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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1041
Experience:  27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
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I have a garbage disposal that went bad. I am replacing it

Resolved Question:

I have a garbage disposal that went bad. I am replacing it with a new one. Existing in hardwired to a switch above the counter. The new one has a power cord. I've read that it would be better to add an outlet controlled by the existing switch and plug the power cord into it, rather than removing the power cord and hard wiring the existing wire coming from the switch. First, is that the case. If so, then I have a follow-up.  If you suggest adding the outlet from the existing switch, is it as simple as disconnecting the hardwire from the current disposal, then connecting the wires to an outlet, placed in a box, then mounting to the cabinet?  Could it be that simple?

Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 11 months ago.

Hello.....my name is XXXXX XXXXX X will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!

 

1) Hello... the expert that you requested is not logged into the JA website. However, I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

 

2) From an electrical operational viewpoint, it does not matter if the disposal is directly hard-wired from the unit to the wall switch or from a switched plug-in receptacle. Both methods will operate the same way.

 

3) The only trade off with using a plug-in receptacle is that if you ever had to replace the disposal in the future and you purchased another disposal with a cord, then all you have to do is plug the cord into the switched receptacle outlet. Hard-wiring some disposals can be tedious since the manufacturers barely provide enough room inside the unit to make the wire splice connections.

 

4) If wanting to install a wall receptacle, you would need to extend the switched hot, neutral & ground wires into a wall receptacle box. If the receptacle will be installed within 6 feet of the sink, it needs to be GFCI protected.

 

 

 

Hope this helps.........If you have any additional questions, let me know and I'll be glad to answer them for you.

 

Otherwise, don't forget to rate me before you log Off.

The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at:http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-your-electrician
..........Thanks..............Kevin!



 

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for the quick response. Actually, I have an outlet under the sink already. Not sure where the power comes from. Can I simply disconnect the wires running to that outlet and tie them off? Then can I take the wires coming from the wall switch to the existing disposal and hook them into the now empty existing outlet? Wouldn't that then make the outlet controlled by the switch and allow me to plug in the new disposal. I realize that I would run the current outlet to switch, but that would be a bear with my kitchen set up. Rather not fish wire if I don't have to.

Expert:  Kevin replied 11 months ago.

1) Yes, as long as the hot and neutral wires for the new disposal do not originate from one of your kitchen counter-top receptacles. The 20 amp circuit for the kitchen counter-top receptacles must be dedicated only for counter-top purposes and nothing else connected to them. I assume that the disposal is on its own circuit breaker and will not be shared with the kitchen counter-top breakers.

 

2) You would also need to trace out where the existing wires from the receptacle box originate at upstream of that box and disconnect the hot and neutral in the upstream box and not just leave the old wires and cap them OFF. They need to be disconnected from the previous wall box.

Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1041
Experience: 27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
Kevin and 2 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


OK. Seems unlikely I can find the originating point. No idea how I would do that. So in that case, I guess my best option is to install a new outlet. So I take the wire coming from disposal (which comes from the light switch) and run it to the new outlet. White to silver, black to gold and copper to green? Is that the same for a GFCI outlet? I read that it only needed to be protected if it was above the counter. If it is the same to hookup and no more difficult, I don't see a reason not to though. Sorry for the 20 questions.

Expert:  Kevin replied 11 months ago.

1) No problem on the questions, all is good.

 

2) If the disposal receptacle is installed underneath the sink, then no GFCI is required. If it is installed above the counter-top, then a GFCI is required.

 

3) Yes, black switched hot to brass, white neutral to silver and bare copper to the green ground screw.

 

4) Most likely the existing receptacle hot and neutral originates from another nearby receptacle box and your box was an "end-of-the-run". If you have a 2-prong AC voltage tester, you can carefully spread the 2 existing wires apart and test them with the voltage tester. Simultaneously, locate the breaker for those 2 wires. test again and power should be OFF. With the breaker still OFF, check all other nearby receptacle boxes that don't have power. More than likely the 2 existing wires will be connected in one of the wall receptacles that don't have power. Logically, this will most likely be a box that is directly to the left or right of the box located under the sink cabinet. Once you know which boxes do not have power, it is a matter of opening them up to determine where the 2 existing wires are connected too. The use of a continuity tester with the circuit breaker turned OFF makes this much easier

Customer: replied 11 months ago.


OK. I think I might be done for now. So in summary, if I go the route of just running the existing cable coming from the light switch that now goes to old disposal, to a new outlet box mounted to the counter backing under the counter, I can just go black to brass, white to silver and bare to green screw. No GFCI. Then I am done?

Expert:  Kevin replied 11 months ago.
Yes, that is correct
Customer: replied 11 months ago.


Thanks so much!

Expert:  Kevin replied 11 months ago.

No problem..... glad I could assist.

 

 

 

Hope this helps.........If you have any additional questions, let me know and I'll be glad to answer them for you.

 

Otherwise, don't forget to rate me before you log Off.

The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at: http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-your-electrician
..........Thanks..............Kevin!



Expert:  Kevin replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for the excellent service rating.............much appreciated!

 

If you have any other question, just let me know.

 

Take care and have a great day...............Thanks...............Kevin!

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