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  • Werkheiser Electric

The Essential Electrical Circuits for Your Kitchen

The kitchen is an essential part of any home. So much goes on in there daily, many of which happen with different appliances. Your air fryers, refrigerator, microwave, and other small appliances require electricity.

Hence, you can have as many as seven circuits in the space, or even more, depending on the size of the kitchen and the intensity of the activity that goes on there. Here are the must-have electrical circuits for your kitchen.

Lighting circuit

Lighting branch circuits need only 15-amp and 120 to 150 volts to effectively power various light sources, including under cabinet, overhead, and recessed canned lights.

When installing the various fixtures, you can try to wire circuits such that if one trips, another lighting close by will be functional. This way, everything won't go off at the same time.

Still, you may require a bigger circuit if you have a high-powered ceiling fan. You can contact a professional electrician to determine which works best for your kitchen.

Circuitry in wet areas

Section 210.8(A)(6) of the National Electrical Code requires all countertop outlets to be ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). Here, the circuitry is in the form of either a GFCI circuit breaker or a GFCI receptacle.

Range circuit

An electric range should be 240/250-volt, 50-amp circuit. Subsequently, you’ll have to install a 6/3 NM cable (or #6 THHN wire in a conduit) to feed the range. However, if it’s a gas range, you’ll only need a 120/125-volt receptacle to power the vent hood and range control.

Microwave oven circuit

Microwave ovens require a 20-amp, 120/125-volt circuit to power them. Although some microwave ovens are plugged into regular appliance outlets, bigger ovens consume up to 1,500 watts. So, a dedicated circuit is a must.

You may not necessarily require GFCI protection, except with the microwave oven plugged into an accessible outlet.

Dishwasher circuit

You need a dedicated 120/125-volt, 15-amp circuit fed with a 14/2 N wire with a ground for dishwashers. You can also choose to feed the dishwasher with a 20-amp circuit using a 12/2 NM wire with a ground.

Ensure the NM cable gets enough slack to be pulled out for servicing without a complete disconnection. Also, don't forget to have a means of local disconnection for your dishwasher, either via a plug setup configuration or a small lockout device mounted on the breaker at the panel to avoid electric shock.

Garbage disposal circuit

Garbage disposals need a dedicated 15-amp circuit fed by a 14/2 NM cable with a ground. You can also feed the disposer with a 20-amp circuit using a 12/2 NM wire with a ground. This applies if your local electrical code allows the disposal to share a circuit with the dishwasher.

Refrigerator circuit

Modern refrigerators need a dedicated 20-amp circuit and 12/2 non-metallic (NM) sheathed wire with a ground. Even if you have a smaller refrigerator plugged into a general lighting circuit, it is advised that you install a dedicated circuit (120/125 volts) whenever you can.

Get professional electrical services for your kitchen wiring

The wrong wiring in the kitchen can lead to appliance damage over time, overloads, or even fire disasters. A professional electrician is a must to help you with the correct circuitry and wiring that also complies with local codes. Request a wiring service today.


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