Dishwasher on a switch?

Is a dishwasher required to be on a switch (new construction)? Did a new home today and the dishwasher was not on a switch. Most homes are, yet I cannot find a reference in the IRC about it.


Many AHJ’s required it back in the early 90’s I think after a run of units caught fire due to a poor design or chaffed wire.

It was code I think in 2001 for york county but they told me that they did not enforce it then.

I am seeing it on almost all new homes now though.
Even though most units have a child override no one uses it so a switch is needed to keep kids from overcleaning the dishes.

I don’t write it up since all units I see have an override feature available and if a problem comes up with a model the CPSC will handle it.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dishwasher on a switched receptacle.

Nope…never have.

Must be a SC thing…:-({|=

I have never seen it either…Maybe its plugged into the disposal recepticle?

Definitely must be a SC thing.

Fastened in place appliances are required to have a service disconnecting means. That can be a switch or a cord and plug arrangment. It’s disign is to protect the person servicing the equipment, the same as the service disconnect on the A/C unit per NEC.

Nor have I.

The reason for the switch is what Steve said.
A switched receptacle would be redundant since the only reason for the switch is a means of disconnect, not for controlling the applaince.

In some areas the disconnect may also be a circuit breaker in the service panel provided a breaker lock is installed on the breaker.

I have seen them on a switch here, but that was simply because it was plugged into the switched receptacle meant for the disposal.

We simply move aside all the chemicals in the kitchen sink cabinet and unplug the dishwasher.

There must be more to it than that? The way you have it stated would mean that a switch would be required for a built in cooktop, built in microwave, a range hood, trash compactor, etc. I can agree with that when it comes to a furnace, A/C unit, sink disposal unit, electric hot water tank, etc. Although, I don’t know how you would be able to distinguish what devices would require a switch from that would not without listing each specific type of unit and not forgetting any or being able to accommodate new appliances.

I have never seen a switch for a dishwasher here either, other than the circuit breaker.

As for needing the power turned off to service a dishwasher, every appliance repairperson I have ever seen working on a dishwasher (and I have seen a lot) wanted the power on to inspect all the circuits in the switches & controllers. Once they have located the problem they turn off the breaker if necessary for the repair.

In my area we would simply unplug all of those except for the A/C unit, which has a disconnect close by.

Agreed. But that’s not how I read the initial question.

Can you clarify your question Joe? Where do you normally see the switch?

It is. All of those need a means of disconnect. that could be the cord and plug, a switch or a “lockable” breaker.

I understand, but I have never seen a range hood with a lockable breaker or a switch to cut off the power to the unit. Same with a trash compactor.

People wouldn’t know what to do with all the switches in their kitchen and I don’t any of us have seen hardly any houses with lockouts on the breakers. I’m sure there are a few but not many.

Can someone post a lockable breaker here for us to all see. (Not commercial)


Lockable breakers here mean putting a lock on the outer cover of the electric panel.

Thanks Michael! I’m sure not everyone here has seen them. I have but someone has to ask the question for those who may be afraid of being hit by the freight train, if you know what I mean.

How often do you see them in TX. They tend to be very rare here in my neck of the woods, East MI, up into the Thumb.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen one around here in a residential application. I’ve seen and used plenty of similar devices in commercial applications though. I got that photo from a thread on the old bulletin board.