In the circuit breaker, I have a switch labeled as "disposal". I have noticed in my pantry there is closed off square cover (electic cover) that has four screws. I loosened the screws to find 4 sets of wires each set had black white and red wire. Is there an intention for keeping that closed off and not having a socket plugs there?

I am the first owner of the home House is built by ryan homes last year.

  • It sounds like a simple junction box for wire connections/splices, which must be accessible (handy to get at). If you find what the wire circuit/s are for, might be able to add socket plugs/outlets/lights to it, but need to know what those are for first.
    – crip659
    Mar 19, 2022 at 21:44
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    Please clarify the relationship between the labeled circuit-breaker you mention, and the junction box in the pantry. BTW that's exactly what that box is, a place for wires to be connected together in an enclosure; there was either no desire/need to have receptacles in there and/or the box is not big enough to accommodate all those wires and receptacle(s). Mar 19, 2022 at 21:45
  • I just noticed that the disposal circuit breaker is a set of wires in that junction box. And the dishwasher label in my circuit breaker is another set of wires in the pantry junction box
    – Syr Kull
    Mar 19, 2022 at 21:47
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    That is what a splice is and must be in a box. Make sure both breakers are off before working on those wires, very easy to mistake live wires for dead wires.
    – crip659
    Mar 19, 2022 at 22:19
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    That's a problem. Kitchen/pantry receptacles can only be on certain circuits. They must be 20A and power kitchen receptacles only. You cannot put a receptacle on a dishwasher or disposal circuit. I suspect two MWBCs are extended here, one is dishwasher/disposal, the other is kitchen receptacles 1 and 2. Mar 20, 2022 at 0:52

1 Answer 1


Assuming you are in a location subject to the NEC if the wires connected to the breaker that is marked disposal are not connected to anything then you could re-label the wires and use for an additional "small appliance" circuit, but you can't put kitchen receptacle and disposal outlets on the same circuit. To understand the NEC requirements it helps to keep in mind that the Code specifically defines outlet as a point of connection of equipment, and receptacle as a type of outlet.

The NEC requires in 210.11 that two or more 20 amp branch circuits be supplied for small appliances, then later in 210.52 defines what those circuits can and must feed.

NEC 210.52(B)Small Appliances.

(1) Receptacle Outlets Served. In the kitchen, pantry, breakfast room, dining room, or similar area of a dwelling unit, the two or more 20-ampere small-appliance branch circuits required by 210.11(C)(1) shall serve all wall and floor receptacle outlets covered by 210.52(A), all countertop outlets covered by 210.52(C), and receptacle outlets for refrigeration equipment.

Exception No. 1: In addition to the required receptacles specified by 210.52, switched receptacles supplied from a general-purpose branch circuit as defined in 210.70(A)(1), Exception No. 1, shall be permitted.

(The above exception pertains to required switched lighting outlet requirements)

Exception No. 2: In addition to the required receptacles specified by 210.52, a receptacle outlet to serve a specific appliance shall be permitted to be supplied from an individual branch circuit rated 15 amperes or greater.

(2) No Other Outlets. The two or more small-appliance branch circuits specified in 210.52(B)(1) shall have no other outlets.

The critical points in the section are "shall feed all wall and floor" and "no other outlets", so wall and floor receptacle circuits in designated rooms have to be circuited as small appliance circuits, and can't feed an outlet in the cabinet for a disposal, dishwasher, or point of use water heater.

There may be further complications depending on the appliances you are connecting. Disposals often exceed the 210.23 limit of 50% circuit amperage for equipment fastened in place that would allow it to feed other loads not fastened in place.

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