disconnecting hard wired dishwasher

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by worried shrimp, Jul 25, 2019.

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating:

  1. Jul 25, 2019 #1

    worried shrimp

    worried shrimp

    worried shrimp

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    oregon
    greetings,

    can someone point me to step by step details on how to disconnect a hard wired dishwasher? specifically how to finish up the bare wire... mine is not even shielded with metal just the stiff white wire used in older houses... how many wires will i be dealing with and how to cap them - wire nuts?

    this is an old dishwasher we have never used. i use it to store tupper ware in. however i accidentally hit a nob recently and a heating element came on and nearly stared a plastic fire before i caught it...

    i am not a electrician but don't see why i can't disconnect this hazard.

    thanks for pointing me to illustrations or videos or explanations of how to accomplish this.

    ws
     
  2. Jul 25, 2019 #2

    jeffmattero76

    jeffmattero76

    jeffmattero76

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    89
    You would have to remove the kick plate (usually two screws). Turn off the circuit breaker. Lay on the floor and you will see a small metal box where the wire goes in. There will likely be a metal cover with one screw covering that metal box. Remove the cover, and you will see two wire nuts, one connecting the two black wires, and one connecting the two white wires. Remove those wirenuts, and disconnect the wires from each other. Put the wirenuts back on each wire, one on the one black wire, and one on the one white wire (referring to the cable coming out of the wall). Also there will be a bare copper wire attached to that metal box with a screw. Remove that wire from under the screw. For extra safety you can tape the wirenuts to the wire. That will disconnect the incoming power. Reinstall the cover plate, and then turn the breaker back on. I would suggest leaving all of the wires in that box.
     
  3. Jul 25, 2019 #3

    hornetd

    hornetd

    hornetd

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    162
    jeffmattero76
    That would work but it falls a little short of code compliance and the standard of the industry for termination of an unused cable that could become energized at some future time. What I am not saying is that what I will now outline is required for a cable abandoned in place but taking that approach would prevent the use of that cable ever again.

    Remove the kick plate. Turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse for the dishwasher's circuit. Turn off the water valves for the water supply connections to the dishwasher. Disconnect the flexible hoses or tubing from the dishwasher. It will become obvious why you do this later. Test the building wiring cable with a non contact voltage detector if it is non metallic. Open the built in electrical box [often called a stuffing box]. If the cable jacket is metallic test the black and white wires with the non contact voltage detector after opening the box cover. Test again, using a contact voltage tester, between the wire connector that connects the black incoming house wire to the dishwasher's internal wiring; which may be any color EXCEPT white, grey, green, or green with one or more yellow stripes; and the bare or green wire from the building's wiring. You can insert the probe of a contact voltage tester into a wire nut without removing it from the connected wires. That limits any likelihood of accidental contact with an energized conductor. Once you are completely sure that the circuit is de-energized you can break all of the splices and connections that attach the building wiring to the dishwasher. Once you have disconnected the building wiring you can do one of 2 things. You can put on a pair of insulating class ØØ gloves and leather over protectors to continue to work of you can check again with the non contact voltage detector followed by the contact voltage tester applied to the now disconnected building wires. Re-apply the wire nut to the black conductor from the house's cable. Even though you have tested the energized conductor twice with 2 different testers continue to treat it as live! If you are not completely confident that you can do the rest of the steps without coming in contact with any uninsulated part of the black or white wires then you will have to decide whether or not to proceed. If you decide to go forward then you must make sure every other part of your body is not in contact with any conductive surface including a concrete or tiled floor. You then tap both the black and the white wires, one at a time, with the back of your dry hand. The reason that you use the back of your hand is that if you get a shock all of the muscles of your hand and arm will tense at once but the stronger contracting muscles that pull your arm toward you will win that contest thus pulling your hand out of contact with the conductor. If you do not get even the slightest sensation of electrical energy reattach the wire connector to the black wire. It is often rather difficult to get 2 wire nuts through a knock out at the same time. Remove the lock nut or clamp that holds the cable into the dishwasher's built in electrical box. Pull the cable out of the box. Add a lock nut to the white wire. Fold the cable back out of the way. Now detach the dishwasher from the cabinetry or counter by removing 2 or more screws which are usually screwed straight up into the underside of the surface above the top of the dishwasher. They often cannot be seen until you open the door of the dishwasher. If you want your spouse to still be speaking to you over the next several days protect the kitchen floor with a piece of cardboard, an upside down bath rug, or some similar thing that will facilitate moving the dishwasher but avoid gouging the floor. Pull the dishwasher out from under the counter and move it out of the way. Find a convenient place on the wall in back of the dishwasher space at 3 to 4 inches above the floor to center of a horizontal surface mounted DEEP utility or handy box. Use the correct type of cable connector to connect the cable to the box. You will have cut the cable to a length that allows 6 inches of free conductor length beyond the end of the cable jacket. That jacket will extend no more than 3/8th inch beyond the cable connector into the inside of the box for nonmetallic cable or up to were the connector stops a metallic cable jacket from going further. Install a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) into the handy box. Install the correct cover over the GFCI. Now you are done. If you prefer to have more room in the new box to work you can use a 4 inch square by 1&1/2 inch deep box and a surface cover that excepts the type of GFCI you are installing. If another dishwasher is to be installed you will first connect a flexible cord to it's built in electrical box that is no more than 3 feet long and ends in the familiar 15 ampere grounding plug. That will be a National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) type 5-15P plug end on the cord. The 3 foot length allows the dishwasher to be removed or installed without having to reach under it to disconnect or connect the plug from the receptacle. Follow the dishwasher manufacturer's instructions on how to make the cord connection. There are a some jurisdictions which do not allow cord and plug connections to appliances but it really is very few. The new cord gets plugged in and the cord is laid in an S curve on the floor. Shove the new dishwasher back into it's place. Fasten it in place in accordance to the manufacturer's instructions. Reconnect the water lines. Close the Breaker; i.e. turn it back on; or put the fuse back in.

    I hope that this is helpful. Installing the plug onto the circuit will make all further servicing or change out of the dishwasher much easier and safer to do.

    --
    Tom Horne
     
  4. Jul 26, 2019 #4

    jeffmattero76

    jeffmattero76

    jeffmattero76

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    89
    Tom Horne
    Please explain why capping the incoming supply wires and leaving them in the box is "not code compliant"

    Furthermore, it is my understanding from the code that the GFCI receptacle you described is to be located inside a nearby cabinet, rather than behind the dishwasher. It has to be in an "accessible location" if you are going to use a receptacle rather than hardwiring it. If I am mistaken, please correct me.
     
  5. Jul 26, 2019 #5

    hornetd

    hornetd

    hornetd

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    162
    I did not understand that you were saying to leave the conductors which are exposed beyond the cable jacket in a box. What you seemed to be saying was to cap the individual conductors with wire nuts and tape those to secure them in place. If I misread your suggestion then I apologize.

    Any conductor which may become energized must be terminated in a listed electrical box. Any individual conductor that is not listed as cable; as individual Underground Feeder conductors are so that they can be buried in the earth without additional protection; must be protected by the cable sheath or in a box. The conductors used in Non Metallic type NM cable are not listed as cables.

    There is no National Electric Code (NEC) requirement that the receptacle be mounted in a cabinet. One could even argue that installing the receptacle in an adjacent cabinet is non compliant with section 422.12(3); see below. The receptacle mounted behind the dishwasher is not different from the one behind the refrigerator or range once the anti tip safety shoes are installed on the appliance. There is a difference between accessible and readily accessible.

    "Accessible (as applied to wiring methods). Capable of being removed or exposed without damaging the building structure or finish or not permanently closed in by the structure or finish of the building.

    Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible). Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspections without requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to actions such as to use tools, to climb over or remove obstacles, or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth."

    I have had inspectors turn down an installation of the dishwasher receptacle installed in a cabinet under a kitchen sink because "it exposes the cord to physical damage." Personally I think that he is off his soundings; i.e. out of his depth; but I suppose that is at least arguable under section 422.12(3); see below. I based my instruction for the placement of the receptacle on section 422.12(4); see below. The emphasis is mine of course.

    70–304 NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE 2014 Edition Copyright 2017 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
    ARTICLE 422—APPLIANCES
    422.12
    (2) Built-in Dishwashers and Trash Compactors. Built-in dishwashers and trash compactors shall be permitted to be cord-and-plug-connected with a flexible cord identified as suitable for the purpose in the installation instructions of the appliance manufacturer where all of the following conditions are met:
    (1) The flexible cord shall be terminated with a grounding type attachment plug.
    Exception: A listed dishwasher or trash compactor distinctly marked to identify it as protected by a system of double insulation, or its equivalent, shall not be required to be terminated with a grounding-type attachment plug.
    (2) The length of the cord shall be 0.9 m to 1.2 m (3 ft to 4 ft) measured from the face of the attachment plug to the plane of the rear of the appliance.
    (3) Receptacles shall be located to avoid physical damage to the flexible cord.
    (4) The receptacle shall be located in the space occupied by the appliance or adjacent thereto.
    (5) The receptacle shall be accessible.

    --
    Tom Horne
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
    Michael Armstrong likes this.
  6. Jul 27, 2019 #6

    worried shrimp

    worried shrimp

    worried shrimp

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    oregon
    thanks mr. horne and all for your input...

    like many older people i'm on a fixed income and at todays prices for contracts (to even come on the property) it is beyond my ability to afford. so i seek this information to conduct the job my self... i've replace one outdoor outlet on my garage a year ago and feel somewhat confident.

    i can turn off and double check my kitchen/dishwasher circuit breaker... so that's no problem... once disconnected i can wire nut and tape every wire end and secure it towards the rear wall beneath the counter top. i'm going to leave the dishwasher in place and use it for stowing kitchen ware.

    thanks again everyone for an excellent forum

    tws
     
  7. Jul 27, 2019 #7

    jeffmattero76

    jeffmattero76

    jeffmattero76

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    89
    Tom
    My original recommendation to the OP was to cap the incoming wires and leave them in the metal box that is part of the dishwasher. This saves the OP from having to remove the dishwasher from the opening.

    As far as where the receptacle for the dishwasher is to be located, I recently had an inspector fail me because I had the receptacle a few inches off the floor (mounted horizontally) behind the dishwasher. He told me that, by code, it must be inside an adjacent cabinet. I wish I would have had the code you cited to challenge him. Now I do!!!

    Thanks.
     
  8. Jul 27, 2019 #8

    hornetd

    hornetd

    hornetd

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    162
    I have been told; BUT I HAVE NOT CONFIRMED; that Virginia has an appeals process which can disqualify an inspector who makes too many erroneous rulings. Whether or not that is true the idea has great appeal to me. Some way to hold inspectors accountable for a lack of professional competency is badly needed everywhere. Look at the Mutual Insurance Industry for one example. Those companies have consensus standards on the qualifications of their field inspection staff. Why do they bother? Because the property insurance industry is very competitive and no insurer can afford to turn down a prospective insured based on the bogus report of an incompetent inspector.

    Most government run inspection agencies have no such incentive to avoid erroneous rulings. That leads to a continuous stream of erroneous faults found during inspections. Let me give you some examples of the kind of erroneous correction orders and inspector misconduct I have observed during over 50 years in the electrical craft.

    An inspector placed their foot on a box mounted on a stud and grabbed the BX cable with both hands and pulled on it to check the security of the clamp. I declined inspection at that point and said I would except a not ready for inspection fee rather than have the inspection continue. The inspector immediately became hostile and said it would just be more strict the next time thus openly engaging in intimidation. I went to the chief inspector's office truly dreading the meeting. The only way I could imagine passing an inspection which included such practices would be to build a "strong back"; which is a piece of 2X4 sandwiched between a piece of metal wall channel and a piece of 2X4 metal stud; for every single box and two hole strapping the cable very close to the box. All of the Laboratory Listed Erico Caddy cable stand offs would have had to go in the trash. I was seriously considering abandoning the job even though that would prevent me from getting a performance bond; that you'll never get a commercial job without; for many months. I was thinking how lucky I was that my staff was Union and would be back to work with a different employer within the same week.

    Lucky for me the city's chief inspector could honestly say "I wrote the code." He was the chairman of the National Electrical Code Coordinating Committee. For those who don't know that is the committee which makes all of the subject committees that write the individual code sections "play nice" with each other. He truly knew the US National Electric Code inside out and backwards. Because he was so thoroughly competent he had the self confidence to listen to someone question the performance of his staff without feeling threatened. He heard me out and signed off my job site unseen. He handed me the Green Sticker for the As Built Drawings I had with me and said "I'll take care of it." When I next encountered that field inspector they were all sweetness and light. Having that man as the chief inspector was pure luck though. That field inspector could have cost me serious money. The job was too small to be worth suing over; which would only be worth it if the job would break even after the legal costs; and too large to be written off as "just the breaks." My family would have suffered financially and perhaps I would have had to go back on the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local's dispatch book and abandon trying to be a contractor.

    Incident 2. The chief inspector of another jurisdiction came out because his inspector had raised questions about the Service Lateral to a hotel fire pump. I was just an electrician on this job so I could stand back and watch the thing work out. It was a 3 phase pump and 3 conductors had been pulled through schedule 80 nonmetallic conduit from the utility's wye connected transformer. As one might expect the Fire Pump Controller was listed as Service Equipment. My foreman was hoping to get a high priced extra out of it by the chief inspector ordering a separate Service Disconnecting Means ahead of the controller. I knew that the General Contractor's Electrical Engineer was about to put us on the dinner menu, chew us up, and spit us out. The Chief Inspector did not recognize the fault and ordered that the service to the fire pump be separately signed off by the electrical engineer.

    I got the foreman aside and explained that the only thing that was actually wrong was that he hadn't had the pulling team put a neutral in the Service Lateral conduit pull. As some of you already know a lateral from a wye connected transformer must have a neutral that is brought to the Service Disconnecting Means, connected to any Equipment Grounding Conductors, and bonded to the enclosure of the service equipment. Without that there is no low impedance pathway to clear a fault. The outside superintendent took pictures and went to the electrical engineer. The electrical engineer took one look at the first picture and said; according to the foreman's account as I was not there; "Were is the neutral from the transformer?"

    Incident 3. At another hotel the inspector urged the foreman to use plastic boxes in the fire alarm system to avoid ground faults, which caused nuisance calls for the fire department, and to have the greater amount of room the plastic boxes provided in most nominal trade sizes. He was admittedly trying to address a problem that he had encountered before but the entire fire alarm system was required to be run in Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT) and the plastic boxes which were then ordered were the plain vanilla ones and not the ones with the interior bonding strap between the knock outs. The entire hotel was done with the fire alarm conduit electrically discontinuous at every single box. I sure hope there isn't a lot of rusting on the metal studs that the conduit and greenfield was run through because those are the only things connecting those conduits to each other electrically. Low voltage fire alarm wires have to enter medium voltage; 480/277 volt; equipment all the time to connect with duct detectors, air compressors... If a 277 volt ground fault ever does occur some of that conduit will become energized and only be grounded to the neutral and thus back to the utility transformer by a high impedance pathway. So when a fire ignites and someone goes to pull an manual alarm station it could be energized at 277 volts to ground.

    Incident 4 A little girl who was killed when the outdoor railing she touched was energized at 277 volts. The railing had internal lighting which shown out of the bottom of the rail to illuminate the steps below. One of the fire fighters who responded to the call told me later that the visual effect was quite attractive. That free standing aluminum railing, which is set on concrete steps using electrically isolating mounts to avoid corrosion of aluminum in contact with concrete, had not been bonded back to the box that lighting supply had been taken from. When the fault occurred there was no fault clearing path at all. Someone inspected that installation and missed the complete absence of an equipment grounding or bonding conductor. I know that there are a lot of things to look at on a large job but failing to keep an eye out for the grounding of conductive surfaces intended for constant direct contact use by people is gross incompetence.

    MY point is that inspectors are human. They make mistakes. The costs of those mistakes are often simply absorbed by the electrical contractor and passed on to the public. In other cases their mistakes can cause reel danger that will only be found by a tragedy. The entire industry and the government operated inspection services need a simple and no retaliation method to appeal erroneous corrective orders. There needs to be a nationwide requirement that all violations be written with "chapter and verse" reference to the electrical code that is being enforced. There is a need for some automatic tracking of inspector competence that forces the ones that fall short back into training or out of the inspectors position. No I am not holding my breath while I wait.

    --
    Tom Horne
     
    jeffmattero76 likes this.

Share This Page