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Old 01-11-2012, 02:15 PM   #1
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Disposal outlet won't work


Ok, this is probably really stupid, but what am I missing?

We have a disposal under our new homes' kitchen sink, which worked when we bought the house. Now, it won't. If I plug the disposal into an extension cord and run to another outlet, it works fine. Nothing is tripped downstairs in the box, tried resetting the breakers, it is not a GFCI specific outlet, so there is no button to reset. Inspector said that it was through the box downstairs.

What am I missing? I feel stupidly inadequate!

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Old 01-11-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
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Disposal outlet won't work


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Originally Posted by Joe Dirt
Ok, this is probably really stupid, but what am I missing?

We have a disposal under our new homes' kitchen sink, which worked when we bought the house. Now, it won't. If I plug the disposal into an extension cord and run to another outlet, it works fine. Nothing is tripped downstairs in the box, tried resetting the breakers, it is not a GFCI specific outlet, so there is no button to reset. Inspector said that it was through the box downstairs.

What am I missing? I feel stupidly inadequate!
Open it and see if there's power, and basically work you way back until you find power

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Old 01-11-2012, 02:18 PM   #3
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Disposal outlet won't work


Bad switch? I have had a few cheap switches break in my house. When I first bought it I put in new 30 cent switches. Only problem is a few of them didnt stand the test of time. I would probably start there before you start digging into wiring and walls.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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Disposal outlet won't work


If I pull the plug from the under-sink outlet and plug it into the extension cord, I use the switch to tuirn it on, so I know it isn't the switch, cord, or disposal... Got to be something with that plug. The other half plugged in the circuit tester, and said a "red light came on" until I was trying to extract which lights (on one of these)



...until she got frustrated, so I'll have to see what's up when I get home.

There isn't some magic GFCI button I'm missing, right? What does "GFCI from the service panel" mean?
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:35 PM   #5
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Disposal outlet won't work


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Originally Posted by Joe Dirt
If I pull the plug from the under-sink outlet and plug it into the extension cord, I use the switch to tuirn it on, so I know it isn't the switch, cord, or disposal... Got to be something with that plug. The other half plugged in the circuit tester, and said a "red light came on" until I was trying to extract which lights (on one of these)

...until she got frustrated, so I'll have to see what's up when I get home.

There isn't some magic GFCI button I'm missing, right? What does "GFCI from the service panel" mean?
Maybe a loose connection
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:57 PM   #6
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Disposal outlet won't work


Thanx- will check in a couple of hours...
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:12 PM   #7
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Disposal outlet won't work


Tracking down the problem with a faulty outlet is conceptually pretty easy, not always so in practice. Start with a voltmeter at the outlet. Verify that you have 120 volts hot to neutral, and hot to ground. If you do, and the outlet does not work, replace the outlet.

If you have 120 volts hot to ground (the bare copper wire or green wire), but you do not have 120 volts hot to neutral, you have an open neutral. Repair the neutral, which will require tracing the neutral "downstream", which could be the next outlet, a switch, or the panel.

If you have 120 volts hot to neutral, but you do not have 120 volts hot to ground, you may have an open ground. The outlet should still work, unless it is on a GFCI leg. Fix the bad ground, which is done same as a bad neutral.

If you do not have 120 volts hot to neutral or hot to ground, you have an open hot leg. You need to trace this "upstream" to see at what point on the circuit the hot is open. This can be a major PITA, depending on how much you know about what is on that circuit. You can have a difficult time if the hot is open from the next outlet upstream to the dead outlet, but you don't know which is the next outlet upstream. You need to start checking outlets, beginning with the closest ones. With luck, you find that there is an open hot on one of the outlets, you repair the problem, have a cold beer. Best to buy a case, it could take a while, if your house is anything like mine, there is little discernible pattern to which outlet connects to the next.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:33 PM   #8
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Disposal outlet won't work


Quote:
If I pull the plug from the under-sink outlet and plug it into the extension cord, I use the switch to tuirn it on, so I know it isn't the switch, cord, or disposal
I don't really follow this part. You're plugging it into a different receptacle, right...not the one under the sink (because that would make NO sense ) ??

Anyhow, the switch usually is wired to control the receptacle that the disposal is plugged into, so flipping the switch shouldn't do anything if you're plugged into a diff. rec.

Maybe it's not wired that way in your case.....just saying they usually are.


Could be I'm just dense and not following.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:26 PM   #9
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Disposal outlet won't work


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I don't really follow this part. You're plugging it into a different receptacle, right...not the one under the sink (because that would make NO sense ) ??
Maybe it's one of those that has an air switch mounted on the sink deck? In that case, the actual switch would be in the disposal itself.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:34 PM   #10
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Disposal outlet won't work


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Maybe it's one of those that has an air switch mounted on the sink deck? In that case, the actual switch would be in the disposal itself.
Could be...didn't think of that. Actually I didn't know how they worked. I've never used one of those switches.

Now I know (sorta)
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:37 PM   #11
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Disposal outlet won't work


Flip the switch.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:42 PM   #12
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Disposal outlet won't work




If the "flip the switch" comment was aimed at my "didn't know how they worked" comment......I did grasp that part .....let me rephrase, I didn't know how they were wired.

If it was aimed at the OP, I assume you only read the title and not the post. I think he tried that
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:03 PM   #13
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Disposal outlet won't work


Sorry I just read the op.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:56 AM   #14
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Disposal outlet won't work


Didn't get to mess with it last night, we had unexpected company... Love that...

No air switch, it's a flat wall switch under the sink to activate.

Wiring goes: Disposal runs to the switch. Wire then comes out of the switch and has a plug end that plugs into the under sink receptacle. That is the plug that I plug into the extension cord and plug into an outlet elsewhere in the kitchen, and turn on the disposal with the switch.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:30 PM   #15
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Disposal outlet won't work


Outlet tester says Open Neutral, so I'll get to figure this out tomorrow... Maybe...

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