Lighting on a 30 Amp circuit?

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  #1  
Old 06-19-07, 10:33 AM
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Lighting on a 30 Amp circuit?

I'm replacing an electric cooktop running off a dedicated 30Amp circuit with a gas cooktop. Specs on the gas cooktop say: "Electrical requirements: 10A, 120/240V AC, 60Hz; A time-delay fuse or circuit breaker and separate circuit is recommended". However, since the new cooktop will draw much less current, I sure would like to use all that extra juice in the 30 Amp circuit for additional lighting and outlets in the kitchen.

If possible, how could I use that 30 amp circuit for the new cooktop (10A) and some new receptacles (15A)?

It looks like a 10 gauge wire controlled by a double-poled 30Amp breaker.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-19-07, 10:38 AM
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You need to change this circuit. You almost certainly cannot run this new cook top on a 30 amp circuit.

And you absolutely cannot run a general purpose circuit from this.
 
  #3  
Old 06-19-07, 02:25 PM
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Assuming white, black, bare (green) couldn't he change the breaker to twenty amps and install a 120v receptacle or did I misread the question. If 4 wires a 30 amp subpanel maybe? Not an expert, just wondering.
 
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Old 06-19-07, 04:04 PM
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If it is 10/3 (3 insulated wires +bare ground), one can either install a small subpanel, or replace the breaker with a 20A two pole, and use it as a multiwire circuit.

If it is white/black/bare, then one can make it into one 15 or 20A outlet circuit.

If it is black/white/red with NO bare ground, you cand o nothing with it legally.
 
  #5  
Old 06-19-07, 05:03 PM
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Thanks for replies.
I believe it is black-white-red with no bare ground, but it's all 10 gauge wiring. I was told I could change the breaker to a 20A and run 15A and 20A receptacles on the circuit, but it sounds like that wouldn't pass inspection from what you said "you can do nothing with it legally".

If I have to run a new 20A circuit I probably wouldn't go thru the trouble, but I sure could use a couple more outlets in the kitchen and hate to see that old circuit go wasted if there's any way to use it. As best I can estimate, all my other circuits are fully loaded with microwaves, toaster ovens, refrigerator, garbage disposal, and things they didn't even make when this house was built!
 
  #6  
Old 06-19-07, 05:07 PM
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In your original post you did not offer the possibility that you would change the breaker. Once you change the breaker you no longer have a 30 amp circuit.

However, without a ground you cannot use this cable.

Run a new circuit.
 
  #7  
Old 06-19-07, 05:08 PM
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BTW, there are a couple of 15A circuits nearby. I assume I could use one of those to run the new cooktop (?!?), or does it absolutely have to be on a dedicated circuit like the specs recommend?
 
  #8  
Old 06-20-07, 08:57 AM
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It must be on a dedicated circuit. Manufacturer's installation instructions overrule code, but it doesn't really matter as code wouldn't allow a 10A fixed-in-place load on a 15A general-purpose circuit anyway.

Our electrical inspectors would allow you to use the existing black-red-white cable as long as it's copper and you changed the double pole 30A breaker to a single pole 20A breaker. You would need to strip off all of the red conductor's insulation in both the panel box and the receptacle j-box so that the formerly red conductor is completely bare where exposed; this would be the ground wire. Check with your inspector before doing this.
 
  #9  
Old 06-20-07, 04:03 PM
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O.K. The cooktop specs say: "A time-delay fuse or circuit breaker and separate circuit is recommended". If the code required a separate circuit for every cooktop, the appliance specs would most likely say 'required' rather than 'recommended'. By the way, why is that 'recommended' anyway? After all, it is a gas cooktop and the only electonics (I believe) are for the digital, LCD readouts. I can't believe it is drawing a steady 10amps. My vacuum cleaner is rated 8amps -- but I believe that is 'peak' draw, right? Something's not adding up here -- does anyone installing a new gas cooktop have to run a new dedicated circuit???

On the other issue of utilizing the 30amp circuitry, it sounds like I'm being discouraged from doing that, but it also sounds like it CAN be done if I replace the 30amp breakers with a 20amp AND make sure there is a proper ground. The reasons I'm trying to avoid running a new circuit are: 1) the circuit panel is on the exterior, opposite end of the house from the kitchen, the foundation is cement slab, and there is no attic or upstairs so I'd have to run it through the walls of about 4 rooms, and, 2) the circuit panel is maxed out -- I'd have to replace it with a larger panel, all in all a lot of work. That's why I'm trying so hard to be able to use what is already there... But I will check with a master electrician or inspector to be sure.

Just musing at this point, but I do respect the comments from all, and any further insight or details (books, references, web sites, etc.) dealing with these issues is appreciated. Thanks,
 
  #10  
Old 06-21-07, 03:02 PM
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> Something's not adding up here -- does anyone installing a new gas
> cooktop have to run a new dedicated circuit???

You're bumping up against a couple rules here. First, only a few things are allowed to be installed on the "small appliance circuits" which feed the kitchen countertops. One of the things allowed on that circuit is the control electronics and ignition mechanism for gas stoves. However, it is also a requirement that small appliance circuits be 20A; yours are 15A. This puts you in a technical pickle because the small appliance circuit is allowed as-is (grandfathered), but if you extend it to the stove it is now non-conforming. You certainly could run this option by the inspector also.

I misunderstood when I said you couldn't put this 10A load on the 15A circuit. I thought the 10A was for a built-in electric cooker, not just an ignition mechanism. The inspector may allow you to extend the 15A circuit to the stove.

> if I replace the 30amp breakers with a 20amp AND make sure there
> is a proper ground

Definitely run this by the inspector first. Electrically this will work just fine. The technicality in this case is the color of the ground wire. Code only allows green or bare ground wires -- converting the red wire to the ground wire by stripping it bare may or may not be allowed by the inspector. The disadvantage to this method is that once you strip the wire, you can't go back. If you wanted an electric cooktop again, it would mean completely new wire.
 
  #11  
Old 06-21-07, 07:09 PM
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Now I am curious. Can he replace the 2 pole 30 w/a single pole 20. White wire to neutral, black wire to single pole 20, either strip red wire to bare on both ends or use green tape over red on both ends-then connect to ground bus. In the kitchen install one recep behind cook top and if able install one or two additional receps in the vicinity of cook top for counter top receps?
 
  #12  
Old 06-21-07, 08:43 PM
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You are not allowed to put green tape on a wire and call it a ground. The suggestion to strip the exposed red insulation and use the wire for a ground is also not technically legal, but it is something that is apparently allowed in some locations.
 
  #13  
Old 06-21-07, 09:41 PM
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Not talking about this situation but say you have a roll of wire (all one color, white or say black). You are running four same color conductors in conduit. Can you then use tape to differentiate the conductors? Black, Red, White, Green. Is that ok?
 
  #14  
Old 06-21-07, 10:09 PM
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According to the NEC this is allowable only with conductors larger than #6. In reality it is a judgement call by the local inspector who may, or may not, allow it.

Remember, the NEC has no power of enforcement. It is the local jurisdiction that adopts the NEC, either in its entirety or with additions and/or deletions, thereby making it a local code with local enforcement.

It is ALWAYS the LOCAL code that must be followed.
 
  #15  
Old 06-21-07, 10:13 PM
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Yes and no, you can for every color but ground. The ground must be insulated green wire. No exceptions. The others are fair game however.
 
  #16  
Old 06-21-07, 10:32 PM
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burke, I've done it. I have used black #8 wire and color-coded it with white, red and green tape. The inspector did not have a problem.

And no, this was not in some hidden away little hamlet but the big city of Seattle. The interpretation of the code is ALWAYS at the local level.

Or if you are stating that a person may always re-code any wire other than the equipment grounding conductor then you are wrong. The NEC is absolute in stating that conductors of #6 or smaller size MUST have the appropriate color insulation their entire length and that re-identifyiing is not acceptable.

Again, it is the LOCAL code and the LOCAL Authority Having Jurisdiction (usually the individual inspector) that has the final say.
 
  #17  
Old 07-02-07, 09:30 PM
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I decided to disconnect the electric cooktop and leave the 30Amp circuit unused. As "ibpooks" suggested, a future owner may want to go back to an electric cooktop for some reason.

I still need one additional outlet for a small toaster oven. I did locate a 20Amp circuit running behind the kitchen counter wall without much load on it. This circuit is loaded with only 3 outlets, a wall light and the garbage disposal. The outlets run small things like an electric can opener, the range hood fan, a kitchen mixer and night lights, and I calculate maximum usage on that circuit of about 700 Watts plus whatever the disposal uses. My disposal instruction booklet didn't say how much current it draws, but it did recommend a dedicated 15A circuit. Will the 20A line handle the toaster oven in addition to the garbage disposal? How much power does a typical garbage disposal use?
 
  #18  
Old 07-03-07, 04:21 AM
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It makes no difference whether or not this circuit can handle the load. Yoiu are not allowed to use it for a kitchen receptacle on the counter top.
 
  #19  
Old 07-03-07, 07:03 AM
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I don't understand the answer. Just to clarify: the 20A line I'm referring to already has 3 kitchen counter outlets (actually 2 outlets plus the range hood) in addition to the light -- which is an undercabinet light, and the disposal. I simply want to add a 4th kitchen counter outlet on the other side of the sink where the toaster oven will be.
 
  #20  
Old 07-03-07, 07:11 AM
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This circuit is not legal by today's code, which means that you can't add to it. I don't think a circuit as you describe ever was legal. Somewhere along the way someone made it illegal.
 
  #21  
Old 07-03-07, 08:08 AM
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Probably the vent and disposal were added after the original installation. By code neither of these can be on the cabinet top receptacle circuit. You might consider running a new circuits for these two items.
 
  #22  
Old 07-03-07, 09:47 AM
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Well this is disconcerting. Apparently the disposal was added before I moved in. The range vent was changed more than 15 years ago when I had the cabinets refaced. I used a reputable contractor and assumed they did everything to code. It sounds like current code requires separate dedicated circuits for each appliance in the kitchen: disposal, range hood, cooktop, refrigerator, microwave, and also the counter outlets. Can anyone explain the rationale for that? I've lived here many years and have never had an overload or other electrical problem -- and the kitchen gets plenty of use!
 
  #23  
Old 07-03-07, 10:18 AM
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Code does not require separate circuits for each appliance.

The refrigerator may be on the same circuit as the counter top receptacles.

The disposal may be on the same circuit as the dishwasher, but neither may be on the counter top circuits.

A gas stove may be on the counter top circuit.

No hard wired lighting may be on the counter top circuits.

There are many other nuances.

The code is all about safety.

None of us know the exact reasons why certain things are allowed and other aren't.

All that we can say for certain is that code is trying to limit the load on each circuit, but at the same time not be difficult or expensive to implement.

Whether or not you trip breakers has everything to do with how you use electricity. Before I redid my kitchen I used to trip the breaker on a regular basis, and learned (or more correctly taught my wife) to be careful. We had one counter top circuit. A toaster over, an electric frying pan and a coffee maker were too much for one breaker.
 
  #24  
Old 07-03-07, 01:45 PM
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Thank you for the more detailed explanation.

It sounds like I could move the garbage disposal wiring over to the dishwasher's dedicated 20A line, move the under cabinet lights and range hood to a new circuit, then install a new counter outlet near the location of the toaster oven on the 20A line in question -- that will give me a dedicated 20A line for 3 kitchen counter outlets. The range hood and under cabinet lighting use a grand total of maybe 250 watts, so I could probably put those on my kitchen ceiling light circuit. Or does the counter lighting also require a separate circuit?

Thanks again.
 
  #25  
Old 07-03-07, 04:26 PM
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The counter lighting can be with the ceiling lighting.

You should have two small appliance circuits.
 
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