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wilderstyle
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to add a switch for my g/disposal under my sink. There is an existing outlet for the DW under there. How do I add a switch from this outlet? I need simple instructions or a tutorial. I am not an electrician.
 

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Licensed Electrical Cont.
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7,829 Posts
You can add it to this circuit IF it is a 20 amp circuit and is dedicated to the DW. Without that I'd run a new circuit to the new disposal.

You certainly don't need to be a full fledged electrician to do this, but you do need a decent clue about how this stuff works.

I'll let someone else give you a step-by-step tutorial as I prefer not to.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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3,368 Posts
A simple procedure, actually. Just install a "3-way" switch. Wire it so that when the switch is down, power goes to the dishwasher. When the switch is up, power goes to the disposal. Non-coincident loads that way. You can break off the tab on the receptacle outlet to make each half of the duplex dedicated for each appliance.

Detailed instructions?

  1. Turn off power to your outlet under the sink.
  2. Install a piece of 3-conductor cable from your existing outlet to your 3-way switch.
  3. Disconnect the black wire from your outlet, and wire-nut it to the white wire of your switch leg.
  4. Connect the other end of that white wire to the "common" terminal of your 3-way switch.
  5. Connect the black and red wires to the other 2 terminals of your 3-way switch.
  6. Break off the tab on your duplex outlet on the "hot" side of the outlet.
  7. Connect the remaining black and red wires from your switch leg to the 2 terminals on your outlet.
  8. Mount all devices, install wall plates, etc.
  9. Turn on power, and check which position of the wall switch controls which half of the outlet.
  10. Plug in the disposal unit to the portion of the outlet that is on when the switch is "up"
  11. Plug in the dishwasher to the portion of the outlet that is on when the switch is "down"
 

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wilderstyle
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys, hubby is helping with this one. He has some basic knowledge. Plus I am just a little afraid of electrical errors. After that saws all incident! My nickname at the paint store is sparky. We also need to connect the light/fan hood to the dedicated wire I had an electrician put in. We just hard wire that to the hood right?
 

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DIY'er
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A simple procedure, actually. Just install a "3-way" switch. Wire it so that when the switch is down, power goes to the dishwasher. When the switch is up, power goes to the disposal. Non-coincident loads that way. You can break off the tab on the receptacle outlet to make each half of the duplex dedicated for each appliance.

Detailed instructions?

  1. Turn off power to your outlet under the sink.
  2. Install a piece of 3-conductor cable from your existing outlet to your 3-way switch.
  3. Disconnect the black wire from your outlet, and wire-nut it to the white wire of your switch leg.
  4. Connect the other end of that white wire to the "common" terminal of your 3-way switch.
  5. Connect the black and red wires to the other 2 terminals of your 3-way switch.
  6. Break off the tab on your duplex outlet on the "hot" side of the outlet.
  7. Connect the remaining black and red wires from your switch leg to the 2 terminals on your outlet.
  8. Mount all devices, install wall plates, etc.
  9. Turn on power, and check which position of the wall switch controls which half of the outlet.
  10. Plug in the disposal unit to the portion of the outlet that is on when the switch is "up"
  11. Plug in the dishwasher to the portion of the outlet that is on when the switch is "down"
Neat idea. Good directions. :) I've seen questions like this several times and never thought of using a 3 way like that.
Jamie
 

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Licensed Electrical Cont.
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I've seen questions like this several times and never thought of using a 3 way like that.
OK, but why bother? A 20A circuit can easily handle the sort term load of both.
Is a standard 3-way switch rated for a motor load?
 

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Electrical Contractor
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3,368 Posts
OK, but why bother? A 20A circuit can easily handle the sort term load of both.
Why bother? :huh: Because it is a much simpler procedure to install a switch setup like this, than to install a new dedicated circuit back to the panel.

Is a standard 3-way switch rated for a motor load?
No more or less than a standard single pole switch is rated for a motor load. And that is what is commonly used for a disposal setup. :yes:

If one is really concerned about the durability of a standard 3-way switch, one can readily buy a "heavy duty" or "specification grade" one for about five bucks or so .... :whistling2:
 

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wilderstyle
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
disposal switch/pics

I want to add a switch for my g/disposal under my sink. There is an existing outlet for the DW under there. How do I add a switch from this outlet? I need simple instructions or a tutorial. I am not an electrician.
Got all the stuff, wasn't sure putting it outside the wall is going to meet code? So, I took pics and have more questions.





You see it will have to go next to that box as the stud we need is on the left of the current box. So, wires would have to run outside the wall to the switch. Is this legal? Will that meet code? It seemed iffy to us. Do we need to remove the old box and try to put the 3 way in the wall? I don't mind moving wall board, but we are not sure how to do this. I need a new cheat sheet please! We bought the wire with the casing so, will it be o.k. on the outside of the wall?
 

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Electrical Contractor
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Wow, this may be better than originally anticipated. You see that extra red wire in that box? That is most likely a spare circuit conductor meant for your disposal.

You won't need the 3-way switch after all.

Now, exactly where did you want to install this switch? Under the sink? Above the counter flush mounted into the wall?

Instructions can be different for each scenario.
 

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Registered
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2,294 Posts
You are prewired for a disposal.

Open the switch/receptacle boxes closest to the sink and see if that red wire is in one of them. If it is hooked to a switch already, you are in business.

At the under cabinet recep, use needle nose pliers to pry/break out the little tab between the brass colored screws on the recep.

Hook the white wire to one of the the silver screws, hook the black to one brass screw and the red to the other brass screw.

The half that you hooked the black wire to will be hot all the time. The red half is controlled by the switch. Put a 3' appliance pigtail on the disp and plug it in.

If the red wire is not hooked to a switch, post a pic of the box it's in.
 

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Licensed Electrical Cont.
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They work great. That's what I used in my own house.
I pulled the feed from my 20A dedicated DW circuit.
 

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wilderstyle
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, this may be better than originally anticipated. You see that extra red wire in that box? That is most likely a spare circuit conductor meant for your disposal.

You won't need the 3-way switch after all.

Now, exactly where did you want to install this switch? Under the sink? Above the counter flush mounted into the wall?

Instructions can be different for each scenario.
Under the cabinet. I already have the counter top and new backsplash on and I thought under the cabinet would be o.k. We bought a blue box that can hang sideways from the front lip of the cabinet. But I can get another kind if you instruct me to since I am taking back the 3 way.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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3,368 Posts
The plug-in air switch is probably the simplest thing you could use in this case. Put the outlet back in, plug everything in, and then mount your air switch.:yes:
 

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wilderstyle
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
o.k. this is a project house, purpose is to sell high with a minimal budget. I am rehabing a friends old house to make a better profit than an "as is" price. I already set the counters and the backsplash and would rather not pay expense for the air switch. We added the disposal and now would like to use the existing outlet/power source to add a switch under the counter. That is the least expensive option right? Can I do it without tearing out? Can I just add a box and route a covered wire to a a switch? Will that meet code or does it have to be behind the wall. Please help me with the steps to do this that will meet code in the least expensive way. Thanks.
 

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Licensed Electrical Cont.
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o.k. this is a project house, purpose is to sell high with a minimal budget. I am rehabing a friends old house to make a better profit than an "as is" price. ......... and would rather not pay expense for the air switch. ..... Please help me with the steps to do this that will meet code in the least expensive way. Thanks.
So I guess all those shows about flipping houses in California are not just cliches and stereotypes. :whistling2:
 

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wilderstyle
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It is not a flip. It is a saving my girlfriends mom's house from making a big goose egg. It was a 1960's house in a down market that was not lived in for about 10 years. It was "maintained" by a gardener only. It needed a termite tent, floors, paint, and general updates. I walked through and decided if she sold it as is she would not make what she needs to keep her mom in the nursing home. So, I take before and after pics of everything I do for a portfolio and I am learning a ton. I do have a friend who does flips and he has invested in land for the time being. He was doing well before the market dropped. What I actually do is stage homes to make them sell better. I am doing way more hard labor in this house. I put those laminate floors in myself. Took out some walls and funky tile counters and put in some new countertops and beadboard. I have some pics posted, and will add more when I am done. I just have the carpet, this sink work and the raising of the Hot water heater off the garage floor. Then I can make it pretty and hopefully sell it. I have to get through this and the stove hook up and I can start dressing it up.
 

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Please help me with the steps to do this that will meet code in the least expensive way.
Uh....helloooo. It may already be pre wired for a disposal switch.

In the time it took you to reply and ask more questions you could have found the other end of the 3 wire and possibly been done with the job.
 

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wilderstyle
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey 220/221,

I asked questions on multiple days after going to the jobsite twice. I don't live in the same town and each of these posts were on different days. Plus someone asked me a question. I didn't ask you to answer, "how should I spend my time?" Thank you. Maybe you could save your fingers and time by not being rude! Sometimes the posts aren't completely read before guys jump to an answer and I have to screen the discussion to figure out the part I need. Yes, the red wire may be for a disposal, but there is no switch in the wall and I want to put it under the cabinet. I am not a builder nor an electrician. Due to selling the house I want to make sure my update is up to code. Sorry, if I am too verbose or cautious for ya. If I bug you, don't bother posting.
 
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