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Thread: Dead Disposal. Can I remove it?

  1. #16
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    If you're lucky, the disposal is on its own circuit. If it is, you can disconnect the wires from the breaker box and just leave the wires. If in the future you want a disposal again, then all that is necessary is to reconnect the breaker. If the disposal shares the circuit, then you have problem. You will need to determine where the connection is. Probably it will be in an outlet box. Then you would have to break the connection at that point. Again, leave the wires, but put a wire nut on the wires to be sure they can not make contact with live wires in the box.

  2. #17
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Frankly, It makes more sense to just replace the disposer.
    You can reuse the wire that is connected to the existing disposer, which is an ancient and old, rusting piece of junk now.
    That may be easier then figuring a way to keep the end of the wire safe.

    Or box out the wire with a cover, and use a new basket and tail piece.


  3. #18
    In the Trades ilya's Avatar
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    It does seem simplest to replace the disposer. If you don't want to do that Shacko's got your part pictured-also called a "branch tailpiece". In which case, that wire, which should be in flexible conduit,does need to be terminated in a box and capped with wirenuts. Leave at least 6" of wire in the box for future use. KILL THAT POWER FIRST!
    Last edited by ilya; 02-02-2011 at 05:03 PM.
    not a licensed plumber

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    I think I will "box out the wire". I don't know how to do that though and Google yields no results

    Is there another term for this I can search for?

    thanks!

    How does this sound?

    turn the breaker off. Remove the cover plate. Unscrew the switch from the box. Remove the cable from the bottom of the box and switch. Install a knockout closure where the cable used to exit the box. Label cover plate so someone know its purpose later.
    So basically I would be removing the cable going from the box to the disposal, and leave everything else alone. Would that be safe?
    Last edited by llmercll; 02-02-2011 at 07:28 PM.

  5. #20
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If you pull the wire, and wire nut the ends of teh wire within an enclosed box you should be fine.

  6. #21
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    Great, thank you so much!

    Should I put all three wires in one nut (hot, ground, and common. It looks like romex so I'm guessing that's whats in there), or use a nut on each wire separately? And that would basically have the safe effect as leaving them connected to the switch, right? maybe it's a little safer using the wirenuts?

  7. #22
    DIY Junior Member 6t7gto's Avatar
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    Wire nut the wires seperately.

    david

  8. #23
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    alright thanks =)

    for curiosity's sake, if i were to wirenut them together and flip the power back on, would that cause sparks/fire/explosion?

    Also, I was told by an electrician that I could just leave the hot wires connected to the switch. Why do you guys recommend the wirenut method?

    thanks again!

  9. #24
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you connect all the wires together, you have what is called a short circuit...i.e., one where it does not go through a load first (power goes directly to the return). It would immediately blow the circuit breaker or fuse. You could pull the wire off the switch controlling the disposal and cap it, but it would probably be safer to run the end into a surface mounted box, and cap each lead separately.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #25
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    I'm still confused =(

    I know that one option is to cap the wires separately, use a knockout closure, and leave them in the switchbox (under the sink in the pictures).

    But could I also just leave the hot wires connected to the switch? Would that gives the same result and be just as safe? (as long as I remove the wire coming out, and still use a knockout closure?)

    Because if I have options, it's simpler to leave the switch connected, and would rather do that. I was told by an electrician over at diychatroom forums that I could safely do that, but just looking for confirmation. Maybe I misunderstood him?

    I really have no prior experience and don't understand any terminology, please bear with me. I need the simplest method possible =p

  11. #26
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    It really does not make any difference. If it is a regular switch, I would remove it, cap the wire ends, and install a new blank cover on the box. There cannot be any exposed romex wire in the cabinet.

  12. #27
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    Great, I will just remove the romex and use a knockout closure. Won't even bother capping the wires if I don't need to, and I'll leave the switch intact. (please chime in if this is going to burn my house down, but from what I'm hearing it's ok, just not the "clean or professional" method?)

    http://i51.tinypic.com/xc4uag.jpg
    http://i55.tinypic.com/2colqgw.jpg

    And theres my breaker. I'm guessing w-d is washer dryer and d-w is dishwasher? I don't know what G-F-I is.

    Should I flip kitchen 1 kitchen 2 and d-w? And then double check with a multimeter?

  13. #28
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Any wires in the box that end up being not connected to anything need to be capped.

    Don't assume the labels in a panel are correct, always test the circuit to make sure the power is off.

    If you don't understand what might or might not burn the house down, you should get someone that does to assist you.

  14. #29
    DIY Junior Member llmercll's Avatar
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    I keep confusing myself by hoping to skip a few simple steps. I will just do what you recommend and remove the switch, then cap the wires and box it out. I'm going to follow this guide

    http://www.ehow.com/how_7350288_cap-...ction-box.html

    I will of course test the wire with a multimeter before beginning, even with the breakers flipped.
    Last edited by llmercll; 02-04-2011 at 07:16 PM.

  15. #30
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    There is more than one way to skin this cat. One way is as I described earlier if the disposer is on its own circuit. Just disconnect the wires from the circuit breaker in the box. Another way is to is disconnect the wires in the switch, leaving the wires coming to the switch for the breaker panel attached to the switch and nipping the bare ends of the black and white wires going to the disposer off and capping them. That will render the wires going to the disposer in place but completely dead. You can just leave the switch alone as it will not do anything if inadvertently switched on. This would be the best way if the disposer is not on its own circuit because everything else on the circuit will still function. If you do this method, then you can connect the two wires together because the will be no electricity in them.
    There is no reason to cap the bare copper wire because it is bare all the way through the Romex cable. What we are calling "caps" are actually called wire nuts and are use to connect 2 or more wires together in a junction box. They come in different sizes to fit the size and number of wires being connected, so you will need to determine the size wire you have. If enough Romex is showing, you can probable find this on the Romex cover. It would be something like these numbers. 14/3 or 12/3. This means size #14 wire and a ground (bare copper) or #12 wire with a bare ground. There are other wire sizes, they would not be in this wiring. #16 wire would be too small and #10 would be much heavier than necessary plus it is difficult to use that heavy of a wire in regular household circuits. Also more costly. If you can't see the number on the cover, then get a nut that will connect two #14 wires and a nut that will fit two #12 wires. Then use the one that works the best. (These are very inexpensive.) To use the nut, you just stick the two wires you are connecting into the nut and twist the nut tight. That all there is to it. The bare copper ground wire can just be shoved into the box as it is.

    I realize this is rather a long dissertation, but in actual practice it is quite simple.

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