BilllJanuary 22, 2010

I'm trying to plan ahead for a remodel next year. This is a house built in 1912 with various electrical "improvements" over the years but was nowhere close to meeting current code when we bought it. We've decided to gut these high use rooms and do the electrical from scratch. The basic layout will be a dining room, kitchen, and a mudroom/pantry/laundry off the side of the kitchen. We will have a gas stove but will need electrical for the fridge, dishwasher, garbage disposal, washer/drier, microwave etc.

My understanding is that we will at a minimum require:

2-20A for receptacles

1-20A for fridge

1-20A for dishwasher/disposal

1-20A for pantry/laundry

1-240V for drier

1-15A for lighting

Am I missing any? Can any be combined? Do any need to be split? Obviously, more is better, but I don't want to add a subpanel to fit more breakers if it won't make any difference in day to day operation.

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Tom Pultz

I guess that must be a pretty small house if you only need one lighting circuit for all those rooms... I have three circuits for the dining/kitchen/family room and each will be running about 70% of capacity. But we have 28 recessed lights, wall sconces, outside lights, etc., etc.

I would split out the dishwasher (20A) and disposal (could be own 15A or use 20A and 12/3 wiring along with dishwasher).

You'll need a 120V circuit for the gas range to operate the clock, timer and ignitors.

Are you going to have a built-in microwave? If so that should have its own circuit. If countertop you can use the small appliance receptacle.

What about exhaust fan? You definitely need that with the gas range.

Is there a bathroom on that level? It needs consideration also.

How about hardwired smoke detectors? Most locales require those.

You should check with your local inspector and see what they require. You may be forced to upgrade more than you think.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 5:59PM
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It isn't as "small house" - about 2,400 sq ft. However, as in most older houses, the kitchen is pretty small by today's standards. Also, this house is part of the national historic register, so we won't have banks of recessed lights. The dining room will have a small chandelier. The kitchen with have a couple of schoolhouse lights and under cabinet lights. The pantry/laundry room will have 1-2 ceiling mounted lights. Everything except the chandelier will have CFL's or LED's, so I'm not as much worried about the final load as I am code compliance. Would you still recommend multiple lighting circuits?

Does the exhaust fan require a dedicated circuit or can it be combined with anything else?

Smoke detectors - I don't think they are required to be hard wired here. They certainly aren't in the rest of the house. I'll check though.

For the stove, I thought you could tap the small appliance circuit for that. This will be a fairly standard stove - not a commercial style beast. Should it still get it's own circuit?

Yes, we have a 3/4 bath on that level. Currently, it is sharing a circuit with an adjoining office area. I'm redoing the office right now and while the walls are open on one side, I will be splitting the two so that the bath gets its own dedicated 20a.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 10:29AM
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You need two 20 amp small appliance circuits to serve receptacles in the dining room, pantry, and for the wall , floor and counter top receptacles in the kitchen. You can put the receptacle for the gas range on one of these circuits.

A 20 amp circuit for laundry room/area receptacles is needed.

From your post, the pantry seems to have more than one function, so you might want to talk with your local inspector about the proper #of circuits. You could probably just call it a laundry room and run one circuit for the receptacles in this room, but it would be best to check.

A separate refrigerator circuit is not required by the NEC, but easy to put in while the walls are open. Same goes for splitting up dishwasher/disposal circuits as mentioned in the above post. If you have room in your breaker box, I'd put them in. If you're running out of breaker spaces, you might be able to run the wires from these items to accessible junction boxes so you split them up later if needed.

A 15 amp circuit is good for 600 square feet of general purpose lighting outlets. The exhaust fan can be on this circuit.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 5:56PM
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