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Old 12-03-2011, 06:49 PM   #1
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x2 SABC for Wet Bar - Required by 2011 NEC?


Hi,

As of August my locale has adopted the 2011 NEC. In the past it's always been hotly debated as to whether a wet bar is a "similar area" or not. So, can anyone say one way or another whether this has changed in the 2011 NEC? Are wet bars required to have two small appliance circuits?

My scenario is that I've remodeled my basement. There's a new circuit (already passed by the city) feeding the outlets down there.

Appliances will include a small fridge (around 4 to 6 cu/ft) and compact microwave.

I'm planning to run a single 20 amp circuit with four outlets and call it done unless this doesn't adhere to the 2011 NEC.

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Old 12-03-2011, 06:51 PM   #2
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x2 SABC for Wet Bar - Required by 2011 NEC?


I've never heard of a wet bar being considered a "similar area" to a kitchen.

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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:04 PM   #3
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x2 SABC for Wet Bar - Required by 2011 NEC?


Under section 210 in 2008 NEC it refers to "kitchens, pantries, breakfast rooms, dining rooms, and similar areas".

So, is a wet bar that might have some food prep and contains a refrigerator and microwave a "similar area" that would be treated like a kitchen? I guess I've never understood what makes a wet bar different than a kitchen for purposes of code. (Other than telling the AHJ that this is my "wet bar" and this is my "kitchen").

Is there anything in 2011 code that says a wet bar needs to have small appliance circuits?

Last edited by buckybadger; 12-03-2011 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:15 PM   #4
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x2 SABC for Wet Bar - Required by 2011 NEC?


Well, I was with you until you said food prep area. An area like you describe is hardly just a wet bar any more.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:25 PM   #5
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x2 SABC for Wet Bar - Required by 2011 NEC?


Therein lies the dilemma.

Is cutting up lemons for a drink "food prep"? How about pulling something frozen out of the small bar fridge to be heated up in the freestanding microwave?
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:43 PM   #6
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x2 SABC for Wet Bar - Required by 2011 NEC?


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Originally Posted by buckybadger View Post
Therein lies the dilemma.

Is cutting up lemons for a drink "food prep"? How about pulling something frozen out of the small bar fridge to be heated up in the freestanding microwave?
This is getting to be kind of yo-yo.
No, IMO, cutting lemons for a drink is certainly not food prep. I'd say if all you are doing is making drinks it is NOT a kitchen.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:59 PM   #7
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x2 SABC for Wet Bar - Required by 2011 NEC?


For sure. I'm not trying to be a PITA; just playing devil's advocate. I know the answer is to call up my electrical inspector and just ask him.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:40 PM   #8
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x2 SABC for Wet Bar - Required by 2011 NEC?


Quote:
Originally Posted by buckybadger View Post
Therein lies the dilemma.

Is cutting up lemons for a drink "food prep"? How about pulling something frozen out of the small bar fridge to be heated up in the freestanding microwave?
Food prep is exactly that. You are preparing food to eat, not just cutting up some fruit. Then again, it depends on what your local takes it to be. A person that has built a room for a disabled family member, and they have built a "wet bar" so that they have a sink for clean up, a microwave and a fridge, could be taken as just a small service area.

When I think of food prep area, I am looking at my Kitchen, which is 12x12, and has a stove, full sized fridge, and a portable dishwasher in it.

This kind of breaks it down, as to what the definition of various areas http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Prepa...eas&id=4009704 http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=...&cop=&ei=UTF-8

So, going by what I have been through, working in Fast Food, your Wet Bar could be defined as a prep area, if you are storing, and preparing foods to be consumed in another area. If it was me, I would follow the rules that apply to a Kitchen, with the 2 SABC's, gfci at the outlets by the sink. Who is going to smack you around, if you are looking at doing it like it should be done.

First most, find out if your local will say that it is okay to do that, due to they may say that it is overkill, but then again, the inspector if you are required to have one, may say that you did it right.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:51 AM   #9
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x2 SABC for Wet Bar - Required by 2011 NEC?


Quote:
Originally Posted by buckybadger View Post
Under section 210 in 2008 NEC it refers to "kitchens, pantries, breakfast rooms, dining rooms, and similar areas".

So, is a wet bar that might have some food prep and contains a refrigerator and microwave a "similar area" that would be treated like a kitchen? I guess I've never understood what makes a wet bar different than a kitchen for purposes of code. (Other than telling the AHJ that this is my "wet bar" and this is my "kitchen").

Is there anything in 2011 code that says a wet bar needs to have small appliance circuits?
Nope , an area is not a wet bar ... they are speaking about rooms. If the wet bar is located in a similar area ..ie... a place designed for eating, preparing food or a room for storing food 20 amp small appliance branch circuits are required to serve the receptacles. Also any receptacles located within a 6 foot arc of a wet bar sink regardless of area would require gfci protection. These circuits may also be required to be afci protected.

Nec definiton

Kitchen. An area with a sink and permanent provisions for
food preparation and cooking.

A wet bar has a sink but the bar it is primarily designed for preparation of alcoholic drinks not cooking or storing of food.

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Last edited by Stubbie; 12-04-2011 at 02:25 AM.
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