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hubbard53 11-26-2007 10:44 AM

Help with this microhood issue
 
So i remodled the kitchen and installed a microhood combo in place of the existing vent hood. The circuit on which the vent was installed was shared by the kitchen lighting (overhead tracklighting and one 3 buld fixture)

When the microwave and vent are both on, the 15a breaker trips regardless of if the lights are on or off so we must turn the vent fan off if we want to use the microwave. Not a HUGE issue but certainly an inconvenience at times.

I know I cannot simply put a 20a breaker in to replace the 15a so I need a solution which I am assuming will ONLY be to run a new dedicated 12gauge line to the microhood and install a 20a breaker. This is no easy task since there is a finished basement with drywall ceiling below the kitchen. Are there any solutions I am not seeing? Hoping some more experienced electricians may have some other solutions ...

thanks

Stubbie 11-26-2007 11:31 AM

As you can see your combination fan and microwave requires a 20 amp supply. In fact it requires a dedicated 20 amp supply. So I see no solution other than to run a separate power supply using 12/2 g and a 20 amp breaker.

In would be great if you could supply us with the wattage or amperage from the nameplate on the microwave combo.

Also there should be a statement like "unit requires a individual or is recommended for a 20 amp power supply" in the installation manual.

If it says 15 amp then we may need to explore this further.

hubbard53 11-26-2007 11:49 AM

here is the link to the appliance: http://www.kitchenaid.com/catalog/pr...=137&prod=1209

You can see that it says "15a or 20a"

Stubbie 11-26-2007 12:04 PM

Ok it only requires 1200 watts max. (10 amps) so it will operate on a 15 amp circuit.

Your description sounds like an overload on the 15 amp circuit that is supplying the microwave.

Is there anything else operating on that circuit besides the lights in the kitchen?

The unit was installed cord and plug or hard wired?

Does the breaker trip immediately when you turn the vent fan on with the microwave? Or does it take 20 seconds or a minute.

Can you run the vent fan by itself for a long period without tripping the breaker?

The microwave works fine by itself? I believe you said ...yes.

hubbard53 11-26-2007 12:12 PM

the microwave is plugged in (the previous vent was hardwired so I installed an outlet)

The lights are the only only other devices on the circuit (everything but lights remain powered when i open this circuit)

It does not immediately trip the breaker when the vent is on. . . maybe 30 seconds into the cycle. We noticed it when the vent is on and we use the microwave so now we make sure the vent is off before we use hte microwave

and yes, the vent runs fine by itself as does the microwave

NateHanson 11-26-2007 12:30 PM

Certainly this isn't the ultimate fix, but it might do the trick safely - what size bulbs are in that 3-light fixture? Could you replace them with CFs? That might drop an amp or two from the load. Is the track lighting normal size bulbs that you could also replace with CF?

Sounds like the right way to do it is to run a new 15A outlet, but perhaps if you're unable/willing to do that, the bulb switch might alleviate the problem.

hubbard53 11-26-2007 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NateHanson (Post 76314)
Certainly this isn't the ultimate fix, but it might do the trick safely - what size bulbs are in that 3-light fixture? Could you replace them with CFs? That might drop an amp or two from the load. Is the track lighting normal size bulbs that you could also replace with CF?

Sounds like the right way to do it is to run a new 15A outlet, but perhaps if you're unable/willing to do that, the bulb switch might alleviate the problem.

the lights do not come into play. They circuit breaker trips regardless of if the lights are on or off

Stubbie 11-26-2007 01:29 PM

Well the best advice I can give you is to take an amp reading at the breaker with a clamp on meter when you run the fan and microwave and see what it is drawing for amperage. You might also check connections in your wirng on the branch circuit a loose connection could be causing excessive heat and or amperage draw. To see if you may have a weak breaker (mostly likely not) get someone or yourself that is comfortable in the main panel to switch with another 15 amp breaker and see what happens. Or just replace the one you have.... they are only about 4 bucks for a single pole 15 amp.

If the lights are all that is on this circuit and you are not using them this unit should work unless it is defective internally or something else is causing the trip. Others here may well have some very good suggestions so keep checking back.

J. V. 11-26-2007 01:54 PM

Make sure the wire is #14 before you pull the seperate circuit. If it is yellow it is #12. If it is white, look carefully at the outer jacket for the size. If it is #12 you can install the 20 amp breaker. Otherwise new seperate circuit is required.

HouseHelper 11-26-2007 01:59 PM

Make sure the blower cage for the vent is not binding and that the air flow is not blocked. Many of these units allow for various configurations of the blower (up, back, recirculate to room). Perhaps yours is not configured properly, thereby overloading the blower motor.

hubbard53 11-26-2007 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J. V. (Post 76341)
Make sure the wire is #14 before you pull the seperate circuit. If it is yellow it is #12. If it is white, look carefully at the outer jacket for the size. If it is #12 you can install the 20 amp breaker. Otherwise new seperate circuit is required.

I'll take a look tonight. When I was doing this remodel i remember coming across ONE #12 feed as it wouldnt fit into the outlet or switch's 'quick connect' - actually, would it be easier to open up the panel and see whats feeding that particular breaker? if its #12, woudl i be safe or would the entire circuit need to be #12 (including other brances on the circuit)

Stubbie 11-26-2007 03:16 PM

Well you would like to think you would be safe with a 20 amp breaker if it has #12 awg copper landed on it. However there is no way of knowing without what others may have done if a lot of remodeling was done over the years.

To answer your question the entire branch circuit must be #12 awg in order to use a 20 amp breaker. Any number #14 awg on that circuit would require you to place the branch circuit on a 15 amp breaker or replace the wire with #12.

hubbard53 11-26-2007 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stubbie (Post 76360)
Well you would like to think you would be safe with a 20 amp breaker if it has #12 awg copper landed on it. However there is no way of knowing without what others may have done if a lot of remodeling was done over the years.

To answer your question the entire branch circuit must be #12 awg in order to use a 20 amp breaker. Any number #14 awg on that circuit would require you to place the branch circuit on a 15 amp breaker or replace the wire with #12.

that's what i assumed. There hasnt been any remodeling until now... it was a new build about 7 yrs old. I am losing faith in whoever did the electrical work; all the breakers are mislabeled. The microhood and lights are labeled "Desk GFI" -

Andy in ATL 11-26-2007 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J. V. (Post 76341)
Make sure the wire is #14 before you pull the seperate circuit. If it is yellow it is #12. If it is white, look carefully at the outer jacket for the size. If it is #12 you can install the 20 amp breaker. Otherwise new seperate circuit is required.

Just curious...does anyone remember what year the color change was? '01 or '02 or earlier?

It is sad that a seven year old house has lights and fixed in place appliances on the same circuit.

Andy

hubbard53 11-26-2007 04:22 PM

bulk home builder = cut corners.

easier to tie a vent hood into existing circuit than run a new one, right? No room for expansion (who would ever want to replace their vent with a microhood?? :whistling2: )


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