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I Just Replaced a Garbage Disposal and It Still Does Not Work

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Installed garbage disposal after other quit. On that wall we have a 2 switch plate. Works over sink light and disposal. Although we have power in at the wire the light and disposal does not work the disposal.

Electrical Question from Cathy about Outlet Wiring

Received from Cathy a Homeowner in Conyers

Question: Installed garbage disposal after other quit. On that wall we have a 2 switch plate. Works over sink light and disposal. Although we have power in at the wire the  light and disposal does not work the disposal. The disposal will turn on if we plug a drop cord to it

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question.
Three things to check right away:

First – Check to see of a circuit breaker is tripped. Typically the circuit that serves the disposal is shared with the dishwasher, it really depends on the age of the home and who wired it.

Second – Check the wall switch. Garbage disposals draw a lot of electrical current and many times this will wear out the contacts if a 15 amp switch is installed. In this case, replacing the old non-working switch with a 20 amp rated switch will provide longer years of reliable service.

Third – The wall outlet. If the power originates at the outlet box under the sink, then there may be a connection problem there. The outlet should be carefully removed. Perform a visual inspection of the outlet, wiring and connections to identify any problems.

Your indication that the disposal works with an extension cord points right back the circuit and the components that are involved to serve the power to the disposal.

Never work on energized circuits!
Always positively identify the circuit and shut it off, then label it so others know you are working on the wiring. If you are ever in doubt about your ability or understand then call a licensed professional electrician.

The Following links will assist you with your electrical question:

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