House Electrical Circuit Layout
Updated by: Hailey
On: 15 Mar, 2014
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In a typical home, the kitchen has the heaviest electricity consumption. Since you need to plug in multiple appliances that have different electrical power requirements, create a wiring plan before buying construction electrical material and equip...
In a typical home, the kitchen has the heaviest electricity consumption. Since you need to plug in multiple appliances that have different electrical power requirements, create a wiring plan before buying construction electrical material and equipment, or building electric circuits for space.
Unlike other rooms in your home, you cannot use a single circuit to provide power to different electrical fittings and appliances in the kitchen. If you’re planning a major kitchen remodel or building a new home, common kitchen appliances will need separate electric circuits in your electrical wiring plan.
5 basic examples to consider
While you might have a small refrigerator plugged into a general electrical circuit designed for lighting or small appliances, newer models typically require a dedicated circuit. Add a 120/125-volt, 20-amp circuit for a refrigerator in your wiring plan, and make sure you’re using 12/2 NM electrical wire with ground.
Dishwashers require almost the same kind of electrical circuits as modern refrigerators with slightly lower amperage, i.e. 120/125-volt, 15-amp, and you need to use 14/2 NM electrical wire with ground. If you’re planning to power a garbage disposer with the same circuit as a dishwasher, use a 20-amp circuit. Install a slightly longer wire than needed, so the dishwasher does not need to be disconnected completely while being pulled out and serviced.
While a gas range uses a 120/125-volt electrical circuit, you need to install a 240/250-volt, 50-amp circuit with 6/3 NM electrical cables or #6 THHN electrical wire in a conduit for an electric range. Position the receptacle keeping in mind that the range will need to be pushed back to the wall. Even if you aren’t currently using an electric range, include a dedicated outlet for it in your kitchen wiring plan. It will help if you decide to switch to an electric range in the future, or even put your property up for sale!
Microwave ovens come in numerous sizes and varieties and may be fitted over the stove, under the cabinet or on countertops. While most can be plugged into countertop appliance outlets, larger models need their own dedicated circuits since they use up to 1500 watts of electrical power. Use the same circuit as a refrigerator for powering a microwave, i.e. 120/125-volt, 20-amp and 12/2 NM electrical wire with ground.
Building codes usually require a minimum of two dedicated 120/125-volt, 20-amp electrical circuits for small appliance loads in a kitchen. Toasters, coffee pots, blenders, juicers and electric griddles will be powered by these circuits, so add more if you’re using multiple appliances. Make a list of appliances you use and where you will place them, using this to determine both circuit design and outlet placement.
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