Installing a Garbage Disposal- electrical

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Old 02-21-10, 08:42 AM
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Installing a Garbage Disposal- electrical

I'm up for a small DIY project that I thought I could handle- Installing a garbage disposal. There was a thick electrical wire under the sink, and switch above the sink. I thought I was all set. So I purchased it and began with electrical first. On the wire I mounted an outlet since the disposal came with a 3-prong plug. I thought it was better that way, rather than cutting it off and connecting wires directly. The outlet did not work.

I removed the switch and here is what I see:

1. It's a two-switch box- one controls the light above the sink area, the other does nothing, which I thought was for garbage disposal.

2. There are three wires total in this box. Two of the blacks are connected to the "light" switch (I thought this was wrong). The third black is connected to the "disposal" switch. All 3 whites are tied in together. All the grounds are properly connected to each switch. It seems to me that the "disposal" switch is missing a white wire or maybe a connection from the "light" switch, but which one?

3. One of the wires is facing up (to the light above), two others are facing down (I assume one to the circuit breaker, other to the disposal.

4. The white that comes from the panel is marked with a black electrical tape.

5. House was built in the fifties, however, recently remodeled and wiring, along with the panel was replaced.
I am drawing a diagram for this too.

 

Last edited by xxhaimbondxx; 02-21-10 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 02-21-10, 09:08 AM
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You didn't mention when your house was built but the other switch could be a disconnect for the dishwasher. At one time this was required. Dumb question: Did you turn on the switch after you wired the outlet?

The "Disposal" switch, does it have two wires connect to it? You should have two blacks or a black and a white that has been colored black if it is a switch loop. From what you describe, it doesn't sound like you have a switch loop.

Upload your diagram to a hosting site and post the link here.
 
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Old 02-21-10, 09:14 AM
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yes, of course I was trying the switch as much that I went to all possible fixtures outside, receptacles, etc. The switch does not make any function other than it was dedicated for the disposal.

The house was built in the fifties, however, it was recently remodeled and most of the wiring was replaced, along with the panel box.

Other thing I didn't mention is that one of the white wires that tied into the others has black tape over it, which I thought is suspicious since it is only a once over.

And yea, the "disposal switch only has a black and the ground. What was supposedly a white connection is left empty. Do you think that I should disconnect one of the whites that is marked by the black electrical tape and simply connect it to the "disposal" switch?

The white that is marked with tape is coming from the main power.
 
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Old 02-21-10, 09:43 AM
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wiring

have you pulled the outlet that controlled the garbage disposal?
as the second switch on the left is missing 1 wire

I am thinking the wires pass through the receptacle where the garbage disposal is and thus the missing switch loop wire ( either a white wire taped black as Toyln indicated ), if that's the case it's an easy fix. Other wise the light switch is wired correctly, just he Garbage disposal is wired wrong.

and when you say white wire is taped black coming from the main, do you mean the individual white wire coming in on the main, or the outer white jacket.
 
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Old 02-21-10, 10:05 AM
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So what is that easy fix, what's a loop wire?

The individual white wire that comes from the circuit breaker or whatever, is taped black and tied into the other 2 whites.

I POSTED A PHOTO. Come on people, this little thing stops me from destroying my kitchen plumbing. Please help.
 

Last edited by xxhaimbondxx; 02-21-10 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 02-21-10, 12:07 PM
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switch loop

the switch loop is done when you run a 12-2 romex or 14-2 romex and you use the white ( taped black ) for the incoming hot, the black for the switch leg side.

it makes me think that the white taped black is just that, the hot coming in from the garbage disposal, since the garbage disposal should be on it's own circuit and not sharing with the lighting circuit.

the only way to find out for sure would be to check for continuity to see if it goes to the garbage disposal receptacle inside the sink bay.

if you open up the garbage disposal receptacle you should see an incoming 12-2 romex ( or 14-2, but the photo looks like the wire is #12 wire ), and one outgoing. The black incoming MIGHT be tied to the white outgoing ( which then goes to the switch on the left and NOT the the whites ) the remaining black wire is tied to the receptacle, the white from the incoming hot side goes to the receptacle. There you have a switch loop.

but you got to make sure that exactly what you got for the easy fix.



a drawing of how it should be hooked up based on what you got

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_NM3caZ-c5A...witch+loop.jpg
 
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Old 02-21-10, 01:21 PM
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I don't think I have a separate incoming hot for the garbage disposal receptacle. Under the sink there was a cut off wire. I connected white to white, black to black and made my own receptacle.

I believe they meant to connect the garbage disposal to the same wire that is used for a light.

Since that light is used on very rare occasions, or maybe even never, I don't see what would be the reason to run a separate line for the disposal.

I think there is has to be a link of some sort from the "light" switch to the "disposal" switch where is one bolt is available.

What would happen if I took a short wire and connect the two switches together to the bottom bolts?
 

Last edited by xxhaimbondxx; 02-21-10 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 02-21-10, 02:10 PM
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So that's what I did. Connected the two switches using the same bolt from the main power to the empty bolt on the "disposal" switch and the circuit tester lighted up. I'm off to moving forward.
 
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Old 02-21-10, 02:12 PM
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it should work

it should work, it will not be up to NEC code
but your lights ( any light connected to that lighting circuit ) is going to dim for a mere fraction of a second while the garbage disposal starts up.
you can just make a short "pigtail" wire from the incoming hot to the other switch that controls the garbage disposal.
 
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Old 02-21-10, 03:41 PM
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you have to use a wire nut or god forbid a back stab ...you cant put 2 wires under 1 screw
 
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Old 02-21-10, 07:33 PM
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I am a complete idiot in this, so please forgive me:

A pig tail is just a short wire that I can use to tie all of the blacks together and cap them with a wire nut?- I will do that tomorrow.

But what is a back stub?

The dimming lightning wont be an issue since we don't use it very often.
 
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Old 02-21-10, 09:15 PM
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well the back stab is a wiring method on the back of a outlet or switch that has a tendency to fail.... you simply strip the wire and push it in. Personally I don't used them very often but obviously the NEC wouldn't allow there use if they were totally unsafe.

Yes just take 2 short pieces and go from each switch to black power coming in... and wire nut it.
 
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Old 02-22-10, 04:26 PM
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Excellent, everything is working as it should. Thanks to all who participated.
 
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