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Old 08-04-2010, 12:37 PM   #1
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junction box under sink


I have an outlet under the sink for my garbage disposal. It's daisy chained to a wall switch that controls the disposal and duplex gfci receptacle. I also am planning to daisy chain off the under-sink outlet to another gfci duplex receptacle on the other side of the sink.

So I essentially have a surface-mounted junction box underneath the sink. Is this a problem? The electrical box for the disposal outlet is meant for damp locations, and all wire passing under the sink is protected by conduit.

Thanks
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
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Yes it is problem. You already have a code violation. The counter receptacles must be separate from any other receptacles and lights. They also must be 20 amp circuits.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:12 PM   #3
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The counter receptacles must be separate from any other receptacles
Can you give a code reference for that statement? Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:19 PM   #4
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but couldn't you consider the outlet below the sink an outlet that could possibly serve the countertop? Techincally a person could plug in an appliance in either outlet....
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:32 PM   #5
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210.52

The only exceptions are clocks and gas ranges. No mention of garbage disposals.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:38 PM   #6
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210.52
That's a long section, but I am not seeing where it says "The counter receptacles must be separate from any other receptacles"

To the contrary, 210.52(B)(3) says the opposite:

Receptacles installed in a kitchen to serve countertop surfaces shall be supplied by not fewer than two small-appliance branch circuits, either or both of which shall also be permitted to supply receptacle outlets in the same kitchen and in other rooms specified in 210.52(B)(1).

You worried me for a second, I thought I had about 800 houses to go back and rewire
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:04 PM   #7
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junction box under sink


So the circuit that serves the countertops can also serve the under-sink outlet, and the outlets that I have on the opposite side of the wall, which serve our kitchen table and built-in ironing board.

But when the code says "2 small appliance branch circuits" does that mean two independent circuits fed from two breakers, or one circuit that has at least two branches to feed the receptacles?
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:09 PM   #8
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So the circuit that serves the countertops can also serve the under-sink outlet, and the outlets that I have on the opposite side of the wall, which serve our kitchen table and built-in ironing board.

But when the code says "2 small appliance branch circuits" does that mean two independent circuits fed from two breakers, or one circuit that has at least two branches to feed the receptacles?

It means your kitchen must contain (at least) 2 branch circuits, each controlled by a separate breaker.

My inspector wouldn't let my bathroom and kitchen both be on the same branch, however. I assume that's covered in the "bathroom" section of the NEC.

Last edited by moondawg; 08-18-2010 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:15 PM   #9
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What is the reasoning behind this code? Why would anyone need up to 40A (2 x 20A circuits) to serve the kitchen, especially if the fridge, range, dishwasher and microwave are on other circuits?
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:19 PM   #10
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What is the reasoning behind this code? Why would anyone need up to 40A (2 x 20A circuits) to serve the kitchen, especially if the fridge, range, dishwasher and microwave are on other circuits?
A toaster and coffee maker might overload a 20A circuit. As will a toaster and counter top microwave, or a wafflemaker and George Foreman grill, etc.

Devices with heating elements are basically short circuits, they use a lot of power.

To answer your earlier question, yes, you can use one of the circuits feeding the countertop to feed a receptacle by the kitchen table, etc. But you can't use that to feed a light, a bedroom, a bathroom, etc.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:20 PM   #11
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What is the reasoning behind this code? Why would anyone need up to 40A (2 x 20A circuits) to serve the kitchen, especially if the fridge, range, dishwasher and microwave are on other circuits?

Have a pitch-in with just a few people each bringing a crock pot, and you'll understand.

If you had only one circuit in a kitchen, (which has a higher chance of servicing high-load appliances) you would/could blow the breaker quite often. This would encourage people to start dragging out extension cords, or put pennies in fuses, or whatever.

The house I grew up in, you couldn't run the microwave and the toaster at the same time.... it would pop the breaker. Happened all the time. Luckily the breaker box was in a closet in my bedroom behind a big heavy pile of hanging clothes and all my other junk, so it wasn't too hard to get to!
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:22 PM   #12
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I have never seen anyone try to power a GD or DW from a SABC. 210.52(B)(1) says we need at least 2 20 amp SABC to serve the wall and floor receptacles, (B)(2) adds that these circuits shall not have other outlets. 210.52(2) and (3) also says that these receptacles will be in addition to any that are located in a cabinet or switch controlled. I would also add that I do not think the definition of small appliance applies to a fixed in place load.

Also I could add that 110.3 and following the instructions for a separate circuit for the fixed in place appliances.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:34 PM   #13
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I have never seen anyone try to power a GD or DW from a SABC. 210.52(B)(1) says we need at least 2 20 amp SABC to serve the wall and floor receptacles, (B)(2) adds that these circuits shall not have other outlets. 210.52(2) and (3) also says that these receptacles will be in addition to any that are located in a cabinet or switch controlled. I would also add that I do not think the definition of small appliance applies to a fixed in place load.

Also I could add that 110.3 and following the instructions for a separate circuit for the fixed in place appliances.

Thanks for the info. I do, in fact, have both my GD and DW on the same circuit as my countertop outlets, IIRC. It was 2 years ago when I wired it and now I'm a little fuzzy.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:36 PM   #14
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junction box under sink




so to be 100% by the book i would need 6 circuits for my kitchen:

2 x SABC
1 x disposer
1 x fridge
1 x OTR microwave
1 x dishwasher + gas range

This is the best I can do:

1 x SABC
1 x disposer+SABC
1 x fridge
1 x OTR microwave
1 x dishwasher + gas range

I just don't any open breakers to work with. The 220V breakers for the air handler, condenser, dryer take up a lot of room in my panel!
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:37 PM   #15
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I've seen a lot of DW's or GD's put on the counter receptacle circuit. It seems like this happens when the GD or DW was added later and they used the easiest method to wire them up. I also see a lot of under cabinet lighting powered off the counter receptacles since it's so easy.
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