I had posted another thread a few days ago about an upcoming kitchen
reno. Here's another electrical question. As I said before I have to
run 4 new 20A Circuits to a panel.
1 circuit -Fridge
1 circuit -Microwave/Range Hood
2 circuits- Counter top outlets
Now I have to address the lighting issue. Presently I have one fixture
in the middle ( which is coming off a 20A bathroom circuit). I am
adding at least 4-6 hi-hats in addition to keeping the middle fixture.
My intention was after I tear down the walls and ceiling to re-wire
the lights the right way to an existing 15A lighting circuit, but in
the event I can't find one nearby, what are my options?
1-Keep it on the existing 20A bathroom circuit
2-Tap off one of the 4 circuits I'm running for the kitchen
The panel will be pretty full after running the 4 new circuits, so
running a seperate 15 A line is not an option.
I would not use the bath or various kitchen receptical circuits as a
light circuit source. What other nearby lighting circuits are there
and what is their loads? Like dining room, hall, family room, living
room, other rooms near the kitchen. You can run a new piece of 14/2
from an existing lighting circuit breaker. Just figure out which one
still has capacity. You're looking to keep it under 80%. Otherwise
you can double up a single box slot with one of those two 15a breakers
in a single slot. Lowes has them.
Does that circuit serve the required bathroom GFCI receptacle? Then
it is not allowed to serve loads outside the bathroom. If it serves
only other loads in the bathroom (lighting, fans, etc.), then it is
fine to have the kitchen lights on it.
Putting the kitchen lights on the 2 SABCs (countertop circuits) is not
Putting the kitchen lights on the circuit with the microwave/range
hood is only allowed if the microhood is hardwired, not
cord-and-plug-connected, which is unlikely.
Putting the kitchen lights on the refrigerator circuit is fine, and
depending on the rating of the refrigerator you probably have sufficient
capacity on that circuit if you make it a 20A circuit.
Since you are talking about kitchen lighting, don't forget about the
energy code. In California, for example, there is a requirement that
a certain percentage by wattage (50%?) of the kitchen lighting be
high-efficacy lighting. Since it is measured by wattage, that means
most of the lighting. And CFLs in standard medium base sockets don't
count as high-efficacy, you have to use sockets that will not accept
I guess I can't do it then because that whole bathroom
(lighting,fan,GFI outlet) is on one 20A breaker.
Ok, I figured that would be bad
It is corded, so count that out.
It is going to be a dedicated 20A for the fridge. My only concern was
if the lights would dim everytime the fridge kicked on. But this is
not a full size 36" fridge. This is for a 30" fridge, which I'm
assuming uses less power.
Well, you can find out the load by checking the nameplate rating of
the refrigerator. If you haven't selected one yet, check a few of the
proper size and style. Since the refrigerator will be designed to
work on a 15A circuit, you'll have at least 5A of headroom for
lighting with your 20A circuit.
As for dimming, that could definitely happen. You could run your
circuit from the panel to the refrigerator receptacle first and upsize
that run to #10 or #8 Cu (just watch the box fill). That would reduce
the voltage drop when the compressor starts up. Then you could run
#12 Cu from there onwards for all the lighting. Everything would
still be on a 20A breaker.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.