Dealing With Split-circuit Receptacles - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-19-2011, 10:53 PM   #1
Member
 
demandrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 79
Rewards Points: 83
Default

Dealing with split-circuit receptacles


Hi all,
I'm re-wiring the receptacles for my new kitchen and I've discovered that the available power is from a split 15 amp circuit.
What has me a little confused is how the old outlets were wired so I wanted to ask you all about it here. There was a run of three receptacles, with the red hot powering the first all by itself, the black hot powering the subsequent two, and a common neutral and ground throughout.
Am I correct in thinking that this is not up to code and sort of defeats the purpose of having split-circuit in the first place?
Aside from possibly being against code, is there anything terribly wrong with such a setup? - With using a split circuit to power seperate receptacles rather than just each half of the same receptacle? I only ask because this seems to be the only way I could install GFCIs, which one cannot, if I understand correctly, install on a split circuit.
Any comments? Any general code guidelines when dealing with split-circuit?

Advertisement


Last edited by demandrew; 12-19-2011 at 10:58 PM.
demandrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2011, 10:58 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,497
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Dealing with split-circuit receptacles


They are called MWBC or MultiWire Branch Circuit.

Search for those terms.

This is an "electrical trick" which takes advantage of Alternating Current. While one wire is using the electricity one "direction", the other is using it in an opposite "direction". They balance themselves out on the one neutral.

Advertisement

Billy_Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2011, 11:02 PM   #3
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 8,338
Rewards Points: 3,470
Blog Entries: 4
Default

Dealing with split-circuit receptacles


What you are describing are NOT split wired receptacles. Split wired would have both black and red on the same receptacle and the tab cut. You have a multiwire branch circuit.

You need to post you location and the amperage of the circuit to know if it is up to code.
__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to joed For This Useful Post:
plummen (12-19-2011)
Old 12-19-2011, 11:31 PM   #4
Member
 
demandrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 79
Rewards Points: 83
Default

Dealing with split-circuit receptacles


Thanks for the quick replies.
I'm living in Toronto, and I believe the circuit is 15 amps across two breakers that are connected to each other. (Probably a little old)
I knew that they weren't set up as split-circuit, and yes none of the tabs were cut. My confusion was that I thought the two hot wires meant they were supposed to split-wire the receptacles but just chose not to. So it seems that just because I have two hot wires it doesn't mean I have to split-wire receptacles but might instead use the "trick" that billybob speaks of? At any rate, I will look into MWBC. Thank you both for bringing it to my attention!
demandrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2011, 06:46 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,975
Rewards Points: 2,046
Default

Dealing with split-circuit receptacles


When you have a 120/240 volt multiwire branch circuit with two hots and one neutral, daisy chaining from one outlet box to the next, then ground fault interrupters demand one of the following:

1. A single 120/240 volt GFCI breaker at the panel,
2. Individual GFCI receptacles in each and every outlet box,
3. One GFCI receptacle at the first outlet box for the black hot serving that box only and one GFCI receptacle at the second box for the red hot serving all remaining boxes.
4. After the first outlet box (with a GFCI unit) a separate hot and neutral pair continuing downstream for the GFCI protected (load side) continuation from the first GFCI.

YOur situation can have GFCI units installed as #3.

SPlitting the halves of a duplex receptacle can also be done with separate hot and neutral pairs (non-MWBC wiring) when the tabs between the screws are broken off on both sides of the receptacle. Both circuits must go to breakers with handles tied together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Bob
This is an electrical trick which takes advantage of Alternating Current ...
Psst! It works for direct current also, provided you get the polarity right, for example plus 6 volts for one hot and minus 6 volts for the other hot relative to a shared neutral. This is not a good automotive example because a 12 volt battery does not have a center tap for plus or minus 6 volts.
__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.

Last edited by AllanJ; 12-20-2011 at 07:02 AM.
AllanJ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2011, 08:22 AM   #6
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 8,338
Rewards Points: 3,470
Blog Entries: 4
Default

Dealing with split-circuit receptacles


This is a Canadian kitchen. You need to specify your location. It makes a difference on the answer you get.

You are correct. 15 amp receptacles on the counter are not permitted. You must wire them as split wired receptacles. If you want to install GFCI then you need either 15 amp double pole GFCI breaker or run 20 amp circuits and use 20 amp T slot GFCIs.

Advertisement

__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can you please review my wiring plan (a small project)? mudworm Electrical 15 06-25-2011 08:54 PM
Split receptacles, double pole breakers and multiple circuits in a junction box. morganhammer Electrical 6 04-05-2011 05:38 PM
Maximum number of receptacles on 15 amp circuit flati Electrical 11 03-07-2010 09:08 AM
Wiring a single pole switch into a 220v circuit rlmorgan Electrical 38 10-15-2008 08:59 PM
So lost - electrical requirements please help lapsis9 HVAC 4 12-20-2006 09:09 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts