Remodeling Kitchen

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Old 08-30-04, 09:35 PM
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Remodeling Kitchen

I purchased a house built in the 1930's and the kitchen has not been updated. My wife and i are gutting the kitchen up to removing the walls (hopefully). I need to place separate new wiring for the refrigerator, the dishwasher, and the microwave, along with 2 GFCI receptacles and 2 regular outlets for the countertops. I have received very high quotes to do this so i was thinking i could do this myself since i know where the wiring has to go, which wire to use and a modest familiarity with wiring itself (and i have access to electrical code). I would like an electrician to hook it up to the box though. Is this whole plan a possibility or am i being too overzealous in this project and just hire an electrician to do this project?
 
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Old 08-31-04, 05:35 AM
sjr
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Without knowing your background or experience with wiring, it is not possible to say whether or not you are biting off more than you can chew, much less advise on whether your finished product would be safe or code compliant.

However, if you are considering doing it yourself, I would have the following suggestions:

You need at the very least 2 x 20amp circuits for the small appliance outlets, and 1 x 15amp for the dishwasher.

The microwave can be plugged into one of the small appliance receptacles, though it may be wise to run a separate 20amp circuit.

The refrigerator receptacle could be connected to one of the small appliance circuits. Again, however, if you have the space in your panelboard, it may be a good idea to run a separate line for that as well.

When you say "2 GFCI receptacles and 2 regular outlets for the countertops" I am assuming you know that the 2 regular outlets still need to be GFCI protected (connected to the load side of the GFCI receptacle). Sorry if that sounds obvious, but better mention it just in case.

Good luck.
 
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Old 08-31-04, 06:39 AM
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The kitchen is the most electrically regulated room in the house. So before you begin, or before you even decide to do this yourself, read at least four books on home wiring cover to cover. Pay special attention to information on kitchens. If reading these books cover to cover doesn't sound like fun to you, then you probably want to let somebody else wire your kitchen. But if you are willing to do the study, you can probably do the work.
 
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Old 08-31-04, 07:20 AM
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One other piece of advice before you start: Check with the electricians who gave you estimates to see if they will allow you to do some of the work yourself. Many will not complete the hookup unless they have done all the wiring. I can't think of much worse than getting the whole job done and finding out no one will connect it for you... As a compromise, you might try to find an electrician that will allow you to work with him/her and cut down on the amount of time needed to do the job. I found one once and it was a very good experience, hopefully for both of us.

Doug M.
 
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Old 09-03-04, 06:50 PM
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thanks everyone

I am still working on getting an electrician, but hopefully to help me hook up the connections to the panel and oversee my work. I was thinking of going with a double pole circuit breaker for the countertops and running 12/3 throughout. However, how much wall will i destroy in wiring from outlet to outlet. Is it better/easier to just do 2 separate 20 amp circuits and do most of the running of wire from the basement?
 
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Old 09-03-04, 07:00 PM
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You will be much, much happier if you run two 12/2 cables rather than one 12/3. Trust me.
 
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Old 09-06-04, 05:16 PM
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this may be a stupid question

But for the separate 20 amp circuits for the countertops, can i do all the wire connections in a junction box in the basement ceiling and then wire up to the outlets. For example: Wire to GFCI line, Wire from GFCI load to junction box, connect wires in junction box and send to second outlet. Or do the connections have to go directly from one outlet to the next?
 
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Old 09-06-04, 05:56 PM
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You can have as many junction boxes as you want. However, each junction box is a potential point of failure.
 
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Old 09-06-04, 06:14 PM
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thank you

i'm trying to do as little damage to the walls as possible, so i figured if i did most of my connections in the basement ceiling i could run the wire straight up to wear my outlets will be.
 
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Old 09-06-04, 06:14 PM
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...and all junction boxes must remain permanently accessible.
 
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Old 09-06-04, 06:25 PM
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I would suggest that you run two wires up. The source wire (from the previous recepticle) and the wire to the next recepticle.
 
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Old 09-06-04, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson
You will be much, much happier if you run two 12/2 cables rather than one 12/3. Trust me.
I was thinking of doing this, for the simple fact that I have a small kitchen. Can you elaborate as to why you don't think it's a good idea?
 
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Old 09-06-04, 08:35 PM
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Running 12/3 creates a multiwire circuit. This is the source of endless confusion for the DIYer. If not properly done (and there are many little-known rules), it's dangerous. And even if properly done, if improperly modified in the future, it can become dangerous again. In many lengths of cable, 12/3 is as much or more than twice the cost of 12/2 anyway. And double-pole 20-amp breakers are more expensive and harder to find than two single-pole 20-amp breakers. And two single-pole breakers offer more breaker placement options in the panel and allow use of tandem breakers for these two circuits. Perhaps worst of all, GFCI protection can only be provided by an expensive 20-amp double-pole GFCI breaker, individual GFCI receptacles at every outlet, or by one GFCI on each leg after splitting the circuit.

There are a few benefits of all this aggravation and expense, but too darn few in my opinion.
 
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Old 09-07-04, 05:04 AM
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If done properly, a multiwire circuit can have benefits, especially in the kitchen where you often have high-current mostly resistive loads (toaster, coffee pot, etc). The farther away the kitchen is from the panel, the greater the benefit from using a multiwire circuit. I have not found 12/3 to be as expensive as either twice the length of 12/2 or anywhere near as expensive as the new 12/2/2 (which is a great innovation, don't get me wrong). One additional reason to use a multiwire circuit is that if you have two resistive loads (say a toaster and coffee maker) on at the same time and on different legs of the circuit, the voltage loss on the grounded conductor will be considerably less--and could even approach zero. I'll admit this is a small benefit, but not one to be ignored.

John Nelson is absolutely correct about the potential pitfalls of multiwire circuits. All of the benefits are lost, and considerable dangers created, if you don't know exactly what you are doing when installing them. I use one in my house, and label it as such at the breaker and in each junction box/receptacle box just to be safe.
 
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