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Old 02-07-2010, 11:35 AM   #1
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Rewiring kitchen for disposal and water filter


In the house that I moved into there has been a garbage disposal that is plugged in below the sink and is activated with a switch that is located above the sink. The switch regulates (on/off) the power to the electrical outlet underneath the sink (i.e. doesn't control the disposal directly).

I'm trying to install a water filter which needs to be plugged in and on all the time. There is one receptacle available under the sink (dual receptacle) but the problem is that both receptacles are controlled by the one switch -- so either the disposal/water filter are off or they are both on.

After shutting off the power to that outlet from the panel, I took a closer look at the receptacle under the sink and this is what I found.

- the receptacle has another switch which can turn on/off power to the two receptacles;

- the two receptacles are joint together right now (so even if it's a dual it's not a duplex independent control set of receptacles);

- although I have no idea how the house is wired, I have three sets of wires going into the box behind the panel:

(a) set 1 - left side -- incoming black wire is going to the switch which is part of the dual receptacle, and the output from the switch is going into a node of multiple ends, call it *x*; incoming white wire is going to a node, call it *y*;

(b) set 2 - middle -- incoming black wire is going to the terminal on the single (non duplex) receptacle, and the white wire is going to node *x*;

(c) set 3 - right side -- incoming black wire is going to node *x*; white wire going into node *y*; there is another white wire going from node *y* to the other terminal of the single receptacle.

Anyway, I am sure this is fairly standard practice and you guys can understand what I mean; if not I can post a picture (although it's not easy to see).

I tried to use some logic and try to understand this but I can't get over the fact that it looks like a parallel switch connection and yet the switches are behaving like they are serial. I.e. the outlet/receptacle is active/hot only when both switches are ON; either switch will turn it off.

My ultimate goal is to try to identify these connections and buy a duplex receptacle in which one side would be wired as it is right now (for the garbage disposal mode to be controlled by the switch above the sink) and the secondary side I'd wire ON all the time (probably connecting at the two nodes *x* and *y* with two wires?).

Am I going right about this?

Many thanks!
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:47 AM   #2
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A picture or several would help. This may be easy to do, depending on the current wiring.
What is the second switch used for?
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
A picture or several would help. This may be easy to do, depending on the current wiring.
What is the second switch used for?
I'm going to upload one or two in a few mins.

Like I mentioned earlier, there's a switch above the sink and another under the sink, next to the receptacle (the one under the sink and the receptacle share the same cover and box behind the cover).

Until today when I got in there, the switch under the sink was always *on* and the one above the sink controlled the two receptacles (with the garbage disposal would go on/off as needed).

Either switch turns off both receptacles and both need to be on for the receptacles to be hot. Of course that won't work with the water filter because then the garbage disposal would run all the time. Either that or the water filter would be off all the time and it could run only with the garbage disposal (not what I want).
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:00 PM   #4
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Here are two pictures; the first one is a general snapshot, the second one I've done some labels and it matches what I first posted in terms of connections.

Please bear in mind that I have no idea where the top connections (left, middle, right) are going, but I am assuming at least one of them goes to the switch above the counter (not shown but just imagine a simple switch) and another one goes to the main line?

Or is this another form of electrical wiring where there are nodes like this in different places around the house?

Thanks!
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Rewiring kitchen for disposal and water filter-p1010077.jpg   Rewiring kitchen for disposal and water filter-p1010079.jpg  
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
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Assuming a duplex recptacle, wire a black wire from node x, to the top of the receptacle, break the tab, and wire the switch wire to the bottom.
This will give you a constant hot on top, and a switched hot on the bottom for the disposal.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Assuming a duplex recptacle, wire a black wire from node x, to the top of the receptacle, break the tab, and wire the switch wire to the bottom.
This will give you a constant hot on top, and a switched hot on the bottom for the disposal.
Thanks -- I will try that.

One question -- what would I do with the two wires going to the receptacle now? The white one going to the receptacle is coming from node *y* so I can get rid of it but the black one is coming from the middle feed directly into the receptacle. Where would it be connected?
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Old 02-07-2010, 01:26 PM   #7
 
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not sure how the switch up top is wired. but from what i can tell you tie a jumper from X (constant hot) to other free black side of plug *looks like lower plug*, cut the tab that tie the two rec together. then leave the white neutral side tab together or jump the two white side lugs together. now you will have one constantly hot and one switched =)
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Old 02-07-2010, 02:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantm View Post
Thanks -- I will try that.

One question -- what would I do with the two wires going to the receptacle now? The white one going to the receptacle is coming from node *y* so I can get rid of it but the black one is coming from the middle feed directly into the receptacle. Where would it be connected?
Leave the 2 wires that go there now alone and just add the 1 wire and break the tab
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