SPDT switch for a 120V dryer outlet?

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  #1  
Old 01-12-17, 07:15 PM
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SPDT switch for a 120V dryer outlet?

My company is in the middle of apartment renovation and found a strange setup in units that were remodeled some time ago.

These apartment units have a portable washer and 120V dryer under kitchen counter. Breakers are push-o-matic.
When the other company remodeled kitchen years ago, they installed SPDT switch for disposal, then connected one end to disposal and the other end to dryer outlet.
For me, it makes more sens to tap from 20A kitchen outlets instead of switching 15A disposal circuit.

Now my company will be building actual laundry closet in the kitchen. It would be the best to pull new dedicated circuit from the breaker to the laundry closet, but the apartment management does not want to spend extra money to pull new circuit (which also requires tandem push-o-matic breaker and all slots are full).

I'm planning on replacing disposal switch with regular switch, then cut off line going to the dryer outlet.
Then, tapping into 20A outlet for washer/dryer.

Is there any reason I should keep existing SPDT?
Can anyone guess why they used it in the first place?


Many things they require me to do is against code, but as long as it is not a safety hazard, I'm doing what they want me to do.

One of the things I knew and said will cause problem was tying washer box into old 1 1/2" kitchen drain that are half clogged. And it did cause problem in one of the finished units. Water backing up to kitchen sink. LOL.
The management is in the process of hiring plumbing willing to snake from the roof vent.
 
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Old 01-12-17, 07:26 PM
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More importantly, PushMatic breakers are one of the most dangerous breakers ever produced. In the city of Pittsburgh, city inspectors will force you to replace the panel for an occupancy permit. Many home inspectors will turn them down.Some insurance companies will not insure the building.
I suggest you replace all the PushMatic panels before anyone moves in.
 
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Old 01-12-17, 07:29 PM
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The two dedicated kitchen 20 amp circuits by national code can only be used for counter top receptacles. What you want to do would probably be a gray area at best since your AHJ may not consider it a legitimate use of the counter top receptacles same as DWs and GBs can't be on the counter top circuits.

May be a moot point though. The dryer probably qualifies as a fixed in place appliance and almost certainly must be on a dedicated circuit because of the 50% rule.
 
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Old 01-12-17, 07:31 PM
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PushMatic breakers are one of the most dangerous breakers ever produced.
To make things worse, they have aluminum wire.

I made sure they understand fire originated from any junction I did not make is not my fault. Already found many overheated connections which were made with a regular old wire nut.
In previously remodeled units, previous contractors used regular copper only switches and connected aluminum wires to it. I was told to leave it alone.
 
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Old 01-12-17, 07:39 PM
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I made sure they understand fire originated from any junction I did not make is not my fault.
Good luck with that one......
 
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Old 01-12-17, 07:39 PM
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The two dedicated kitchen 20 amp circuits by national code can only be used for counter top receptacles.
The original appliance circuits are wired to dining room and wall outlet in the kitchen.
There were no range outlet (probably had pilot light in original appliances), so previous contractors pulled wire from the hood, which were wired to the lighting circuit. I plan to keep it that way, except I will replace wire nuts with proper aluminum to copper connectors.


certainly must be on a dedicated circuit because of the 50% rule.
I don't know if using SPDT switch makes it a dedicated circuit. It is dedicated in a way since it switches between 2 dedicated loads. But how are they going to use disposal and washer/dryer at the same time?
 
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Old 01-12-17, 07:42 PM
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This is not legal advice, but I would tread VERY carefully. If there's a fire and it comes to light that you did some electrical work, you could be in for lots of problems - even if you "told them not to" and even if you didn't touch whatever caused the situation. Insurance companies (and a tort lawyer) won't care about the details.

As for your particular questions, in the NEC, a laundry room requires a dedicated 20A circuit. As far as I know, there isn't a real great definition of 'laundry room', but I would think a laundry closet would count as a laundry 'room', thus requiring a 20A circuit for the washer and dryer.

It's definitely a difficult position to be in when your boss tells you to do something that's wrong, unfortunately there's no easy answer for that.

Good luck!


Edit:
It seems the NEC does not reference 'laundry room', but simply "Laundry Branch Circuits." 210.11(C)(2). Same gist though.
 

Last edited by Zorfdt; 01-12-17 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 01-12-17, 07:43 PM
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Good luck with that one......
I plan on writing disclosure on invoices. Hopefully this will help if I get sued.
Gotta make money, so have to take risk.

If there's a fire and it comes to light that you did some electrical work, you could be in for lots of problems - even if you "told them not to" and even if you didn't touch whatever caused the situation.
I'm very worried about this as well, but the boss says I worry too much.
Unfortunately, I cannot just say I won't do it. And I cannot open every junction box and fix any issue I find when I will not get a penny out of it.

I'm finding maintenance guy's repairs that are totally wrong and dangerous as well. Splices in the ceiling and wall without junction box. Disconnected/cut out grounds. Some ranges were connected with 2 prong extension cord with ground prong removed from the range cord.
 
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Old 01-13-17, 08:50 AM
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You are in a tough spot. What they are asking for is neither safe nor to code. I would not put myself at risk like that.
 
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Old 01-13-17, 11:39 AM
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You sound responsible, are you ready to worry about this for the next 20 + years? Most likely problems would go to your boss but lawyers don't care. They go for the money.
 
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Old 01-15-17, 07:08 PM
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Here is what I have decided to do.

I will be running a dedicated line all the way to the load center and tie into one of the kitchen circuit breaker with lesser load. No way of knowing what the tenant will plug in, so just avoiding a circuit with refrigerator. Although it won't have dedicated breaker, at least it can be done in later time if breaker trips from overload.
Also, it should have least possibility of electrical fire.

I have to remove about 3/4 of drywall for plumbing anyway and just have to go 3 ft more to reach the breaker.
 
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