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Discussion Starter #1
My old garbage disposal had a crack in the casing and eventually stopped working. It was hardwired to the electric cable coming from under the sink. The new garbage disposal had a plug attached. I didn't want to cut off the plug and hardwire it so I decided to install an outlet under the sink. When I installed the outlet, it would not power anything (a lamp, can opener, etc). It is driving me insane! I will outline the details and steps if anyone can please tell me what I did wrong!

The original garbage disposal was controlled by a light switch above the sink. The disposal is on its own 20amp circuit to the breaker box.

-I detached the wires going into my original garbage disposal. There were the usual three wires: neutral/white, hot/black, ground/copper. I didn't realize this until later, but there were no wires coming from the light switch. Was there supposed to be a fourth wire from the switch?

-I purchased a white, metal outlet box, and a GFCI 15 amp outlet with two receptacles. I connected the black wire to the brass screw, the white wire to the silver screw, and of course the copper wire to the green ground screw. I flipped the breaker, flipped on the light switch, and a lamp I plugged in would not power.

-The videos I watched on YouTube did not show a GFCI being used, so I thought maybe that was the problem. So I went back out and bought a regular 15 amp outlet. Still would not power anything. The outlets I used had two sets of screws and then the grounds crew. I noticed the second time around, I attached the wires to the bottom set of screws when the instruction said to attach the wires to the top set of screws. Either way, the outlet would not work.

A few thoughts/questions...
Should I have used a single outlet? I was going to at first, but I could not find a 15 amp single outlet. They only had 20amp in single outlets. Should I have used the 20? None of the other outlets in the house that I can see are 20amps, so I was nervous about getting it.

What about the wire from the light switch? The cable was coming directly from the basement and it was hardwired to the original disposal. But the light switch was still powering it on and off. I'm not sure where the light switch is wired to because it's not visible under the sink. All of the examples I saw on YouTube did not do anything with the light switch wire. They just connected the black, white, and copper wires to the outlet and plugged in the garbage disposal and their examples show that it worked fine with the light switch.

Thank you for any help you can offer!
 

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did you reset the gfi? If you only have 3 wires there is not much to do wrong.
 

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Something is incorrect in your description. If your old disposer was, in fact, hardwired to the cable coming up from under the sink, i dont understand how the switch would have controlled it.

My guess is that the cable from the panel went to the switch box and then there was a cable from the switchbox to under the sink that was wired to the garbage disposer. If my guess is correct you should probably remove the switch and make sure that all of the connections are solid and intact.

If you have two cables under the sink, post back and we can explain how to wire that.

Dumb question... did you turn the breaker all the way off and then back on before testing?

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If the switch turned it on and off before, it will turn it on and off again.
You don't always see where the cables are run or how they ran them.
I do know if you came to my house and tried to figure out where the circuit for my disposal and dishwasher originate and how the switch is fed, you would be totally confused.
But I know because I installed the wiring.
So, moral of the story.

1) You are overthinking this.
2) If it worked before it will work again. You say the switch worked before you added the receptacle. What does that tell you?
You do not need a fourth wire. All the switch is doing is breaking the hot wire while the ground and neutral run directly to the GD.
Three wires at GD.

Since you tried a lamp and it did not burn, you have no power to the receptacle.
Or a wire is loose.
Remember. It worked BEFORE you installed the receptacle. This is the key to fixing your issue.
 

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Assuming my guess in the last post is correct, here is how it should be wired.

In the SWITCHBOX - two white wires connected together with a wirenut. One black wire to one screw on the switch and the other black wire to the other screw on the switch.

At the RECEPTACLE - the white to the silver screw and the black to the brass screw.

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Did you wire it to the line terminals?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you to everyone's responses and advice! I'm not sure how to reply individually in here so I'm doing one big response.

When I first tried to install the GFI outlet, it would not reset. That's when I decided to replace it with a regular outlet.

Yes, it makes sense to me that the outlet should work since the switch powered the old garbage disposal on and off when the wires were directly powering the the GD. That's why this is so frustrating. There was only one cable that was coming from behind the wall into the garbage disposal. So I can't see why it suddenly doesn't work when I hook it up to the outlet.

I'm going to get a tester right now. And then I'm also going to check the switch when I get home to make sure nothing was loose. But I can't see why the switch would suddenly be an issue when it wasn't touched.

The last thing I'm going to try is just doing a single recepticle outlet. I don't know why that would make a difference, but I'm just feeling like I'm running out of ideas.

Thanks again everyone!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jim: I can't remember which screws I hooked up the wires to on the GFI. I do remember that there was a yellow piece of tape over two of them and it said to use the other two screws so that's what I did. Now, when I took the GFI out and replaced it with a regular outlet, I did try both the line and the load screws and neither one worked.
 

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So either the connections on the new outlet are bad or something happened at the switch..

Shut off the beaker

Take the cover plate off the box that holds the switch.. pull the switch it.. check all the connections.. anything come loose?

If no.. put everything pack and close up the box.. turn circuit back on.. plug one of these into the outlet https://m.grainger.com/mobile/product/WESTWARD-Receptacle-Tester-with-GFCI-19T234

It will tell you what's wrong.. the fact that the gfci wouldn't reset tells you something was wrong with the wiring..
 

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Have you checked the circuit breaker? Make sure its reset and not tripped?

Do you have a way to check for voltage at the GD?

Can you connect the GD directly bypassing the receptacle? (use wirenuts)

Can you run an extension cord to the GD and try it on another circuit?

Have you tried the reset button on the GD? Get a flashlight and look for the red button.

Have you checked the wall switch? (you can remove both wires from the switch and wirenut them together). Bypass the switch is what I mean.

If you have no meter to check voltage, you need to get creative. But please be very careful

And quit overthinking this. Its very simple.
 

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So either the connections on the new outlet are bad or something happened at the switch..

Shut off the beaker

Take the cover plate off the box that holds the switch.. pull the switch it.. check all the connections.. anything come loose?

If no.. put everything pack and close up the box.. turn circuit back on.. plug one of these into the outlet https://m.grainger.com/mobile/product/WESTWARD-Receptacle-Tester-with-GFCI-19T234

It will tell you what's wrong.. the fact that the gfci wouldn't reset tells you something was wrong with the wiring..
I had a bad GFCI out of the box just a few days ago and it happens quite often with cheap box store devices.

This is why he is confused. To much well intended information.
 

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The gfi wouldn't reset.
Self-testing GFCI receptacles (and this certainly is one if you just bought it) will not reset unless power is correctly supplied to the LINE side terminals. It will not reset with the switch turned off even if it was wired correctly.

You mention line/load terminals on the regular outlet, which shouldn't exist. Can you elaborate on that?
 

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If the gfi wouldn't reset that suggests that the breaker wasn't on. Be sure to turn tje breaker all the way off and then back on.

A single outlet or a double outlet will make no difference.

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Discussion Starter #16
Well after all that I can't say what exactly happened, but it's fixed. I know everyone here said it didn't matter if it was a single receptical outlet or two, but I was running out of options before calling an electrician, so for the hell of it, I bought a single receptacle outlet. Also, I bought a new switch. I changed the switch, and I figured since I bought the single outlet and I had all my tools out I would just change the outlet again (a third time now) as well. Had I left the dual receptical outlet, i was going to get an outlet cover for the other receptacle anyway because I was worried of overloading the circuit, so in a sense I would've had only a single receptacle anyway. Long story short, everything works now. If I had to pinpoint the problem, it was the switch because I remember waving the voltage detector over the outlet before, and it wouldn't beep. After I changed the switch, it did beep when I waved it over.

Anyway, thank you so much to everyone who responded! I can't remember who said to consider the switch, but most likely that was the problem so thank you! I appreciate everyone's time and explanations!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I thought I replied but I don't see it in the stream so I'll post it again. I'm not sure exactly what was the problem, but I decided to buy a single receptacle outlet and a new switch. So I replaced the outlet for a third time now. Then I replaced the switch just because it was cheap and it was worth a shot because I was running out of options. And now everything works fine! If I had to pick, the switch had gone bad. I just don't see how it coincidentally went bad during the outlet and garbage disposal installation!

Anyway, thank you so much to everyone who took the time to reply and help out with my dilemma! I appreciate everyone's explanations and advice!
 
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