That's not a rule, nor is it typical in my area. I've seen where a counter top had 8 receptacles...one on one circuit, 7 on the other. Not the brightest idea, but that's the way it was, and it's still code.What Jim said. Typically, every other receptacle will be powered from one breaker and the rest from the other. Or, alternately, the top of all the receptacles will be powered from one and the bottom from the other.
I know it's not a "rule" but I have seen it in several houses I've owned. I wired my current house, and used the "every other one" scheme.That's not a rule, nor is it typical in my area. I've seen where a counter top had 8 receptacles...one on one circuit, 7 on the other. Not the brightest idea, but that's the way it was, and it's still code.
...and then having to use extention cords from other rooms just to power the countertop appliances. Then there's the issue of sticking a penny behind the edison fuse (done many years ago).The reason for the two circuit is because typically the appliances are high draw like toaster ovens, coffee makers etc. Having two circuits cuts down on the tripping by having too many appliances on one circuit.
Think about it this way. My kitchen has a portable dishwasher, countertop microwave, we also have a countertop 5qt Roaster Oven, Crockpot, kitchen-aide mixer, toaster oven. Ever tried during Football season plug in a Crock-pot, 5qt roaster, use the microwave, do dishes? Breakers trip. We have three 20 amp circuits for our kitchen, which is two circuits for the counter, and one serving the Kitchen & Dining area. That is why you want min. two circuits, twice that is even better, depending on the size of the space. Mine is only 10x12, so it is small compared to a McMansion, which may be serviced by min. 6 20 amp circuits.I think out of most of the replies, I maybe the only layman here.
For all you, electricians out there...
Without the reason because it's the CODE, can you explain to me why you would need 2 20-amp circuit breaker?
I have about 5 outlets in my kitchen. I only use 2 of them. I only have 2 small appliances attached to them and those appliances are only used for about 15 minutes.
What's the worst thing that will happen if only 1 20-amp circuit breaker serves the kitchen countertops (a separate circuit breaker for oven [2-50 amp], microwave [20 amp], dishwasher [15 amp], garbage disposal [15 amp])?
P.S. Electricians here are so informative. Bravo...