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  1. #1
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    Default Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Just inspected a new home where the kitchen sink is in an island. The switch for the disposal is located on wall behind the island at the cook top counter. Can this possibly be acceptable!?!

    I can imagine an unknowing individual thinking that this is a light switch while Aunt Marge is shoving egg shells and potato skins down the disposal drain only to blend in her first three fingers when the "light" is turned on.

    The photo on the left shows the cook top counter with disposal switch to left. The next picture shows the sink island which would be behind you if you were cooking...(or turning on that imaginary light....)

    Common sense tells me that common sense was not used by electrician........

    Any clues?

    Greg

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    Can this possibly be acceptable!?!

    Common sense tells me that common sense was not used by electrician........

    Codes are "minimum" and therefore do not address "common sense", or the lack thereof ... which that obviously displays - 'a lack thereof'.

    You also might have a clearance problem with that plastic switch and cover that close to the back of that gas cooktop. The only way to know would be to read the installation instructions.

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    Wink Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    So my question remains, is this proper despite being stupid?

    Greg


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    So my question remains, is this proper despite being stupid?

    Greg

    I'll answer it this way ... it is not improper, despite being stupid.

    Now, you ask, if it is not "improper" why is that not "proper", to which I would reply "for the same reason that 'not being day' does not therefore 'make it night', there is 'dawn' and 'dusk' between the two".

    Relating that to your question, then, it has not 'dawned' on them that doing as they did is, well, ... you said it: "stupid".

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    ......I can imagine an unknowing individual thinking that this is a light switch while Aunt Marge is shoving egg shells and potato skins down the disposal drain only to blend in her first three fingers when the "light" is turned on...............

    Greg
    It's typically beyond the scope of standards (or nearly impossible) to legislate for stupidity.

    Competence on the electrician's part would have yielded such considerations as familiarity to normal kitchen traffic flow, with practical useability of the appliance, including simple knowledge to locate switch in an area grouped with the appliance, and potential for kitchen accidents by improperly (from a common sense point of view) locating the switch.

    In my humble opinion, this work was obviously done by a "hack" and not a genuine electrician.


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Warner View Post
    In my humble opinion, this work was obviously done by a "hack" and not a genuine electrician.

    Fred,

    I thought that was obvious simply based on the wiring, boxes, etc., in the bottom of that cabinet.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Why would it even be wrong? Its better than being located on the front of the cabinetry like I see some of them wired. You can turn those on with just brushing your leg against them accidentally.

    I'd look for bigger game and move on as Jack F. says.

    JMHO

    rick


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Fred,

    I thought that was obvious simply based on the wiring, boxes, etc., in the bottom of that cabinet.
    I couldn't count how many times over the years that I've seen this type of hack-work. I'm sure you, too, have seen scads of hack jobs over the years.


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Why would it even be wrong? Its better than being located on the front of the cabinetry like I see some of them wired. You can turn those on with just brushing your leg against them accidentally.
    Depends on how they are mounted, but there is also nothing wrong with the switch being located just inside and above that door, to turn it on you open the door, flip the switch on, then when done flip the switch off.

    A lot better than being on the *other counter* where *someone else* might flip it on unintentionally.

    I can see the reason for the question, and there is no harm in asking questions.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    Just inspected a new home where the kitchen sink is in an island. The switch for the disposal is located on wall behind the island at the cook top counter. Can this possibly be acceptable!?! I can imagine an unknowing individual thinking that this is a light switch while Aunt Marge is shoving egg shells and potato skins down the disposal drain only to blend in her first three fingers when the "light" is turned on. The photo on the left shows the cook top counter with disposal switch to left. The next picture shows the sink island which would be behind you if you were cooking...(or turning on that imaginary light....) Common sense tells me that common sense was not used by electrician........ Any clues? Greg
    Greg,

    When I see a switch in a nonstandard location like that or the face of the cabinet like Rick mentioned, I recommend removing the switch and installing an air switch on the counter. ISE makes one specifically for their disposals.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    You would think of it is "bigger game" if it was your hand in that disposal......you know, people do stick their hands where they don't belong all the time.....


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Gunnar,

    I would think that an air switch might even be more hazardous. I can see the Mrs. leaning over onto the counter with her elbow to force feed the disposal with more potatoe skins and hit the air switch and ruining the manicure she just had.

    If they stick their hands in the disposal, I say let the games begin.

    rick


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Those electrical boxes and exposed 12 gauge conductor arent correct neither are they? I thought those type of boxes were required to be concealed (except for the face plate).


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Greg, I would just report what you have found. The switch for the disposal is in a very poor location and that you recommend that it is located in a location that is closer to the sink and disposal so that an accident might be avoided.

    Was this by chance over the boarder in Hernando, MS?

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Did anyone ever stop to think that the electrician placed the switch where directed too?

    That plastic box is perfectly Legal to be used that way,though not the best method.


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Did anyone ever stop to think that the electrician placed the switch where directed too?
    I am sure that most of us did.

    I am also sure that if the electrician explained his/her reason for wanting to put it elsewhere, the electrician would have been allowed to.

    Did you ever stop to think that the electrician put it there without thinking at all about it?

    That plastic box is perfectly Legal to be used that way,though not the best method.
    I wouldn't use the word "perfectly" in "perfectly legal", "legal", yes, but no one should do that kind of work and then think it is "perfectly" done in any way.

    You are not defending that wiring and those boxes ... are you?

    That is like defending a painter for applying paint so thick it runs all over ... sure 'it is painted', but ... would a "real" painter do that? Same for that installation and a "real" electrician.

    Ken, it is one thing to always jump to the defense of your trade, but it is another to do so wisely when the work deserves being defended - and that work does not.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    How can you be sure of anything about that install? Have you met the designer and installers? I would bet the answer is NO. So this means that you can not say your "sure" that if the electrician explained .......
    Can you be sure that the installer did not try and explain it? No ? Then your not "sure " about anything. You should say " I would like to think that the installer discussed it with.........

    Perfectly Legal is referring to the install being legal with out a doubt AKA perfectly legal.
    Those words placed together have nothing to do with whether the install is deemed perfect by someones opinion. That phrase would sound like this: a perfect installation, or perfectly installed.

    I am not defending anyone's trade or the installation in the picture. I was stating the legality of the boxes utilized. That and the fact that everyone assumes it was the installer who failed in the placement of the switch. I know How you hate to assume.

    Besides I do not do electrical installations for a living.


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Ken,

    In preparation for your next question: 'Well, then just would you do it?'

    I took a photo of 'how I DID do it.'

    Also not the shower pan material wrapped around the FMC running up to the receptacle in the back of the cabinet making sure that the copper dishwasher supply does not come in contact with the FMC - dissimilar metals, you know.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Besides I do not do electrical installations for a living.

    My apologies, you sounded like one of those hoity-toity electricians all the trades complain about.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    What no supports on the Flex? within 12" ?


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    What no supports on the Flex? within 12" ?



    The wall to the left is 9-1/2" from the box.

    There is a strap just above the shower pan material behind the view of the bottom of the "food waster grinder".

    But, alas, I did notice ... ... ... that weatherproof cover ... *is not all the way closed!*

    By the way, the box is secured to the bottom of the cabinet with 4 screws, and NOT drywall screws either.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Mounting boxes face up is a "last resort" position and shouldn't be done unless there is no other way. The area under a sink is not a location requiring a receptacle cover - the wiring method isn't legal if it is. The plastic wrap isn't approved for the purpose. Drywall screws have a thread that holds better in particle board than a standard wood screw. The screws, no matter what type, will become useless the first time or two something gets spilled on the particle board. The box should be on the cabinet ends or back.

    Given the available options, while this looks "pretty" it is technically no better than the plastic box job for common sense.


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Although you refer to this as an island I see countertop behind and to the left quite close appearing in the photo of the sink and don't see a termination on the left so I am left wondering if this isn't actually a peninsula.

    Since I see a cord and plug this leads me to believe that the pictured switch is not serving as the motor disconnect.

    The reference as to the proximity of the switch being "behind" is also a bit confusing.

    On the subject question I'd reserve further input without a clearer understanding of the relationship and proximity such as a diagram or photo showing both and distance. Do we know if this disposer has a cover driven integral switch?

    Regarding the materials used and installation methods used in this sink cabinet I have concerns. LT and weather proof and not on the floor of the cabinet. Slip joints add to the possibility of dampness and wetness. I see yellow cable in the cabinet, and presume this is 12 awg NM-B - resting unprotected on the floor/base of the sink cabinet. I would not consider this area to be a dry location (under slip joints and a sink). Furthermore the presence of the hand sprayer port which does not provide a seal, especially if lifted or in use opens the area and provides an avenue for water to travel immediately to the area (even just a few droplets running along the outside of the sprayer hose) above the exposed electrical to direct water, condensation, etc. is another means you may not consider the cabinet itself in conjunction with the countertop/sink deck no matter how well sealed to be adequate to "protect" the location or to consider this sink base/base cabinet a dry location.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Mounting boxes face up is a "last resort" position and shouldn't be done unless there is no other way.
    There are lots of reasons to mount a box face up, and not as a "last resort".

    When installing a receptacle in the face up box, ...

    The area under a sink is not a location requiring a receptacle cover - the wiring method isn't legal if it is.
    Ah, but a "receptacle cover", your words, IS REQUIRED, ALL THE TIME, PERIOD, if you are going to knock something you should at least try to use proper terminology and requirements.

    ... (back to "when installing .. ") the choice to install a weather proof cover (which is what, I am sure, Bill was referring to) was for "just in case", and, correct, a weather proof cover is "not required" there, just there as a safety precaution ... just in case ... making that entirely legal.

    The plastic wrap isn't approved for the purpose.
    ANY means of separation of the two dissimilar metals is approved for the purpose, whether that means of separation be physically securing the two dissimilar metals apart from each other, sliding a compatible material between them (brass sheet would have worked) or isolating them from each other with a material compatible with both (PVC shower pan material is compatible with both).

    Drywall screws have a thread that holds better in particle board than a standard wood screw.
    Drywall screws are brittle and break off, so I used sheet metal screws, which work well in particle board too. You are correct that regular wood screws do not work well in particle board.

    The screws, no matter what type, will become useless the first time or two something gets spilled on the particle board. The box should be on the cabinet ends or back.
    Quite incorrect, that bottom is covered with a sheet of laminate, it will take quite a bit of water/liquid to cause a problem. Mounting the box on the back would not solve that problem, you are simply discounting the problem a falling-apart particle board bottom would be. The bottom would need to be replaced, at which time the box would get raised, the bottom replaced, and the box reinstalled - that has been install that way for 3 years now, and there have been some spills in there, and a leak from above where the granite installers did not properly seal the sink to the granite, and, after their third try, finally succeeded in doing to (which is where the weather proof cover came in handy - protecting from those leaks, which are no longer there).

    Given the available options, while this looks "pretty" it is technically no better than the plastic box job for common sense.
    Ah, it is much better that that plastic box job with exposed NM cable and those boxes and covers.

    If you are expecting rigid conduit and explosion proof boxes to be "good", then you are way out of whack with reality.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Although you refer to this as an island I see countertop behind and to the left quite close appearing in the photo of the sink and don't see a termination on the left so I am left wondering if this isn't actually a peninsula.
    Note sure why you never take someone at what they say, especially when they were there an you were not. But, that is what you do, so ...

    If you look at the photo you will see two open doors, above which is the front of the Corian or whatever was used as the countertop, the sink, the faucets, an area of countertop behind the faucets, then beyond that is "wood flooring".

    To the right looks like a dishwasher, quite practical and common to have next to the sink.

    To the left looks like a stack of drawers, also quite practical and common to have next to the sink. May even be an inlaid glass cutting board of something in the countertop to the left.

    Since I see a cord and plug this leads me to believe that the pictured switch is not serving as the motor disconnect.
    Looks like one is for the garbage disposer and one is for the dishwasher, and the receptacles are marked similarly.

    The reference as to the proximity of the switch being "behind" is also a bit confusing.
    Not confusing at all.

    If you were standing "at the garbage disposer" ... the switch would be "behind" you on the wall by the cooktop. Pretty clear to most of us.

    On the subject question I'd reserve further input without a clearer understanding of the relationship
    I completely agree with you there, you should "reserve further input without a clearer understanding" of it all.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Before anyone jumps on: I just realized (second cup of coffee) what I was seeing and thinking was a countertop edge behind and to the left was actually baseboard from the background.

    So OOPS, and forget about the peninsula mention.


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    ah TLTL for the fingers flying jackal with the high speed connection.

    I caught it when I downloaded the photo and blew it up, BIG DEAL it was a question.


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    Red face Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Thanks for your replies everyone. It is an Island as I stated. Sometimes I think folks on this board see things in a photo that just aren't there....and on the positive side, some things that are sometimes missed, or not called out....Can you imagine what our inspection reports would look like if we all spent soooo much time on one single subject?!?
    Look how many observations have been made, look how many differences of opinion have been formulated....and look how many questions have been asked just being derived from this one!

    That is what makes this an amazing forum.

    Again, thanks for your replies and expertise....and humor!


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    BTW - in the report I simply stated that this installation appears to be acceptable, yet stupid and recommended to remove the disposal and start a nice compost pile in the backyard...think GREEN!


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    One more question/concern/unknown. I don't "see" an air gap or a high loop for the DW drain hose however some DWs have the discharge hose routed high on the side of the DW frame. Some areas require the air gap regardless.


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Noted high loop in report. Call that out in probably 70% of inspections.

    Scott, the inspection was in Atoka.


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    On the subject of air gap devices, how many of you call it out if the air gap device is not within the floodplain of the sink?

    For example, you see it on top of a granite counter top and the sink is an undermount.

    rick


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Regularly.

    Also call out trap weir drain/waste/vent issues/concerns.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Picture on the right is not from original post or question. The other two aren't coming out


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Also call out trap weir drain/waste/vent issues/concerns.

    Thank you for using my photo for showing a proper slope, however, you do realize, of course you do, that the photo is original creative work and is copyrighted by the taker of the photo. (sigh)

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    You already put it on this forum and topic string. It hasn't gone anywhere else. Left is not correct.


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    You already put it on this forum and topic string.

    Yep ... *I* did, ... *I* did not give you permission to reuse it, nor did you even ask for permission, you just used it without asking ... because *you* wanted to.

    *YOU* need to pay attention to *YOUR* rants about copyright misuse.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    All this talk about cord and plugged dishwashers and disposals brought up a thought.

    How many of you know the legal lengths of those cords?
    Do you bother to check and point that out?

    I know Jerry will answer,but lets let some of the others go first.


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    jerry aka codeman,
    uniform plumbing code section 1001.1"not more than one trap shall be permitted on a trap arm" what does your code allow?


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    uniform plumbing code section 1001.1"not more than one trap shall be permitted on a trap arm" what does your code allow?
    There is only one trap on a trap arm.

    The Florida code is word differently but nonetheless, "there is only one trap on a trap arm".

    Now, *IF* the trap to the right fed into the trap on the left, that would be a no-no as that would but two traps on the same trap arm, making the fixture to the right "double trapped" ... but it does not, that trap goes to the vent, as does the trap on the left. Both fixtures vented with one vent, with only one trap on each trap arm.

    Nothing against code about doing that, not even in the IRC, not even in the UPC code language you posted.

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    jerry,
    does your code have a minimun length of a trap arm? i just see a trap into a wye?


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    I have not seen one air gap on a sink top since I moved from CA. Lots of high loops, but no air gaps on the sink top.
    When I bought my last dishwasher, the instructions said to be sure to follow local codes. It did call for the drain outlet to be at least 18" from the floor, but did not specify anything for a high loop. IN fact the drawing just shows the drain hooking into the sink drain (or disposal) at a point 18" from the floor.


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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    does your code have a minimun length of a trap arm? i just see a trap into a wye?

    Brian,

    That's because you are looking too hard to try to find something wrong instead of looking at what is there and reading what the code says.

    How do you measure the length of a trap arm?

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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    jerry,
    use a tape measure! you have an answer? i would fail the two trap, one trap arm install as shown and would require an approval from iapmo or icc if you wanted to go there!


  45. #45
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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    jerry,
    use a tape measure! you have an answer? i would fail the two trap, one trap arm install as shown and would require an approval from iapmo or icc if you wanted to go there!

    Brian,

    It is two trap arms and two traps.

    You can't count?

    As asked in my last post "How do you measure the length of a trap arm?"

    Post your code which defines what a trap arm is and how to measure it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  46. #46
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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    jerry,
    u.p.c section 222.0 "trap arm" that portion of a fixture drain between a trap and a vent.
    u.p.c. section 1002.2 each fixture trap shall have a protecting vent so loacated so that the developed length of the trap arm from the trap weir to the inner edge of the vent shall be within the distance given in table 10-1, but in no case less than (2) times the diameter of the trap arm.
    you have tailpiece,trap, trap arm,wye, trap arm again and then santee to vent and drain . then you have tailpiece,trap, no trap arm,wye? you have 2 traps on a trap arm. code requires each trap to be protected by a vent.you have 2 traps protected by 1 vent on 1 trap arm,dismantle and reassemble to code. what does your code say?


  47. #47
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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    jerry,
    u.p.c section 222.0 "trap arm" that portion of a fixture drain between a trap and a vent.
    u.p.c. section 1002.2 each fixture trap shall have a protecting vent so loacated so that the developed length of the trap arm from the trap weir to the inner edge of the vent shall be within the distance given in table 10-1, but in no case less than (2) times the diameter of the trap arm.
    you have tailpiece,trap, trap arm,wye, trap arm again and then saunter to vent and drain . then you have tailpiece,trap, no trap arm,wye? you have 2 traps on a trap arm. code requires each trap to be protected by a vent.you have 2 traps protected by 1 vent on 1 trap arm,dismantle and reassemble to code. what does your code say?

    Brian,

    Read it again. Look at the photo I have again.

    I meet that code.

    I have a tailpiece, trap, a-trap arm-all-the-way-to-the-vent, and a vent ... with JUST ONE trap on THAT trap arm.

    I have a tailpiece, a trap, a-trap-arm-all-the-way-to-the-vent, and a vent ... with JUST ONE trap on THAT trap arm.

    Or are you saying that the pipe is large enough that the trap arm length does not meet this: "developed length of the trap arm from the trap weir to the inner edge of the vent shall be within the distance given in table 10-1, but in no case less than (2) times the diameter of the trap arm."?

    My gawd, man, that pipe would have to be HUGE to not meet that.

    What part of it do you not understand? I've attached a drawing for you to help explain it.

    How many traps on "trap arm (A)"? Here, I will count with you ... one ... ah ... that's all there is.

    How many traps on "trap arm (B)"? Here, I will count with you ... one ... ah ... that's all there is.

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    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  48. #48
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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    jerry,
    there should be a drain and vent after trap arm A,then it would be acceptable or are you wet venting trap A? nice pictures and explanation but i saw the same stuff in the "plumming for dummies" book.you"re still wrong


  49. #49
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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    All this talk about cord and plugged dishwashers and disposals brought up a thought.

    How many of you know the legal lengths of those cords?
    Do you bother to check and point that out?

    I know Jerry will answer,but lets let some of the others go first.
    Normally I do not worry about it. If it looks too long or if it is in a location that it could be damaged, I will say so.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  50. #50
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    Default Re: Disposal switch improperly placed?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    jerry,
    there should be a drain and vent after trap arm A,then it would be acceptable or are you wet venting trap A? nice pictures and explanation but i saw the same stuff in the "plumming for dummies" book.you"re still wrong
    I have to agree with Jerry on the traps. It is not an issue with the IRC. Under 3107.1 , you can have two traps on one arm as long as the vent is sized correctly.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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