I have done posts in the past about poor wiring to garbage disposers. I see this kind of defect so often that repetition is warranted.
Anyone can go to the Big Orange Tool Box or similar types of home maintenance stores and buy a garbage disposer—it is that simple. So how difficult can it be to hook it up?
It is usually the hook up to the electrical supply that is messed up. This is especially so when there is no plug-in type cord, and instead the disposer is “hard-wired.” All “hard-wired” means is that the unit can’t be unplugged—-and instead is wired continuously all the way to the breaker panel. There is nothing inherently wrong with the disposer being wired this way. But when it is wired this way, it is important that the wire that runs from the wall to the disposal be the correct type of wire and that the wire be properly protected from mechanical damage. Typically this wire is run in flexible conduit from the connection at the wall.
Installers that don’t know proper connection methods (aren’t electricians) sometimes just hook the wire that comes through the wall directly to the disposer. In the following picture we can see where the wires have been run inside flexible conduit, but the conduit is badly damaged at the wall in the background and is not connected properly to the disposer in the foreground. Notice also that the ground wire is not connected to the disposer. It is important for disposers to be properly grounded to prevent persons contacting the disposal from being part of a potential path to ground in the event of a short in the unit.
In this case, it seems the installer knew the wiring should be in conduit but they just didn’t know how to make the connections at the ends of the conduit—-resulting in: I “cantduit.”
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector
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