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I have my dishwasher and my garbage disposal fed from two separate electrical circuits but sharing the same power outlet under the sink. I broke off the tabs on the outlet and connected it to two cables/circuits. The garbage disposal is side is controlled by a switch while the dishwasher one is always on.

I was planning to use connection cords for both, which look like this:

enter image description here

but, because of the 90 deg angle, only one can be plugged in a conventional double outlet where each twin outlet is positioned the same way. At best, I can plug this and another plug which comes straight out of the cable and not at a right angle.

I am noticing that all connector cords come at a right angle and not straight, which would make them more convenient, and was wondering if there is a technical reason for it, as in maybe only one such cord should be plugged in a single box in the wall. Is there a way for me to somehow override the default configuration and plug this into a very short extension cord that plugs into the wall straight, or is that a code violation?

enter image description here

Alternatively, do they make double outlets where the twins are positioned opposite ways, which could support two of these plugs facing away from one another?

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Many of these cords are made this way to reduce the stress on the wires inside caused by having the appliances then shoved up against them. There are many cords available which are not made with the 90 degree angle. You just have to go to your store and find them.

Here's an example of one from Amazon: enter image description here

They have dishwasher cords similar to this too. Keep in mind that dishwashers need to have GFCI protection so you might want to add a two gang box and have two outlets, which would allow you to use the cords you originally wanted to. Good luck.

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    This is location-specific. Not every location requires GFCI for dishwashers – Jeffrey Oct 2 '19 at 19:01
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    GFCI can be at the breaker. Double gang box as a solution is really independent of whether there is GFCI at this location, at the breaker or not at all. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Oct 2 '19 at 19:02
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Widen your search for cordage

They're not all straight-down 90's (maybe in that store or vendor). You need any appliance cord that is of sufficiently large ampacity - e.g. 12 AWG is a little excessive for a cord with a NEMA 5-15 plug on it, but it assures legality/safety (nobody can argue with it.

The cordage must be SJOW, SJOOW or any of about a dozen types legal for flexible cord. The cordage must be marked. I generally have several sources for it.

  • Appliance cords with wires or lugs on the other end, just like you're buying, but I widen my search out to places like McMaster-Carr, Galco, Grainger, Mouser, Digi-Key etc. I routinely buy straight-out 12 AWG cords from McMaster-Carr.
  • A factory-built extension cord with molded-on socket and plug, marked on the cordage with correct gauge and type(SJOOW etc.) SNIP! goes the socket end, and now I have an appliance cord.
  • Dead appliances, again of appropriate wire gauge and markings on the cordage itself.
  • Bare Cordage bought from the electrical supply house of correct rating, and a field-attachable plug with appropriate strain relief for the cordage (i.e. Not random Home Depot plugs, which are sized for 16 AWG). This must be cordage, never house wiring such as NM, UF, AC, BX etc.

I am not a fan of field-attachable plugs anywhere near where water might be, unless the plug is protected by GFCI.

Must be handle-tied

Glad we caught you on this; an important part of Code requires that the 2 circuits be handle-tied since they are on the same yoke (receptacle). The handle-ties must be proper, UL listed items for that breaker, you can't use a nail (and the breaker must be UL listed or classified for that panel).

Handle-ties can be annoying to find, especially for double-stuff breakers, so we recommend using a 2-pole breaker instead simply because everyone sells them. The only difference between a 2-pole breaker and 2 handle-tied breakers is that a 2-pole breaker guarantees common trip. This doesn't require common trip, just common maintenance shuoff.

Since you wired independent neutrals, the two circuits are allowed to be on the same pole. However, it will be difficult to arrange them on the same pole with handle-ties, and impossible with 2-pole. (A 3-pole/phase breaker or tie would do, but then, you'd have an unrelated or dead circuit in the middle - yet another reason plenty of extra panel spaces are always a good idea.)

Breaker ampacity must exactly match socket ampacity

You know how normally, you can put the common NEMA 5-15 receptacles on 20A circuits just fine? Not here.

Because this feeds precisely one socket, the breaker must match the socket exactly. If your breakers are 20A, you must use a NEMA 5-20 receptacle, not 5-15.

Hardwire it

You're not required to use cord-and-plug connection. You can hardwire one or both appliances. This also eliminates the handle-tie and receptacle-ampacity problems shown above.

A very easy way to get a port to run the wires into is to use a Surface Conduit Starter Kit.

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  • I've seen a number of questions about plug-in dishwasher & disposal. Mine (originally installed ~ 20 years ago, replaced one disposal since then without changing the wiring method) are hardwired. Is plug-in now preferred, required, or is hardwired still just fine? Seems to me that for these types of appliances hardwired makes sense. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Oct 2 '19 at 20:07
  • @manassehkatz, I'm guessing manufacturers started supplying cordage by default when some locations started requiring GFCI on dishwashers -- it's often much easier to retrofit a GFCI right at the outlet than to have to put it somewhere upstream of a hardwired dishwasher. – Nate S. Oct 2 '19 at 21:05
  • Latest edit confirms that hardwire is OK. Is there anything wrong with (provided it isn't Chicago, etc. and is secured properly and safe from damage) simply running NM from the existing box to the dishwasher and disposal and removing the receptacle? Is surface (or other) conduit actually needed if you're using cable rather than wires? – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Oct 2 '19 at 21:56
  • @manassehkatz that sounds like "can I use NM instead of cordage". I would say no, unless you can fully protect the wire in the normal fashion required for the NM wiring method. It's rather hard for the AHJ to argue with using a dishwasher's factory supplied cord, whether it's plug connected or lopped off and hardwired. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 2 '19 at 23:07
  • Curiosity got the best of me...I checked my disposals - using NM installed into built-in junction box on each disposal. Dishwashers...not going to mess with them, so I downloaded installation manual for a current mid-range Whirlpool and it has detailed instructions for using a power cord or for hardwire. Dishwasher (can't say they all have this, of course) has a terminal box designed to handle either type of cable/connection. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Oct 3 '19 at 0:48

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