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I’m doing a kitchen remodel and have my dishwasher hard wired in and a second line for outlets in the island. I’d like to add a switched outlet for use with my garbage disposal in the island with the outlet and switch under the sink. Is that possible with a switch/outlet combo? Meaning the switch and the outlet are connected. It is the end of the electrical line also.

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    Just to confirm, you want the switch under the sink? That seems hard to use
    – DoxyLover
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 18:50
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    @DoxyLover - but not uncommon if there is not any other particularly good place to put it. As one example (my parents house), the island consists of a sink and a dishwasher (with countertop above), and nothing else - the switch for the disposal is under the sink in the cabinet...
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 18:56
  • I have a switched outlet under the sink for the disposal. But not in a switch/outlet combo. My switch is covered by a outside-grade waterproof switch cover, and the outlet is a separate box with an outside-grade waterproof flip-up outlet hood. Wet hands go down there. The whole circuit is covered by a GFCI at the panel. Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 18:56
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    That is indeed very awkward position for the switch, specially for older people. Consider remote switch
    – Traveler
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 19:48

1 Answer 1

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Three separate issues:

  • Sharing receptacles with fixed appliance

You normally can't share ordinary receptacles with a hard-wired appliance if the hard-wire appliance uses 50% or more of the capacity (15A or 20A) of the circuit. That may or may not be an issue for the disposal as (a) some don't use that much power (e.g., Insinkerator Badger 5 is rated at 6.3A, which is less than 1/2 of a 20A circuit even with a continuous use derate) and (b) because disposals are only used for a minute (or less) at a time, that rule may not apply - I am not sure of the details. But it is a rule you need to consider.

  • Sharing kitchen counter receptacles with fixed appliances.

Kitchen counter receptacles are supposed to be a minimum of 2 20A circuits. They can be shared with a few specific items (e.g., clock, gas cooktop ignition) but are not supposed to be shared with lighting or other appliances. This is often grandfathered in older kitchens, but this is a new installation so the rule almost certainly applies.

  • Switch Location

As noted in other answers & comments, a switch below the counter is less than ideal. Far better is either a switch mounted above the sink or, if that is not practical in an island, an air switch like this Insinkerator from Amazon:

Air Switch

This is a real product, designed for use with a disposal, from a major manufacturer, with Amazon as a convenient source for images. Be careful what you buy - make sure it is UL or ETL listed for safety.

A nice thing about an air switch is that if it fails - e.g., kink in the tube or mouse eats through the tube or tube comes apart from the switch or the receptacle - it will fail safe.

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  • Seriously now ....
    – Traveler
    Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 20:49
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    In the process of a major kitchen renovation, and they put in the air actuated switch shown in the picture above. It's mounted on the surface of the counter on the island, just behind the sink.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Sep 1, 2022 at 1:17
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    The little silver button is even designed to go into the "extra" hole in a sink where there is often a sprayer or soap pump.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 1, 2022 at 13:40

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