Dishwasher Power Cord

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by 8888, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. 8888

    8888 New Member

    Feb 4, 2012
    I need to make a dishwasher power cord.

    New DW specs:
    Min 14g 167ºf

    Current house wiring:
    dedicated 20a circuit [12g]
    15a split receptacle [w/disposal]

    Q: Can I use ±6' of SJOOW [300v] & add a 15a plug? [the other end = pigtail to DW]

    Q: 14/3 [18a] or 12/3 [25a] Is there any reason not to use 12/3 over 14/3? [most DW cords I see are 16/3]
  2. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb Member

    Jan 14, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    1) I'm pretty sure you mean to be choosing between 14/2 and 12/2. The green conductor for the ground is not counted. The cable you propose is just fine, yes, you may use a 15 amp plug. Don't use the cheapest stuff you can find, and do make a point of keeping your hot and neutral aligned.

    2) The only reason to not use the 12 gauge is that it costs more (pennies) and is harder to work with (barely).

    The nice thing about using the 12 ga is it is protected by a 20 amp breaker, and thus can stand up to a short better than the 14 ga.

    You DW could JUST be serviced by a 15 amp breaker. There is debate as to whether it is safer at 15 or at 20.

    Let me ask you this: are the breakers for your dishwasher and your garbage disposal tied together? If they are two circuits running to one duplex plug, they should be protected by a two pole (not a tandem) breaker, like you would use to protect a 240v 20 amp circuit. That way, if one circuit trips the breaker, both breakers trip and all the wires going to the receptacle go cold together. Which is much safer.

    If they are all wired as a three wire circuit (two hots sharing a neutral, and the hots being fed from the two opposite legs of the sine wave) then everything is clean. This could be conduit with wire fished into it. Or it could be 12/3 non-metalic. Black, red, white, bare. Or the same thing in metal clad.

    If, however, the neutrals and hots for two circuits take different paths, it is important to use both neutrals. Break the tab on the receptacle for the two neutrals, and don't confuse the one with the other, ensure that it is with its correct hot. I tape things together in circumstances like that, black and red. Almost any electrician following me would recognize my purpose.
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  4. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Jun 16, 2007
    Licensed Electrical Contractor
    NY State, USA
    He's talking about rubber cord. The ground IS counted in this case. He is correct in asking about 14/3 or 12/3.

    I see that you are under the impression that he is asking about the circuit. That is already run, so this point is moot.
    I will ask you, what could you possibly mean by this??? What do you mean by "stand up to a short better"?? This makes NO sense.

    This question was actually answered correctly on a few other forums. Either cord is fine, and a 15A plug is fine.
  5. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb Member

    Jan 14, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Sorry, you are correct on the counting of the conductors, I slipped there.

    Using 12ga is more than he needs, certainly, but if a short happened say where it entered the DW the cord would carry the brunt of the short longer and the breaker would be more likely to open before the cord was damaged.

    Not much of an advantage, I grant you. Hardly worth worrying about.

    I stand by my point with the split receptacle shared with the disposal, if they are on different circuits, needing a two pole breaker.
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