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Old 06-02-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
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Appliance Wiring


Hello all,

I am curious to know how many appliances can work off a 20 amp breaker. I want to be sure my Microwave, Stove, and Refrigerator would not be too much for the 20 amp breaker. In my manuals the 3 appliances call for 15amp or 20amp. The wire size is 12/2 This wiring is also connected to 4 other receptacles which are 15amps each above my counter tops. The existing breaker is 15amp and want to change it to a 20amp. If I am not mistaken I also have to change the receptacles to 20amp as well. These receptacles will also have other appliances plugged into them such as a toaster oven and blender which both get plenty of use.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Bob

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Old 06-02-2012, 03:13 PM   #2
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Depends on the total amps of all of them on the branch circuit. Why are you asking, do you have one branch circuit powering multiple kitchen appliances? My kitchen has no less than five circuits in it, and that includes the lighting circuit.

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Old 06-02-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
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The characteristics of the loads you mention are quite different.

This also depends on the trip curves of the breakers. Microwaving something for two minutes may not trip a breaker that would trip if you had chosen more than three minutes, depending on what else is on at the same time.
Breakers can stand 2x rated current for a while, this "while" being variable. Search on "trip curve".

If you have a nearby outlet on a different breaker IMHO in some cases you can safely lengthen cords to reach that outlet despite the protests of UL and the NEC. Since they stand to indirectly make a profit by "selling safety" so I doubt that they are impartial.

It may be anecdotal evidence but I've lengthened many cords that way. There was even one to a table saw where the splice was not properly soldered (wires get tarnish on them which prevents them from being properly 'wetted' by the solder) and it held up for years, anyway.

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Old 06-02-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
My kitchen has no less than five circuits in it, and that includes the lighting circuit.
Code only requires two....
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
Code only requires two....
Incorrect. And what code are you going by. If every Kitchen only had two circuits, you would shortly be finding yourself in a world of crap, every time the breaker tripped, due to too many devices on those two circuits. Maybe you should read a lot further into the code, along with taking a look at today's modern Kitchen's. Min. may be two SABC for counters, so if that is what you mean, you already missed the boat.

Let me repeat this again. My Kitchen has five circuits. Not five Small Appliance Branch circuits. So lets just leave it at that, because I already know you were lost when you first mis-interpreted what I stated.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:47 PM   #6
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Greg...you are completely wrong. For at least the last 14 years, the NEC has only required two small appliance circuits. The have to be 20 amp circuits.

Are you ready for your head to spin?

Other kitchen outlets can be these small appliance circuits as well.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:51 PM   #7
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To answer to OP...

I would not trust the micro and the fridge on the same circuit. You cannot simply change the 15a breaker to a 20 unless the circuit is wired with 12 gauge wire.

I would look into running a new circuit (20 amp) for the micro.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
Greg...you are completely wrong. For at least the last 14 years, the NEC has only required two small appliance circuits. The have to be 20 amp circuits.

Are you ready for your head to spin?

Other kitchen outlets can be these small appliance circuits as well.
Like I stated for the OP, k_buz, that is for the counter and can be base boards. But what kitchen have you been in, that only two circuits covered the WHOLE Kitchen. Guessing a really old one. We are not talking about SABC, the OP asked how many APPLIANCES can operate off of a circuit. They included the stove, refrigerator, microwave, etc.

To make things simple for you boys and the OP, you are looking at ONE circuit for the microwave, Fridge can come off of a circuit that feeds baseboard outlets, along with a garbage disposal if there is one can be on the same as the dishwasher if there is one. That is THREE circuits so far, four if you include lighting. then you have the counters, which need as you two boys pinned in on only, not the other stuff, so now we have SIX total circuits. Most larger Kitchens may have min. four circuits serving countertops alone, smaller usually just two, with one of those serving a microwave if just one outlet, but as we know, usually people throw a min. two outlets on a circuit and call it done.

So again k_buz, you only saw a 1/2 of the equation, or should I say a 1/5 of the equation, in how many circuits they will need tops.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:55 PM   #9
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microwave should be a dedicated circuit,,,,ref should be a dedicated circuit...stove gas...or electric...?????
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben's plumbing View Post
microwave should be a dedicated circuit,,,,ref should be a dedicated circuit...stove gas...or electric...?????
Actually fridge can share off of the baseboard and if gas stove, it can also come off of the baseboard circuit.
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:01 PM   #11
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A countertop microwave will typically be fine on one of the 20 amp small appliance circuits. A microhood will require a dedicated circuit.

There is no NEC requirement for a kitchen baseboard circuit. These can be part of the small appliance circuits.

A gas stove can be fed from one of the small appliance circuits also as can the refrigerator.

Here is a part of Article 210.52

(B) Small Appliances.
(1) Receptacle Outlets Served. In the kitchen, pantry,
breakfast room, dining room, or similar area of a dwelling
unit, the two or more 20-ampere small-appliance branch
circuits required by 210.11(C)(1) shall serve all wall and
floor receptacle outlets covered by 210.52(A), all countertop
outlets covered by 210.52(C), and receptacle outlets for
refrigeration equipment.
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Last edited by Jim Port; 06-02-2012 at 08:06 PM. Reason: added code cite
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:26 PM   #12
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Greg, I apologize, I did read your post too quickly.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Incorrect. And what code are you going by. If every Kitchen only had two circuits, you would shortly be finding yourself in a world of crap, every time the breaker tripped, due to too many devices on those two circuits. Maybe you should read a lot further into the code, along with taking a look at today's modern Kitchen's. Min. may be two SABC for counters, so if that is what you mean, you already missed the boat.

Let me repeat this again. My Kitchen has five circuits. Not five Small Appliance Branch circuits. So lets just leave it at that, because I already know you were lost when you first mis-interpreted what I stated.
You said your kitchen had 5 circuits, well, who cares? Im saying Im only required by code to install two, it really was that simple. You know I was talking about small appliance circuits.

Last edited by stickboy1375; 06-02-2012 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375

You said your kitchen had 5 circuits, well, who cares? Im saying Im only required by code to install two, it really was that simple. You know I was talking about small appliance circuits.
Again, min is 2, but there is no limit to how many circuits that can serve a kitchen, especially in commercial applications.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:35 PM   #15
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Here are a couple of links that should answer the question.

http://homerenovations.about.com/od/...iteleccode.htm

http://www.checkthishouse.com/2651/k...uirements.html

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