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Old 07-19-2012, 11:21 AM   #1
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


Hello,

I am wiring my kitchen now, and have a few questions. Here is my current planned setup:

Circuit 1: Washer/Gas Dryer
Circuit 2: Refrigerator
Circuit 3: Dishwasher/Garbage Disposal
Circuit 4: Microwave and Gas Range
Circuit 5: Counter Top Outlets (3 of them)

I know that code says:
Kitchen counter top receptacles must be supplied by at least two small appliance branch circuits.
and
At least two 20-ampere branch circuits are required to feed receptacle outlets for small appliance loads, including refrigeration equipment in the kitchen, pantry, breakfast room, and dining room. These circuits, whether two or more are used, shall NOT supply anything other than receptacles in these areas. Lighting outlets and built-in appliances such as garbage disposals, hood fans, dishwashers, and trash compactors are NOT permitted on these circuits.

So my questions are:
Do I really need to run 2 circuits to supply my 3 counter top outlets?

Do I really need to run a separate circuit to supply counter top lighting, or is there a circuit there that I can supply it off of?

Thank you for your time and help.
-John

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Old 07-19-2012, 11:26 AM   #2
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


Yes, you need 2 circuits, so I would feed the fridge and one receptacle with one circuit, and the other two with the second circuit.
Bring the lighting circuit from another room to hit both the overhead and undercabinet lights.

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Old 07-19-2012, 11:27 AM   #3
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


#1 Yes...however, I doubt you are spacing your receptacles correctly. Max distance between countertop receptacles is 4'. Any counter 12" or more needs a receptacle...a receptacle is needed within 2' from any break in the counter.

I am not saying that it is not possible you only require 3 countertop receptacles, I am saying it would be rare that only 3 would be required.

#2 You do not need a separate circuit for countertop lighting, but you cannot use kitchen receptacle circuits for the lighting. You could use any other lighting circuit in the area to feed the countertop lighting/kitchen lighting.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:30 AM   #4
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


If you are installing a micro over the range, there is a good chance it is going to require at least a separate 15A circuit, probably separate 20A circuit in its specs. I would put the 120V range recept on with the counter outlets.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:35 AM   #5
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


Thank you for your quick response!

Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
#1 Yes...however, I doubt you are spacing your receptacles correctly. Max distance between countertop receptacles is 4'. Any counter 12" or more needs a receptacle...a receptacle is needed within 2' from any break in the counter.
I live in a fairly small condo in Chicago, and my kitchen is set up like this:
24'' counter (outlet 1)
Stove
24'' counter (outlet 2)
36'' Sink Base
24'' counter (outlet 3)
Refrigerator
Washer Dryer

I have one outlet above each counter except the sink base. I guess the two outlets on either side of the sink are probably farther than 4' apart, but I figured with the sink in the middle I would be okay. Is this incorrect? If so, then how should I adjust it to meet the 4' requirement?

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#2 You do not need a separate circuit for countertop lighting, but you cannot use kitchen receptacle circuits for the lighting. You could use any other lighting circuit in the area to feed the countertop lighting/kitchen lighting.
I don't have access to the electrical for the other lighting without pulling the ceiling down (or at least a lot more work). I do have a 3/4 inch pipe running to the circuit box on the wall though, so it would be easier to run a dedicated circuit for counter top lights than tap into the overhead lights... it just felt a little ridiculous.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:40 AM   #6
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


The sink does constitute a break in the counter. You would need a receptacle 2' from each side of the sink. Not one over the sink.

Then pull wires from the panel and you can pigtail to another circuit there. It will save you a couple bucks on a breaker.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:46 AM   #7
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Then pull wires from the panel and you can pigtail to another circuit there. It will save you a couple bucks on a breaker.
What do you mean pigtail to another circuit? Like the Garbage Disposal/Dishwasher circuit?
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:48 AM   #8
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


No, another lighting/general purpose receptacle circuit...ie the living room or bedroom.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
If you are installing a micro over the range, there is a good chance it is going to require at least a separate 15A circuit, probably separate 20A circuit in its specs. I would put the 120V range recept on with the counter outlets.
If I wanted to hide the range outlet, am I allowed to use the countertop circuit to have an outlet that would be below countertop height?

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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
The sink does constitute a break in the counter. You would need a receptacle 2' from each side of the sink. Not one over the sink.
This means that I do have the right number of outlets. Should I really give these 3 outlets 2 different circuits?

Also it is probably important to note, that the condo is about 100 years old, and for the entire rest of the 2 bed 1 bath condo I only have 3 circuits, and before I did the remodel, the entire kitchen was on 1 breaker.

Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:05 PM   #10
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


Yes, there is no requirement that only kitchen counter receptacles can be on the 20A circuit.

Yes, to be code compliant, you need to have 2 20A circuits supplying the counter top recepts.
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:02 PM   #11
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


Thanks for all your help. Last question:

Is it a problem sharing the Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher on the same 20amp circuit? I have seen opinions both ways, and see that my garbage disposal is 7.9amps. I found the 'minimum amperage' for the dishwasher at 9.1 amps, but can't find what the maximum should be.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:07 PM   #12
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


According to the NEC you should be OK, but make sure to read the installation instructions of both the dishwasher and disposal as they might require one or both to be on their own circuit.
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:10 PM   #13
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


I don't have the manuals, as they were already installed, but I will see if I can find them.

I just wanted to say thank you one more time. You answered the questions I have spent hours searching for answers to, and I feel far more confident moving forward. Thanks again and best wishes!
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:44 PM   #14
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


You didn't mention it, but just in case if you have an island, it needs a receptacle as well.
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:06 PM   #15
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Kitchen Wiring Clarifications


sullivaja, you have 4 circuits now. As long as they are 20 amp with #12, you are covered for the Kitchen.

The two circuits for the kitchen, can do counters, baseboards, pretty much the whole kitchen and dining. it is the min. required for a home prep/eating area.

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