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I'm a new guy here.

So I'm in process of upgrading my sink and would like to install an air switch for my garbage disposal (GB).

As of right now, I have a regular flip switch that operates the GB. The problem is that the GB switch is towards the end of the kitchen counter (little too far), that's why I'm installing an air switch right next to the sink while I'm getting my kitchen sink upgraded. It would have been a piece of cake to wire up the air switch if I had an outlet under the sink. The three wires that are coming out of the cabinet are going straight into the GB. I'd like to install a 1 gang outlet underneath the sink to give power to the air switch. If I install an outlet using the GB wires, my family has to make sure that the main switch is always on so the outlet underneath the sink is always hot and that's why I'd like to remove the switch that operates GB completely out of the equation.

And the flip switch that operates GB right now, I'd like to convert it into an outlet so it's useful. Is this hard to do? I'm not completely new to electrical wiring but never done something like this before. I understand the community members may be uncomfortable in answering this question so they won't be held liable in any way but any answer would really help me.

Thank you in advance!

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    If you currently have panel-->switch-->disposal, which I think is what you have based on the description, then all of this should be doable without having to fish new wires. However, I believe kitchen counter receptacles need to be (essentially) dedicated to counter use only, which means that the receptacle-replacing-the-switch would not be able to be on the same circuit as the disposal, which would mean running new wires! One of the pros will come along soon enough with a definitive answer. May 1 '20 at 1:24
  • Thank you for you input. Yes I know for a fact that I won't need to fish out new wires. I'll give it a go, let's see what happens.
    – Lakshay G
    May 1 '20 at 5:22
  • "Three wires coming out of the cabinet" ? Sep 29 at 13:01
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You can safely remove the switch, bond the switched wires together, and cover the junction box, so that you have unswitched wires for the GB receptacle. Adding a countertop receptacle to the GB circuit would be a violation of NEC 210.52(B)(2).

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How easy it is depends on how the feed and switch is layout in the switch box. IF all three wires from the feed, (black/wire/ground) comes into the switch box, this is an easy setup. In that box, the switch is removed and an outlet is wired in. The feed is then continue to a new outlet under the sink. Both outlets are hot, the old switch and the new outlet under the sink. The air switch is now plug into the under sink outlet, a new hole drilled into the counter top or use existing hole for the air switch. You would also have to replace the hard wire out of the GB with a power plug.

Under some local code, the GB would have to on a dedicated circuit, so this would be in violation of that code. In my house before I remodel the kitchen, my GB was on a circuit with other outlets.

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  • If the outlet is allowed, which I don't think it is, it would have to be a GFCI outlet.
    – JACK
    May 1 '20 at 1:45
  • @JACK No. It would have to be GFCI protected. That could be done at the breaker. May 1 '20 at 1:51
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact Very true but it would be a lot more expensive for that breaker and I don't think the disposals need to be GFCI protected yet.
    – JACK
    May 1 '20 at 1:58
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    Actually, it is the GB that requires GFCI protections. Water, connected to sink, etc. And the comments on outlet vs breaker GFCI is about $10 at the 1st outlet, and ~$40 for a breaker GFCI May 1 '20 at 2:02
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    @Programmer66 Actually, if I recall correctly (which I might not), kitchen counter receptacles have required GFCI for many years now (in most places), but not garbage disposals. I think the difference is that you are not touching the wiring - less risk despite the sink! The air switch (I just looked it up for this question, never used one myself) actually provides quite a bit of protection as well. But yes, breaker GFCI is typically more expensive than receptacle GFCI - just noting that "GFCI outlet" is not actually required. But generally that is the "best" solution. May 1 '20 at 2:49

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