I have a switched outlet underneath my sink, probably from a garbage disposal. It's in a 2 gang box with two receptacles, one switched, one not. There is a switch on the wall by the sink to operate the outlet, also in a 2 gang box (sitting alongside another duplex receptacle, which I already replaced with a new one w/ USB.)

I don't utilize the switched outlet underneath the sink, and am replacing the switch with another duplex receptacle (another usb upgrade).

There is one live supply cable coming into the switch box (verified by voltmeter), and two dead cables going out (one to the switched outlet, and another going to wherever else).

I have the supply line going into the left (original) receptacle, a set of jumpers going from that receptacle to the new one, and then the new one is pigtailed to the two cables going out.

For some reason, the previously switched outlet under the sink no longer gets power. Also, a receptacle tester on the new receptacle (the one that replaced the switch) shows "reversed hot/neutral", but the voltmeter shows no load on the neutral wire and 120 on the hot, indicating a possible ground issue? The receptacle that was already there tests normal.

Everything seems to be wired correctly in the box with the new receptacle, what else can I do to troubleshoot?

  • Tightened up some ground wires, and the receptacle tester reads the new receptacle as an open ground now, so I just assume that it's not grounded anywhere beyond this box, so that's an easy fix at least.
    – Kel
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 2:06
  • Does the cable from the switched receptacle to the switch have a neutral? The receptacle will have a neutral, but in a now outmoded style of wiring, sometimes there was no neutral for the switch. In this arrangement in the cable going to the switch would be a 12/2 or 14/2 where the white wire would be either line hot or switched hot. Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 2:50
  • 2
    Can you post photos of the inside of the box please? Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 5:35
  • I'm wondering how many under counter USB ports a guy could possibly need!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 15:02

2 Answers 2


It was simply because I didn't have the pigtail grounds connected to the ground from the supply line. They were just connected to the receptacles separately. Open ground issue fixed and all receptacles work.

  • 2
    The grounds being unconnected should not prevent the receptacle from delivering power. You are not using the uninsulated ground wire as a neutral, are you? The ground wire is not supposed to carry current in normal operation. Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 2:57

Modern Code has standards for kitchen receptacles, and for good reasons.

Anytime you add a kitchen countertop receptacle, it must

  • Be 20 amps
  • Power no loads outside the kitchen
  • Power NO hardwired loads except a gas range and a wall clock
  • Be actually grounded
  • Have GFCI protection in one way or the other.
  • No built-in appliances (e.g. dishwasher) even if they plug in -- except for a very short list of certain specific appliances (e.g. range hood).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.