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Thread: Suggestions plz-electrical layout in kitchen

  1. #1
    DIY Member tregg's Avatar
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    Default Suggestions plz-electrical layout in kitchen

    I'm remodeling my kitchen 10 x 18 feet. The new cabinets with sink and gas cooktop go on the 10' wall where there is already an outlet at floor level and above that a wall switch for lights. No other outlets or switches. This is knob and tube stuff. I have the code book but it's easier to ask. How many outlets do I need on this new counter and where and how far from the sink and cooktop do they go.

    So, I need power for the counter outlets, disposal and range hood. I guess I can leave the existing light swich as is. Where should I get power for the range hood and I might want lighting in the upper cabinets.

    Can I run any of this from the existing outlet at floor level or should I redo all and how many circuits are required with what kind of breakers? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    This depends somewhat where you live, but you'll need a lot of new stuff to meet current code!

    One of the pros can fill in any details I omit or get wrong, but generally, any counter space 2' (?) or larger needs a recepticle, and they can't be more than 4' apart - there must be two independent GFCI protected, grounded, 20A circuits for the counter alone (not shared with wired appliances), and it's a good idea to have your frig and stove on separate circuits as well as possibly the range hood and microwave (depending on wattage). Since the stove is gas, you could probably put it and the range hood on the same circuit, since they don't normally use that much current. The disposal could be a fairly good-sized load as well, since some of them are over 1hp, and it could sit on it's own breaker as well. I don't think there's a minimum distance from the sink, although there may be a practical one. I have a corner sink, so there's a fair amount of room behind it, and there's an outlet behind it. That's probably not practical on a normal sink along a wall, but since it must be GFCI protected, it's more of a preference thing than safety - you don't want the cord draped in the sink, but that could happen even if it was several feet away.

    Some of the stuff can be combined, so that could minimize the new wiring. 12g wire is a pain to run as it is noticably stiffer than 14g, which is normally used for 15A circuits.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Well, if you take away 3' for the sink cabinet and 2'6" for the range, it doesn't leave much space, and it is probably divided into three sections. You need an outlet above each section of countertop, one for the range power, one for the disposer, and one for the range hood. Those near the sink will be GFCI protected, and if done properly your wire and tube will not work with them. To do it properly, you need several circuits to the kitchen, especially since the refrigerator is probably wired into the circuit you have now. I assume you do not have a dishwasher.

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    DIY Member bsperr's Avatar
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    Your outlet for the gas range ignition can be on the same circuit as one of the small appliance branch circuits (the two GFCI circuits Jim mentioned). My understanding is that an outlet for refrigeration is also allowed to be on a small appliance branch circuit, but some people like a dedicated outlet for a fridge.

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    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Corrections to some points, any countertop 12" or greater needs a receptacle. All receptacles that serve the countertop require GFI protection.

    No lighting loads allowed on the small appliance branch circuits.

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    DIY Junior Member partimer 31's Avatar
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    If you can, I would suggest, using #14 for just the light circuit, underneath you upper cabinets, if you don't go low voltage. If much easier to work with. Refrigerator on its own individual
    circuit. I your local code doesn't require AFCI or GFCI breaker is the kitchen area. than don't use one for your refrigerator or any other appliance in the kitchen.

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    DIY Member tregg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by partimer 31 View Post
    Refrigerator on its own individual
    circuit. I your local code doesn't require AFCI or GFCI breaker is the kitchen area. than don't use one for your refrigerator or any other appliance in the kitchen.
    Is there a problem with a fridge on a GFCI?

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    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    There should be no issue with the fridge and the GFI. If it is the refrigerator needs to be replaced or serviced.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    There should be no issue with the fridge and the GFI. If it is the refrigerator needs to be replaced or serviced.
    Am I paranoid about a "random" trip of the GFCI thawing out the freezer? In your exerience, is this something that happens now and then, or is it so unlikely I should not loose sleep over it?

    I do turn off my water when I go away overnight...so we are dealing with a certain level of paranoia here!!!!

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If an appliance is leaking enough to trip a GFCI, it is leaking enough to injure you. You must be in just the right circumstances for that leaking current to end up going through you just right to do it, but it is possible. A properly operating appliance should not trip one. Now, they could fail on their own, but that is a different story. You'd probably want it on a GFCI CB so you could actually test it, as a dedicated one behind the frig would probably never get tested. If it fails the test, replace it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #11
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Am I paranoid about a "random" trip of the GFCI thawing out the freezer? In your exerience, is this something that happens now and then, or is it so unlikely I should not loose sleep over it?

    I do turn off my water when I go away overnight...so we are dealing with a certain level of paranoia here!!!!
    IMO this is unwarranted to be so concerned. UL allowable leakage is 0.5mA, a Class A GFI is designed to trip at 4-6mA. This trip level is about 10x the allowable leakage. As Jim explains in post #10 you could suffer a serious shock if the GFI protection were not in place.

    The 08 NEC has expanded the GFI requirements. The exceptions for a single receptacle without GFI protection to serve an applaince like a sump pump or the garage refrigerator has been removed.

    FYI refrigerators in commercial kitchens are required to be on GFI protection.
    Last edited by Jim Port; 06-28-2010 at 08:14 AM.

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