Partial kitchen wiring upgrade


Old 04-26-01, 08:26 AM
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My cousin is selling her 75 year old house. The buyer's home inspector noted that the refrigerator and the gas range are plugged into extension cords which are run through the floor and plugged into outlets in the basement. Obviously not good, and the obvious solution is to install new refrigerator and 120V range outlets.

The questions are: (1) can the circuits the appliances are currently plugged into in the basement just be extended up into the kitchen, or will new circuits need to be run? I know current code requires the refrigerator have its own circuit, and that kitchen circuits in general must be isolated from the rest of the house, but can an exception be "grandfathered" in in this case? (2) By running these new outlets, will this constitute a kitchen remodel and require that the entire kitchen be brought up to current electrical code?

I know that only the local electrical inspector can answer these questions with authority, but I'd like to get the opinions of the inspector-types out there.
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Old 04-26-01, 09:29 AM
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Actually, current code DOES NOT require that the refrigerator have its own circuit.

You're not eligible for any grandfathering. If you remedy this situation, you'll have to bring it up to current code. On the other hand, I don't think you'll need to bring the whole kitchen up to code -- just the circuits you're touching.

However, in most areas (but probably not California), you don't have to fix it at all. You can either tell the buyer to take it or leave it, or you can offer the buyer a better price to take it as is. Let the buyers decide how to deal with it. I think this is the best approach if it is legal in your area and if the buyer will go for it.

You'll probably need one or two new circuits. I doubt that you'll get away with just extending the basement circuits.
Old 04-26-01, 10:48 AM
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Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
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John's right about the 'fridge. It CAN be dedicated but is not required.

What is required is two 20-amp small appliance receptacle circuits dedicated to the kitchen/dining/pantry areas with nothing else on those circuits including lighting. The 'fridge can be plugged into any of these receptacles. Having basement receptacles on the same circuit will not be allowed according to the 1999 NEC.

Hope that helps.

Old 04-26-01, 07:51 PM
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It would meet Code to run a single 20 amp circuit from the panel to the refrig receptacle then loop on to the igniter of the range from that refrigerator. If you do this and do not touch any of the existing wiring then it most likely will be declared as existing wiring. If you tap or change that circuits that are existing then that circuit would have to meet current code as a small appliance branch circuit.

Do not know that it is illegal to tap from the basement receptacles becuase neither the igniter of the range nor the refrigerator is considered a part of the small appliance branch circuit requirements. They both are allowed to be on the small appliance branch circuits but not required to be a small appliance branch circuit. The refrig and range igniter could be on any 20 amp circuit as long as no fixed appliance on that circuit carries more than 10 amps and the circuit is not pulling more than 20 amps in total use.

I would advise a single 20 amp circuit from the panel to serve both and to avoid tapping from a basement receptacle circuit because of the GFI requirement of receptacles in the basement. You increase your chance of the GFI kicking and losing what you have in your fridg.

Good Luck

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