Garbage Disposal Switch Wiring

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  #1  
Old 02-10-11, 04:20 PM
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Garbage Disposal Switch Wiring

I live in Oregon and am doing some rewiring of lighting in the kitchen. When I pulled out the garbage disposal switch I was surprised to see three wires connected to it (two black and one white). One black and the white along with a ground go to the disposal (the lower half of a duplex receptacle under the sink) and the other black comes from the line cable. The line cable is 12-3 from which the red, white, and ground feed the upper half of the duplex receptacle under the sink for a tankless hot water heater.

Can someone explain how the switch works? Is this a common practice?

Will
 

Last edited by willksr; 02-10-11 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 02-11-11, 12:31 PM
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It's not clear from your description exactly which wires goes to which terminals and which devices are in which box(es), but it sounds like you have multiwire circuit. Usually white wires are not connected to switches, but in some cases it can be okay. If you can fill in some more details in the description or add a picture we can get a better idea.
 
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Old 02-12-11, 10:08 PM
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Sorry, I tried to be as descriptive as I could without a picture. I finally figured out what was going on, however. The switch that was being used had one load leg always hot and one load leg switched. Whoever put it in used the "always hot" leg to energize the upper plug in the receptacle under the sink and used the switched leg to energize the lower plug in the receptacle. They then connected the ground wire to both the ground lug as well as the common side of both plugs in the receptacle under the sink. Thus they had one plug always hot and the other one (with the garbage disposal plugged into it) switched to activate the garbage disposal. I doubt it would have passed code in any state or province.
I replaced the switch with a standard switch to activate the garbage disposal and left the other plug cold.

Will
 
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