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How to Install a Garbage Disposal Switch

Light switch on green wall

Garbage Disposal is an amazing appliance that helps to break down food washed into your sink drain and prevent the pipes from getting clogged. So, it is important to install the garbage disposal switch near the countertop so that you can switch it on easily whenever required.

Installing a garbage disposal switch is a complicated process that requires prior knowledge and experience working with the electrical components. So, before starting the installation process, make sure you have proper knowledge, skills, and tools to complete the installation. Otherwise, for your safety, call an electrician.

Basic Information About Garbage Disposal Wiring

View of garbage disposal under sink

After running the wires from the garbage disposal to the switch area, you will be left with a box with wires coming out of it and no switch to plugin your garbage disposal. Installing a garbage disposal switch involves different wirings and outlets. Let’s make you familiar with the wires before starting the installation process.

  • Nowadays, electrical installations in homes have a dedicated circuit for your garbage disposal and the dishwasher and as they are generally installed together, the outlet is comprised of two parts, when divided, the top outlet is controlled by the switch, where your garbage disposal will be installed, and the bottom outlet remain always on which you can connect with your dishwasher.
  • The black wire is the hot wire, which goes through the circuit breaker, and the output of the circuit breaker is divided into two branches, one gets connected to the garbage disposal and the other one is connected to the outlet.
  • The neutral wire is a white wire which directly goes to the outlet.
  • The green wire is the ground wire, both outlet and garbage disposal should have ground wire connected.
  • The red wire runs from garbage disposal to the outlet.

Tools Required to Install a Garbage Disposal Switch

pile of tool on wooden table
  • Outlet box extender
  • Outlet
  • Switch
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire stripper
  • Electrical tape

Steps to Install a Garbage Disposal Switch

hand flipping a light switch

Step 1 – Firstly, pull out all the wires and test the power to make sure there is not any current running. You can use a voltage tester to test it. If it lights up the power is still there and if not, then you are good to go.

Step 2 -We have to add the outlet box extender. We have to put it in the hole bypassing all the wires through it. This box allows you to mount your outlets on the wall and helps to protect the wires from the inside.

Step 3 – Strip the ground wire with the help of a wire stripper, turn the wire around the ground screw with the help of a needle-nose plier and tighten the ground screw with a screwdriver.

Step 4 – On the outlet, the dark-colored screw is for dark wires (black wire), and the light-colored screws are for light wire(white wire).

On the top part of the outlet, you have to connect the garbage disposals hot and neutral wires, and on the bottom part, you have to connect the hot wire and neutral wire of the dishwasher.

Strip the black wire and white wires to about three-quarter inches, turn it with needle-nose pliers, insert it in their respective screws and tighten the screws.

Wiring of your outlet is complete, now secure the wires with the help of electrical tape and screw the outlet on the outlet box.

Step 5 – Now, we will install the switch for the garbage disposal.

Wrap the green ground wire around the ground nut and tighten the screws. On the switch, there will be two copper screws. On the top one, you have to connect the red wire which is coming from your garbage disposal. Insert the wire with the help on pliers and tighten the screws. Similarly, insert the black wire in the bottom screw and tighten the screw with the screwdriver.

Install the switch on the outlet box. Make sure it is facing in the right direction. Generally, to identify the direction, you can find a small gold metal plate on the top of the switch.

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