I’m going to install a new garbage disposal for my mother-in-law, whose house was built in the mid-1950s; many of its outlets are not grounded. But I plan to use this remote control switch, which I strongly suspect needs to be plugged into a grounded outlet.
The existing disposal has a magnetic switch in the stopper (I’d never seen one of these before), so there’s no wall switch to connect the new one to. Also, most disposals now come with plugs, instead of being hardwired, as the existing one is. However, as it happens, there is a switch under the sink that my wife’s grandfather installed to shut off power to the adjacent dishwasher. He did that to prevent small kids from playing with the buttons on the then-novel dishwasher. That function is no longer necessary, so my plan is to replace the switch with an outlet. The remote switch controller will plug into the outlet, and the disposal will plug into the controller.
The romex feeding the switch box has a ground wire in it, but I’m not sure that it is really grounded. I don’t have my tool bag with me, so no ground tester is available (unless I go buy one). So my questions for Doper electricians are:
Is there a way to check whether these wires are grounded without a tester?
If it’s not already grounded, how can I safely ground this box? Can I run a single solid wire to a nearby pipe, and if so, how do I attach it securely?
Should I install a GFCI outlet? It seems unnecessary, since the remote switch will isolate the user from any direct contact with the circuit.
My Plan B, which would in many ways be much simpler, is to cut off the disposal’s plug and wire it into the existing switch (rewiring the disposal so it’s not switched). However, I suspect this is not to code. Am I right? (We’re in Massachusetts, if that makes a difference.)
FYI, the brand/type of disposal I’m looking at does not seem to be available with a hard-wired option, nor is it available as batch feed (switch built in to the stopper.) So those are not viable alternatives.
Any other advice or suggestions? I need an answer relatively fast: the hardware arrives on Friday. Thanks.