Kitchen Wiring - Renovation

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Old 04-27-08, 09:21 AM
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Kitchen Wiring - Renovation

I hope this is not too much for one question but here goes....I am remodeling my 1960's kitchen. It is on a 20 amp circuit(3 counter outlets, 4 wall outlets, track lighting totaling 6 lamps, refrigerator outlet, W/D outlet and dehumidifier) with "mostly" 12ga wire. Prior owner added track lighting with 14ga wire. Can you confirm that I need 12ga wire on this circuit and need to upgrade any and all 14 ga wire? Do all GFCI, lights switches and receptacles need to be 20amp? The GFCI are on same circuit as lights and other outlets. Is this OK? I want to replace track lighting with recessed lighting, probably 10 recessed lights (4 more will be added on a separate circuit.) Will the circuit support the entire load above? I plan to remove the refrigerator to a dedicated circuit. This will mean that the W/D and dehumidifier will be removed off of the initial circuit since they are at end of run after refrig. Is this recommended and if so, 15 or 20 amps circuits? I will also place a dishwasher and OTR microwave on their own individual dedicated circuits. Should they be 15 or 20amps? Wow!! that's it. Can you help?
 
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Old 04-27-08, 10:23 AM
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#14 wire can not be used on a 20amp breaker.

Once you break the grandfather clause by major rewiring code requires two 20a GFCI protected circuits for the kitchen counter.

Any other receptacles should be on separate circuits. Those for a dining area may not share with other areas.

Refrigerators and microwaves are best on dedicated circuits. Code though usually permits either on the kitchen counter receptacles. Best practice: Dedicated circuits; minimum 15a for refrigerators, 20a for microwave.

Garbage disposal and dishwasher usually can share a dedicated 20a circuit.

Lighting can be on a shared circuit either 15a or 20a.

New code may require combined AFCI/GFCI breakers in certain cases.
 
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Old 04-30-08, 08:03 PM
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ray2047,
Many thanks for your guidance. I recently had a situation I did not understand. Here it goes....I was changing a receptacle. I turned off the breaker, tested connection with a 2 prong lamp tester and no juice. However, when I held a voltage tester to the wires it sounded off as if electric was on. I also plug in an outlet tester to see if grounded wrong or some other wiring error but it read OK. It turned out that the wires were not live. Why did this happen?

Thanks,
 
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Old 05-01-08, 05:31 AM
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Were you using a non-contact voltage detector that gave you the false hot reading?
 
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Old 05-01-08, 07:04 PM
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pcBoss,
Yes, it was a non-contact voltage detector.
 
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Old 05-04-08, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
Were you using a non-contact voltage detector that gave you the false hot reading?
Yes it was. Can you help?
 
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Old 05-05-08, 09:59 AM
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Non-contact voltage detectors are great toys, and good for quick checks, but they are often fooled. Depending on the type of wiring, nearby power sources, wires running parallel, etc, you can get false 'hot' readings as you've probably seen.

The best way to check for the presence of voltage is using a neon tester, since there's basically no way to get a false reading.

I recall a while back, I wracked my brain for an hour trying to figure out why I was getting a 'reading' from a non-contact detector when checking a group of neutral wires on a circuit that was off. I was convinced I had wired something wrong, something was shorting, or something was awry. After clearing my head, and checking with a voltmeter, it made more sense - the old BX cable was likely picking up some inductive voltage from a nearby wire. Not enough to do anything other than confuse the ... out of me.
 
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Old 05-08-08, 04:38 AM
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Zorfdt,
Many thanks. This makes me feel better. The situation you described is similar to mine meaning I had 3 neutrals wired together giving the false reading.

Thanks again
 
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Old 05-08-08, 06:14 AM
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There is no easy solution for what you're doing, other than to hire an electrician or learn what is code and what the codes mean.

I'd pick up Rex Caufields "Wiring a House", it has a decent section on doing a kitchen.

You'll also need to do a load calculation once you pick out your light fixtures. In general, you can get away wih a 15 amp circuit for lighting only in a kitchen. You can run a multi-wire 20-amp, 2-circuit line for your countertop. You should put your dishwasher on its own 20-amp circuit, possibly sharing it with the waste disposer. You can consider leaving your fridge on a general receptacle circuit, but it would be better on its own. If you have a range hood, it needs its own 20-amp.

And you can plan on running a new circuit for your range.

Kitchens use a lot of juice, it isn't rocket science, but you're in for a lot of work. The payoff is you'll know it will be adequate for your lifetime and then some. For me, I'm reminded of the cr*ppy old apartment I had in college that I couldn't plug in anything with a heating element without popping a fuse.
 
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Old 05-09-08, 09:57 AM
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I don't mean to hijack but I'm rewiring my entire kitchen also.

I was under the impression that each counter outlet needs it's own home run to the breaker box. Is this actually not necessary and I can combine a couple duplex outlets on one circuit, as long as I have a total of two circuits running to the countertops?

I thought that any item that needs a tool to be removed from the house is considered a fixed appliance and needs a dedicated circuit. Wouldn't this kill the idea of having the disposal and dishwasher on one circuit and any sharing of circuits including fridges and built in microwaves?

Also if rewiring dining room, won't GFCI's now be required under newer code?
 
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Old 05-09-08, 10:19 AM
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I was under the impression that each counter outlet needs it's own home run to the breaker box. Is this actually not necessary and I can combine a couple duplex outlets on one circuit, as long as I have a total of two circuits running to the countertops?
It is not necessary to have each receptacle home run to the circuit breaker panel. You can have several receptacles on one circuit.

You are correct that you do need at least two "small appliance branch circuits" with 20 ampere rating. More are probably better. These circuits also apply to pantries and dining areas. No lighting may be on these circuits.

I am unaware of any code provision requiring separate (dedicated) branch circuits for any and all "fixed" appliances. Nonetheless, it is often desirable to have such dedicated circuits because of the load of any particular fixed appliance.
 
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Old 05-09-08, 01:15 PM
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As long as you have at least two circuits, you should be fine.

Although you may not have to, it is recommended to stagger the circuits, so that every other outlet is on the other circuit. It might also be wise to have each circuit on opposite supply legs.
 
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Old 05-12-08, 01:12 PM
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Just to be clear, much of the aforementioned rules are based on the US, NEC. Canadian (CEC) codes vary especially for kitchens. I believe each receptacle needs to be split (top receptacle circuit 1, bottom recep circuit 2), and there's some rule about either side of the kitchen sink.

Just be sure you know where you are, and more importantly, let others on the forum know where you are. =)
 
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