have the walls open in my kitchen about to put in new cabnets ,want to put
outlets along back splash now that wall is open will be running a new
circuit from panel for this ,question is, should this be a 20amp. circ.
or 15amp. what is the code for spacing these along backsplash, figure need
one on both sides of sink and stove, to prevent someone from laying a cord
over sinks stoves ect.but how far apart should the other be . also how many
can be put on a 15amp. circ. and how many on 20amp. I would guess 20amp
would be best,but maybe them I'm not protecting the home from devises plug
into these as well as 15amp. would .and should I maybe switch one of these
outlets for later maybe putting under counter lites. if yes should/ could ,I
put this outlet in one of the cabnets this way the cord is some what hidden.
any help or suggestions on the code or layout of these would be great help.
You have the option of running either 15 or 20 amp circuits, however if
you go with 20 you will need to buy those 15/20a plugs (with the T prong).
20A is slightly more expensive, but it's worth it to install at least 1 20A
circuit in your kitchen, you never know when you'll end up buying an
appliance that needs it.
You are going to need to run more than 1 circuit from the panel.
Kitchen counter plugs are wired using the split receptacle method. This
means you need to install a double pole breaker per outlet and run 14/3
(15A) or 12/3 (20A) into the outlet box. The receptacle is installed by
breaking off the linking tab on the hot (black&red) side and connecting the
black and red each to the top and bottom outlets. The white (neutral) and
ground (bare or green) are connected normally.
This is done because counter-top appliances (such as toaster ovens,
kettles, etc) use a lot of power, and connecting two (i.e.: toaster oven and
kettle) to the same circuit will overload and trip the breaker.
While 1 breaker per outlet is the preferable way of doing it, the code
here does allow two outlets per 3-wire (split) circuit, as long as those two
outlets are separated by an outlet on another circuit. (I'm not sure of the
reasoning here, anyone care to comment?)
As for spacing, the CEC (not sure about NEC) dictates that no point
along the wall behind the counter should be more than 35" from a receptacle.
There are some exceptions: If the counter is less than 12" across, no
outlet is required. In addition it should not be necessary for wires to
cross sinks, the range, etc. i.e.: You can't say a part of the counter is
within 35" of a receptacle if that receptacle is on the other side of the
Also, be sure that the fridge, microwave, garburator, dishwasher, etc
have their own dedicated circuits as well, it's required by code.
This one I'm not really sure about. The code does say that outlets are
not to be installed in closets, cabinets etc... however I have seen it done
for those 12v lighting transformers so there must be an exception that I'm
not aware of. Perhaps it's just a matter of convincing the inspector that
you really are never going to plug anything other than lighting into it. :)
Maybe you could install this outlet right above the cabinets, so that it
can't be seen from below.
That being said, this outlet can't be connected to the counter-plug
outlets, Connect it, and your range hood to the rest of your kitchen
Hope this helps
I understand the split outlet wiring for the outlets/ but a double pole
breaker per outlet,does this mean each outlet is dedicated, so if I want 6
outlets and each is a split receptical I need 12 breakers.it seems like I
will run out of room in the panel by the time the whole kitchen is wired.
please keep giving me ay advise you have ,this is very interesting ,by the
way I'm in jersey if that helps.
Although they may not be bad ideas, in areas of the US following the NEC,
20 amp receptacles and split wiring are not required in a kitchen. The
circuits should be 20 amp but standard 15 amp receptacles are rated for
installation on 20 amp circuits.
For 6 receptacles you probably wouldn't want 12 circuits. If you split
wired, you could do something like 4 circuits and deliver alternate pairs
to each receptacle. That would allow you to run up to 4 high power
appliances simulateously in the vicinity of each other.
Keep in mind that if you split wire you must pigtail the neutral wires and
not rely on the the receptacle to feed it through.
Most of your other questions are probably answered at this site:
Split outlets aren't necessary in the US. Most don't do that and stick with
20A (which I think is the minimum standard).
Split outlets are necessary in Canada.
Canadian code permits you to share dual breakers across split receptacles
AS LONG AS the receptacles aren't physically adjacent, and you don't do more
than two. Ie: 6 outlets wired split requires 3 dual breakers (6 breakers in
I believe NEC has some sort of adjacency rule too.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
The minimum code requirement (NEC) is two 20 amp (small-appliance) circuits.
countertop outlets must be GFCI protected. These days the 2 required
circuits are barely adequate, you should consider providing 3 or 4 circuits
For kitchen wall counter spaces, a receptacle must be installed at each
counter space 12" or wider. No point along the countertop wall line is
permitted to be more than 2 feet from an outlet.
The above requirements will usually limit the number of receptacles by
default. The code does allow as many as you want, though, as long as you
meet the above requirements. The refrigerator outlet may be tapped off of
either of the small appliance circuits and is not required (or desired) to
be GFCI protected. The NEC does allow the refrigerator outlet to be
supplied by an individual circuit, 15 amp or larger, non-GFCI, should you
choose to do such.
No, the small appliance circuits are not permitted to supply lights, exhaust
hoods, disposals, or dishwashers, etc. Outlets for gas-fired equipment and
outlets intended strictly for an electric clock are permitted on the
small-appliance circuits. The small appliance circuits may supply
receptacle outlets in a dining room, pantry, or breakfast room, but _no_
For the undercabinet lights, since you have open walls, it would be easy to
hardwire them.......tap the power from a general purpose circuit (such as
the required overhead kitchen light circuit), run it to the desired
undercabinet switch location (if applicable), then run the cable(s) to the
fixture(s)............leave a couple extra feet of cable hanging by stapling
the cable to the stud at the required height. Once the drywall and cabinets
are installed, wire straight into the fixture(s). If you don't want to
install undercabinet lights right away, just run the cable into a shallow
plastic wiremold box with a blank cover once the drywall and cabinets are
I would recommend running two spare separate circuits.....one for a
dishwasher and one for a disposal.....even if not used at this time.
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