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Kitchen Wiring Circuits

Learn what circuits are needed for a typical kitchen.

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Whether you are building a new home or just remodeling an older home, there are some basic circuits that are needed in a kitchen area to supply an effective amount of power to the appliances that will be used. Here is a list of the most commonly used circuits in a kitchen.

Refrigerator

The refrigerator requires a dedicated 20-amp, 125-volt circuit. You may only have a smaller refrigerator, while someone else may have a 25 cubic foot side-by-side refrigerator that draws more power. A 12/2 NM wire with a ground is required.

Range

An electric range will need a dedicated 250-volt, 50-amp circuit. That means that you'll need to pull a 6/3 NM cable or #6 THHN wire in pipe to feed the range. If it's a gas range, it will only require a 125-volt receptacle to feed the range, although while in the construction phase, it's a good idea to add the electric range feed while the walls are open just in the event you ever want to purchase an electric range.

Dishwasher

The dishwasher circuit should be a dedicated 125-volt, 15-amp circuit. It is fed with a 14/2 NM wire with a ground. You may elect to feed the dishwasher with a 20-amp circuit using 12/2 NM wire with a ground.

Food Disposer

Food disposers do the dirty work, clean up the messes after meals. A dedicated 15-amp circuit is required being fed by 14/2 NM wire with a ground. You may elect to feed the disposer with a 20-amp circuit using 12/2 NM wire with a ground.

Microwave Oven

The microwave oven needs a dedicated 20-amp, 125-volt circuit to feed it. This will require 12/2 NM wire with a ground.

Small Appliance Loads

Atop your counter top you will need two dedicated 20-amp, 125-volt circuits to run your small appliance loads. You know like toasters, electric griddles, coffee pots, etc... Although there may be more than two outlets on these circuits, two circuits is the minimum. That's not to say you can't add more circuits if your needs require them.

Lighting Circuit

Of course a kitchen wouldn't be complete without a lighting circuit to brighten the cooking area. A 15-amp, 125-volt dedicated circuit is required to power the ceiling fixtures, can lights, under cabinet lights, and strip lights if you have them. Each set of lights should have their own switch giving you the option of which ones to turn on.
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