ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Recent Posts
Using THWN on automotive circuits
by BigB - 03/23/23 11:19 AM
Continuous load
by HotLine1 - 03/08/23 02:11 PM
How's all our Non-US folks doing?
by dsk - 03/08/23 11:56 AM
Old Computers?
by Bill Addiss - 03/04/23 05:06 PM
New in the Gallery:
Burger King crown sillyness
Burger King crown sillyness
by wa2ise, December 11
240/208 to a house
240/208 to a house
by wa2ise, October 9
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 28 guests, and 17 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 32
I have never did this and I also tell electricians that they can not go off the disposal circuit to feed the lighting over the sink and in the kitchen. I am trying to find as many places I can in the nec that will show that you can't do that. Anyone want to help ? so far I am looking at 210.23 A "small appliance Exception" . dont have a cut sheet on a disposal unit so I can't look at that. 422.16 B1 is no help on this. I may be just too tired to find this right now ! LOL. and if it is a small appliance, should it be wired in 12 instead of 14 ? . Looking forward to responses on this .. Thanks !

Stay up to Code with the Latest NEC:

2020 NEC & Related Reference & Study Guides
2020 NEC & Related Reference & Study Guides
Pass Your Exam the FIRST TIME with these Exam Prep Combos:

>> Master Electrician Exam Prep     >> JourneyMan Electrician Exam Prep

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
Sorry to disappoint but the disposal is not a small appliance in the NEC sense and it can be wired with 14 AWG, and yes you can run the lighting and the disposal together.

210.23(A) 15- and 20-Ampere Branch Circuits. A 15- or 20-ampere branch circuit shall be permitted to supply lighting units or other utilization equipment, or a combination of both, and shall comply with 210.23(A)(1) and (A)(2).

A small appliance is a something that is allowed to be fed from the small appliance branch circuit, you may not feed a disposal with the small appliance branch circuit.



A disposal is utilization equipment fastened in place and as long as it meets 210.23(A)(2) it is allowed to be on with the lighting circuit.

[210.23(A)(2) Utilization Equipment Fastened in Place. The total rating of utilization equipment fastened in place, other than luminaires (lighting fixtures), shall not exceed 50 percent of the branch-circuit ampere rating where lighting units, cord-and-plug-connected utilization equipment not fastened in place, or both, are also supplied.

Question, what is the electrical safety hazard by having the disposal on with the lights?

90.1 Purpose.
(A) Practical Safeguarding.
The purpose of this Code is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity.

(B) Adequacy. This Code contains provisions that are considered necessary for safety. Compliance therewith and proper maintenance will result in an installation that is essentially free from hazard but not necessarily efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service or future expansion of electrical use.

The great thing is we can always choose to go beyond code minimums, I would run a separate circuit but I am not required to.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,336
Likes: 7
I agree 100% with Bob (Iwire).

Although not REQUIRED by the NEC, I believe (as others) that a "quality install" would have a dedicated line to the disposal. Tapping the lighting off of the GD circuit more than likely will result in 'dimming' when the GD is started.

Without the nameplate data for the GD, I cannot give you a valid NEC Article to dispute the install, as you described it.


Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 32
Learn somthing everyday ! I see people taking all the kitchen cans off the disposal circuit and yes the lights dim when it is turned on. Even if this is not a violation I still would never do that. What if they went out and bought the binford 5000 to really chop it up ? tripping the breaker and in the dark when they turn it on ? . Thanks for your help on that, Gary

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 201
Gary, as poor as the design is, there is no hazard. Assume the disposal was locked and the overload did not take the motor off line. After a period of time, the circuit breaker opened and the lights went out. Would that be a safety problem? I don't think so. [Linked Image]

Charlie Eldridge, Indianapolis Utility Power Guy
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 32
So it seems I could have saved alot of time and money on this for the past 25 years ! When I was a young apprentice back in the day I got in deep trouble for doing that once and I never thought about doing it again. Learn somthing every day !

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
I'm with these guys. Violation? No. Bad design? Maybe, maybe not. Hazard not likely.

Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 2
Junior Member
Interesting. When I first started the local inspector told me lighting could never be put on that circuit as it was considered a motor circuit and therefore had to be dedicated. I've seen hundred of "violations" to that since but still think the disposal is better off alone...

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 178
I know this doesn`t matter but the reason for people stretching the design limits is actually to save money.I to would only install the over the sink light with this not anything else.If it is my house it would be dedicated or my buddy`s house. But for some GC who takes lowest bid I wouldn`t have much choice.But I must sleep at night also and with our name on the panel i`d limit the number of lights on it.
Iwire you da man I learn something everytime you post with all the artical #`s

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 681
Something to think about... most disposals do not draw more than 7 amps, and are usually installed on a 20 amp circuit. 210.19 permits combination loads as long as the motor is not more than 50% of the branch circuit rating. Adding a few lights to the disposal circuits is actually in my thoughts a good and resourceful design, why waste anything today. As far as the lights dimming, how often is the disposal actually used? ... probably less than 5 minutes a day.


Pierre Belarge
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard

Tools for Electricians
Tools for Electricians

* * * * * * *
2023 National Electrical Code (NEC)
2023 NEC Now Available!
* * * * * * *

2020 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2020 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Member Spotlight
Atomic City, ID USA
Posts: 806
Joined: October 2004
Top Posters(30 Days)
BigB 3
triple 2
Popular Topics(Views)
305,112 Are you busy
233,510 Re: Forum
218,193 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5