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Old 12-08-2009, 09:51 AM   #1
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Identifying a cable size and switch for dishwasher questions...


Two quick questions.

1.) I've got some cable that's run to a couple of circuits in my house that have been decomissioned. I'm trying to figure out what size it is so that I can determine whether I can still use it for anything. I don't see any markings on the cable or the individual conductors. I'm guessing it's 6/3 or 8/3 with ground because of where it's hooked up.

The insulated conductors are about a 1/4 inch diameter each, but I didn't think to strip and measure the conductor itself. If I strip it and measure with one of those AWG nail/screw templates, will that be accurate or is there an easier way?

2.) Second, is there any reason to have a dishwasher tied to a wall switch? I don't see anything obvious in code, but wanted to make sure. That's how my I'm currently wired, and was told that it's a safety thing. I'd assumed it was because the DW is hardwired, but I'm planning to install a dedicated receptacle under the sink a cord on both the DW and new disposer, and was hoping I can take the switch out of the picture and use it for undercabinet lights.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:19 AM   #2
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Identifying a cable size and switch for dishwasher questions...


I've never in my life seen a dishwasher tied to a wall switch. That makes no sense whatsoever. Are you sure the switch actually controls power to the dishwasher, or just happens to be in the same box where the power taps off?

As for the "safety issue", that's a bunch of baloney as well. The house I'm currently building is wired to NEC 2008 (diswasher is hard wired) and the dishwasher certainly is not switch-controlled. The only safety thing I've ever heard of is that you have to have a locking device on the dishwasher's circuit breaker.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:43 AM   #3
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Identifying a cable size and switch for dishwasher questions...


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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
I've never in my life seen a dishwasher tied to a wall switch. That makes no sense whatsoever. Are you sure the switch actually controls power to the dishwasher, or just happens to be in the same box where the power taps off?

As for the "safety issue", that's a bunch of baloney as well. The house I'm currently building is wired to NEC 2008 (diswasher is hard wired) and the dishwasher certainly is not switch-controlled. The only safety thing I've ever heard of is that you have to have a locking device on the dishwasher's circuit breaker.
Yep, thought the safety thing was garbage. But, yep. Switch on... DW works... switch off... DW is dead. No other wires to the switch, and nothing else is affected. 2 other switches in the box, 1 controls the disposer, the other, the over the sink light.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:54 PM   #4
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Identifying a cable size and switch for dishwasher questions...


It is not uncommon to have a switch for the dishwasher as a service disconnect. Most of them are in the sink base cabinet but occasionally I have seen them installed above the counter.
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:00 PM   #5
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Identifying a cable size and switch for dishwasher questions...


there is differing opinions for the code on this one, some say a wall switch is needed, some say if you use s.o. cord with a plug on the end that is a sufficient service disconnect. it seems if the unit has the proper type switch built in no wall switch is required.

422.32 Disconnecting Means for Motor-Driven Appliance.
If a switch or circuit breaker serves as the disconnecting means for a permanently connected motor-driven appliance of more than 1/8 hp, it shall be located within sight from the motor controller and shall comply with Part IX of Article 430.
Exception: If a motor-driven appliance of more than 1/8 hp is provided with a unit switch that complies with 422.34(A), (B), (C), or (D), the switch or circuit breaker serving as the other disconnecting means shall be permitted to be out of sight from the motor controller.

422.34 Unit Switch(es) as Disconnecting Means.
A unit switch(es) with a marked-off position that is a part of an appliance and disconnects all ungrounded conductors shall be permitted as the disconnecting means required by this article where other means for disconnection are provided in occupancies specified in 422.34(A) through (D).
(C) One-Family Dwellings. In one-family dwellings, the service disconnecting means shall be permitted to be the other disconnecting
means.
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:38 PM   #6
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Identifying a cable size and switch for dishwasher questions...


Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between 6 and 8 wire.

Get a small piece of #6 and #8 wire, strip them and compare to the existing wire to determine size.

The dishwasher requires a disconnecting means or a breaker lock. Here we use a cord/plug to power the dw and disp which also serves as a disco.
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:32 PM   #7
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Identifying a cable size and switch for dishwasher questions...


Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between 6 and 8 wire.

Get a small piece of #6 and #8 wire, strip them and compare to the existing wire to determine size.

The dishwasher requires a disconnecting means or a breaker lock. Here we use a cord/plug to power the dw and disp which also serves as a disco.
I've had an Electrical Inspector mistake #4 THHN wire for #6; But I made certain before putting it into Conduit that it was #4. Told the inspector I'm ready to pull the wire out and show the stamping of #4. That convinced him!
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:19 PM   #8
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Identifying a cable size and switch for dishwasher questions...


Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymanj View Post
there is differing opinions for the code on this one, some say a wall switch is needed, some say if you use s.o. cord with a plug on the end that is a sufficient service disconnect. it seems if the unit has the proper type switch built in no wall switch is required.

422.32 Disconnecting Means for Motor-Driven Appliance.
If a switch or circuit breaker serves as the disconnecting means for a permanently connected motor-driven appliance of more than 1/8 hp, it shall be located within sight from the motor controller and shall comply with Part IX of Article 430.
Exception: If a motor-driven appliance of more than 1/8 hp is provided with a unit switch that complies with 422.34(A), (B), (C), or (D), the switch or circuit breaker serving as the other disconnecting means shall be permitted to be out of sight from the motor controller.

422.34 Unit Switch(es) as Disconnecting Means.
A unit switch(es) with a marked-off position that is a part of an appliance and disconnects all ungrounded conductors shall be permitted as the disconnecting means required by this article where other means for disconnection are provided in occupancies specified in 422.34(A) through (D).
(C) One-Family Dwellings. In one-family dwellings, the service disconnecting means shall be permitted to be the other disconnecting
means.
Wow, I stand corrected, then. Sounds like it's at least not unheard of.

Appreciate the code refs.
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