ask the electrician
Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Installing and Wire Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

Disposal Wiring Diagram

dishwasher-disposal-wiring Summary: Fully explained dishwasher disposal wiring diagrams with pictures for wiring the outlet that serves a dishwasher and a garbage disposal. One very important element can be easily overlooked as you will see in these pictures.
© By:

Electrical Wiring Diagram for a Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher

DIY Electrical Wiring Video

How to Install and Wire a Garbage Disposal

NOTE: A List of All my Helpful Videos

Will Display at the End of This Video

So Keep Watching So I Can Help You Wire it Right!

Check out my YouTube Channel:
» AskTheElectrician «
and Subscribe!

These wiring diagrams show typical connections.
The diagram above shows the power entering into the circuit at the switch box location, then sending one power line for the dishwasher and a switched leg for the garbage disposal.

The diagram below shows the power entering the circuit at the grounded outlet box location, then sending power up to the switch and a switched leg back down to the outlet.

Notice that these outlets have the tab removed from the "hot" side or Brass side of the outlet which allows the top half of the plug to be controlled only from the switch while the bottom end of the outlet remains "hot" all the time. This is shown in the pictures below.

Disposal Wiring Diagram #1


Disposal Wiring Diagram #2


The Process for Wiring a Switched Garbage Disposal with an Optional Dishwasher

This series of electrical wiring pictures shows how the actual wiring is attached using the top wiring diagram scenario #1 where the power enters at the switch box and a 3-wire cable runs from the switch box down to the grounded outlet which is usually located under the sink where it serves the dishwasher and the garbage disposal.

Step One

The circuit has been positively identified and the power has been shut off. A note has been placed to let others know that there is work being done on the circuit.

Step Two

The wire insulation has been stripped, then using the wire strippers or pliers a hook has been made on the end of the ground wire so the wires can be attached to the terminal screws of the outlet.

Step Three

The white neutral wire is attached to the silver side of the outlet. No changes have been made to the tab or bridge on the neutral side of the outlet.

Step Four

The tab is in place which bridges the power between the top outlet and the bottom. By using a pair of needle nose pliers you can grip the flat tab of metal and with a side to side motion wiggle it back and forth until it breaks off. Side cutters are sometimes used but that can leave the metal in place or sticking out where it can become a problem.

Step Five

Here the tab is removed and now the top and bottom outlets are separated from one another.

Step Six

Notice that I attached the wires to the side terminals because the disposal and dishwasher load is greater that that of a lighting load. Notice the two separate colored wires, red for the garbage disposal which is from the switch and the black for the dishwasher which is hot all the time.

Step Seven

The wiring is folded back into the outlet box being careful that the ground wire is not near the screws of the outlet's hot or neutral side.

Step Eight

Use the outlet mounting screws to secure the outlet firmly to the wall adjusting the outlet from side to side as necessary.

Step Nine

Mount the cover plate in place, notice the opening to the box is complete covered up. This disposal and dishwasher electrical project is complete and ready for the power to be restored to the circuit.

Additional Resources

Instruction Manual for a Garbage Disposal

Here is the Detailed Instruction Manual for a KitchenAid Disposal [PDF]


Identifying the Wires of a Disposal Cord

George, from Austin, Texas asks:
I want to connect a power source to a garbage disposal and however, the power source cable does not have a white cable as instructions state, instead has two black cables, one soft and other rugged or with lines. Which wire represents the white? Any help is greatly appreciated.
Great website - Very complete and helpful!

Dave's Reply:
Disposal Cords often have the same color insulation for all of the wires so it ca be very difficult to tell which wire is which, however there is one way to know which wire is for the hot and which is the neutral:
The smooth wire is for the hot or connects to the Black wire of the disposal.
The wire with lines is used for the neutral and connects to the White wire of the disposal.
The center wire is typically the ground and in most cases the ground wire, and with some cords the ground wire has green insulation.
Be sure to use a two screw cord connector when attaching the cord to the disposal.

Kitchen Disposal Wiring

You saved me a lot of headache!

Dave's Reply:
Your Welcome Steve!

I'm glad this helped you with your kitchen disposal wiring.

Disposal Wiring Made Easy

Excellent article and diagram Dave.

If I didn't know better I would think I was an electrician.

Well thank you very much, Nelson!
Many Handymen and Handy women are Fine Basic Electricians with a great deal of potential.
I'm glad this disposal wiring diagram was helpful for you.

More about Wiring a Disposal Switch

Learn more about wiring a disposal switch

More about: Disposal

Electrical Wiring for a Dishwasher and Disposal Outlet
How to Install Electrical Wiring for a Garbage Disposal
How to Wire a Garbage Disposal and a Dishwasher Outlet
Garbage Disposal Electrical Wiring Diagram
Shocking Kitchen Garbage Disposal Problem
Kitchen Disposal Switch Wiring
How to Repair a Garbage Disposal
Installing an Outlet for a Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher