20a breaker with 15a outlets

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  #1  
Old 08-18-02, 09:30 PM
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20a breaker with 15a outlets

I have completed a complete kitchen remodel including updated electric. I have a debate going on if my electrical work is correct.

Someone told me if I have a 20a circuit breaker I must use 20a outlets. Back in school I was taught 15a outlets could be used on a 20a circuit but not vice versa {20a outlets on 15a circuit with 14/2}

So am I correct?

Here is a breakdown of my kitchen wiring if it helps.

I have a 20a circuit breaker which goes to a 20a GFCI. From the load side of the GFCI {the entire circuit is done in 12/2 romex}:

five 15a outlets {breakdown below}
two lights with one 60 watt bulb in each

one outlet is the 110v for the gas stove
one outlet is for the over the stove microwave unit and low voltage lighting
three outlets for the counterspace

As required by code, my dishwasher, disposer and fridge each have its own circuit {2 GFCI for dishwasher and disposal}
 
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Old 08-18-02, 10:39 PM
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Wirenut33
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Ray,
you may use either a 15 or 20 amp device on a 20 amp circuit, but you may not use any device rated at more than 15 amps on a 15 amp circuit. Whoever told you that you cannot use 15 amp devices on a 20 amp circuit needs to bone up on the NEC. I see nothing wrong with your installation.
 
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Old 08-19-02, 12:15 AM
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FREDDYG_001
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Housemarried, I agree with everything you have done accept when it comes to the dishwasher(if this is a built-in model) then that GFCI is not readily accessible, and any receptacle for an appliance that is not readily accessible does not have be GFCI protected. The garbage disposal is readily accessible, just open the cabinet door and push the reset button.



Fred
 
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Old 08-19-02, 06:23 AM
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Thanks FreddyG and Wirenut33

I knew what I had done made sense - thanks! If I can ever get the guy to pay me the $100 he owes me for losing this bet I will split it with you!

On the Dishwasher GFCI:

The two GFCIs for the dishwasher and disposer are in an oversized 2-gang box mounted high up in the sink cabinet. The disposer switch is located on the wall six feet away from the edge of the sink.
 
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Old 08-19-02, 06:31 AM
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Sparksone42
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Correct me here, if I am wrong or I misinterpreted what you wrote. As far as putting the 15a receptacles on a 20a circuit you are fine. One thing I saw puzzels me, it would appear that you ran only ONE 20a circuit for the small appliance receptacles that are located in the kitchen for the countertop.
If this is true then you do have violation!! The code requires a "minimum" of two small appliance circuits in every dwelling in the kitchen. If you only ran one then you will need to run a second circuit.
 
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Old 08-19-02, 06:37 AM
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This is what I have:

One circuit for the fridge

One circuit for the dishwasher

One circuit for the disposal

One circuit for the countertop and lights {5 outlets and two lights}
 
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Old 08-19-02, 06:54 AM
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Ray,

Code requires you to have two 20-amp GFCI protected circuits for the counter receptacles, and you may have no lighting on either of these circuits. As has already been pointed out by several people, 15-amp receptacles are fine on these circuits.

Your research is incomplete. A number of home wiring books will tell you the requirements for a kitchen. These books are available at public libraries and home improvement centers. I suggest you pick up another one.
 
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Old 08-19-02, 07:13 AM
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Thanks for your response John Nelso,

The way it was explained to me by the inspector {which it wouldn't surprise me if he was incorrect} was the fridge, dishwasher and disposal counts as two separate circuits to meet code requirement.

I will check with my books again {Modern Residential Wiring and the NEC code book} as I did before the project to make sure. If you are correct, I can't WAIT to correct it and call the city inspector to let him know!

Thanks again for your reply
 
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Old 08-19-02, 09:18 AM
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You should look at these two code articles in the NEC. 210.52 (B) 1 , 2 & 3. Also 210.11 (C) 1. These two articles spell out directly the receptacles that you are dealing with here and neither one of them says that you can use any other as a substitute!!

As John said you can't have the lighting on these circuits so you will need to refeed your lights. The only thing that you don't have to do is take the circuit for the gas stove off of the small appliance circuits as this is one of the things that the exceptions will let you place on a small appliance circuit.

One tip!!! Don't piss off that inspector or try to get him in trouble for giving you the wrong information. Chances are that he is the one that has to come back to make the inspection and you can imagine what kind of a quandry you would be in if you have given him a hard time and he shows up to make the inspection.

One other thing to keep in mind: When working in kitchens and running the two small appliance circuits it is a good idea to alternate circuits. What I mean is if there are three recptacles all on the same wall the first one is circuit a, the second one circuit b and the third will be circuit a again. Inspectors like to see this so if you plug an appliance in and the one doesn't work you can just move to the next one. It's not mandatory but a good idea.

Good Luck!!!
 
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Old 08-19-02, 10:12 AM
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I agree with you on keeping on their good side! The city is VERY strict on their code enforcement, permitting and inspections. But their work has help produce a nice little town.

I can move the lighing to another circuit of the dining room with no problem. The low voltage lighing I mentioned consists of a small transformer running five 12 volt DC "puck" lights under the wall cabinets. It is plugged into an outlet with one side switched for the low voltage lighting and the other hot for the microwave vent hood. Power to this outlet is from the countertop power circuit previously mentioned.

Is this considered kitchen lighting and does it need to be taken off of the countertop circuit?

Second question

The main panel for the house is on the outside wall opposite of one of the countertop outlets {it also happens to be the center one of the three outlets servicing the countertop} there is a sub panel in the laundry room where I installed my new kitchen circuits.

Can I simply drill through the wall behind the counter outlet, attach conduit and create the second required circuit in the outside main panel? I would change the outlet to a GFCI also.

This would:

1. My kitchen lighting would be fed from a different circuit from my countertop outlets

2. My existing kitchen circuit would feed a 20a GFCI and
one outlet on the counter,
the outlet for the gas range power,
the outlet for the micro vent hood and lowvoltage lighting

3. One outlet on the countertop would be a GFCI on its own circuit with a breaker in the outside main panel.

I HOPE you can understand what I have posted. Please ask questions if you need to.
 
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Old 08-19-02, 07:22 PM
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I can move the lighing to another circuit of the dining room with no problem.
Sorry, but you can't put lighting on the same circuit as the dining room receptacles either.

Lighting that is plugged into the counter receptacles may or may not be considered a code violation. You'll need to ask for an interpretation from your inspector.

Can I simply drill through the wall behind the counter outlet, attach conduit and create the second required circuit in the outside main panel? I would change the outlet to a GFCI also.
Probably.
 
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Old 08-19-02, 08:46 PM
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Thanks again John for your responses,

PLEASE, can you answer a few more questions?

I have plenty of capacity in my main and sub panels to correct my mistakes and not cause any type of overload.

Since the switches for my two 60 watt kitchen lights and low-voltage lighting are located in the same 3-gang box I found it easiest to feed them along with the laundry light and porch light switches from their own 15a circuit breaker in my SUB-panel. This eliminates mistake number one. {If necessary, I could isolate my kitchen lighting to its own dedicated circuit breaker}


QUESTIONS

On my existing kitchen circuit fed from my SUB panel inside the laundry room, can I:

1. Change the breaker to 15a {it can remain a 20a if need be since everything is in 12 guage wire and I have the capacity in the panels}

2. Change the counter-level GFCI it is feeding to a 15a unit {or leave the 20a if the breaker remains 20a}

3. Connect 15a-rated counter-level outlet #2 to the GFCI

4. Connect the outlet for the over-stove microwave to same circuit AND/OR connect the plug for the gas stove.

THEN, TO CREATE THE REQUIRED SECOND CIRCUIT:

Could I install a 15a or 20a breaker in my MAIN-panel to feed the required second circuit? This would mean one kitchen circuit would feed from my SUB-panel in the laundry room and the second circuit would feed from the MAIN-panel located outside. Would this be acceptable?

The second circuit would feed the last GFCI countertop outlet, the stove outlet and/or the microwave outlet, which would balance the load between the two circuits.

I hope this will correct my mistakes - I am refinancing and the bank wants to reinspect the house this Friday!

AND LASTLY

Thank you for not being overly critical of my mistakes. I understand the danger and responsibility of electrical work. I completed my electrical training over fifteen years ago and went into a different line of work. I consider myself a decent electrician have kept myself in practice over the years without any mishaps.
When people ask me a more-than-basic electrical related question I refer them to a full time electrician.

The mistakes in my kitchen were made by myself and the city inspector whom I consulted when I pulled my permit. Both he and I honestly considered the two separate dishwasher and disposal circuits AND lighting on the kitchen circuit as within the code requirement. In any case, it is still my responsibility to make sure everything is done according to code.
 
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Old 08-20-02, 08:50 PM
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kitchen circuits {and time constraint}

I am sorry to read that WG {and possibly John Nelson} may have left the forum. John along with others discovered an important code violation in my kitchen wiring that must be corrected before my house inspection Friday!

Please accept my apologies for my impatience, but I need to know if the corrections I have suggested in this thread are acceptable. I am doing the work in the evenings and have only two more evenings left.
 
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