Does a Garbage Disposal Need Its Own Circuit?

​​Whenever setting garbage disposal, the first thought that comes to your mind is whether you will have set a dedicated circuit for it.

You might have seen many of your friends and acquaintances run the garbage disposal and the dishwasher in the same circuit rather than two different.

But is it really a wise option? Or is it rather better for your garbage disposal to have its own dedicated circuit? Let’s find out!

Does Garbage Disposal Need its Own Circuit?

It is highly preferred for a garbage disposal to be on its own circuit rather than a shared one.

Though garbage disposals can also run on a circuit shared with a dishwasher, only with special conditions and attention.

Several electricians might prefer connecting the garbage disposal to the same circuit as the dishwasher because it saves time, labor, and hassle.

But this can be a perilous move as if you ever put too much load on the circuit with which the garbage disposal and the dishwasher are connected, it might lead to a tripped circuit breaker.

That means, while you are working with your garbage disposal and your dishwasher together, your circuit breaker will automatically suddenly shut off the power to protect your home and its electric systems from further accidents.

Does a Dishwasher Need its Own Circuit?

In the case of dishwashers, it is appreciated to use a dedicated circuit instead of a shared one. But it can run on a shared circuit as well.

If you plan to set your dishwasher to a shared circuit, you need to get prepared for paying additional care and attention to it because a shared circuit is always prone to tripping than a dedicated circuit.

Hence, if you plan to set the dishwasher on a shared circuit thinking that it will reduce the trouble of setting up another circuit for you, know that it might reduce the trouble for setting, but it will be more troublesome to maintain.

Can the Dishwasher and Disposal be on the Same Circuit?

The dishwasher and the garbage disposal can be on the same circuit if the total amperage of the circuit is a maximum of 20 amp.

Even though it is always a better option to set up separate circuits for the two different appliances.

But as long as you are not exerting too much pressure on the circuit, it is okay to connect the dishwasher and disposal on the same circuit.

However, don’t forget to check the local code of your area before you decide to set up the garbage disposal and dishwasher on the same circuit.

Because all local electric codes don’t allow dishwashers and garbage disposal to be on the same circuit.

And along with that, also, take a glance at the manuals of both the appliances to assure that there are no objections from the manufacturer’s instructions to put them on a shared circuit.

How Many Amps does Garbage Disposal Require?

If you set up your garbage disposal to a dedicated circuit, the ideal amp for the circuit would be 15 amp, fed by a 14/2 NM cable with a ground.

However, if you plan to set up your garbage disposal to a shared circuit with the dishwasher, you should use 20 amp, fed by a 12/2 NM cable with a ground.

Though the amps required for the garbage disposal vary with the size and type of the garbage disposal.

That is why it is better to check the manufacturer’s instructions first before going for a 15- or 20-amp circuit straight up.

Also, you can discuss the ideal amp options for your garbage disposal with the electrician you will appoint to set up the garbage disposal and consider his advice.

How is Garbage Disposal Wired?

There are mainly two ways to wire garbage disposal to an electrical power supply. One is hardwiring the garbage disposal to a dedicated circuit directly.

And the other way is wiring it with an appliance cord plugged into a wall outlet which is generally situated inside the base cabinet of the sink.

To hardwire, the disposal is needed to be connected to a switch installed in an electrical box that is situated either on the wall near the sink or in the base cabinet of the sink.

When the switch is on the wall near the sink, generally, another box serves as a junction box inside the base cabinet of the sink.

All types of exposed wires inside the sink’s base cabinet must be protected using a flexible metal conduit.

A garbage disposal that is wired by a plug-in configuration, the cord of the garbage disposal needs to be plugged into the electric outlet situated inside the sink’s base cabinet.

There is a wall switch that is located on the wall near the sink. This switch controls the outlet.

Many times, the outlet is wired as a split receptacle. For which the outlet is half controlled by the switch and half powered always.

This other half that is always powered can connect another appliance such as a dishwasher or a water filter. Remember that cords do not come with disposals.

Therefore, to wire up the garbage disposal, it is important to manage the grounded cord, which has voltage and amperage ratings most appropriate for your garbage disposal specifically.

Now let’s dig into the step-by-step process to wire the garbage disposal. Have a look.

Step 1: Take the Wiring Compartment Out

On the bottom of the garbage disposal, there is the metal cover of the wiring compartment. Remove that metal cover.

Generally, the metal cover is attached to the wiring compartment by a single screw in most garbage disposal units.

Take out the screw using a screwdriver. Keep all the pieces properly in a safe place. Make sure you don’t lose them, as you will need them later to set up the garbage disposal.

Step 2: Install a Cord Clamp

If you observe, you will find a hole near the wiring compartment. Install a cord clamp into the hole by inserting the threaded end of the clamp.

After that, secure the clamp using the inside of the garbage disposal unit’s base by the clamp’s nut.

It is required to reach through the wiring compartment to thread and make the nut tighter.

To tighten the nut securely and properly, you might even need to tap on the lugs of the mounting nut using a flat head screwdriver.

Step 3: Strip the Cord Wires

Utilizing a wire stripper, set up the apparatus line wires for the association by stripping around 3 to 4 inches of protection from the finish of every one of the three protected wires.

If the string wiring is stranded copper, make certain to utilize the “stranded” scores on the wire stripper. If the wiring is solid copper, utilize the “solid” indents.

Step 4: Install the Cord

Insert the end of the cord that has the stripped wires through the clasp and into the wiring compartment. Secure the line in the clasp by fixing the two screws on the cinch.

Don’t over-tighten; the line ought to be held safely yet not compacted or disfigured by the brace.

Step 5: Attach the Wires

Wrap the uncovered copper end of the green (ground) wire clockwise around the ground screw on the removal (or utilize the ring connector).

Fix the ground screw with a screwdriver to get the wire. Associate the white (nonpartisan) rope wire to the white (unbiased) wire on the removal, utilizing a wire connector.

Associate the dark (hot) line wire to the removal’s dark (hot) wire with a wire connector. Delicately pull on each wire to ensure it is secure.

Step 6: Place the Wiring Compartment Back

Stuff the wires into the wiring compartment cautiously. Reinstall the compartment cover, protecting it with its screw.

After the removal is totally introduced and the pipes associations are made, plug the removal line into a switch-controlled, GFCI-ensured container.

Test the activity of the removal by flipping the divider switch while running water through the sink.

NEC Garbage Disposal Dedicated Circuit

According to the National Electric Code (NEC), garbage disposal does not require the protection of a GFCI outlet.

The two ideal ways to wire the garbage disposal are by hardwiring or connecting to an outlet through a grounded electrical outlet.

However, garbage disposals are usually plugged into a 120-volt GFCI outlet that is generally placed under the sink.

If there is no such outlet under your kitchen sink, then you should call an electrician to install one for your purpose.

Final Words

Whether you want to set up your garbage disposal on its own circuit or with a shared one is absolutely your decision.

The only thing you must ensure is that the voltage and amperage ratings are suitable. That’s it!

Thanks for reading till the end!

Was this article helpful?