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I am replacing the outlets for my garbage disposal/dishwasher circuit in my kitchen. Currently on that breaker there is one non-GFCI outlet with a pigtailed switch controlling the garbage disposal and one non-switched GFCI outlet controlling the dishwasher. The garbage disposal outlet is currently not in series with the dishwasher outlet, but is "upstream" of it in relation to current coming from the breaker box.

I want to install GFCI protection for both of these outlets. I would also like to replace the current GFCI outlet behind the dishwasher with a normal outlet, so that if it trips, I won't have to remove the dishwasher to reset the outlet. Ideally, I would like to install a GFCI outlet for the current garbage disposal outlet, and have it protect both the garbage disposal and dishwasher outlets. However, there is a catch with this plan. I still need the garbage disposal outlet to be switch-activated, but I do not want that switch to also activate the dishwasher outlet.

In short, how can I wire my new outlets to achieve these goals:

  1. GFCI protection for both outlets.
  2. No GFCI outlet behind the dishwasher (for easy resetting without dishwasher removal).
  3. The switch only toggling the garbage disposal outlet and not the dishwasher outlet.

I've thought about this for several days, and it may be impossible in my current wiring situation. If it is, what other solutions would achieve the same effect as listed above? Should I investigate adding a GFCI breaker for that circuit? Am I going to need to run some more wire through the walls?

Edit: Here is a diagram of the current wiring situation.

Circuit diagram of current wiring schematic

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1 Answer

First things first, here's a link to Leviton's 7299 combination switch & GFCI instruction sheet. For a tamper proof it will be a T7299. The only reason I give Leviton is because I know the part number. Hubbell, GE or Cooper are just as good and make the same.

GFCI protection for both outlets.

Follow the instructions that come with the GFCI. There are leads for the switch and lugs for the GFCI and also the feedthru-protection of another receptacle.

No GFCI outlet behind the dishwasher (for easy resetting without dishwasher removal).

This is accomplished by feeding the dishwasher receptacle using the GFCI feedthru-protection lugs.

The switch only toggling the garbage disposal outlet and not the dishwasher outlet.

This is accomplished by using the leads on the combo switch & GFCI to feed the garbage disposal.

Am I going to need to run some more wire through the walls?

If there are no wires between the combo switch & GFCI then you will have to pull some romex between the two.

Should I investigate adding a GFCI breaker for that circuit?

The breaker will cost a lot more than the combo switch & GFCI. Also, if the GFCI trips then you have to go to the breaker to reset it. At least with the GFCI receptacle feeding your dishwasher receptacle, you will be closer.

What other solutions would achieve the same effect as listed above?

I think this is the way to go, so you don't have to pull your dishwasher out to reset the GFCI. The nice thing about this site is some of the people either can think out of the box or have faced this problem before.

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To be clear, you are suggesting I replace the garbage disposal wall switch with the combo switch and wire the garbage disposal and dishwasher outlets in-line with it, but downstream? –  Drew Spickes May 6 '12 at 2:35
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Yes. From how I interpreted your question I thought that to be the best. –  lqlarry May 6 '12 at 6:22
    
I've added a diagram of the current circuit to my question. I think that I am going to have to pull some wire through the walls to use your solution. Using my diagram above, can you explain exactly what wires to pull between which boxes? Also, can you explain how to go about pulling wire between already installed boxes? –  Drew Spickes May 6 '12 at 19:44
    
I cannot do that. I had it in my mind that the switch box would have had 120v power in it, not just a switch leg. Now it would take 12/3NM or 14/3NM between the switch and the garbage disposal and 12/2NM or 14/2NM between the switch and the dishwasher to make my way work. –  lqlarry May 7 '12 at 2:30
    
@DrewSpickes Also, if you did it my way and if you had an 18 cubic inch box you would probably have to change it to a 21 or 23 cubic inch box. This too would have been originally constructed this way. –  lqlarry May 7 '12 at 2:34
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