Sub Panel mounting requirements - Kitchen remodel?

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  #1  
Old 08-13-12, 08:19 PM
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Sub Panel mounting requirements - Kitchen remodel?

Hi Folks - I'm remodeling a kitchen in an early 60's house in northern New Jersey. The original wiring had 2 circuits for the kitchen. My understanding is I'll need roughly 7 circuits.

2 - 20 amp appliance circuits
1 - 20 amp dedicated Microwave
1 - 20 amp dedicated food disposal
1 - 20 amp dedicated stove hood
1 - 20 amp dedicated for gas range and oven.
1 - 15 or 20 amp lights

I'd like to run a 50 amp sub panel close to the kitchen to feed the above circuits. The best place for the sub panel would be recessed in a 2x4 finished hallway wall leading to the kitchen.

The reason this location is ideal is a cinderblock chimmey spans all floors (1st, 2nd and attic). This provides a perfect space for running both the main feeder from the main panel and branch circuits into the attic to the kitchen.

My concern is the chimmey is used by the furnance and hot water heater. The 2x4 framing around the chimmey has roughly 4" air clearance.

I've measured the exterior temp of the cinderblock during the winter while both furnance and water heater are running for a long period. The highest temp I recorded was 112 degrees which is much lower then the temps in attic now during the summer.

I'm betting NEC wouldn't allow a sub panel mounted in this location, but I can't find any evidence of this.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Ken
 
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Old 08-13-12, 09:05 PM
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You do need at least two 20 ampere GFCI protected circuits for small appliances although I consider this an absolute minimum. I personally would have no less than three such circuits.

The 20 ampere circuit for a microwave oven only applies if it is a buit-in.

There is no requirement that a garbage disposal have either a dedicated nor a 20 ampere circuit. Often a 20 ampere circuit is shared with a dishwasher.

Likewise there is no requirement that a range hood be either dedicated or a 20 ampere circuit. It cannot, however, be fed from a small appliance branch circuit.

A gas-fired range does not require a dedicated 20 ampere circuit but may be fed from the small appliance branch circuit or any other general purpose circuit.

Unless you are considering mounting the sub-panel directly on the concrete block of your chimney there should be no problem with the location PROVIDED that you have a total width of 30 inches or more (need not be centered) AND you have a minimum of 36 inches of clearance in front of the panel.
 
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Old 08-13-12, 09:12 PM
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You need two 20a circuits for counter top receptacles.
One 20 amp shared circuit for garbage disposal and dishwasher.
If hood is exhaust only it can be on the 15 amp lighting circuit.
If it is a counter top microwave it can be plugged into one of the counter top receptacles.
The gas stove can be plugged into a counter top receptacle.
Best practice separate circuit for refrigerator but not required. Must be GFCI

So at most 5 circuits. I doubt you need a subpanel. You probably already have a couple of circuits that can be reused so maybe three new circuits is all you need.

If the hall is 24" wide it is not wide enough for a panel. You need 36 inches in front of the panel and a total of 30" side to side not necessarily centered.
 
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Old 08-14-12, 08:26 AM
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Furd / Ray - Thanks for the feedback. I apologize I should have noted:

1) Yes Microwave is built in, hence the reason for the dedicated circuit
2) Food disposal will be shared with a dish washer which I totally neglected to mention. Hence the decision to run a dedicated circuit for those 2 items.
3) As Furd noted the Range hood can't be on a small appliance circuit. Hence the reason I felt dedicated was the way to go.
4) I knew the gas range and oven could run on an appliance circuit as there draws are very small. But hesitate to, as I like the idea of keeping the appliance circuits free of all fixed draws.

Furd - I like your idea of a 3rd appliance circuit. Actually this may be the perfect circuit for the range and oven. So I get an extra appliance circuit with only tiny fixed draw.

Ray Ė Hadnít thought about adding the exhaust hood to the lighting circuit. That may be the winning ticket. The refrigerator I hadnít decided what to do with yet. I was considering a separate circuit, but think thatís way overkill. So that may go on an appliance circuit.

I also should have provided a bit more detail on my mounting question. Yes I have the 36x30 clearance, so my concerns really boil down to the flush mounting of the sub panel. It will be in a standard wood 2x4 stud wall which hides the cinderblock chimney. There is roughly a 4" air gap between the stud wall and the chimney. The chimney is used by the furnace and hot water heater. The panel would be mounted to the studs, not coming in contact at all with the chimney.

Bottom line the panel (if mounted on the stud wall) would have a 4 or 5 inch air gap between it and the chimney. Wires running to/from the panel would be in a raceway (ENC or EMC) running vertically within the chimney air space providing easy access to all 3 levels of the structure.

Hope this additional information makes sense

Thanks again for your thoughts and feedback,
Ken
 
  #5  
Old 08-14-12, 09:36 AM
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Furd - I like your idea of a 3rd appliance circuit. Actually this may be the perfect circuit for the range and oven. So I get an extra appliance circuit with only tiny fixed draw.

Ray Ė Hadnít thought about adding the exhaust hood to the lighting circuit. That may be the winning ticket. The refrigerator I hadnít decided what to do with yet. I was considering a separate circuit, but think thatís way overkill. So that may go on an appliance circuit.
The receptacle for the refrigerator is considered an appliance receptacle - not the same as a small appliance circuit - and does not require GFCI protection. Any or all of these loads might share one circuit: the refrigerator, the exhaust hood and the controls for the gas range. Either the refrigerator or the range controls can be fed on a small appliance circuit, including that third one you're thinking of adding, but in advance of the GFCI protection (so no deal if you're installing GFCI breakers in the subpanel).

All of the 15A and 20A receptacles that serve the countertop must be GFCI protected. Nothing else in the kitchen needs to be.

Sources: Mike Holtís Illustrated Guide to Understanding the NEC Requirements for GFCI and AFCI Protection.
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