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Mr Matt

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[Electrical] Electrical Code for Kitchen Circuits.

Can anyone reading this post advise, when the building code was updated to require a builder, to provide two 20 Amp circuits to kitchen outlets and a separate circuit to the refrigerator, in new construction? Is there a website that is not behind a pay wall where I can obtain a copy of the code that was in effect in 2004.


cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON
NEC 2002: »law.resource.org/pub/us/code/ibr···2002.pdf

The next one was 2005.


Mr NEC

@rr.com
There should be a sticky on this forum that reminds people they have to check what NEC year/version was in effect in their area during a certain timeframe. It may be 2014 but your area could be using an earlier version. Possibly with local amendments also.


Camelot One
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Greenwood, IN
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1 edit
That is a very good point.
To the OP, your local building authority decides which codes to follow at any given time. Some areas blindly follow the most recent NEC, some take time to approve following an older version (very common), some make their own changes, and some just make up their own codes. (ok, the last one is pretty rare)

So a home built in 2004 doesn't necessarily have to be built using the guidelines in the 2004 NEC, but rather to whichever version was in effect in that particular area at the time. Also keep in mind that the local authority can adopt their own changes to the NEC version they choose to use.
For example, a home built in my neighborhood today (2014) would be governed by the 2008 NEC, subject to overriding rules in the Indiana EC 2009. One of which makes us the only state to not require Arc Fault breakers, despite them being called for in the NEC.

So it is entirely possible your local authority didn't require the 2 20 amp circuits at the time the home was built, even if that requirement is listed in the 2004 code. If you call the local office, they should be able to tell you which codes were in effect at the time.


nunya
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reply to Mr Matt
There's no provision in the 2011 code requiring a dedicated circuit for refrigeration. It can be on the 2 20A SA circuits. The oldest code book I have handy is 1996. Back in 96, the kitchen circuits could even serve outdoor receptacles!
As far back as 2002, I see the provision allowing the refrigeration to be powered by a dedicated 15A circuit, but not making it mandatory.
Portion of 210.52 from the 2002 NEC attached.
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nunya
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reply to Mr Matt
I'll elaborate a little more: NEC is the bare minimum. That's the least you can do and get by.
Real world example. It may be that only 2 20A circuits are required by code in the kitchen; it's not uncommon for me to complete a new house or remodel with 6-8 20A circuits in the kitchen.

There's also a "listing" issue. Did the manufacturer specify the refrigerator needed a dedicated circuit? If so, was this information passed along to the GC or EC?
If they were made aware of the special issue with the refrigerator before the rough-in, then it's on them to make it right.
A "for instance". I have customers give me the appliance specs before I begin. Sometimes this is like pulling teeth. They don't "get" that you need to know this stuff in advance. They assume that you put in a plug and it works. Telling me there will be an OTR microwave isn't enough. Ever met an Advantium?
I have "general" rules of thumb that I use (and I'm sure other ECs do too) to keep me from coming back to a job. Retrips are expensive. Little things above and beyond:
A dedicated 20A ckt for EACH bathroom.
A dedicated 15A ckt for the fridge.
A dedicated 20A ckt for the OTR micro / hood.
A dedicated 20A ckt for the dishwasher.
A dedicated 20A ckt for the disposal (Started this when instant hot water showed up).
Ceiling fan boxes in each bedroom (requested or not).
It's the details that make the difference. I hear a lot of stories about GCs who have "their subs" and refuse to consider anyone the customer might prefer. That's a red flag. You should have input (and final say) on the subs. It's your money.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to Mr Matt
The smart thing would be to have the refrigerator on a circuit shared with lights so that any failure is noticed before trying to trace a foul smell.


02778712

join:2013-07-08
MA
said by cowboyro:

The smart thing would be to have the refrigerator on a circuit shared with lights so that any failure is noticed before trying to trace a foul smell.

Or have an alarm on the fridge so if power goes out you know ASAP 100% of the time instead of relying other stuff which you may or may not notice or may or may not even happen so you have no clue.


cowboyro
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join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
An alarm will go off when the temperature increases over a threshold. Lights not working would be noticed every morning or evening.

kherr
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reply to nunya
I did a lot of big vacation homes at Lake of the Ozarks when I lived there. As you do, we always put in the ceiling fan box with 12-3 run up to it to separately switch the light. Too many times after they moved in they wanted a ceiling fan with switched light. The boss would tell them that it required a tough fish, but we would have it done/patched before they came down next time. In and out in less than an hour and no telling how much he charged them because he led them to believe we'd have to open the wall or ceiling to do it.

When you mentioned allowing for a hot water dispenser, we started to allow for a cold water dispenser after a client wanted one after the fact. It is a refrig. unit that basically takes up all the space under the sink. You need to make swiss cheese out of the toe kick and remaining floor space in the cabinet for ventilation. They're a real pita to put in.

Mr Matt

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said by kherr:

When you mentioned allowing for a hot water dispenser, we started to allow for a cold water dispenser after a client wanted one after the fact. It is a refrig.

The GC had an arrangement with Lowes. He ordered the appliances and gave us a share of his discount. The GE Cafe model we selected has a built in hot and cold water dispenser thereby increasing the power requirement for the refrigerator.

said by nunya:

Ever met an Advantium?

Actually I had to have the GC change the order for the Advantium Microwave we ordered, from the Advantium 240 that required a 240 Volt Circuit to the Advantium 120 model that requires a 120 Volt Circuit. He initially ordered the wrong model.

What frustrates me is that I have owned the apartment since 2010 and am certain before the renovation there were two 20 Amp circuits for counter outlets and a dedicated outlet for the refrigerator. The first tenant complained of nuisance tripping of a GFCI. When I checked the GFCI's the refrigerator was propped open and the circuit breaker for the refrigerator in the panel was off. All outlets on the counter were energized otherwise I would not have been able to test both GFCI's. When I ask the GC to have the electrician reconnect the circuit he disconnected the GC parrots the way the wiring is now not the way it was before the renovation.

Mr Matt

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reply to nunya
said by nunya:

It's the details that make the difference. I hear a lot of stories about GCs who have "their subs" and refuse to consider anyone the customer might prefer. That's a red flag. You should have input (and final say) on the subs. It's your money.

Unfortunately the electrician is also the GC's brother in law. The GC seems to be covering up for the electricians mistakes. The electrician connected one of the counter outlets with a GFCI label on it directly to a circuit without a GFCI. The electrician came out and replaced the unprotected outlet with a GFCI.

To correct the problem the pantry cabinet will have to be removed to allow access to the outlet box behind it, where the second 20 Amp circuit was originally terminated. The cable for the now disconnected 20 Amp circuit must be moved to an outlet box behind the refrigerator and the outlets now fed from the refrigerator circuit moved to the circuit to be restored. The GC won't admit that the electrician disconnected the second 20 Amp circuit or correct the problem.

garys_2k
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join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
So, if you've paid him in full you have only a bit of leverage, maybe none. I'd pull the cabinet out myself and see if the junction box was buried in the wall behind it. If it was I'd either raise it with the GC or just get it fixed by someone else.

robbin
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Leander, TX
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reply to Mr Matt
said by Mr Matt:

To correct the problem the pantry cabinet will have to be removed to allow access to the outlet box behind it, where the second 20 Amp circuit was originally terminated. The cable for the now disconnected 20 Amp circuit must be moved to an outlet box behind the refrigerator and the outlets now fed from the refrigerator circuit moved to the circuit to be restored.

Depending on how the circuit was originally wired it may not be possible to move that circuit to behind the refrigerator due to length and routing of the romex. If the original circuit could still be used inside the pantry that would be much easier.

Was moving the circuit either discussed or included in the contract?

garys_2k
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said by robbin:

If the original circuit could still be used inside the pantry

Or even if the junction box could just have a blank cover in the pantry, and a feed run from it to the new location, it would be legal. Buried behind the pantry with no access is just wrong.

Good question on the original discussion, too. I wonder if the GC just assumed the electrician would move it.

Mr Matt

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reply to robbin
said by robbin:

Was moving the circuit either discussed or included in the contract?

The GC recommended removing the cabinets and counter to the right of the refrigerator and replacing them with a pantry cabinet thereby blocking access to the outlet at the back of the now removed counter. He did not mention anything about disconnecting the circuit at the rear of the counter.

I sent the GC the following email on January 10:
"This is just a suggestion, I do not know if it is a practical solution. Install a dead front GFCI in an outlet box in the wall just in front of the pantry at the same level as the outlet box behind the pantry. Run two 12 gauge cables to the old outlet box behind the pantry. One cable is spliced to the cable from the load center. The other cable is connected the GFCI to the outlets to be protected. Cut a hole in the back of the pantry and install a blank two gang cover to give access to the splices."

The GC never responded to this suggestion.


jack mack 01

@206.47.249.x
what is GC?


Camelot One
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General contractor I would think.


battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
reply to nunya
"Back in 96, the kitchen circuits could even serve outdoor receptacles!"

I had this at my house. The refrigerator shared and outlet on the deck. The intention was to have a tv or radio on the deck. While we were on vacation the yard guy used it and tripped the breaker. That outlet is now on its own circuit.
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kherr
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Collinsville, IL
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reply to Mr Matt
A friend of mine that is a project engineer for Monsato uses something like this in all of his contracts :

All work is to be done by the current national, state, county, city, local codes, manufacturers suggested or required practices, or governing trade associations practices or recommendations which ever is MOST restrictive.

He likes to cover his bases for whatever might come up ...


jack mack 10

@206.47.249.x
if he removes the outlet doesnt he have to remove the wire all the way from the outlet box to the hydro panel? if he didnt do this then he burried a wire which is illegal according to the canadian electrical codes


cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON
said by jack mack 10 :

if he removes the outlet doesnt he have to remove the wire all the way from the outlet box to the hydro panel

Not if the wire is disconnected at the panel too.

Mr Matt

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said by cybersaga:

Not if the wire is disconnected at the panel too.

I believe you are correct. I think the electrician disconnected the circuit at the panel and reused the circuit breaker as a feed for a structured wiring cabinet in the laundry room.