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Discussion Starter #1
Have a single outlet for the cooktop on this circuit and I'm going to add 2 or 3 more for new kitchen island. Is this just a normal 15a circuit with this split/double breaker? Not sure what it's called but figure I'd ask before starting work.
Thanks!
 

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The breaker in slot 2??? That's just a tandem breaker. It's 2 plain breakers crammed into one space. If half of that breaker is unused, you can use it for things.

You still need to follow all the usual rules for kitchen wiring, of course. Note that kitchens require a LOT of circuits under modern Codes. If you're dealing with an older panel, especially a small one, that can be a challenge. One option is a "subpanel", which is a way to take 2 breaker spaces in your main panel and blow it out into many more spaces.

The breaker in slot #3-4 is a range/oven breaker. It cannot be shared in any way whatsoever, except between an electric oven and electric range. It can be replaced with a breaker to a subpanel, and then the oven/range can be powered out of the subpanel.
 

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You can't use that for kitchen island receptacles. They are required by code to be 20 amp.
 

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If you add subpanel leave the large loads in the original panel and move smaller loads to the subpanel . Easier to splice smaller conductors and greater reserve capacity.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
The breaker in slot 2??? That's just a tandem breaker. It's 2 plain breakers crammed into one space. If half of that breaker is unused, you can use it for things.

You still need to follow all the usual rules for kitchen wiring, of course. Note that kitchens require a LOT of circuits under modern Codes. If you're dealing with an older panel, especially a small one, that can be a challenge. One option is a "subpanel", which is a way to take 2 breaker spaces in your main panel and blow it out into many more spaces.

The breaker in slot #3-4 is a range/oven breaker. It cannot be shared in any way whatsoever, except between an electric oven and electric range. It can be replaced with a breaker to a subpanel, and then the oven/range can be powered out of the subpanel.
Sorry, yes slot 2! Most of the kitchen wiring is not going to be changing. The circuit currently just has the cooktop and I'd like to add 2-3 outlets for phones, laptops when the kids are doing homework there etc. Maybe a blender now and then but no appliances or anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You can't use that for kitchen island receptacles. They are required by code to be 20 amp.
Hmm. That's unfortunate. Could that double 15 breaker be switched for 20? I think the wiring to the current outlet is 12awg but can't quite tell (haven't pulled the old counter yet). Hoping I don't have to run new wire from the panel as that's through a wall, into the crawl space etc. Thanks!
 

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Unless you can verify that every section of wire on the circuit is 12 gauge, then you cannot install a 20 amp breaker on the circuit.
 

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If you add subpanel leave the large loads in the original panel and move smaller loads to the subpanel . Easier to splice smaller conductors and greater reserve capacity.
Depends what's easier. On a heavily double-stuffed panel like this one, moving small circuits can often mean moving four of them :(

Sorry, yes slot 2! Most of the kitchen wiring is not going to be changing. The circuit currently just has the cooktop and I'd like to add 2-3 outlets for phones, laptops when the kids are doing homework there etc. Maybe a blender now and then but no appliances or anything.
Code doesn't allow that. Not least, the next homeowner's usage may be different. You ought to be able to plug in a Foreman grill into an island outlet.

A common blunder in kitchen remodels is trying to avoid touching the electrical. Generally when you remodel, you must bring electric up to modern Code. That can call for 7-8 new circuits. Check with your permit issuer/inspector aka the AHJ.
 

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Hmm. That's unfortunate. Could that double 15 breaker be switched for 20? I think the wiring to the current outlet is 12awg but can't quite tell (haven't pulled the old counter yet). Hoping I don't have to run new wire from the panel as that's through a wall, into the crawl space etc. Thanks!
You have a QO1515.

If your wiring is the correct size, they also offer a QO2015 and a QO2020.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Unless you can verify that every section of wire on the circuit is 12 gauge, then you cannot install a 20 amp breaker on the circuit.
For one of the 15 breakers, there's only one outlet, which is for the gas cooktop (I can't find anything else on it, and I'm pretty sure they ran it just for that). It's the yellow Romex, which I think is 12 awg. It has writing on the side, but nothing about the guage. I haven't figured out what's on the other side 15a circuit, so I could get maybe I can get a 15/20 breaker and leave that side 15?
 

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Somewhere on the sheath will be the size and number of conductors and the material.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Depends what's easier. On a heavily double-stuffed panel like this one, moving small circuits can often mean moving four of them :(

Code doesn't allow that. Not least, the next homeowner's usage may be different. You ought to be able to plug in a Foreman grill into an island outlet.

A common blunder in kitchen remodels is trying to avoid touching the electrical. Generally when you remodel, you must bring electric up to modern Code. That can call for 7-8 new circuits. Check with your permit issuer/inspector aka the AHJ.
Thanks, mostly I'm not touching the other stuff, which includes oven, fridge, microwave, lighting, and about 8 outlets around the countertops. I'm reading up to try and make sure that I have the right outlets for an island so that it's code, even though I don't need a permit (called the permit office and they said just adding outlets and new cabinets didn't require it).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Somewhere on the sheath will be the size and number of conductors and the material.
Was crawling under the cabinets trying to read all the printing on the sheath, flipped it over and it was embossed on the back! 12AWG with ground
 

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A common blunder in kitchen remodels is trying to avoid touching the electrical. Generally when you remodel, you must bring electric up to modern Code. That can call for 7-8 new circuits.
I'll never understand why people do that. It's been that way for decades. Even my father, over 30 years ago when I was a kid, avoided doing any electrical work when he remodeled the kitchen in the house I grew up in. He was very good with carpentry and handy work, but not good with electrical at all, so he avoided it if at all possible. He never wanted to spend any money to hire an electrician. So after the remodel, the kitchen still had a total of two receptacles on the countertop on the same 15A circuit with the lighting.

And people still cut corners like this today, despite spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new kitchen. It will never have full functionality without updated electrical to go along with it.
 

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Unless you can verify that every section of wire on the circuit is 12 gauge, then you cannot install a 20 amp breaker on the circuit.
Yeah, honestly that can be a pain. For example, I've wired 12g wire into a 15 amp circuit, either because I made a mistake, or it was just extra wire I had on hand. If someone else were looking at that circuit they might get confused and assume it's wired all with 12g, when in fact it's only the section that's visible in the crawlspace.
 

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