Disposal Wiring Puzzle After New Counter Install

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Old 02-16-19, 10:02 AM
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Disposal Wiring Puzzle After New Counter Install

We recently had counter top replaced and had to move the disposal switch after cutting down a bi-level counter.

After moving a light switch and the disposal switch we were still using the sink (including the disposal with the new switch that was working perfectly fine) and limited surfaces awaiting the counter top installation. We used the disposal with the new switch location for about a week.

Then, with everything out of the way and the disposal protected from the installers (but still with connected wiring), the new counter top with new single bowl sink was installed.

The disposal was mounted on the right side of the sink (where the single drain is) and the DW is now connected to drain into the disposal (it was not draining into the disposal with the old sink).

After mounting the disposal, it now does not turn on. There is no humming, no noise - nothing. The reset switch is not popped and pushing it does not correct the problem. I've reset the breaker (that was never tripped) multiple times - still nothing. A check with a voltmeter indicates there is voltage going into the unit.

I called Insinkerator customer support and the conclusion was that I needed a new unit. The new unit arrived. I installed it - same result. Voltmeter indicated voltage into the unit when the switch is turned on, and no voltage when the switch is off. I have no idea what is going on - any help is much appreciated.

The unit is an Insinkerator Evolution Excel. (The old unit is just over 8 years old).
 
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Old 02-16-19, 10:34 AM
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Is the disposal hard wired or plugged in? What is the wiring at the switch?
 
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Old 02-16-19, 10:35 AM
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By your description the disposal is hard wired instead of using a plug in receptacle. You say you checked for voltage at the unit. Where at the unit? The power coming from the wall before it connects to the unit? Take out the unit and apply current on the bench to be sure it's working. Is your switch at the wall to the disposal have current going to it? I say not. Apparently the install of the counter top disturbed the wiring to the switch (or damaged the switch). Replace your switch.
 
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Old 02-16-19, 10:42 AM
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It is hard wired. After connecting the wiring I checked it with a voltmeter and it indicated that it was going to the unit. The hot wire had power going to it. And the voltmeter indicated voltage on both sides of the connection - coming from the switch and the wire into the unit.

The wiring at the switch is 12-gauge, 600V. It was the same wiring that was in the wall prior to the demolition. I'm going to test with a multi-meter at the end of the wire (going to the unit). And I'll remove the switch and test there as well at your suggestions.
 
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Old 02-16-19, 11:06 AM
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Did you measure hot to neutral?
If you measured hot to ground, you could have an open neutral.
 
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Old 02-16-19, 11:53 AM
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If you measured hot to ground, you could have an open neutral.
Exactly right. All the OP has said is that:

The hot wire had power going to it. And the voltmeter indicated voltage on both sides of the connection - coming from the switch and the wire into the unit.
It takes both a hot wire and a neutral wire for the disposer to work. Before buying a new unit check the voltage hot wire to neutral and then take the wrenchette that came with the unit and insert it into the hex fitting in the bottom of the unit and turn the unit at least one full turn to be sure nothing has dropped into it blocking it from turning. An allen wrench will work if you lost the wrenchette.
 
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Old 02-16-19, 02:29 PM
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The hot to neutral shows 34V AC as measured on the Multimeter.

I opened the switch and checked all the wiring there. The voltage detector shows power going in and out (in agreement with switch position). I reconnected the unit and the voltage detector shows current through the hot connection and through the neutral connection (also in agreement with switch position). It did get my hopes up when I turned it with an allen wrench - there seemed to be a bit of a catch, but then turned freely. Still nothing.

Since I already have a new unit here, I think I will reconnect that and see if I can get it to work.

Also, there are two kinks in the wire that are upstream of the unit. They don’t seem big enough to actually cause the wire to break and I’ve been hesitant to start cutting and splicing because every indication points to good power coming into the unit. But that might be my next move - (after connecting the new unit again).
 
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Old 02-16-19, 05:26 PM
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The hot to neutral shows 34V AC as measured on the Multimeter.
There is your problem. If it reads 120 volts hot to ground then you have an issue with the neutral somewhere.
 
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Old 02-16-19, 06:07 PM
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The voltage detector shows power
If you mean a non contact tester it is not useful for real testing. It can not be used at all for testing the neutral,
 
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Old 02-16-19, 09:21 PM
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Yes, you’re right. The hot to ground reads 120V. The neutral is the problem. I should’ve caught that earlier.

Silver lining, I guess is that hopefully I can save $400 when I return the new unit.
 
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Old 02-17-19, 06:28 AM
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Which model do you have? One unit has a switch in the throat of the disposal which must have the stopper in to operate,Batchfeed.
Geo
 

Last edited by Geochurchi; 02-17-19 at 07:25 AM.
 

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