diposal/insta-hot/dishwasher wiring question

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  #1  
Old 04-17-06, 09:38 PM
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diposal/insta-hot/dishwasher wiring question

I saw some replies to a similar question, but mine is bit different, please help.
I have a garbage disposal receptacle under the sink, both sides are switched. Also, in the same box is a switch that controls power to the dishwasher. I assume it is a 2 pole switch as both wires to it are black. So there are 3 cables to the box. I want to find a way to get power to a new hot water dispenser. Can I change the dishwasher switch to a combination switch/receptacle, or can I eliminate the dishwasher switch and use the space for another receptacle that is always hot by taking power from line to dishwasher? Please help, I am obviously a novice.
 
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Old 04-17-06, 09:53 PM
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> I have a garbage disposal receptacle under the sink,
> both sides are switched.

One switch turns off both?
Can you provide a photo of it?


> in the same box is a switch that controls power to the dishwasher.
> I assume it is a 2 pole switch as both wires to it are black.
If it has only two wires, it is single-pole (SPST).

> So there are 3 cables to the box.
One from the electric panel, one to the switch, and one to the dishwasher.

> I want to find a way to get power to a new hot water dispenser.
> Can I change the dishwasher switch to a combination switch/receptacle,

Maybe, but this is hardly a great solution.

> or can I eliminate the dishwasher switch and
No. It is a required appliance disconnection device.

> use the space for another receptacle that is always hot
> by taking power from line to dishwasher?

You didn't answer enough questions yet.
Do you actually have a disposer?

How many amps or watts is this water heater?
Does it have a regular plug on it?
 
  #3  
Old 04-17-06, 10:31 PM
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Bolide,

There is one switch on the wall behind the faucet that controls power to the duplex receptacle (both outlets of the receptacle go on and off together) and there is an existing diposal that is plugged into one of them.

In the same box is the switch for controlling power to the dishwasher. This switch has 2 black wires to it and a ground wire. (By the way, this house was built 5 years ago.)

The hot water dispenser has a regular 3-wire plug on it. Specs say 4.3 amps, 500 watts. DW and diposal outlet appear to each have their own dedicated circuits according to descriptions on panel. The dishwasher we only run at night when we wouldn't be using the hot water dispenser, and we would not intend to run disposer while using the hot water either, but there is the chance that if put it on one of those circuits it might turn on thermostatically while the dishwasher was running.

Does any of this help? Thanks for the help.
 
  #4  
Old 04-17-06, 10:33 PM
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One other question. I saw a post on another thread that mentioned using a 3 way switch for the disposer outlet that would alternately power one or the other side of the outlet, would that work and what needs to be done?
 
  #5  
Old 04-17-06, 10:53 PM
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> using a 3 way switch for the disposer outlet that would alternately power
> one or the other side of the outlet

Yes. You have to replace the cable from the disposer switch to the box and receptacle with 12/3.
 
  #6  
Old 04-17-06, 11:11 PM
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So that sounds like a good plan. The switch to stay in the on position for the water dispenser except when turned the other direction to operate the garbage disposal.
One final question: What needs to be done at the receptacle? Does the connecting tab between the 2 outlet need to be opened? Again, I appreciate the help.
 
  #7  
Old 04-17-06, 11:13 PM
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> The hot water dispenser has a regular 3-wire plug on it.
> Specs say 4.3 amps, 500 watts.
Okay.

> DW and disposal outlet appear to each have their own dedicated circuits
> according to descriptions on panel.
Okay.

Did you say whether they are 15 or 20A?
I didn't see the photo.


> The dishwasher we only run at night when we wouldn't be using the hot water dispenser,

Well, 500W isn't a lot anyway.


> and we would not intend to run disposer while using the hot water either,

Wouldn't matter.


> but there is the chance that if put it on one of those circuits it might turn on
> thermostatically while the dishwasher was running.

Yep. Any idea what the amps are for the dishwasher?
It might be less work to tap its circuit.


> Does any of this help?

Yes. I'm ready when your ready. Photographs would be nice.

Otherwise, turn OFF the two breakers,
verify that the DW and disposer don't run,
open the box, and verify no power is present.

Unscrew and pull out the receptacle and switch.
Describe exactly what cables come into the box (call them 1, 2, 3).
Describe to us exactly what color (B, W, R) wires are connected to what.
Like: B2 and W2 connect to the right side of the receptacle.

Ignore bare ground wires unless they look out of place.
 
  #8  
Old 04-17-06, 11:20 PM
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>The switch to stay in the on position for the water dispenser

Yes, it would be up for disposer and down for water heater.
Too bad about that switch having two black wires on it.
What is the chance that you could run new cable from the switch to the box under the sink?


> Does the connecting tab between the 2 outlet need to be opened?

Yes, at least on the black side.
Maybe on the white side too, depending on where you get power for it.
Don't rush ahead.
 
  #9  
Old 04-17-06, 11:39 PM
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I will try to get photos of everything tomorrow.

Circuits for both disposer and DW are 20 amp.

I should be able to pull new wire from disposal switch to box.

Dishwasher calls for 15-20 amp circuit, but I don't know anything else about its draw.
 
  #10  
Old 04-18-06, 12:14 AM
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> Circuits for both disposer and DW are 20 amp.
Okay.
 

Last edited by bolide; 04-18-06 at 11:33 PM.
  #11  
Old 04-18-06, 12:27 AM
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> Circuits for both disposer and DW are 20 amp.
> Dishwasher calls for 15-20 amp circuit, but I don't know anything else about its draw.
If it is over 10A, in order to tap its circuit for a receptacle, the insta-hot must be fastened in place. I hope that it is so fastened anyway.
If so, it might be easier to tap that circuit. All you would need is two short pieces of wire and a wire nut.
 
  #12  
Old 04-18-06, 01:28 PM
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Tapping the DW circuit sound easy... but a few questions.

Where exactly would you tap in? And then would you go to one side of the existing receptacle, or would a new box and receptacle have to be added.

Or would my original thought of replacing the switch for the DW (that appears to be a 2 pole switch) with a combination switch/receptacle work? Assuming they make a 2 pole switch in combination with receptacle. (How can I tell if the switch is single or double pole, or does it matter?)
 
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Old 04-18-06, 03:30 PM
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> Where exactly would you tap in?
In the box under the sink, if at all.


> And then would you go to one side of the existing receptacle?
Sure, so long as it doesn't confuse you.


> would my original thought of replacing the switch for the DW
> (that appears to be a 2 pole switch)

How does it appear to be 2-pole? Is your DW 240V?


> with a combination switch/receptacle work?
I can't say. You didn't tell us what cables/wires are in the box.


> Assuming they make a 2 pole switch in combination with receptacle.
-- assuming you need a 2-pole switch.
If it is 2-pole, then the answer is no. But it is extremely unlikely that it is a DPST switch, so don't worry about it.


> (How can I tell if the switch is single or double pole, or does it matter?)

It matters. You tell us exactly and correctly what wires are connected where and we can tell easily.
 
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Old 04-18-06, 06:34 PM
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Munster, before you go wild on this project here, could you answer a couple questions? I've read your posts here pretty closely, and I'm not seeing the full picture.
  • You have a disposal switch with two black wires attached to it. Looking at the cables associated with the blacks on the switch, are there white wires tied together in the back of the box? Or are the two wires attached to the switch come from the same cable sheath? (Click here to see what I am checking to see if you have.)
  • You have a switch for the dishwasher in the box with the disposal switch. Is there a receptacle for the dishwasher? Or does it appear to you that the power from the panel enters this switchbox, goes through the switch, and then the cable exits the switchbox and runs down directly to the dishwasher? (When you take the access cover off the front of the dishwasher, do you see romex entering the junction box of the dishwasher?)
  • How many amps does your disposal pull?
  • How many amps does your dishwasher pull?

Based on what I have seen so far:
  • I would not install a threeway switch for the disposal/insta-hot. The circuit needs to be good enough for both loads (which it likely is), or else you need a new circuit for the insta-hot. As good as it may sound, the threeway doesn't relieve you of the requirement that the circuit be sized for all loads connected to it. I don't see the sense in complicating this more than necessary. I can also imagine there may be a time when you'd really like to sear whatever you're disposing, as well.
  • It very well could be that simply reconfiguring the conductors in the box under your sink is all that's required. It's a common practice to pull what I call a "farmer switch" (diagrammed above) for disposals, for this very purpose. It would behoove you to fully describe (and perhaps post your pictures) how this is pulled, to save you labor if we can.
 
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Old 04-18-06, 08:30 PM
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>once she describes exactly what is in each box, we can tell what is where. Until then, we are both guessing and both have very different pictures in our minds of her set up. I admit that I don't understand why the receptacle is left-and-right rather than top-and-bottom, or why she thinks it would be so easy to replace the cable. So I might not have the right picture either.
 

Last edited by mattison; 04-21-06 at 07:01 AM.
  #16  
Old 04-18-06, 10:34 PM
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Hey there helpers!

I can't figure out how to attach photos with my post and at the bottom of the screen under "posting rules" it says "you may not post attachements" and I can't figure out why. So I have examined and written down description of every wire etc and will attempt to explain.

Let me start by saying a couple things: First, I don't know a 2 pole switch from a single pole switch except I read something that led me to believe that 2 black wires to a switch probably means a 2 pole... so ignore any statements about that I made. I also neglected to say that the switch on the wall behind the sink that controls the disposal is a switch/outlet combo (one receptacle and one switch in a single unit in a single size box.)
And as far as pulling new wire, I don't know how hard it will be. It is only about 3 feet in an almost vertical position from the upper switch to lower box, but I don't know how to do it.

THE WIRING:

I took off the plate and pulled out the switch/outlet, this is how it looks: (this is the switch on the wall that turns disposal on.) 2 cables come into the box and they both have one black, one white, and one bare ground wire. Both grounds are twisted together and one continues on the switch. The upper incoming cable sends it black wire to the right lower terminal on the switch/outlet, and its white to the left lower terminal. The lower incoming cable sends its black to the left upper terminal and its white to the right upper terminal.

Under the sink: it is a double sized box, on the right side is a double vertical outlet (called duplex I think) that the disposal plugs into and it has one other available outlet. On the left side of the double box is a single switch that turns power off/on to dishwasher.

I took the plate off and pulled out the switch and outlet to examine the wiring. There are 3 cables entering the box.
Starting from the left, I will call them cable 1, cable 2, cable 3.

CABLE ONE: has a black wire going to the right lower terminal on the outlet. A white wire going to a wire nut and connecting there with a RED wire from cable #3. And a ground wire twisted with the other ground wires and two grounds proceed from the twist, one each to the switch and to the outlet.

CABLE 2: Also has a black, white, and ground. Black goes to upper terminal of the switch. White goes to plastic horizontal connector with the white from cable #3, and then one white goes from this connector to left upper terminal of outlet. Ground is twisted with other grounds same as the one from cable #1.

CABLE 3: has one ground, one white, one black, AND one Red.
Ground is same as other two. Black goes to bottom terminal of switch. White connects with white #2 at connector with one going to left upper terminal of outlet (as previously stated for #2). Red wire goes to wire nut to meet White #1.

Hope you can sort out my description, and thanks so much.
 
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Old 04-18-06, 11:19 PM
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> I can't figure out how to attach photos with my post

You have to post them on some other free site and post the link here.

> I read something that led me to believe that 2 black wires to a switch
> probably means a 2 pole.

Sure, if it also has two red wires.


> I also neglected to say that the switch on the wall behind the sink that
> controls the disposal is a switch/outlet combo
> (one receptacle and one switch in a single unit in a single size box.)

What will they think of next?
There is apparently a third breaker that you need to have OFF to kill that receptacle. It that true?


> And as far as pulling new wire, ... but I don't know how to do it.
It's harder than you imagine.


> Both grounds are twisted together

Just twisted? Not crimped? Like could you just untwist them if you want to?


> The upper incoming cable sends its black wire
> to the right lower terminal on the switch/outlet,
> and its white to the left lower terminal.
> The lower incoming cable sends its black to the left upper
> terminal and its white to the right upper terminal.

And the tab is missing from the black side, correct?
(The white side never had one.)


> double vertical outlet (called duplex I think)
duplex receptacle.

> that the disposal plugs into and it has one other available outlet.
> On the left side of the double box is a single switch that turns power off/on to dishwasher.

Exactly as I expected.


> you can sort out my description, and thanks so much.

Got it.

Break the tab off the receptacle on the black side only.


Where the white (W1) and red (R3) are connected together, paint the white wire (W1) with a little red permanent marker or nail polish.
Take off the wire nut holding W1 and R3, and add 6" of colored (red, black, yellow, or blue) #12 wire.

You will put the wire nut back on with the tips lined up and the same amount of bare copper showing on each.
(If the wire nut is not listed for 3 #12, you will replace it with one that is.)

The other end of the wire need to be stripped to have bare copper as you see for the black wire alread on the receptacle.
Curl the wire around the brass screw next to the one where you just broke the tab off. Make sure you have the hook facing the correct way.
Tighten it securely.

Put everything back it the box and turn the breakers back on.

The receptacle powered by the new wire is always on.
Test the disposer in both receptacles.
With one it will start as soon as you plug it in.
With the other it runs by the switch.

Hook up your new appliance and when filled with water, plug it in.
 

Last edited by bolide; 04-18-06 at 11:31 PM.
  #18  
Old 04-19-06, 05:48 AM
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Munster, before you commence with Bolide's recommendation, could you please tell us how many amps your dishwasher, and disposal pull? You have your choice of either circuit, and the disposal is likely the best bet, but that is key information you're forgetting to mention when you post. It also appears that the disposal is on a dedicated circuit, which is good.

Good to see you can get your insta-hot working correctly without fishing any cables.
 

Last edited by mattison; 04-21-06 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 04-19-06, 07:10 AM
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Last edited by mattison; 04-21-06 at 07:04 AM.
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Last edited by mattison; 04-21-06 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 04-19-06, 10:51 PM
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Last edited by mattison; 04-21-06 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 04-20-06, 05:53 AM
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Last edited by mattison; 04-21-06 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 04-20-06, 06:19 AM
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Last edited by mattison; 04-21-06 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 04-20-06, 06:42 AM
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Last edited by mattison; 04-21-06 at 07:07 AM.
  #25  
Old 04-20-06, 09:03 PM
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Re: Things of no consequence to the original poster

 

Last edited by mattison; 04-21-06 at 07:08 AM.
  #26  
Old 04-20-06, 09:40 PM
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Last edited by mattison; 04-21-06 at 07:09 AM.
  #27  
Old 04-20-06, 09:46 PM
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Thanks for the help on this.

I took Bolide's advice and everything working properly. The disposal says 4 amps on it and the insta-hot is 4.3 amps and they are on a 20 amp circuit, so we should be good, right? Of course the disposal is only used a few seconds a day, and insta-hot won't run much to stay hot.

Sorry to be the stuff of an argument.
 
  #28  
Old 04-20-06, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by munsterlander
The disposal says 4 amps on it and the insta-hot is 4.3 amps and they are on a 20 amp circuit, so we should be good, right?
Absolutely.

Of course the disposal is only used a few seconds a day, and insta-hot won't run much to stay hot.
Run them as long as you want, the circuit is fine.

Sorry to be the stuff of an argument.
Don't be. If you said that water was wet, we could turn it into an argument.
 
  #29  
Old 04-20-06, 10:18 PM
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You are welcome; glad to hear it worked. I guess you did a good job.


> we should be good, right?
Plenty good - even if there happened to be other receptacles on this circuit (which it appears that there are not).

Don't worry about this in the least. There is no chance whatsoever of an overload.


> Sorry to be the stuff of an argument.
Not your fault in the least. We debated minutia in a different thread last week and there will probably be another next week.
Yours just happened to be a very good topic that lent itself to some imaginative theories because of the three-way switch issue.

In Rocky's scenario, anyone can overload his circuit with the flip of a switch. He can't overload mine at all. For him it's not a matter of whether he is right or wrong. He is not out to catch any fish to keep. He just enjoys getting someone to take his bait. That is what floats his boat.

As for your panel, your can mark the disposer circuit with + recpt under sink or whatever best identifies what it powers.
 
  #30  
Old 04-20-06, 10:21 PM
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Last edited by mattison; 04-21-06 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 04-20-06, 10:35 PM
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Last edited by mattison; 04-21-06 at 07:11 AM.
  #32  
Old 04-21-06, 07:14 AM
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Munster, I appologize for what happened on here and you had to weed through their ramblings to get your problem figured out. That is not what this forum is for and hopefully it wont happen again.

It is now closed.
 
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