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Design a Kitchen Electrical Wiring Plan

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Electrical Wiring Plan for Kitchens

Kitchen electrical wiring can easily be accomplished by first creating a kitchen electrical wiring plan. When planning your kitchen wiring, you must take into account appliances that will move from place to place, appliances that stay stationary, outlet placement for optimal usage, lighting locations for optimal light coverage in areas needed, and any specialized outlets or flexible connections, such as in the case of built-in ovens.

Small Appliance Branch Circuits

An appliance branch circuit supplies power to one or more outlets that appliances are connected to and that has no permanetly connected lighting fixtures, that is, that are not connected to part of the appliance. For instance, an oven with an oven light.

The National Electrical Code states that a general-purpose branch circuit is a circuit that supplies two or more receptacles or outlets for lighting and appliances.

Minimum NEC requirements, as per Section 210.52(B), requires that the pantry, dining room, and kitchen, including the countertop outlets, be supplied by at least two seperate circuits of 20 amps. Of course, you'll want to add many more outlets and circuits for added convenience. Remember that adding additional outlets to these circuits is allowed in the pantry, dining room, and the kitchen.

Kitchen Appliance Circuits

Kitchen appliance circuits that need to be seperate include garbage disposers, dishwashers, refrigerators, microwave ovens, electric ovens, electric ranges, and a dedicated circuit for a dining room receptacle.

Countertop Outlets

When you consider placing outlets for countertop use, remember that small appliances like crock pots, coffee pots, electric griddles, and pizza ovens come with short 2-foot cords. Try to imagine where you'll be using each small appliance that you have and position the outlets accordingly. Remember that an outlet is required within two feet of each side of the sink and an outlet no more than two feet from the end of the counter. In no circumstance is there to be more than four feet between countertop outlets.

GFCI Outlets in Wet Areas

In Section 210.8(A)(6), the NEC requires that all countertop outlets be ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI's). That's right. Although the old rule once said only within 5 feet of a sink or water, the 2008 version states otherwise. This GFCI protection can be in the form of either a GFCI receptacle or a GFCI ciruit breaker.

LightingLighting branch circuits only require a 15-amp circuit. If you're like me, I prefer 2-amp circuits for these also and I'll tell you why. I've always held the position that anything with a motor needs its own circuit and my house has many ceiling fans installed. Ceiling fans incorporate both a fan motor and a light fixture with one or many bulbs. The load of one may not be much, but include a few on the same circuit and the 15-amp circuit doesn't cut it.

When laying out the lighting fixtures, try to provide a uniform lighting layout for optimal light coverage. Try to wire circuits so that if one circuit trips, there will be another circuit with lighting close by so the lights don't all go off at once.

Three-way switches should be installed where required to allow you to walk to and from any doorway allowing acces to light switching before entering a room. If lamps are to be used that plug into outlets, try installing split outlets that leave one half of the outlet hot and the other connected to a switch to turn on the floor or desk lamp without having to cross the dark room to turn it on.

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