Can I wire recess lights to garbage disposal circuit, which has a dedicated 15A circuit


Keep the circuit dedicated to the Garbage Disposal, add the wiring for the lights - it is not difficult to wire it up. I know it will cost a little more to do it the proper way but in the end you will not have any issues.

Given the 2017 NEC code if you are adding the circuit or modifying the circuit you will need to have AFCI protection on your Garbage Disposal - the Lighting will require it as well.

You should not have GFCI on your Kitchen lighting so if your disposal has GFCI already and you wired your lights to the same circuit your lights could go out when the disposal trips and you may not be able to see in the dark kitchen - a possible hazard.

Your Garbage disposal might be on the same circuit as the Dishwasher - I call the DW a continuous load some do not for whatever reason. A Gbg Disp. runs for about 30 seconds - not continuous load. The DW can run for 2 hours continuously therefore during those 2 hours it is drawing the amperage - just like a light circuit would, if the DW has a built in water heater and or drying element it might be sucking some juice near capacity of the Circuit, so adding additional lighting to that circuit might overload the circuit.

  • The op stated a dedicated circuit so the thrash about other devices is a waste of time. code considers 3 hours or longer a continuous load this is why the dishwasher is not considered continuous. – Ed Beal Dec 13 '18 at 15:45

EDIT: Since I answered this question, R. Gunas edited the wording to more clearly state that they want to wire lights to the garbage disposal, and not the other way around like I thought. My answer is still applicable though. The garbage disposal still should have its own breaker (as discussed below in my original answer).

It's best to wire the garbage disposal to it's own dedicated circuit. It can be shared with the lights, but the load needs to be calculated to make sure that it can handle the disposal plus the lights. The garbage disposal isn't a constant load, but when it's on you may notice your lights dim. I would recommend not wiring it from the recess lights.

Although not directly required by the NEC, you will probably want the garbage disposal on a GFCI circuit. This can be done with a GFCI breaker, or by installing a GFCI receptacle under the sink and plugging the garbage disposal to it.

The real answer is you need to read the manufacturer's installation instructions and see what they recommend.

  • Since you edited your original answer, it's kind of become incoherent to refer to a nonexistent additional answer :) – ThreePhaseEel Apr 26 '18 at 22:27

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