Running new circuits, is 12/3 cable OK to save runs?

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I have to run 4 new circuits for a kitchen I am helping to remodel for a friend of mine
1-Fridge 1- Microwave/Range hood 2-counter outlets ( as required by code I was told)
The runs from the kitchen to the panel is very long and I also have to drill through several ceiling joists. I was thinking of running 2-12/3 cables instead of 4-12/2 cables. Is this allowed by code? I think someone mentioned for the counter outlets is fine, but I'm not sure about the fridge and microwave.
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On 10/3/2010 8:20 PM, Mikepier wrote:

But don't you have to gang the breakers for the outlets and/or the fridge/micro, if you wire it like that? Kinda defeats the purpose of having separate strings, methinks. Plus, 12/3 is a lot harder to work with, and stuff into boxes. I'm no code wizard, but IIRC, you have to maintain both hots all the way to the end of the string, and are not allowed to split the neutral and head 2 different directions. But I could be wrong- somebody will be along to correct me momentarily.
I can't remember- how big does the hole through a joist have to be, to pass multiple 12/2 feeds through it? I'd go that route if you can.
And on general principles- even if something 'odd' is code legal, or barely so, it will confuse the poor SOB 20 years from now working on it. Best to keep things as simple and self-evident as possible.
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When it's a long run, it makes sense to use a 3 wire. You just terminate it in a big ass box. It is a bit annoying to have to use a double pole breaker, because you can't just shut down one circuit, but the idea is to prevent miswired Edison circuits, which can be a fire hazard.

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Thanks for everyone's input. I might just play it safe then and just run seperate12/2's.
Now to another subject without starting a new thread: is there a certain guidline on where to drill holes in 2X8 joists? Can I feed 2-12/2 romex's into one hole? How big of a hole can I drill?
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A 3/4" hole at least 2" from the edge of the joist is fine for 2, 12/2 cables
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Should be far enough down from the floor. That some future worker doesn't puncture the wire with a nail from above.
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Way bigger than you need for four 12/2. Some electricians drill more and smaller holes, but I think that's primarily because they lost the chuck key and don't want to change the bit.
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R
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On 10/4/2010 8:41 AM, RicodJour wrote:

very helpful diagram. Where it says 'no notches', does that mean no holes also? I'm thinking no it doesn't mean that, but wasn't sure.
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No notches applies to the central third of the joist. Holes are fine there.
Cheers, Wayne
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No. Holes and notches are a bit different in their effects on stress concentration. Holes are less problematic (I'm trying really, really hard not to make some innuendo with that one!), so that's why I advise to avoid notching if at all possible.
R
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On 10/4/2010 2:37 PM, RicodJour wrote:

LOL! ya, i hear ya. thanks for the confirmation.
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Rico-
Thanks, a great diagram.
I remember a while ago someone posted one similar but it also spoke to the prohibition of holes in the "bearing zone".
Something like "no holes within xx" of the end of the joist / beam" ? Bearing zone or shear zone? I dont remember the details & cannot find the thread or link.
cheers Bob
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The reason why I prefer notches is because I have to break a sheetrock ceiling in a living room a few times to run the wires to the panel. Rather than cut several big holes in the sheetrock to drill through the floor joists, I thought just "notching" the sheetrock under where the joist is, then notchng the joist would be easier and less to patch up.
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Maybe the existing 40A circuit I have for the stove is fine. I just went on GE's website and looked at the specs for their electric stoves, and they all say use 40A minimum circuit. They also say to use a 40A stove plug kit. So at least I don't have to re-run the circuit, which would have been a PITA.
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Notching is much, much worse for the strength of the joist than drilling a hole at the centerline. A 2x8 notched 1" deep at the bottom has the same remaining depth as a 2x7, but only half the strength at that location. The corner of the notch creates a stress concentration and a place for a crack to start propagating.
Cheers, Wayne
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I'm not sure about your numbers, but yes, the notch reduces the overall strength whereas a hole usually does not.
R
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The difference in patching a 2" x 2" hole in a drywalled ceiling is not all that much less than patching a 4" x 12" hole, and, like I mentioned earlier, you should avoid notching. Notching affects floor stiffness and deflection, holes don't.
You'd also be required to cover each notched wire crossing with a metal plate, and that can create a small lump in the ceiling. Maybe not a big deal, but you'd have to feather out the patch more than a flush patch.
BTW, my purpose here is not to always make less work for you, it's to help you to always do better work with the least amount of effort possible.
R
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I appreciate all the inputs from everyone, thanks.
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On 10/4/2010 11:43 AM, Mikepier wrote:

that's a real good way to get a screw through a wire. Get up in there and drill the holes.
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