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Electricians: Why do diswashers have wall switches?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted December 09 2007 - 07:58 AM


Not sure how much attention this will get with all these "Babe" threads going, but...

Never have understood, why do they put up wall switches for dishwashers, which basically switches the electrical outlet they are plugged in to. What’s the point of this? In an emergency, like if it’s overflowing or something, you can just unlatch the door and shut the thing off. With installation, you unplug the power cable from the wall and make your connections. I can’t say in over 25 years that I’ve ever used the DW switch for anything.

The reason I’m asking is I want to install under-cabinet lighting in our kitchen and utilize the DW switch for the them. Disconnecting the DW power leads from the switch I could wire-nut them together, giving the DW outlet unswitched power, and the switch would be available for the lights.

Any good reason not to do this?

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#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted December 09 2007 - 08:03 AM

I have NEVER seen a dishwasher plugged into a switched outlet. Maybe it's a local code? Posted Image

Now a garbage disposal needs a switch for obvious reasons. Maybe they wired both outlets under the sink to switches so you could decided later which one to use for the garbage disposal.
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#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Dennis*G

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Posted December 09 2007 - 08:41 AM

The DW on a switch is a new code to our area. I had never seen or heard of it until we went house hunting and all houses in the past 5 years have this switch.

I can think of no purpose for it either.

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted December 09 2007 - 08:44 AM

My current and last house have the dishwasher switch. There is no outlet though. Just straight wired. I have wondered about the reasoning behind this also.

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Clinton McClure

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Posted December 09 2007 - 09:17 AM

Maybe to prevent a small child who cannot reach the switch on the wall from putting a pet or sibling in the dishwasher and turning it on?

#6 of 17 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted December 09 2007 - 10:26 AM

Never seen it. How interesting.

Here were have a whole house fan that ventilates our "Energy Star"
home. It runs on a timer, programmed by the owner. My sister, in her big expensive new home in the South, is unaware of any such whole-house fan to ventilate the home properly.

This surprised me -- but apparently such things vary.

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Matt Stryker

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Posted December 10 2007 - 09:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF
Here were have a whole house fan that ventilates our "Energy Star"
home. It runs on a timer, programmed by the owner. My sister, in her big expensive new home in the South, is unaware of any such whole-house fan to ventilate the home properly.

A friend had a whole house fan in his brick townhouse in ATL and I really liked it, but I was told that for sheetrock construction they weren't very useful due to the high humidity - A/C cools and dehumidifies the air, while the whole-house just circulates it....costs a heck of a lot less though. They do exist down south, you just have to find a non-wood house evidently.

And every house I've ever lived in has had the dishwasher on a wall switch - maybe the earlier ones went crazy or caught fire or something, so you needed a local disconnect. Any time you're mixing power and water plus moving parts theres always a chance of chaos I guess.

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted December 10 2007 - 09:49 AM

Never seen a dishwasher wall switch. We built our house 7 years ago and don't have one.

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted December 10 2007 - 10:33 AM

I've never had a dishwasher but I do have lots of wall switches.
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#10 of 17 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted December 10 2007 - 12:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Stryker
A friend had a whole house fan in his brick townhouse in ATL and I really liked it, but I was told that for sheetrock construction they weren't very useful due to the high humidity - A/C cools and dehumidifies the air, while the whole-house just circulates it....costs a heck of a lot less though. They do exist down south, you just have to find a non-wood house evidently.
Here, the whole-house fan is solely for ventilation. We also have central A/C. I didn't run the house fan much the first two years and also kept rooms closed to reduce utility usage. Last summer, though, an Energy Star rep did a tour and inspection of my home (a survey they do, owner willing). He told me that not running the fan and keeping doors closed trapped moisture and in the long run put at risk for mold or mildew. "Seal it tight and ventilate it right" was the catchphrase, he said.

#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin Hewell

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Posted December 10 2007 - 04:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF
Here, the whole-house fan is solely for ventilation. We also have central A/C. I didn't run the house fan much the first two years and also kept rooms closed to reduce utility usage. Last summer, though, an Energy Star rep did a tour and inspection of my home (a survey they do, owner willing). He told me that not running the fan and keeping doors closed trapped moisture and in the long run put at risk for mold or mildew. "Seal it tight and ventilate it right" was the catchphrase, he said.

It's that all the time or can you just run the AC at times when it's the hottest? Where I live that amount to at least two months of the year.

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted December 10 2007 - 11:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Hewell
It's that all the time or can you just run the AC at times when it's the hottest? Where I live that amount to at least two months of the year.
The house fan is simply an oversize ventilation fan in the master bath, with a programmable timer. The rule of thumb is to run it two hours per person per day. Mine is set to run from 11pm to 3 am every night. It's not for cooling or heating purposes; it's to bring in fresh air and remove excess humidity from the house.

The Central A/C, then, is normal A/C used in the summer. And of course, we've got a gas furnace for the winter.

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Bob Graz

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Posted December 11 2007 - 01:31 AM

I had never seen a wall switch for a dishwasher until I moved to Austin TX. We moved into a new house, went to use the dishwasher and nothing. I then remembered the builder telling me about the wall switch. Flipped it on and everything was great. It's code in TX, I really don't know why. It's not code anywhere else I've lived or currently live.

#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Jeff_CusBlues

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Posted December 11 2007 - 04:36 AM

I have lived in northern Indiana my whole life (46 years) and have never seen a dishwasher switch. I also own 9 rental properties and a 139 unit seniors community built in the last 10 years and no switch. I'll have to ask my general contractor if he has heard of this and if so, why it is required in some places.

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted December 11 2007 - 10:47 AM


Thanks for the feedback, folks. I’m tempted just to do away with it and use the switch for my lights. I have a buddy who’s in the remodeling business, I’ll see what he says before I do it. Posted Image

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#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Dennis*G

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Posted December 11 2007 - 02:53 PM

ya know, unless you are selling the place or doing some home improvement that requires you to get an inspection, feel free to take it off the switch and live in peace!

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted December 12 2007 - 05:32 AM

> I can think of no purpose for it either.

More money for certain people (the reason for many laws). I've never seen a wall switch for a dishwasher, either.


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