How To Fix a Paper Shredder That Won’t Turn On?

A working paper shredder can be an excellent investment for your home or office. It can help you eliminate all the junk mail that piles up on your desk and ensure that confidential documents do not fall into the wrong hands. However, there can be various reasons for a faulty shredder.

Here are some helpful tips for fixing a shredder that won’t turn on:

  1. Check if the shredder is plugged in correctly.
  2. Check for a blown fuse.
  3. Check if the shredder safety interlock is on.
  4. Check if the shredder is overheating.
  5. Check if your shredder is jammed or clogged.
  6. Check if the sensors are faulty.
  7. Check if the waste bin is full.
  8. Check if the start switch is faulty.

This guide will highlight the steps you should take when your paper shredder doesn’t turn on. Read on to learn some tips and tricks, including the safety precautions to take when fixing your shredding machine.

1. Check if the Shredder Is Plugged In Correctly

As easy as this may sound, it’s possible that the power cord is not plugged in all the way or the power cord has been unplugged. Make sure to check these things before continuing.

If the shredder isn’t plugged in correctly, it will not work. If you’re using a plug-in shredder, ensure the power cord is securely plugged into the wall outlet and that you have inserted the plug into a working socket.

If your shredder is battery operated, ensure it has enough charge to run for at least 10 minutes before use. The most common signs that a paper shredder isn’t plugged in properly include:

  • The shredder doesn’t operate when turned on.
  • The shredding machine doesn’t produce any sound.
  • The shredding machine doesn’t pull any paper down.

Read: Why Do Paper Shredders Overheat? – Troubleshooting Guide

2. Check for a Blown Fuse

A shredder not turning on could be due to a blown fuse. You can quickly fix this problem by following the steps below.

  • Unplug the shredder from the power outlet.
  • Remove the top cover of the shredder and check for any visible damage to the fuse.
  • Replace the fuse if it’s faulty.

If there’s still no power, then the next step would be to check the circuit breaker or fuse box and see if there are any tripped breakers. A local power outage could be the reason your shredder isn’t working.

3. Check if the Shredder Safety Interlock Is On

The shredder safety interlock is an important safety feature that prevents the shredder from running when you’re not using it. It is an excellent feature for those with small children or pets at home who want to ensure they are safe around the machine.

You can check if the shredder safety lock is on by checking if the safety lock warning light is on. The warning light’s location depends on the shredder model.

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4. Check if the Shredder Is Overheating

An overheated shredder might temporarily stop working and fail to turn on. When a shredder overheats or becomes too hot, the motor will stop working, which may require a professional to reset or restart.

Here’s what to do if you suspect your shredder has overheated: 

  1. Unplug the power cord from the outlet.
  2. Allow the shredder to cool down for a few minutes before trying to turn it on again.
  3. While waiting for the shredder to cool down, wipe off any dust or debris around the shredder. 
  4. To speed up the cooling process, use a fan or a hair dryer on a cool setting

If the shredder doesn’t start, you may need to take it apart and see if anything is blocking the blades from turning.

5. Check if Your Shredder Is Jammed or Clogged

If the shredder is jammed or clogged, the blades cannot rotate. The blades can jam for several reasons. The most common one is the paper not being inserted correctly. Other causes include a buildup of shredded paper and paper clips on the blades. If this is the case, you will need to open the device and remove any obstructions.

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How to Unjam a Shredder?

To unjam your shredder, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the paper from the shredder.
  2. Unplug the shredder and take it apart.
  3. Open the device, and remove pieces of paper or anything that may have jammed the shredder’s blades or gears.
  4. Place all the parts back together and plug the device in again.

6. Check if the Sensors Are Faulty

Most shredders come with sensors that will stop working if a stray object like a tie, paper clip, or key goes into the machine. Modern shredders have laser sensors that will stop the blades from operating if they detect fingers.

One of the signs of faulty shredder sensors is if the shredder is not turning on when it should. If you suspect this to be the cause, it could be time to replace your sensor. These are usually inexpensive and easy to install, so don’t hesitate to replace them as soon as possible!

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7. Check if the Waste Bin Is Full

Your shredding machine might hesitate when starting if the waste bin is full. When the shredder waste bin is full, you should empty it to make room for more shredding. A shredder is designed to work with a certain amount of weight inside, and the motor will stop if there’s too much weight inside.

8. Check if the Start Switch Is Faulty

If you’re having problems with your shredder start button, there are a few things that you can do to fix it. You could try unplugging it from the power outlet and waiting for five minutes before plugging it back in again.

You could also try flipping the power switch off and on again or resetting your machine by unplugging it from its power source for one minute before plugging it back in. If this doesn’t work, call a qualified technician to diagnose the problem and replace the start switch if necessary.

Watch this video to learn more on how to fix a shredder that won’t turn on:

Maintenance Tips for Paper Shredders

A paper shredder is essential in any home or office. It helps you keep your office or home neat and tidy, and ensures that confidential information doesn’t get leaked. Here are some tips for maintaining your paper shredder:

  • Always unplug the power cord before cleaning or servicing the machine. You can use a vacuum cleaner for this purpose.
  • Make sure you empty the bin regularly, so it does not overflow and damage the machine.
  • If you have been using the machine for more than six months, it is time to replace the blades.
  • Unclog the blades.
  • Use shredder oil to lubricate the machine.

Safety Precautions When Fixing Your Paper Shredder

There are certain safety precautions you should take when repairing your paper shredder. It’s a good idea to wear protective gloves and glasses. You should also ensure the machine is not plugged in so that you don’t accidentally injure yourself.

Other safety precautions include not fixing it yourself if it has any exposed wires or is leaking oil. A safer option is to contact the manufacturer or a professional repair company.

It’s also wise to seek professional help if you’re unsure which part needs replacement. 

Fixing a shredding machine on your own can be dangerous, and you can easily break its delicate parts. A shredder’s sharp edges and blades can injure you when trying to fix it. 

Some other safety considerations when repairing your shredder include:

  • Never putting your fingers near the shredder blades.
  • Using tweezers instead of your hands to protect them and to avoid damaging blades.

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Final Thoughts

When your shredder isn’t turning on, there are many things you can check and fix to get it up and running again. 

The most common cause is a jam, which is easy to resolve. If you’re unsure how to open your shredder and check for problems, follow the instructions in the user manual. 

Alternatively, unplug it from the power outlet, and seek professional assistance.

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