building or installing it. Trash pull outs are not the easiest thing to assemble and install, so using templates and installation instructions is needed.

Perhaps the most important thing is to be sure you have the right cabinet for the pull out your plan to install. I know, it might be too late for some of you on this front. Not all cabinets are made the same and not all trash pull outs are standardized.

  • Use any provided templates
  • Use installation “how-to” videos
  • Use proper measurements
  • Use correct tools and screws

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