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avmech 03-03-2011 02:41 PM

Microwave on own circuit?
I am finishing a basement for a relative. There is a 20 amp circuit around a mini bar area that will end up with 6-8 outlets on it. One of them will have a mini fridge all the time and another a microwave all the time. Not sure as to the wattage of the microwave or fridge because they have not been purchased yet. The microwave will not be used all that often. I read in an electrical book that microwaves are usually on their own circuit, but being a smaller secondary microwave is that necessary?

Also, the outlet next to sink will be GCFI, should all the others in the bar area be downstream and protected as well? Including the fridge and micro.


Saturday Cowboy 03-03-2011 04:53 PM

truly this can only be answered by looking at the nameplates of the appliances.
However my bet is that you will find it better to have 2 circuits

kbsparky 03-04-2011 04:05 AM

A 20 Amp circuit should be adequate for the loads you have outlined, IMO.

But consider this: Should you also add something like a coffee pot, or a toaster/oven, that 20 Amp circuit may NOT be enough, when trying to nuke something at the same time while brewing your java, or toasting your sub roll.

secutanudu 03-04-2011 06:45 AM

If you feed the other outlets off the "Load" side of the gfci, they will also be protected.

joed 03-04-2011 07:26 AM

In Canada the fridge MUST be on a dedicated circuit.

kbsparky 03-04-2011 06:44 PM

Is that ALL fridges, or just the one in the main kitchen?

md2lgyk 03-05-2011 06:43 AM

Refrigerators do not require a GFI outlet, nor do microwaves. The only ones I would GFI protect are the countertop outlets. Your code may differ.

For some of the reasons already given, I would put the fridge on its own circuit. I'd also run two circuits for the countertop outlets, and alternate them so that no two on the same circuit are side by side. The microwave could be plugged into one of them.

You can never have too many outlets.

boman47k 03-05-2011 01:22 PM

When I wired my kitchen, I ran a circuit for the fridge and a circuit for the micro wave. I also ran a cfci for the counter top plugs.

Wife moved the micro wave and wants another circuit ran. :censored:

The dedicated circuit I ran for the micro wave is now used mostly just for a phone. But it is on the wall that goes out to the deck, so I might just tie into it and put a rec or two on the deck wall.

I have one outside rec, and it was one of the best things I ever did since I tend to piddle in the yard quite a bit sometimes.

avmech 03-09-2011 05:52 PM

I think I'm going to go with 2 circuits. One for fridge and a few undedicated outlets, and the other circuit for the microwave. If your a qualified electrician and you would do otherwise let me know. remember that is is a bar area, so the fridge will be the only thing using power all that often.

SD515 03-09-2011 07:02 PM

...Waiting to hear back from joe if this bar area needs a dedicated for it's fridge (Canadian rules)...just curious. Personally I would probably run 2 20A circuits, splitting them in half. 3 or 4 each. Set it up so the fridge & micro are on separate circuits. GFCI the recepts within 6 ft of the sink.

joed 03-09-2011 09:02 PM

In Canada bar fridge does not require dedicated circuit. But I don't think we have confirmed where the OP is from.
From ESA Ontario website


Does a receptacle for a bar mini-fridge require a separate circuit?

No, provided the receptacle is in a location that will accommodate a mini-fridge but not a full sized refrigerator. An example of such a space would be below a bar counter surface.

A mini fridge is defined as any refrigerator of less than 5.5 Cu ft capacity. The term mini fridge also includes the terms under counter fridge, bar fridge, wine cooler or chiller, beer or keg cooler, or other similar terms.

If the space will accommodate a full size refrigerator then a separate circuit is required.

Rule 26-720.

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