Difference between hardwired and corded appliances

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Old 10-20-05, 04:10 PM
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Difference between hardwired and corded appliances

I have noticed that on some appliances and lights it says do not hardwire and on some it says do not attach cord. I have done many DW installations and most all are corded. I recently purchased one and it did nor have a cord. Does a cord need to be purchased or is there something that requires it to be hardwired? The only power connections on this DW are the 2 wires coming through an empty junction box. It's not really a big deal as I would have to run wire for a receptacle or to hardwire it. Just wondered what the difference is. Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge.
 
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Old 10-20-05, 04:51 PM
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Local codes govern this issue. Around here, DW used to always be hardwired; now they want them to be on a cord with plug. Same for disposers.
 
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Old 10-20-05, 06:46 PM
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Unless local cords dictate otherwise and if the manual says it's okay, you can go either route, cord or hard wired.

Note that these 120 volt appliances are always three wire, hot neutral and ground. In the case of most dishwashers, the ground connects to a green hex screw in the junction box.
 
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Old 10-20-05, 07:20 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Since the installation instructions are for hardwiring and the DW does not have an existing cord it will be hardwired.
 
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Old 10-21-05, 07:59 AM
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You have to purchase an "appliance cord”, available at most big box stores, if you want to cord connect appliances like a dishwasher or disposal. The advantage is that a plug is much easier to disconnect if you need to pull the dishwasher out for service or cleaning... I believe it also provides the "within sight" disconnect required by some local codes (although mine's behind the dishwasher where it would be totally useless in an emergency ). You might check with your local inspections or building code department prior to hardwiring to make sure it's compliant.

Doug M.
 
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Old 10-21-05, 08:15 AM
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Is it also common to have a light switch acting as a disconnect for a DW?

When I moved into my house thats how it was set up, in a 4 gang box right beside other light switches that were actually used for lights.
I hate it, but left it in place. I replaced the switch with one of those schoolhouse switches that you have to have a key for...that way it isnt shut of accidentally during a cycle.
 
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Old 10-21-05, 08:19 AM
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Is it possible that the dishwasher switch was actually a leftover disposal switch? You could have simply eliminated the switch, rather than replacing it, or even left it in place and wired around it.
 
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Old 10-21-05, 08:36 AM
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Is it possible that the dishwasher switch was actually a leftover disposal switch?
Anything's possible, but probably not. This is/was quite common practice in some areas. In the development where I grew up, the builder did this in all the houses that he put a dishwasher in. It was also common around the neighborhood to see a piece of tape over the switch to keep it from being turned off by mistake. Kind of like the switch with the red switch plate often seen by the basement stairs (emergency cutoff for the oil burner). When I was little I learned that someone would get really mad if you included that switch when turning off the basement lights.

Doug M.
 
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