Garbage Disposal Electrical Install

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by dcf1999, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. dcf1999

    dcf1999 Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Illinois
    Sorry in advance for the long post. My tenants want a garbage disposal. I agreed to put one in for them. I don’t have any electrical outlets under sink so I need to add an outlet and switch. It’s going to be a dedicated 15A circuit. I figure I have the following options:

    1. Do it the “Clean†way. Cut a hole in the plaster above counter and below sink for old work boxes then fish new 14-2 wire behind walls to make it work. Seems the most time consuming but seems like the right way to do it. Problem is, there are horizontal studs in the way of fishing wire up to where the new switch would be. I have one of those really long flexible drill bits that would allow me to drill through the horizontal studs and fish the wire up.

    2. Install two handy boxes under the cabinet. One in the back (attached to plaster wall) for the single outlet, and one in the front (by the door) for the switch. I’d then run 14-2 up through the floor / bottom of cabinet, into the outlet box. From the outlet box, I’d run MC to the switch box.

    3. Install a handy box under cabinet for the outlet (single) and installing an old work box in the “fake drawer†part of the cabinet and mounting the switch there so the switch will be on the outside of the cabinet below the sink. I’d use MC to connect the two boxes. The only thing that worries me about this is kids being able to reach the switch.

    Both options seem reasonable. Option 2 seems easiest, however:

    1. Would I used handy boxes and can I mount the one for the switch to the cabinet itself?

    2. Should I use MC or would it be better to run the romex from the outlet box to the switch box (Romex would be exposed but I’d secure it to the cabinet)?

    3. I’m going to use metal boxes. If I do option 2, can I go from romex coming in to the outlet box then switch it over to MC to go to the switch. I know the MC has the separate wires in it, and is attached to the box using a special knockout adaptor. I would assume I’d ground the outlet box using a pigtail which would then transfer the grounding to the metal clad of the MC.

    4. I was also thinking (if I’m going option 2) of using the flexible plastic electrical tubing from the cabinet base to the first box (outlet), then from the outlet box to the switch box and running the romex inside that tube for extra protection and a cleaner look. Is that acceptable?

    Any other ideas would be appreciated. I do know there is an air switch that I can install also, and I’m thinking of going that route and not putting in a physical switch.

    Thanks
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,298
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
  3. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,559
    Location:
    North Carolina
    up from bottom with everything surface mounted and then install Terry's disposal
  4. Murphy625

    Murphy625 Member

    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    Michigan
    I've never seen a disposal work that way.. Where is the switch to turn it on? Is it magnetic??
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,298
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The switch is in the upper collar, and the stopper as it rotates engages the switch.

    I don't sell too many like that. Like almost never. I have one in stock in an old box that I've been hanging onto. The customer ordered it, but it was after the economy had tanked in 08. I figure he may call, or at least I'm ready for the next customer that needs one.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Just install the outlet, then get an Insinkerator "air switch" which can be mounted on the front of the cabinet or on the sink if you have a spare opening. You plug it into the outlet and the disposer into it, then use the button to turn it on and off.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,298
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    If you have a SS sink, you could drill a new hole for the air switch.
  9. dcf1999

    dcf1999 Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Illinois
    Thanks everyone for the replies. I like the cover control disposal but it’s a little on the expensive side for a rental property. I think I’m going to do the air switch idea. It’s another $50 that I didn’t want to spend, but it looks like a nice clean install that I can mound most anywhere on the counter. It also looks very easy to install rather than fishing wires around. I guess it’s worth the extra money for the ease of install. It’s an enamel sink with no opening so I’ll have to mount it on the counter somewhere. I would LOVE to mount it on the fake drawer part, but I can see their kids pressing the button on and off all the time and either breaking the button or burning out the disposal if they leave it on. I don’t have kids, but I hear they are good at destroying things within their reach…. Any tips on installing the air switch to avoid problems (Water getting into it, ease of maintenance, etc…)? Can I drill through an enameled sink relatively easy or will that open a can of worms? If I install it on the fake drawer part, is there something I can do to make it “kid proof”?

    Thanks again everyone!
  10. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    Colorado
    Love the air switch. Got one on my own garbage grinder. Water getting into it is not a problem. There are no electric parts between the button and the switch module.
    I wouldn't do this although I imagine there is a way it could be done.
    In the fake drawer face would be my first choice. In the counter top beside the sink would be my second.
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