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#64578 - 02/08/04 04:11 PM Bad Wall Switch to Garbage Disposal
Anonymous
Unregistered


A week back my wife was running the garbage disposal. When she flipped the switch to turn the disposer off, the disposer did not turn off. She tried a couple more times and it still would not turn off. She then pulled the plug at the outlet under the sink. For the past week she has been just reaching under the sink to put the plug in the outlet when she wants to run the disposer. It immediately turns on and then after a few seconds she pulls the plug to turn it off.

Assuming the switch was bad we removed the old one and replaced it with a new one. Nothing. Thought we may have crossed the black wires so we switched them. Nothing. So now I guess the circuit is closed but wont open. At least before we could use the disposer by plugging it in under the sink.

There is ceiling light over the sink on the same circuit. It works fine. So I figure the circuit breaker is ok.

The house was built in 1964. From what I can tell this the switch and outlet under the sink have not been messed with since the house was built.

Baffled, but thought I would post here before calling a Pro.

Any assistance would be much appreciated.

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#64579 - 02/08/04 04:15 PM Re: Bad Wall Switch to Garbage Disposal
Anonymous
Unregistered


Can you describe how the switch is wired (including any info on other wires in the wall box)?

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#64580 - 02/08/04 06:30 PM Re: Bad Wall Switch to Garbage Disposal
Anonymous
Unregistered


Two black wires. One coming from the garbage disposer and the other for power. There is also a copper wire ground wire that seems to be terminated on the box itself. The switch has 2 terminal screws plus a terminal screw for the ground. The top one has the black wire from the disposer and the second one has the black wire from the power source. Like I said before we switched the wires twice to make sure we did not hook the wires to the wrong terminal. We have not hooked the ground wire to the ground screw because it looks like it already terminated to the back (inside) of the box and there is no obvious way to break it loose..

I did not mention before that I also tried another new switch just by chance the first one was no good. Same result.

I should add that the wires to the old switch were sealed inside the switch itself. I cut them off and stripped about 1/2 of insulation and then looped the bare copper wires to their respective terminal screws on the new switch.

Hope the above was not too confusing. It is the best I can do to explain the wiring configuration.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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#64581 - 02/08/04 06:43 PM Re: Bad Wall Switch to Garbage Disposal
bonded Offline
I am DenisB

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 1656
In reply to:

The top one has the black wire from the disposer and the second one has the black wire from the power source.




Remove the switch ,black wire from the power souce ..wirenut it ..turn the breaker back on....does this kill the DISPOSAL?

ernie

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#64582 - 02/08/04 08:27 PM Re: Bad Wall Switch to Garbage Disposal
Anonymous
Unregistered


Just as clarification, do you want me to leave the black wire from the disposer connected to the switch and just wire nut the power wire?

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#64583 - 02/08/04 09:10 PM Re: Bad Wall Switch to Garbage Disposal
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yes, that's what he's recommending. Unless you have another bad switch, it sounds like you probably have a short between the two black wires, somewhere between that box and the outlet box the disposal is plugged into. If so, the disposal will still run with the wire disconnected. If it doesn't run, then you have another bad switch.

Assuming there is a short, there's a pretty good chance it is in the outlet box the disposal is plugged into.

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#64584 - 02/08/04 09:17 PM Re: Bad Wall Switch to Garbage Disposal
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi: As i take it, The disposal used to run constantly and would not shut off. you changed the switch and now it wont work at all?
1)First check to see that something else didnt happen. Get a lamp and plug it in to the disposal plug and see if it works. if it does good-start there.
2) the problem was initially in your switch. There is little doubt to that.
3) make sure you didn't buy a 3-way switch and are using the wrong screws. You should only have 2 screws on the switch.
4) Kitchen circuits were often wired to the breaker with tie bars. The light above the sink you said was on the same circuit might be on a different circuit. Check your breakers again. You must turn the breaker off first then back on to reset it.
5) it doesn't matter which way the wires go on that switch. Just make sure that the bare ground wire doesn't touch touch the switch terminal screws. try this and see what happens....Les

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#64585 - 02/08/04 09:20 PM Re: Bad Wall Switch to Garbage Disposal
Anonymous
Unregistered


Actually, on rereading your original post, I think I had misread it. From your description of what happened when you changed out the switch, I originally thought that changing the switch didn't fix the problem. On rereading, I now assume that when you said that with the new switch you got "nothing" that means that it didn't work at all with the new switch (vs. running all the time).

If that's the case, (and assuming it wasn't something simple like the breaker being left off) I'd recommend just going into the outlet box (with the breaker off) and making sure all connections are secure and no sign of any obvious problems (like burnt insulation, etc.). My guess is that one of the black wires is loose there, and may have initially had wires shorted together, later possibly getting pulled apart (forming an open circuit) probably while pulling on the wires while replacing the switch.

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#64586 - 02/09/04 12:37 AM Re: Bad Wall Switch to Garbage Disposal
Anonymous
Unregistered


In response to Les's recommendation to plug another something esle into the outlet the disposal is plugged in, I did do that and got the same result....no power. I am sorry that I forgot to add that information to my description of the problem and failure analysis.

Its late here now, so I will try out the suggestions provided by all you good folks and let you know the results tommorrow evening. Wish me luck. Thanks.

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#64587 - 02/09/04 07:47 AM Re: Bad Wall Switch to Garbage Disposal
bonded Offline
I am DenisB

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 1656
.........is the receptacle where the disposal is plugged into, a duplex where one half is always hot and the other half is SWITCEHD,and you got confused a couple days ago?..and the switch has ALWAYS been good?

ernie

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