Can dishwasher and disposal be on the same circuit?

The kitchen is rated as one of the busiest places that are in a home. One other thing that you will realize in a kitchen is that it is the place that uses more electricity as compared to other rooms in your house. For safety reasons, it is recommended that it is properly fitted with multiple circuits that are strong enough to handle cooking appliances. That’s said, don’t get worried if your electrician decides to install 7 or even 8 circuits.

One straight answer to this concern is, some electricians might decide to wire the kitchen dishwasher and the garbage disposal to use one circuit. But this should be done with the best care and having in mind that you need at least a 20 amp circuit. You also need to ensure that the total amperage that is used does not exceed the 80% amperage rating. Failure to do that, then your connections will not be the best in your kitchen.

Here is what you need to know about the dishwasher and garbage disposal circuits.


Circuits that will be used here will need a dedicated 120/125 V. That's is 15-amp of circuit needed here. When you want to feed the 15-amp circuit, do so by use of a 14/2NM wire and then have a ground installed. Don’t squeeze it too much. Allow some slack to be in the NM cable so that the dishwasher will be pulled out easily when serving is needed. That will make anyone that is repairing it thank you in a great manner. GFCI and AFCI requirements will always vary from place to place. A circuit usually needs you to have or include GFCI protection and AFCI protection might be necessary.

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Garbage Disposal.

This is one section that is known to deal with the dirty work. It is one of the essential things to have as it will ensure that your messes after every meal are all cleaned out well. But for this to be accomplished, good amperage is needed so that it can be able to grind the refuse well. At this point, you will need a dedicated 15-amp that is fed with a 14/2 NM cable and a ground. Other than that, you can decide to use a 20 amp circuit and a 12/2 NM wire, and a ground.

The second option is best used when you want your disposal to share the same circuit with your dishwasher. You also need to have an electrician that understands the GFCI and AFCI. A hint on their usage is that GFCI is prone to tripping done to heavy starts of the motor. That’s why some professional electricians will omit their use. AFCI protection is taken to be a better option since the circuit is operated directly from a wall switch and the disposal can also be connected to a wall outlet.

Why do you need garbage disposal?

The name of this machine just says it all, it is used to handle the waste that is discarded into the trash. Such a waste if not handled well will place a lot of harm to the environment if not handled well. With garbage disposals, the severity that might be brought by routing food into septic systems is well taken care of. Problems associated with food waste that does not pass through garbage disposal includes the following,

  • Food must be collected and also transported to longer distances where there are landfills and also some food treatment facilities.
  • The waste that reaches the landfills is not acted upon immediately. Thus it decomposes and the production of methane gas becomes a major contributor to global warming.
  • It also adds some expense as you will need to pay for the treatment process.

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Testing of garbage disposals:

  • Testing for leaks will need you to turn it on and ensure that you have run water through it. It is advised that you allow a greater water load to pass so that you can notice leaks easily.
  • During the testing process, never put anything in it other than water. Always check that there are no objects in before you decide to put it on.
  • Some will decide to do an attempt to break garbage, that's dangerous. This should never arise when you are doing an inspection.
  • The dishwasher might be connected to the sink. Check and ensure that the line is securely attached. There should also be enough water supply to the system.
  • The drain that should be used here is given at 1.5 inches in diameter or even greater. For those kitchens that have double sinks, make sure that the waste pipe has a trap installed to it.

You also need to ensure that wires connected are done in the right manner. So, you also need to check the following:

  • Garbage disposals are not fitted with GFCI protection and that’s why they are left to be optional. Their installation is always optional.
  • Electrical disconnections might occur due to the vibrations that might occur when the system is working. That means that any loose connections will not be tolerated. Check that out in the wiring compartment.
  • Ensure that connections are either hard wired or connected to an outlet through the use of a grounded electrical outlet.
  • If you are operating it with a combination of a dishwasher, then a shared circuit will be the best to use. Always get more clearance and direction from the user manuals that come with the systems.

Some of the maintenance tips that you can use.

  • You need to ensure that small quantities of food are put in the disposal one at a time. Don’t jam everything in as it will have a hard time doing its work. Large food particles should be reduced also into smaller pieces.
  • Never allow anything to be put in if it’s no food or water. Anything that cannot be ground can cause damage and even getting stuck in the piping that is done.
  • While the system is working, it is advised that you run water. Ensure that also water runs through it for at least 30 seconds when you have turned it off. This will give room for food scraps to pass through the piping more quickly with the help of water. Again cold water will be the best choice as compared to the warm.
  • The use of ice is advised as it will assist in clearing off the solidified grease areas and debris that might be hard to clear off.

How long the system will serve you will depend on the kind of care tips that you will have given them. Sometimes you might be in doubt about what you have to put into the sink and what you don’t need, at that time, there is an error that is put at the side, consult it for better assistance. Some of the things that you need to avoid include the following:

  • High fibrous food like corn husks, pineapples, potato peels among others. Their major disadvantage is that they take longer to grind hence can clog the machine and its piping.
  • Hard items also can dull the blades, don’t put them in
  • Chemicals will lead to system spoilage instead
  • Grease and household oils are not recommended at all.

As time goes by, kitchen appliances have become larger and need more power to work well. That’s why you will realize that each of the appliances that you will have in a home should have a dedicated circuit that will be there to handle its power requirements. To make the kitchen also have better light, install at least one lighting circuit. Always consult your National Electrical Code and find out from them what you need. You can also adjust so that you can fit your needs.

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