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Old 12-03-2009, 10:30 PM   #31
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


I do not have access to re-wire. Maybe I'll price out a double pole GFCI breaker. Would it be against code to cap off one leg(red) and just use a single pole 20 amp breaker withe all new receptacles?

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Old 12-03-2009, 10:38 PM   #32
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


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Originally Posted by sluggermike View Post
You might look in your circuit breaker box to see if you have a white wire attached to one of the breakers. The white wire should never be attached to a breaker. The white is a neutral and should only be attached to the neutral bus bar which is sometimes used for the ground wires also.
Except when the branch is 220V. The white should be taped or painted black or red, but it's still the white wire inside the cable.

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Old 12-03-2009, 10:48 PM   #33
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


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Originally Posted by bonsainorm View Post
I do not have access to re-wire. Maybe I'll price out a double pole GFCI breaker. Would it be against code to cap off one leg(red) and just use a single pole 20 amp breaker withe all new receptacles?
You are supposed to have (2) kitchen counter circuits by code
If you haver another circuit already (3) total, then you can eliminate 1
But given a choice between the present setup & only having 1 circuit I'd go with the 1circuit

Best choice is 20a 240v GFCI breaker to meet code without rewiring
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:52 PM   #34
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


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Originally Posted by bonsainorm View Post
Problem solved- when I switched both breakers off I found that all outlets in
kitchen were off. I proceeded to remove every duplex form the wall and check them. They all were split wired red /black. The very last outlet in the kitchen was the one without the tab removed. I broke the tab off and now everything is as it should be. This 40 year old problem is now gone! I will still run a new 15 amp dedicated circuit for the fridge.
Thanks again for all the help.
As I was reading this thread, that is exactly what I suspected. Probably, at one time the circuit worked properly, but at some point, someone changed out a receptacle, and didn't understand what split wiring is all about, and left the tab between screws.

If the breakers had not been the tandem space-saver, which are on the same phase, there would have been a short, and one or both breakers would have tripped instantly.

It's great that you came here first, and with all the experience between members of this forum, you saved yourself a lot of work, and an expense.

BTW, the fridge should not be on the same circuit with the countertop receptacles. There are supposed to be at least two dedicated circuits to the kitchen, but I would have to look up the code to tell you how they need to be laid out.

If you have the fridge on the same branch with other appliances, such as toaster oven, microwave, one of those might trip the breaker without you realizing it for a while, and the fridge is off all that time.
I like the fridge to have its own line. That can be a 15A, if that's all it feeds.

Just curious; I think you said you were going to change the breaker from 20A to 15A. Why? If you've got #12 wire, you can use 20A, and then add another receptacle if need be.

Sorry if I've got a bit long, but I like to help out when I can.

FW
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:58 PM   #35
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
You are supposed to have (2) kitchen counter circuits by code
If you haver another circuit already (3) total, then you can eliminate 1
But given a choice between the present setup & only having 1 circuit I'd go with the 1circuit

Best choice is 20a 240v GFCI breaker to meet code without rewiring
Is the fridge supposed to be on a separate circuit from the counter receps?
I think that's the way code states it, but not sure. It's certainly the way I would wire it. I've got total 3 counter duplexes, and 2 20A circuits dedicated to them (2 on one, and one on it's own).
Fridge is on another branch, but not sure if it's dedicated or not. I guess it doesn't have to be, but as I said in my other post, I don't like fridge or freezer sharing a branch with other appls that might cause a trip.

And of course the counter receps need to be GFCI.

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Old 12-03-2009, 11:04 PM   #36
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


Just curious; I think you said you were going to change the breaker from 20A to 15A. Why? If you've got #12 wire, you can use 20A, and then add another receptacle if need be.

Sorry if I've got a bit long, but I like to help out when I can.

FW[/quote]
Thanks for your help
I was saying that on the new circuit for the fridge it would be dedicated and 15 amp but the original circuit for countertops would stay 20 amp.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:28 AM   #37
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


Too many replies in here shooting from the hip.

FIRST: You need to rearrange the panel so that each conductor is on a different leg (phase) of the panel, to avoid overloading the neutral. Best way to accomplish this and be current-Code compliant is to utilize a double-pole breaker.

SECOND: In order to provide GFCI protection for your counter-top outlets, the easiest way is to use stand-alone GFCI receptacles, alternating between the black wire feed on one, and the red wire on the next. BE SURE TO PIGTAIL YOUR NEUTRAL WIRE when replacing the outlets, whether it was pigtailed before or not. And only use the "line" terminals on the GFCI outlets.

THIRD: The refrigerator outlet may be connected to the appliance circuits, but I do not recommend using GFCI protection. There are too many variables that can cause a GFCI to trip, and if that happens when you are not home for an extended period of time, you end up with a fridge full of spoiled food. Not a good thing. This aspect alone makes it less desirable to use a 2-pole GFCI breaker for this MWBC, although it would be Code compliant.

FOURTH: IF you want to install a new individual circuit for the fridge, you may use either a 15 or 20 Amp circuit. If you choose this option, then using a 2-pole GFCI breaker for your counter-top outlets would be fine, and negate the need to install stand alone GFCI outlets.
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:37 AM   #38
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


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I am in Rochester, NY. I was saying for just the 2 outlets near the sink I could install a GFCI on just, say, the red wire and not make it a split receptacle for those two. When you say to replace it with a 20 amp circuit do you mean to make it a single 20 amp circuit and just not use the red wire?
It will work, but I don't believe it will be code compliant. Aren't kitchen counter receptaces suppposed to be 20 amp? And since you are altering them they need to meet current code.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:29 AM   #39
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


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Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
Too many replies in here shooting from the hip.

FIRST: You need to rearrange the panel so that each conductor is on a different leg (phase) of the panel, to avoid overloading the neutral. Best way to accomplish this and be current-Code compliant is to utilize a double-pole breaker.
Yes. I completely forgot about the MWBC. But make sure you install a Double-Pole breaker, not the tandem space-saving one that would put both circuits on the same phase.

Also, if you are changing any breaker sizes from 15A to 20A, you also need to change the wire to #12. I don't think that is what you said, but I just wanted to add that point.

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Old 12-04-2009, 10:57 AM   #40
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


OK, I will pick up a double pole breaker today and I have 2 GFCI's.

Last edited by bonsainorm; 12-04-2009 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:05 PM   #41
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


I think what Kbsparky is saying the EACH outlet will need to be a GFCI outlet
You can't feed downstream outlets off the GFCI LOAD side since it is a shared neutral

Also right on not using a 2x pole GFCI with fridge on the circuit
My fridge is on a dedicated 15a circuit using #12 wire - no GFCI
Short run & I had the wire & the breaker
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:33 PM   #42
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


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OK, I will pick up a double pole breaker today and I have 2 GFCI's.
Be aware that under the current US codes, GFCI protection is required for ALL kitchen receptacles that serve the countertop, not just those adjacent to the sink.
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:58 PM   #43
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Why do I have to turn 2 breakers off to cut power to fridge?


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Be aware that under the current US codes, GFCI protection is required for ALL kitchen receptacles that serve the countertop, not just those adjacent to the sink.
They are also required to be 20 amp. I don't think he is going for a full update.

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