dedicated circuit to kitchen

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Old 06-13-02, 07:09 AM
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dedicated circuit to kitchen

When I run a dedicated circuit to the kitchen, am I required to include the kitchen light on that circuit with a GFP, or can I tie it onto the circuit feeding the rest of the lights? What is the total number of ceiling lights in a residential application allowed on the same circuit?

This is a small 2 bdrm house (block) and may have a couple of ceiling fans installed. I'm hoping one 20 amp circuit will be code acceptable and safe.
 
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Old 06-13-02, 07:22 AM
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Kitchens are very regulated, and the term "dedicated circuit" usually creates confusion, so I won't use it. By "GFP", I'm going to assume you mean "Ground Fault Protection", although that is not a common acronym in my experience.

There are many, many codes that apply to kitchens. The main one is in reference to circuits serving any kitchen counter receptacles. You are required to have at least two such circuits, and these circuits may not serve any lighting or anything else except (1) counter receptacles, (2) receptacles serving the refrigerator, and (3) receptacles in the dining room (i.e., you can't put the garbage disposal or dishwasher on this circuit either). All kitchen counter receptacles must be GFP, but other receptacles on the same circuit need not be (but may be if you want).

Kitchen lighting is not really regulated much, other than it may not be on a circuit that also serves a kitchen counter receptacle or a dining room receptacle. GFP is neither required nor precluded for lighting.

There is no limit on the number of lights on a circuit (in most locations -- check locally because some cities limit the number of receptacle and lighting outlets on a circuit). The normal way to figure is to add up the wattage of all the bulbs. This figure must not exceed the number of watts provided by the circuit (1800 for a 15-amp circuit or 2400 for a 20-amp circuit). Some but not all inspectors may require you to stay below 80% of those numbers. The NEC is interpreted differently on this subject by different people.

You may put ceiling fans on the same circuit as kitchen lighting if you want, but be smart and don't overload your circuit. The fan itself uses a small amount of power (about 65 watts on high), but a lighting kit attached to that fan can use considerably more (up to 240 watts depending on the kit).

In general, you must achieve two goals when designing a circuit: (1) Meet the NEC, and (2) meet your needs. Meeting the NEC may not meet your needs, and meeting your needs may not meet the NEC.
 
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Old 06-15-02, 09:09 AM
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In this house with 11 lights, I think, and the possibility of having 3 or 4 ceiling fans installed at some point, would you advise to go with two circuits for the lights? One for the front half and one for the back half.
Oh! 20 amp circuit with 12/2 with ground.

I'm thinking each two 60 watt bulb light equals 1 and 1/11 amp, but somewhere someone may not use 60 watt bulbs. Add the fan kits and the lights on them, I may need a little extra wattage capacity?
 
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Old 06-15-02, 12:19 PM
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You could run as much as 24 - 100 watt bulbs in a circuit and you would be pulling 20 amps. A 20 amp 120 volt branch circuit can carry 2400 watts at 100% load in a dwelling.

Hope this helps

Wg
 
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Old 06-15-02, 12:39 PM
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If somebody later switches the 60-watt bulbs to 100-watt bulbs, you probably want the breaker to trip. This would be much preferrable to having the house burn down from increasing the wattage over what the fixtures are designed for. Most people don't realize what incredible risks they take by increasing the wattage of their bulbs.
 
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Old 06-15-02, 01:33 PM
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Very good point John.

Wg
 
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Old 06-15-02, 08:17 PM
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You could run as much as 24 - 100 watt bulbs in a circuit

Well, eleven lights and some with more than two bulbs and maybe 2 or 3 fans would be too much, if I am thinking right. Did I do the right thing by feeding half the house with one circuit and the other half with another?
 
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Old 06-15-02, 10:10 PM
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Sound like you did fine. The more branch circuits the merrier. I have wired home in the past when a person bought the light fixtures for me to mount in a large living room that used a case of 60 watt candlabra bulbs per fixture times two fixtures both on the same branch circuit because I had no clue they were buying such fixtures. Obviously I split those two fixtures off the normal lighting circuits and installed a dedicated branch circuit to each light fixture. Just think ahead as to what fixtures you will be buying, how many and what size bulbs will be in those fixtures and what other loads are applied to those lighting branch circuits. Plan ahead now is the easy time to split circuits to be prepared for more lighting load. Just don't waste money where you don't need it.

Good Luck

Wg
 
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