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bobo 10-17-2005 01:46 AM

Define Split Outlet And Why Needed In Kitchen

just read on here about a split outlet and why its a must in the kitchen above counter tops. could someone please explain just exactly what a "split" outlet is and why its a must? i think the reason why is so u cant plug in two aplliances like a toaster and coffee maker into the same duplex outlet unless the bridge between the hot terminals is taken out seperating the duplex. but wouldnt u have to run two seperate circuits to the duplex outlet to make this possible?


'Andyman 10-17-2005 07:28 AM

Split Outlet

You are right on with your thinking. Yes, you do need two separate circuits and this is done with a three conducter wire comprising of a red, black and white wire. The red wire and the black wire are coming from two different breakers and are connected to the split side of the receptacle. The white wire is connected to the neutral side and on this side, the tab shouldn't be split. Hope this clears it up.

'Andyman 10-17-2005 07:46 AM


If you are doing some new wiring in a kitchen or bathroom, I should have mentioned you should use the GFI type receptacles (Ground Fault Interupt). I would think that in all areas the code now calls for this so it is a good idea to go this way. There is no big secret to wiring them and they come with an instruction sheet.

jbfan 10-17-2005 04:32 PM

I'm not sure where you received your info that the kitchen is required to have split outlet. You are required to have more than one circuit to a kitchen. I would not run a muliti wire circuit to a kitchen, because you end up tripping the gfci when sharing a netural. A split outlet is used in a room where one half of the outlet will stay hot all the time and the other half can be turned on and off with a switch. This allows you to have a lamp that is controled from a switch. There are other uses for a split outlet, but this is the most common. If you have any more questions, just ask.

Speedy Petey 10-17-2005 08:13 PM

I believe you are required to install split wired receptacles at kitchen counters in Canada.
I also would NOT use GFI receptacles. If you do you CANNOT use 3-wire cable sharing a neutral. You then must use two runs of 12/2 to each box. Unless you use deep 4x4 boxes with plaster rings this will overfill the box.
Use two-pole GFI breakers and use 12/3 between the receptacle boxes.

Sportbilly 10-17-2005 09:48 PM

Actually, by code, at least the '02 code anyway, split outlets are required to be in the same circuit (one or both can be controlled by a switch however) OR both circuits my be on the same 2-pole breaker, so that they are both disconnected by the same yoke.

'Andyman 10-18-2005 10:35 AM

GFI common neutral
Stand corrected on the common neutral on a GFI receptacle. SpeedyPetey is correct on kitchen counter area split receptacle being req'd in Canada. No chance of toaster and kettle on the same circuit.

Point of interest....I seem to remember years ago in the US that electric kettles were never approved by UL or any other certification body. Is this still the case?

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