2 circuits feeding one outlet box.

I have a 2-gang outlet box in my basement. I would like to feed it with two circuits. - One dedicated circuit for a refrigerator/freezer (with no GFI) - One shared cirucit for use as a general outlet (with GFI protection either in the outlet box or upstream)
I have a couple of questions: 1. Is there any problem with feeding a 2-gang outlet box from two different 20A circuits? Is there any special labelling required?
2. According to code, can I run a normal size refrigerator and a small standalone freezer on the *same* 20A circuit? (from a power consumption perspective it seems that even the combined load of both would be less than 75% of the 20A breaker)
Thanks
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I've seen it done a lot, so I don't think there's anything in the code about it. Maybe another poster knows. I've also seen where the same duplex receptacle is on two circuits. I don't know if it's code, but most duplex receptacles have a tab you can break off between the top and bottom. If you're going to be pulling about 15 amps on a 20 amp breaker, you might want to split that load also.

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Bob ( snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net) said...

That is called a "split" outlet, but it is not powered by TWO circuits, it is powered by a ONE double pole circuit. The circuit would use 14/3 (for 15 A) or 12/3 (for 20 A) cable providing a neutral that is common to both halves of the outlet, while the other two conductors (red and black) each connect to a different line from the double-pole breaker.
The original poster asked about having two outlets in the same ganged box and powering them from separate circuits. I prefer to avoid this, but occasionally it is not possible, especially in retro work. I have a light switch location that originally had a single switch that I have since added a second switch that happens to be on a different circut.
It is common practice in commercial installations to clearly label any box where power comes from more than one source with that information (eg: "CAUTION: this box powered from multiple locations - breaker 14 and 17").
In residential installations where this has had to occur, I have never had a problem with inspectors, and none have ever required labelling, but I prefer to put a label (usually on the inside of the cover plate), just in case any future work is not done by myself.
Regardless, whenever you have to work in an electrical box, make sure ALL conductors have their power cut off (not just the conductors you plan to work on!).
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[Re: multiple circuits feeding a single outlet box.]

Odd.
I thought the CEC and Knight are pretty explicit about _requiring_ that every box must be completely deenergizable by one disconnect (other than the main of course ;-) There were some ways you could get around this, eg:
- metal barriers between the sections - locking the boxes or area so they're not accessible by "unauthorized persons".
This is why, for example, the main and branch breaker sections of residential panels are internally segregated by metal, and usually have separate covers.
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Chris Lewis ( snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com) said...

Well, the code changes to the CEC 1994 explicitly allow two circiuts on opposite poles that share a neutral to be powered by separate single pole breakers. In other words, it would be possible to deenergize only part of some boxes down the line.
I attended a new code seminar back then and the inspector running the presentation discussed this to the surprise of many of the attendees. He had to explicitly mention about being careful when circuits are on mini/half-size breakers as it is not always clear which pole they are supplied from.
I recall at the time the condo where I live had a few circuits wired that way, though it was built in 1988-9. This was a code violation when it was built, but became legal with this change in 1994.

It is one reason. Another reason, though less common these days, is that the main section sometimes is sealed by the utility. Some utilities provide flat-rate water heaters that must be supplied by a pair of 12 or 10 gauge conductors that are fed from ahead of the meter. Connections to this is made in the mains section that is later sealed.
That said, it is best to label it if it cannot be fully separated.
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"share a neutral". What if they don't?
Or if they're on the same outlet (multiwire branch).
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There is nothing wrong with your plan. The GFCI would be required for the general purpose outlet if it's in an "unfinished" part of the basement

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On Fri, 27 Jan 2006 07:19:00 -0500, "RBM" <rbm2(remove

And label the outlet that has GFCI protection (if the GFCI is upstream so this is not obvious).

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blueman posted for all of us... I don't top post - see either inline or at bottom.

I see my pal Jeffey is do not doing any research before he belches out his often answered questions. He is a bipolar troll. He will do what he damn well pleases so just killfike him.
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