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Old 03-26-2012, 11:54 PM   #16
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switch to garbage disposal question


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There are a couple things you could try.

1) Turn off power to that circuit, and make sure, I mean take a voltage tester and check the voltage on the wires (not the screw terminals) going to the disposal outlet. If they are truly dead, remove those wires from the backstabs and wrap them around the screw terminals on the recept. Then reconnect the splices in the dishwasher box (if they aren't already) and see if the disposal works.

2) Again make sure power is off. Pull the disposal switch out of its box and remove the backstabbed wires and wrap those around the terminals. Turn power back on and see if that fixes the problem

3) It appears that there is a missing junction somewhere. I would have no idea where to tell you to look for it. If the above 2 suggestions don't work, or you don't feel comfortable doing those yourself, call a local electrician. He can see alot more than anyone here can.

1) worth a try. would only cost a few bucks more. already have to go to store to replace the switch i cut off.

2) i confirmed i get 0v into the outlet itself for the disposal via the wires when power is on (back side of the outlet). Unsure if the outlet itself was bad if that would cause my 0v reading or not. have not attempted to cut them and measure hte voltage with them exposed.


might give those 2 steps a try tomorrow. just replace all 3 outlets/switches.

only thing i'm not understanding in my head is how to "wrap" the terminals to teh dishwasher outlet without sliding them under a faceplate or something. i'll sleep on it and see if i come up with a better understanding.

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Old 03-27-2012, 12:10 AM   #17
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switch to garbage disposal question


If I'm reading this right...you are measuring 60v at the outlet with nothing plugged in and the switch off...but if you plug in the disposal, 0-3v. Is this correct?

If so...no problem. You are obviously using a digital meter...translation, high input impeadance...translation...it measures induced voltage on unterminated wires...translation....the wire going to the disposal is running next to live wires which causes voltage to be induced on it...translation...it's not an issue.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:33 AM   #18
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switch to garbage disposal question


My final thought on this issue is that it is a loose backstab in the outlet for the disposal. If the disposal is wired with 12-2, backstabs are only rated for 14's. It is possible that the backstabs were damaged when the 12's were stuffed in there and when the outlet was removed, there wasn't sufficient contact.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:17 AM   #19
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You may have said this and I missed it, or maybe it is implied that this is how you realized that had a problem but, after wiring the new DW, did you plug in the disposal and try to operate it with the switch?
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:26 AM   #20
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switch to garbage disposal question


I see a picture of everything but the switch box have you removed that to check the connection to that switch?
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:54 AM   #21
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My final thought on this issue is that it is a loose backstab in the outlet for the disposal. If the disposal is wired with 12-2, backstabs are only rated for 14's. It is possible that the backstabs were damaged when the 12's were stuffed in there and when the outlet was removed, there wasn't sufficient contact.

the backstabs are original. i havent touched and they werent moved during any of this. i only pulled the outlet out to see the connection and measure.


i'll need to go and check to make sure htey are 12 or 14. if they're 14, then i'm more concerned about a fire hazard being on a 20amp line.

if they're 12, then everything i've read says they should have been screwed rather than stabbed.

i am stuck working right now, but when i buy a new outlet (just in case maybe i blew it?) i'll check the line. if they are 14's, i'll probably simply discontinue using that outlet and come up with another alternative as i'm not interested in creating a fire hazard. i plan on remodeling my kitchen next spring. maybe i can just hook up a temporary workaround for now and rewire it next year when i open the walls.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:25 AM   #22
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By just pulling the outlet out, the connection could have went bad.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:28 AM   #23
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By just pulling the outlet out, the connection could have went bad.
i'm going to walk around lowes later and see if i cant find a better method for this.

someone mentioned stealing the plug cable off the old machine. going to see if lowes has any cables i can buy from lowes and then put a plug back in also.

also need to verify all the lines are 12 gauge since they were stabbed in. fairly nervous if the breaker is 20amp and the original house wiring is 14gauage.l they all appeared to be 12 gauge by the eye test, but i'd rather check and verify and be sure than just assume. i prefer to do things the right way when i can.
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:51 AM   #24
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It seems to me that the power is coming in from the dw outlet then runs to the switch and then to the disposal. Does the switch that controls disposal have 2 blacks running to switch and 2 whites capped within that box with the switch?
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:54 AM   #25
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It seems to me that the power is coming in from the dw outlet then runs to the switch and then to the disposal. Does the switch that controls disposal have 2 blacks running to switch and 2 whites capped within that box with the switch?

you know... the original builders sprayed something inside the junction that turned everything white, but i was fairly certain that it WAS indeed 2 blacks with 2 whites capped behind it.

that was my first thought, but i convinced myself that wasnt the case because in my minimal knowledge brain it didnt make sense.

so i'd say yes, there are 2 blacks and 2 whites capped at teh switch.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:08 PM   #26
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switch to garbage disposal question


Then the issue it with your connection at the dw box. Kill the power and twist all the blacks with lineman pliers and cap it.do the same with the whites and the grounds, it should work.
Also,while the outlet is out for disposal and power is off put those wires on the screws. Backstabbing is not very reliable.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:11 PM   #27
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Then the issue it with your connection at the dw box. Kill the power and twist all the blacks with lineman pliers and cap it.do the same with the whites and the grounds, it should work.
Also,while the outlet is out for disposal and power is off put those wires on the screws. Backstabbing is not very reliable.


ya, thats what i did (minus removing the backstabbing).
i tested and got 120v on all 3 lines of the twist that i tested.

i aim to go get something better than my plyers and needlenose to twist them and maybe try again. if i can find an electrical cable, i'll just tie it into the DW junction and plug into the house junction for the DW and be more efficient.


thanks all for taking the time to help me with this. tried everything in my power before looking for help.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:15 PM   #28
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ya, thats what i did (minus removing the backstabbing).
i tested and got 120v on all 3 lines of the twist that i tested.

i aim to go get something better than my plyers and needlenose to twist them and maybe try again. if i can find an electrical cable, i'll just tie it into the DW junction and plug into the house junction for the DW and be more efficient.

thanks all for taking the time to help me with this. tried everything in my power before looking for help.
Good job!
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:43 PM   #29
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Good job!

haha, sorry if confusion --- i meant i tested earlier during troubleshooting and still had failure.

i havent had a chance to attempt any action today. won't until after work.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:46 PM   #30
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only thing i'm not understanding in my head is how to "wrap" the terminals to the dishwasher outlet without sliding them under a faceplate or something.
did you take a piece of romex running on the outside of the wall, under the receptacle cover plate and then wrapped around the terminals of an outlet?

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