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Garbage Disposer Switch Location

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SavvyCat

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I just bought a townhouse, and I think whoever wired it was drunk. Maybe it's just me, but whenever there have been two switches--one for the over sink light and one for the disposal--the one on closest to the sink operated the disposal. It's the reverse here and I keep hitting the wrong one. Is there a "rule" or a "norm" about this? Because I'm about to swap them.
 

Snoonyb

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The responses may include both pros and cons of disposals.

However, all of the kitchen remodels I've involved with, 45yrs., always had the disposal as the closest switch, because it was the most frequently used, and was periodic, as opposed to the other switch/s which energized products of longer term use.
 

afjes_2016

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I can't think of a code violation if you swap them.
I think it is just personal preference.
Maybe I would want it set up the way it is now. If there is a light over the sink I would want the light switch closest to the sink so I don't turn on the disposer instead of the light all the time. :eyeballs: Although right now I would be happy with just having a disposer - one day.
 

bud16415

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If they are both in the same J-box and it bothered me i would swap them. If they are in different J-boxes I would learn to live with it.
 

Sparky617

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Mine has the disposal closest to the sink. I did have three switches next to our interior door to the garage. As the electrician wired it the closest switch to the door was for a seldom used flood light for the driveway, the second was for the overhead lights in the garage, and the third was for the laundry room. After living with it for 20 years I finally rearranged them so the first one is the overhead lights in the garage, the second is the laundry room, and the third one is the seldom used flood lights. Unless the wires are too short, swapping them around to your preference should take less than 10 minutes. Turn the power off at the breaker while you do it to avoid shocking yourself on the the exposed hot screws on the switches.
 

SavvyCat

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If they are both in the same J-box and it bothered me i would swap them. If they are in different J-boxes I would learn to live with it.
They are the same. There are some other mystery switches and really dumb things, like the two switches in the dining area work the porch and the nearby entry, while the switch that works the dining area is 10 feet away next to another--a 3-way--for the entry. The only kitchen switch is in the same box, but there is a mystery switch on the other side of the room that I think might have been intended for the kitchen, and I haven't figured out what it does yet. 🤷‍♀️ Very weird.
 

afjes_2016

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If no ceiling light goes on or a porch light etc when you flip a "mystery" switch you may want to check some of the receptacles in the area of the mystery switches. The switches may turn a receptacle on and off with the switch. The duplex or single (half hot-or split receptacle) may be tied to the switch. So you would want to try plugging a lamp into both the top and bottom part of the receptacle and flipping the switch each time to see your results. A receptacle tied into a switch would be useful for a plug in lamp that goes on and off with the light switch.
 

SavvyCat

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If no ceiling light goes on or a porch light etc when you flip a "mystery" switch you may want to check some of the receptacles in the area of the mystery switches. The switches may turn a receptacle on and off with the switch.
Appreciate the tip. They seem to have been pretty diligent inverting the receptacles operated by a switch, but they easily could have missed one.
 

Jeff Handy

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The mystery switch could operate an outdoor receptacle.
Or a porch light or yard light that you forgot about.
 
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