Running a dedicated refridgerator circuit

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Old 06-11-15, 09:57 PM
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Running a dedicated refridgerator circuit

My refrigerator is on a 20a circuit that is shared with other kitchen outlets. I'd like to run a dedicated circuit.

My questions are:

1. What is considered code for running a dedicated refrigerator circuit? 20a? GFCI? AFCI? Anything else unusual that might not be obvious?

2. The cable running into the current outlet is a type of cloth romex from the 60's. Ideally, I would like to cut this out and run a fresh new cable. I'm hesitant to re-use the existing cable. This is an interior wall.
If I fish a new cable inside the wall, does code require that staples be used?
 
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Old 06-11-15, 10:04 PM
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If I fish a new cable inside the wall, does code require that staples be used
No, but why do you feel you need a dedicated circuit?
 
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Old 06-12-15, 08:24 AM
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No, but why do you feel you need a dedicated circuit?
1. Isn't it code?

2. The breaker, on occasion, will trip when I run my toaster or coffee maker.
 
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Old 06-12-15, 08:28 AM
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It is not a code requirement unless the instructions call for one.

You have too much load when the breaker trips. How often does this happen and what is the circuit size?
 
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Old 06-12-15, 12:29 PM
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...unless the instructions call for one
Instructions on the appliance?

I always thought it was code.
Aren't refrigerators dedicated in new construction?

You have too much load when the breaker trips. How often does this happen and what is the circuit size?
Couple of times a year.
20a.
The circuit covers 4 receptacles:
2 countertop
1 refrigerator
1 dining area near floor
 
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Old 06-12-15, 12:59 PM
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Aren't refrigerators dedicated in new construction?
No. Add a second 20 amp receptacle circuit with more receptacles if you want and don't plug two high watt appliances into the same circuit at the same time.

Not knowing your counter top layout it is hard to say what would be the best way but you could replace the single gang boxes with double gang and put two receptacles on different circuits at each place.
 
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Old 06-12-15, 01:12 PM
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It doesn't hurt to have a fridge on a dedicated circuit if you have that luxury. In an older home, you could put that new cable to better use.

I would run the new cable and use it to add a few more receptacles above the counter, or at least split the existing into 2 circuits. You can then run the fridge off of one of these circuits.

Are you familiar with multi-wire circuits? Instead of running a new 12/2 cable, you can run a 12/3 cable and have 2 additional circuits available. This is ideal. You would need space for 2 additional breakers in your panel on opposite legs of service, basically a double pole breaker.
 
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Old 06-12-15, 06:47 PM
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Add a second 20 amp receptacle circuit with more receptacles if you want and don't plug two high watt appliances into the same circuit at the same time.
I'm not running two high-wattage appliances at the same time. Simply running the coffee maker causes a trip.
EDIT: I'm not considering the fridge to be a high-wattage device. The circuit can't handle the coffee maker and fridge on the same circuit.

Both counter-top receptacles have tile around them. I'm not well-versed or remotely interested in attempting to cut tile. Adding additional counter-top outlets would prove difficult because of this.

I would run the new cable and use it to add a few more receptacles above the counter, or at least split the existing into 2 circuits. You can then run the fridge off of one of these circuits.
That wouldn't solve anything as the circuit sharing the outlet and fridge would still trip. The circuit can't handle the load of a coffee maker and a fridge at the same time. Unless I'm misunderstanding your point.
 
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Old 06-12-15, 07:20 PM
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Is this a 15 or 20 amp circuit? If 20 amp you have something wrong with the breaker or refrigerator or the coffeepot. Even 15 amp I wouldn't expect it to trip.
 
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Old 06-12-15, 08:03 PM
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I agree with Ray. You asked about running a new circuit to fridge, which would be nice, but your problem may be one of the appliances or existing wiring. My comments related to using new cable for other power needs in kitchen, but that is irrelevant now. We need to determine what would cause the breaker to trip. A guess is the coffee maker.
 
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Old 06-12-15, 08:50 PM
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To jump in on your other question: 2014 NEC required circuits installed in a kitchens to be AFCI protected. NEC code from about the late 80's early 90's require receptacles that serve the counter tops in kitchens to be GFCI protected. What is required in your area will depend on what code cycle you are on.
 
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Old 06-13-15, 04:45 AM
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I might suggest finding a clamp-on ampmeter to see the load on the circuit.
 
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Old 06-13-15, 08:58 AM
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It doesn't hurt to have a fridge on a dedicated circuit if you have that luxury
Although it isn't required, I like having the refrigerator on a dedicated 20 amp circuit. I believe in the OP's case, I'd run a new 12-3 NM-B cable for a 20 amp multiwire branch circuit and fish it up into the existing refrigerator receptacle box. I'd use one circuit to refeed the existing 20 amp circuit and the second 20 amp circuit for just the refrigerator.
 
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Old 06-13-15, 09:45 AM
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We need to determine what would cause the breaker to trip. A guess is the coffee maker.
The trip with the coffee make/fridge was never consistent so I'm hesitant to try and diagnose the situation.

About a year ago, I moved the coffee maker to another 20a counter-top circuit. I haven't had a trip since. Both the coffee maker and fridge co-exist peacefully on separate circuits.
I have been running a bread toaster and a toaster oven (not at the same time) on the fridge circuit without a trip.

So, in a way, I don't currently have a problem. But I figure, adding a new circuit for the fridge isn't going to cost a lot in materials (the fridge is 10 feet from the electric box).

We're buying a new fridge anyways (which is really the catalyst for my initial post), so that can be eliminated. Breakers are cheap, I can swap out the old one.
 
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