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Kitchen Circuit Question


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While reading Ray Mullin's 14th edition Res Wiring book (discovered him years ago as many of you have), I read that " The receptacle for the refridgerator in the kitchen is permitted to be supplied by a SEPARATE 15- or 20-ampere branch-circuit RATHER than connecting it to one of the 20-ampere SMALL APPLIANCE circuits."

I understood that the small app circuits are reserved for the counter tops. In his house wiring example he shows circuit B16 as connected to Kitchen Receptacles, South COUNTERTOP, Refridgerator & Island.

That looks like the Fridge & the Countertop are on the same circuit. What am I missing ?

(Page 65 Section titled 'Countertops in Kitchens' & Page 66 second bullet point)


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NEC 210.52(B)(3) Kitchen Receptacle Requirements. Receptacles installed in a kitchen to serve countertop surfaces shall be supplied by not fewer than two small appliance circuits, either or both of which shall also be permitted to supply receptacle outlets in the same kitchen and in other rooms specified in 250(B)(1). {basically pantries and dining rooms} …there’s more but that’s all we need.

210.23(A)(2) Utilization Equipment Fastened in Place. The total rating of utilization equipment fastened in place, other than luminaries, shall not exceed 50% of the branch-circuit ampere rating where lighting units, cord-and-plug connected utilization equipment not fastened in place, or both, are also supplied. I believe a fridge would be considered fastened in place.

So…Yes, it is permitted for the 2 20amp kitchen small appliance countertop circuits to feed other receptacles in the kitchen, including the fridge BUT that fridge has to be rated at 10 amps or less. Obviously, the permitted (but not "required") separate 15 or 20 amp circuit for the fridge would be a better set up.

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Hi Richard,

From everything that I've ever read on this subject, I agree that a fridge is allowed to be on the same circuit as other kitchen appliance circuits, but I don't think it qualifies as a "fixed" appliance, since plugs of 'fixed' appliances must be accessible and not behind (422-8d2c,d).

I don't bother to calculate the load that a fridge will apply on a circuit, since most of the time they aren't present anyway and/or I have no intention of pulling them out from a wall to find data plates and taking a chance on gouging a floor with them. If they're on a separate circuit from the GFCI protected circuits, fine, I'm just not going to worry about it if they aren't.



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I totally agree on the rating determination. Beyond the SOP. I wasn't really suggesting that Lance start moving things around. Whether a fridge is "fastened in place", such as a disposal is, seems to be open to interpretation. My own "built-in" fridge is "fastened in place", with the plug accessible through the top compressor compartment. Dedicated circuit of course. A regular fridge? Dunno...but if it WAS on the same circuit I don't see much difference between a built-in and a regular fridge.

BTW...(422-8d2c,d)??? Which NEC you using? Can't find that one.

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That's because it's supposed to be in the UBC and I got it from my CodeCheck Electrical. I notice that in My CodeCheck West it is IRC 422-22a & UBC 422-32a. My 2000 IRC Code check lists it as IRC T4001.5 and NEC 1999 422-32a(?).

One of the reasons I won't cite code. Unless you have the one the local muni is working off of, you end up looking like a horse's ass with teeth.

OT - OF!!!


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