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Old 02-19-2009, 08:52 PM   #1
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GFCI receptacle/switch for disposer


I'm replacing a regular (non gfci) combination switch/outlet with a GFCI Leviton switch and outlet. 4 wires were attached to the old unit. 3 wire romex (gray or black, white, bare); plus an additional white wire that I think goes to the dishwasher. When I removed the old outlet/switch, the bare wire went to the ground, the black wire was on one side, and the two white wires were on the other side.

The new Leviton unit has two black wires labeled "load" and also two "load" inputs which are covered with a tape that warns against removing it and of wiring incorrectly. It also has 2 inputs labeled "line". It gives instructions for 1 cable (2 or 3 wire) connections or 2 cable (4 or 6 wire) connections. No instructions for my setup.

Any suggestions?

UPDATE: PHOTOS ATTACHED. Old switch/outlet is on the left. Replacement is on the right. 3-wire cable on left, + single wire (white). If you see a small copper wire going horizontally, ignore it. That's a ground wire to the separate light switch which is on a different circuit.

The 4 wires (3+1) somehow operate both garbage disposer and I think the dishwasher. At least they're all on the same circuit and with switch disconnected the dishwasher has no power.

Does that help?? P.S. I don't have a meter.
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GFCI receptacle/switch for disposer-p1040603a.jpg   GFCI receptacle/switch for disposer-p1040604.jpg  

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Last edited by resourcefultami; 02-22-2009 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:59 PM   #2
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GFCI receptacle/switch for disposer


There is no requirement for the disposal to be protected by a GFI unless the instructions call for it.

Why are you trying to change this?

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Old 02-19-2009, 09:08 PM   #3
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GFCI receptacle/switch for disposer


Quote:
Why are you trying to change this?
I think he's just trying to get a GFCI protected recep.


Quote:
plus an additional white wire that I think goes to the dishwasher
This is an issue. You have a single wire running somewhere? Not part of a cable?

That aint good.


You can't really hook anything up if you don't know where it goes.





Typically the power is black, neutral white and switch leg is red.

Black and white line is the power in.

Load is power out. The two blacks labeled load dont make sense.

The taped black and white load wires are for protecting downstream receps. You will not use these.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:33 PM   #4
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GFCI receptacle/switch for disposer


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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
There is no requirement for the disposal to be protected by a GFI unless the instructions call for it.

Why are you trying to change this?
The switch/outlet I have now is bad. I have to jiggle the switch to get it to work.
Since the switch/outlet is next to a sink, I'd prefer having a gfci outlet - for what I THOUGHT were obvious reasons.
I've swapped out dozens of electrical switches and outlets but I've never encountered one with an extra wire like this.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:42 PM   #5
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GFCI receptacle/switch for disposer


Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
I think he's just trying to get a GFCI protected recep.




This is an issue. You have a single wire running somewhere? Not part of a cable?




Typically the power is black, neutral white and switch leg is red.

Black and white line is the power in.

Load is power out. The two blacks labeled load dont make sense.

The taped black and white load wires are for protecting downstream receps. You will not use these.
CORRECTION: BOTH LOAD WIRES HAPPEN TO BE BLACK ON THE LEVITON UNIT.

To clarify, when I removed the old switch/outlet, there were 4 wires that were attached: A 3-wire romex (white, black, bare) and one other white wire which was by itself. I'm just trying to figure out how to attach those 4 wires to this new switch/outlet which happens to be GFCI made by Leviton
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:47 PM   #6
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GFCI receptacle/switch for disposer


Quote:
Originally Posted by resourcefultami View Post
CORRECTION: BOTH LOAD WIRES HAPPEN TO BE BLACK ON THE LEVITON UNIT.

To clarify, when I removed the old switch/outlet, there were 4 wires that were attached: A 3-wire romex (white, black, bare) and one other white wire which was by itself. I'm just trying to figure out how to attach those 4 wires to this new switch/outlet which happens to be GFCI made by Leviton
Can you post a photo? Have you tested these wires with a meter? What kind of meter do you have?

These wires maybe a poor setup of a multiwire branch circuit. USE CAUTION IT MAY BE CONNECTED TO MULTIPLE BREAKERS AND COULD BE LIVE EVEN WITH ONE BREAKER OFF.

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Old 02-22-2009, 11:31 PM   #7
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GFCI receptacle/switch for disposer


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Originally Posted by jamiedolan View Post
Can you post a photo? Have you tested these wires with a meter? What kind of meter do you have?

These wires maybe a poor setup of a multiwire branch circuit. USE CAUTION IT MAY BE CONNECTED TO MULTIPLE BREAKERS AND COULD BE LIVE EVEN WITH ONE BREAKER OFF.

Jamie
Thanks Jamie. When I shut off the breaker, I did so by turning ON the disposer, then going downstairs and listening for the sound of the disposer to stop when I cut power to the right breaker. Based on that, is there still a chance that the wires are live? (The adjacent light switch IS live, so I do use caution around that.
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:52 AM   #8
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GFCI receptacle/switch for disposer


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Originally Posted by resourcefultami View Post
Thanks Jamie. When I shut off the breaker, I did so by turning ON the disposer, then going downstairs and listening for the sound of the disposer to stop when I cut power to the right breaker. Based on that, is there still a chance that the wires are live? (The adjacent light switch IS live, so I do use caution around that.
I suspect is is off, but you can get a meter at Harbor Freight for a couple dollars.

I suspect that one of the wires is used to switch power on and off for the disposal. You want to figure out which is which if you don't know where they were connected to the previous switch, then you may have to do some more detective work.

On the top of the new device there is going to be a terminal on each side for the switch. A switch works by feeding power in on one side, and when the switch is turn on it flows out the other side on another hot wire that goes to the device.

I have not used one of these combination switch devices and your not the first person to ask about them. I need to get one and look at how they work. I suspect the switch at top is just a regular switch that doesn't have anything to do with the GFCI, but am not positive. You may have to take one of these wires, the one that is hot, and pigtail (use a wire nut to connect 2 additional wires to it, so instead of just one wire it has 2) then connect it to the top and bottom of the new device.

The white should be the neutral wire and should be on the side of the outlet with the larger slot, which should be labeled neutral on that outlet.

Just fyi, your setup isn't compliant with current codes, but should be functional if you put it back, but I think you going to have to add that pig tail on the hot wire, both would go on the side of the device with the thin outlet blade.

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Old 02-23-2009, 01:21 AM   #9
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GFCI receptacle/switch for disposer


Once you figure out which wire is the switch loop for the disposal,, Color it a color with a sharpie, not green. Black, red,.....

Leave the neutral white.


Jamie

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