kitchen outlets and light switches

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  #1  
Old 06-18-06, 09:54 AM
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kitchen outlets and light switches

I am in the process of remodeling my kitchen, in which I have removed the wall between the dining room and kitchen to make one big kitchen. For plotting out the electric for it, I want to make sure I do not exceed the "approved" amount of outlets per circuit and lights per switch per circuit. Currently the outlets( 5) over my counter tops are ground faulted already, and I am not changing those. I would just like to know just how many I can put to one circuit like that. ( I would like to add one or two more)
And as far as the lighting is concerned, I have one kitchen light which is on a 3-way switch that won't be touched, but it seems that it is also drawing it's power from another single kitchen light switch that I would like to replace to recessed ceiling lighting.
All total, I would like to place approx. 7-8 recessed lights if possible. I am just not sure just how many lights I can put to one switch, especially if it also has other Switches & lights feeding from it. As an added note, it seems as if two other ceiling lights on the first floor are also tied into that same circuit as well.
any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 06-18-06, 12:26 PM
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If you are in the US, your kitchen counter top must be served by a minimum of two 20 amp cricuits, which can serve no lights. If you only have one circuit, add one more. If you already have two, then decide if you need another. Another might be prudent, but not required, if there is a microwave involved, or if one circuit also serves the refrigerator.

As far as lights are concerned, add up the total maximum wattage of the lights. Don't exceed 15 amps or 20, or better yet, don't exceed 80 percent of those values.
 
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Old 06-18-06, 12:56 PM
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Bob, you didn;t answer all of the question asked though. I was hoping you would 'cuz I'm not sure but:

on a 20 amp circuit; 10 receps max. or a total computed load of 1920 amps. (I know, it doesn't work out with 180 va per recep.) You will have to add up the lighting you have and are considering adding.

I'm the king of overkill but I suggest a seperate circuit for a microwave (some can be up to 1300 watts that I have seen); a seperate circuit for the fridge (just an anal thing for me) and split up the rest on at least two circuits.
 
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Old 06-18-06, 02:04 PM
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In a residential setting in the US, there is no limit to the number of receptacles on a circuit. As the long as you do not violate the rules for a circuit, there is no limit to the number of receptacles you can put on it. You can put one, ten, or more.

I do agree that a microwave needs a fixed circuit, but unless the layout is planned ahead of time, the location for a microwave may not be fixed.
 
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Old 06-18-06, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft
In a residential setting in the US, there is no limit to the number of receptacles on a circuit. As the long as you do not violate the rules for a circuit, there is no limit to the number of receptacles you can put on it. You can put one, ten, or more.

I do agree that a microwave needs a fixed circuit, but unless the layout is planned ahead of time, the location for a microwave may not be fixed.
Like I said, I am the king of overkill. I tend to circuit with use in mind. This puts design limits on the recep layout. I tend to look at how things may be used and layout accordingly. While many receps are unused totally, certain receps will jump out at you as being used for certain things. I try to consider that in my layouts. Actually 180 va per recep is a very light load. Kitchens are pretty heavily loaded in respect to the rest of the house.

It is easier to do an overkill now than trying to rewire later when you realize that the coffemaker , the breadmaker and the monster mixer are all using receps on the same circuit. Let alone the microwave tossed in for good measure. Plus Ron Popeil's oven thingy is probably an energy hog as well. Any idea what a a George Forman super size grill burns up,,,,besides my burgers?

So with that said, racraft's answer is correct (by code) but all electricians do realize that if you built everything to code, you may have a safe system but it does little to address a functional system.
 
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Old 06-30-06, 11:15 AM
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Ok, it took me a while to get back to the forum here to see the replies. And to further clarify what I currently have in place, yes, there are two 20 amp circuits for the kitchen counter area outlets, which includes the one outlet that the microwave uses.

As it looks by the circuits, I have the following:

The 1st 20 amp circuit powers-

(3) counter top outlets (ground faulted), plus (1) outlet under the sink ( for a garbage disposal I guess, I don't have one at all installed), also included in the one outlet is a light switch for the light over the kitchen sink and the switch for the outlet under the sink
------------------------------
The 2nd 20 amp circuit powers-

(4) counter top outlets (ground faulted)
------------------------------
The 3rd 20 amp circuit powers -
the fridge
-----------------------------
The 4th 20 amp circuit powers -
the dishwasher

So I hope I am safe to assume that adding a few extra outlets off of the counter top circuits won't be a problem at all.

But...........as far as the ceiling lighting is concerned......
This is where I am finding that most all my 1st floor ceiling lights ( 9 of them) are all running from one 15 amp circuit. And if I total up the watts of all those bulbs, it is approx. around 1100-1100 watts for that circuit alone.
So I'm sure it would be out of the question then to tap into that one for any recessed lighting in the kitchen, even if I am getting rid of one of the ceiling kitchen lights ( 2-40 watt bulb) and a dining room light ( the hanging type with only 9 little bulbs) ?
 
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Old 06-30-06, 11:21 AM
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Your existing kitchen circuits do not meet code. You must fix those problems.

1100 watts on a 15 amp circuit is not a problem.

To see if you can add to this circuit, figure out what the maximum total wattage will be including what you add.

However, seeing as you have some work to do with the existing kitchen circuits, adding a new one for the lighting should not be difficult.
 
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Old 07-07-06, 06:11 AM
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Forgive me for being the novice at knowing just what is code and what is not. But the layout that I mentioned for the kitchen circuits is what was put in by a 'certified electrician' when the house was built 12 years ago. So when you say that the existing kitchen circuits 'don't meet code', is it the fact that they tied in the 'over the sink light' into the outlet line ? Or is there something else that I missed somewhere along the way ?
I do plan on taking that over the sink light out of the outlet line.

As for running any new circuits to the kitchen..... not as easy as it sounds. My panel is in the garage. And there is a cathedral ceiling family room between it and the kitchen. Not to mention that I can't go under the family room since that is a poured concrete base. So no real easy way of running a line to the kitchen without ripping out half my first floor drywalled ceiling.
Nothing like what was thought to be a average project, turning into a nightmare !
 
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Old 07-07-06, 06:19 AM
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The receptacle under the sink cannot be on the same circuit as the counter top receptacles.

No lights can be on the same circuits as counter top receptacles.

I strongly recommend getting the microwave on a dedicated circuit.

If you don't want to run a new circuit for the disposal, put it on the same circuit as the dishwasher.

If you do significant remodeling (it sounds like your job qualifies) or if you want to extend or modify a circuit then you must bring it up to code.

It does not matter if a licensed electrician did the work or not, it may not be correct. What was the result of the inspection? If no inspection was done then you have only yourself to blame if it's wrong.

It does not matter how tough it will be to run new circuits. If new circuits are called for then you need to run them.

Do not do this job halfway. Do it all the way, or don't do it at all (it's too late for that). And have it inspected.

Electricity can and does start fires and kill people.
 
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Old 07-07-06, 06:22 AM
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Check with your local building code office. Codes can vary from area to area. Any changes to structure require a building permit. You will need an electrical inspection to make sure you meet codes. This is for safety reasons.
 
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