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Old 04-18-2009, 10:25 AM   #1
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disposal switch from existing outlet


I want to add a switch for my g/disposal under my sink. There is an existing outlet for the DW under there. How do I add a switch from this outlet? I need simple instructions or a tutorial. I am not an electrician.

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Old 04-18-2009, 10:32 AM   #2
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disposal switch from existing outlet


You can add it to this circuit IF it is a 20 amp circuit and is dedicated to the DW. Without that I'd run a new circuit to the new disposal.

You certainly don't need to be a full fledged electrician to do this, but you do need a decent clue about how this stuff works.

I'll let someone else give you a step-by-step tutorial as I prefer not to.

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Old 04-18-2009, 10:46 AM   #3
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disposal switch from existing outlet


A simple procedure, actually. Just install a "3-way" switch. Wire it so that when the switch is down, power goes to the dishwasher. When the switch is up, power goes to the disposal. Non-coincident loads that way. You can break off the tab on the receptacle outlet to make each half of the duplex dedicated for each appliance.

Detailed instructions?
  1. Turn off power to your outlet under the sink.
  2. Install a piece of 3-conductor cable from your existing outlet to your 3-way switch.
  3. Disconnect the black wire from your outlet, and wire-nut it to the white wire of your switch leg.
  4. Connect the other end of that white wire to the "common" terminal of your 3-way switch.
  5. Connect the black and red wires to the other 2 terminals of your 3-way switch.
  6. Break off the tab on your duplex outlet on the "hot" side of the outlet.
  7. Connect the remaining black and red wires from your switch leg to the 2 terminals on your outlet.
  8. Mount all devices, install wall plates, etc.
  9. Turn on power, and check which position of the wall switch controls which half of the outlet.
  10. Plug in the disposal unit to the portion of the outlet that is on when the switch is "up"
  11. Plug in the dishwasher to the portion of the outlet that is on when the switch is "down"
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:18 AM   #4
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disposal switch from existing outlet


Thanks guys, hubby is helping with this one. He has some basic knowledge. Plus I am just a little afraid of electrical errors. After that saws all incident! My nickname at the paint store is sparky. We also need to connect the light/fan hood to the dedicated wire I had an electrician put in. We just hard wire that to the hood right?
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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disposal switch from existing outlet


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Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
A simple procedure, actually. Just install a "3-way" switch. Wire it so that when the switch is down, power goes to the dishwasher. When the switch is up, power goes to the disposal. Non-coincident loads that way. You can break off the tab on the receptacle outlet to make each half of the duplex dedicated for each appliance.

Detailed instructions?
  1. Turn off power to your outlet under the sink.
  2. Install a piece of 3-conductor cable from your existing outlet to your 3-way switch.
  3. Disconnect the black wire from your outlet, and wire-nut it to the white wire of your switch leg.
  4. Connect the other end of that white wire to the "common" terminal of your 3-way switch.
  5. Connect the black and red wires to the other 2 terminals of your 3-way switch.
  6. Break off the tab on your duplex outlet on the "hot" side of the outlet.
  7. Connect the remaining black and red wires from your switch leg to the 2 terminals on your outlet.
  8. Mount all devices, install wall plates, etc.
  9. Turn on power, and check which position of the wall switch controls which half of the outlet.
  10. Plug in the disposal unit to the portion of the outlet that is on when the switch is "up"
  11. Plug in the dishwasher to the portion of the outlet that is on when the switch is "down"
Neat idea. Good directions. :-) I've seen questions like this several times and never thought of using a 3 way like that.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:02 PM   #6
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disposal switch from existing outlet


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I've seen questions like this several times and never thought of using a 3 way like that.
OK, but why bother? A 20A circuit can easily handle the sort term load of both.
Is a standard 3-way switch rated for a motor load?
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:47 PM   #7
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disposal switch from existing outlet


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
OK, but why bother? A 20A circuit can easily handle the sort term load of both.
Why bother? Because it is a much simpler procedure to install a switch setup like this, than to install a new dedicated circuit back to the panel.

Quote:
Is a standard 3-way switch rated for a motor load?
No more or less than a standard single pole switch is rated for a motor load. And that is what is commonly used for a disposal setup.

If one is really concerned about the durability of a standard 3-way switch, one can readily buy a "heavy duty" or "specification grade" one for about five bucks or so ....
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:37 AM   #8
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disposal switch from existing outlet


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Originally Posted by wilderstyle View Post
I want to add a switch for my g/disposal under my sink. There is an existing outlet for the DW under there. How do I add a switch from this outlet? I need simple instructions or a tutorial. I am not an electrician.
Got all the stuff, wasn't sure putting it outside the wall is going to meet code? So, I took pics and have more questions.

disposal switch from existing outlet-april-2009-026.jpg

disposal switch from existing outlet-april-2009-027.jpg

You see it will have to go next to that box as the stud we need is on the left of the current box. So, wires would have to run outside the wall to the switch. Is this legal? Will that meet code? It seemed iffy to us. Do we need to remove the old box and try to put the 3 way in the wall? I don't mind moving wall board, but we are not sure how to do this. I need a new cheat sheet please! We bought the wire with the casing so, will it be o.k. on the outside of the wall?
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:13 AM   #9
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disposal switch from existing outlet


Wow, this may be better than originally anticipated. You see that extra red wire in that box? That is most likely a spare circuit conductor meant for your disposal.

You won't need the 3-way switch after all.

Now, exactly where did you want to install this switch? Under the sink? Above the counter flush mounted into the wall?

Instructions can be different for each scenario.
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:09 PM   #10
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disposal switch from existing outlet


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ima...0141669&sr=8-1

You could use an air switch like this, pretty simple set up. It would just plug in to your receptacle and the disposer would plug into it. Then mount the push button on the face of your sink. Just a thought.
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:54 PM   #11
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disposal switch from existing outlet


You are prewired for a disposal.

Open the switch/receptacle boxes closest to the sink and see if that red wire is in one of them. If it is hooked to a switch already, you are in business.

At the under cabinet recep, use needle nose pliers to pry/break out the little tab between the brass colored screws on the recep.

Hook the white wire to one of the the silver screws, hook the black to one brass screw and the red to the other brass screw.

The half that you hooked the black wire to will be hot all the time. The red half is controlled by the switch. Put a 3' appliance pigtail on the disp and plug it in.

If the red wire is not hooked to a switch, post a pic of the box it's in.
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:16 PM   #12
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disposal switch from existing outlet


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You could use an air switch like this, pretty simple set up.....
That is so much simpler than anything I thought of! What a great suggestion!
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:24 PM   #13
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disposal switch from existing outlet


They work great. That's what I used in my own house.
I pulled the feed from my 20A dedicated DW circuit.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:17 PM   #14
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disposal switch from existing outlet


Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
Wow, this may be better than originally anticipated. You see that extra red wire in that box? That is most likely a spare circuit conductor meant for your disposal.

You won't need the 3-way switch after all.

Now, exactly where did you want to install this switch? Under the sink? Above the counter flush mounted into the wall?

Instructions can be different for each scenario.
Under the cabinet. I already have the counter top and new backsplash on and I thought under the cabinet would be o.k. We bought a blue box that can hang sideways from the front lip of the cabinet. But I can get another kind if you instruct me to since I am taking back the 3 way.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:29 PM   #15
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disposal switch from existing outlet


The plug-in air switch is probably the simplest thing you could use in this case. Put the outlet back in, plug everything in, and then mount your air switch.

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