Insinkerator 444 won't sinkerate

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  #1  
Old 01-30-05, 05:06 PM
webslinginpete
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Insinkerator 444 won't sinkerate

I have zero experience troubleshooting electrical problems, so I need help. Our disposal would not wake up this morning. It isn't jammed, the breaker isn't tripped, and the reset button does nothing. The light that works off the same double wall switch works fine.

Did I mention I have no electrical experience?
 
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  #2  
Old 01-30-05, 05:28 PM
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A couple of suggestions. Maybe it is fed downstream from a GFCI receptacle.

Is the double switch you mention two switches next to each other, or two switches above and below each other? Its possible that the light and disposal are on different circuits.

Another possibility is that there is a loose connection in the wiring compartment on the bottom of the unit. This should only be checked if power is disconnected 100%.
 
  #3  
Old 01-30-05, 05:31 PM
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Is the disposal hardwired, or does it plug in? If it plugs in then try something else in the receptacle that you know works, and try the disposal in a different receptacle, probably using an extension cord. This will tell you if it is the disposal or the circuit.

If the disposal is hardwired then you will have to determine if it is getting power. You say that the other switch in the box works. This only means something if it is on the same breaker. If it's on the same breaker then this probably points to a problem between the switch and the disposal, or with the disposal itself. If that switch is on a different breaker then the fact that it works tells you nothing.

If hardwired, then you will have to do some investigative work. You need to check with a meter or circuit tester if power is getting to the unit. If you get 120 volts across the hot (black) and return (white) lines when the switch is on, then you have a problem with the disposal. If you get no power when the switch is on then the problem is before disposal, and you will have to find it. You may have to check every receptacle/device on the circuit. However, I would start backwards at the switch. There usually is not much else on the same circuit as the disposal, except perhaps a dishwasher.
 
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Old 01-30-05, 05:33 PM
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Does it make any noise at all when you turn it on? Does it hum?
 
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Old 01-30-05, 05:47 PM
webslinginpete
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Thanks for the immediate feedback and suggestions!

To answer the questions, the double wall switch is side-by-side, and the unit is hard-wired. It does not make any noise or hum when the switch is turned on. So, it sounds like I may need to get a tester to check the for power to the unit and the wiring.

There doesn't seem to be anything else (yet) that isn't working...would this be the case if it is on a GFCI?
 
  #6  
Old 01-30-05, 06:04 PM
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If you haven't done it already, go shut off the breaker and turn it back on again, even if you don't think it's tripped.
 
  #7  
Old 01-30-05, 07:00 PM
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It makes no difference whether the switches are side by side or at opposite ends of the house, they could still be on the same breaker or different breakers. In other words, just because they are in the same box, doesn't mean they are on the same breaker.

Do follow John's suggestion, and turn the breaker fully off and then back on. Some breakers need to be turned off before they can be turned on after having tripped.
 
  #8  
Old 02-05-05, 07:25 PM
webslinginpete
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Talking Finally got 'round to it!

I got a voltometer and traced it down to a burned negative connection between the supply line and the motor. Apparently, whoever wired it originally used a wire nut that was too small at that point. It was not the same size as the positive connection, anyway.

We are grinding again, now. Thanks for all of your help guys!

 
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