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aljanney 02-12-2007 09:26 PM

Is it possible I have a 220 running to my dish washer?
I cut a wire that was running to my dish washer. I used an electrical outlet to run the wire back to the dish washer and now also to a new garbage disposal.

However, the disposal sounded terrible, I could see sparks coming from the bottom, and it quit working after a few seconds. The wiring was pretty simple so I don't think I got it wrong. But the disposal is now dead.

My current tester doesn't tell me if it has a 220 current. I checked the dish washer and it doesn't say anything about needing 220.

Is it possible the wire going to the dishwasher was 220 and I fried the disposal?


joed 02-12-2007 10:12 PM

Anything is possible. Tell us about the wiring and how many breakers you turned off the kill the power.

aljanney 02-12-2007 10:39 PM

The breaker was one of the double-breakers with the shared switch? The wiring was fairly thick, definately bigger than the 12/2. (12/2? I think that's what its called) That makes me think of a 220, but I can't figure out why it would be running to the dish washer. I looked at the label and it doesn't say anything about 220.

Speedy Petey 02-12-2007 10:52 PM

The size of the wire (eg:12/2) has nothing to do with whether it is 240v or not. For some reaosn this is a common misconception.

If there is a double pole breaker then most likely this is a 240v circuit. Or at least there is 240v present in the circuit. It may very well be a multi-wire (shared neutral) circuit split into two 120v circuits.

aljanney 02-13-2007 01:03 PM

The disposal I think I fried...
...says its intended for 110 or 120V/60HZ only.

However, the Dishwasher says the same thing.
If the line actually was 220 and it fried the disposal, wouldn't it have fried the dishwasher by now?


Speedy Petey 02-13-2007 01:43 PM

I have a suspicion that this is a multi-wire circuit and you managed to use both hots to get the 240v.
A multi-wire circuit is two hots sharing one neutral.

aljanney 02-13-2007 03:51 PM

Interesting! The wire I cut going to the dishwasher had a black, red and white. I assuming the white was the ground, because that's the way it appeared in the old fuse box it was running to.

This sounds like I can't use this wire for the disposal, right? The disposal needs a neutral.

joed 02-13-2007 04:31 PM

If you connected the black and red then you connected the unit to 240 volts. It is probably toast. You should have connected the black and white or the red and white.

Is there also a ground wire or is it only the black red and white?

aljanney 02-13-2007 04:36 PM

Only Black, red and white. I'm guessing now it means no ground.

If I was to connect the black and white, what would i do with the red?
Also, this means the dishwasher is not grounded and the disposal wouldn't be either. Is that a problem?

By the way, this is extremely helpful. I feel like I should donate money to this site, or something.

darren 02-13-2007 05:17 PM

Hey there, sounds like your in over your head.

No nothing will be grounded, will it work, of course it will. Is it safe, not even a chance.

I would try to run a new wire in there with ground if you can.

To hook it up I would use the red to power the dishwasher and the black to wire up the disposal. The one neutral is shared between the two. Not sure how it is setup, if i ras running new i would run to the disposal with the 3 wire, and then run 2 wire(black and white) from the disposal to the dishwasher. In the disposal connect the hot from the disposal to the black of the 3 wire. Connect all 3 netruals together, then connect the red from the 3 wire to the black of the 2 wire. This will give you 120 to each unit. I do commerical so i have never hooked up a disposal before, so there may not be enough room in it to do all the joints, then you will have to put a seperate junction box and doi the same thing.,

Hope this helps, if you want to donate money i can arrange to give you my e-mail i use with paypal j/k.


aljanney 02-13-2007 05:37 PM

Fascinating. As it turns out, I'm actually in several meters over my head. Who knew.

I understand your idea. I think I can make it work.
Would it be easier to, say, run the black and white to the whole thing, and just seal off the red wire so it goes no where?

I have a sub-panel in the basement that is grounded. Think I can run the ground I'm going to put in seperately to that sub-pannel ground wire and connect them?

elementx440 02-13-2007 05:49 PM

instead of donating money to the site, invest in a $5 multimeter :) . even a nice Fluke meter would have been cheaper than the replacement garbage disposal! ok im down bustin yer balls, everyone makes a mistake once, but with 240v, they literally only make one major mistake...

If you don't use the red wire, you'll be using only half the breaker, so you may trip it if you use both devices at the same time. You asked for help, the pros told you how to wire it up, so stick to it buddy. Split the neutral into two, one to each device, then each gets a dedicated 120v line on a breaker.

I suppose you could run a lone grounding cable, I'd probably run it along with the existing wire if possible? Or perhaps you can ground it to the copper water lines since that's all grounded (or should be) anyhow?

Speedy Petey 02-13-2007 05:56 PM

aljanney, you learned a valuable lesson.
DO NOT MESS with electric if you are not SURE of what you are doing. MANY folks take this lightly and think "how hard can it be to figure out". Electric is NOT a learn as you go kind of thing. You need to know quite a bit before you start. :thumbsup:
Unfortunately it cost you a new disposal. :(

Speedy Petey 02-13-2007 05:58 PM


Originally Posted by elementx440 (Post 33329)
Or perhaps you can ground it to the copper water lines since that's all grounded (or should be) anyhow?

This is NOT a viable, or legal, option. You cannot simply ground things to water pipes (99.9% of the time).

Running a new circuit(s) is really the only option.

aljanney 02-13-2007 06:52 PM

Can I join the Black/White wire and the Red/White at a new electrical outlet half-way between these two devices?

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