Circuits and NEC

plumeriavine_2010February 18, 2010

I am mapping out the panel. It was redone because the original kitchen crew overloaded the circuits. Everything is moved around now. This is what I have so far:

#1 Oven

#2 Trash compactor

#3 Washer and dryer

#4 Water softener and reverse osmosis system

#5 A - dimmer for undercabinet lights and small appliance circuit (I think this is wrong)

#5 B - Lights in basement - stovetop hood - kitchen lights over sink

#6 - Garbage disposal

#7 - Dishwasher

#8 - Plug on service porch

#9 - ?

#10 - Kitchen lights

#11 - Oustide LED lights, lights in front porch, lights in entryway and overhead kitchen lights (I think this is wrong)

#12 - countertop outlets near fridge

#13 - unknown

#14 - Norizt water heater

#15 - fridge

#16 ?

#17 - hall closet

#18 - ?

#19 - outside lights and the back porch closet outlets (Is this wrong?)

I have to figure out what they did with the furnace circuit and some other lighting/outlet circuits, but I think that takes care of the main appliances. The AC unit is on its own circuit on the main panel.

Are there any other major appliances I am not thinking about? Any other NEC issues that strike you?

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Lighting is not allowed on the small appliance branch circuits.

Some places enforce a strict interpretation that a stove hood cannot share a circuit.

The overhead kitchen light can share a circuit with just about anything.

The outside lights and closet receptacles can share.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 6:53AM
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Ron Natalie

Brick nails it. There shouldn't be anything on the kitchen small appliance circuit other than receptacles in the kitchen. The other issue you questioned is fine, that lighting circuit can be shared.

You don't show any of the bathroom circuits on there. Depending on the age of your house, they may need to be segregated or it may be that all the GFCI protected receptacles are chained together (all bathrooms plus the outside and possibly garage receptacles). We don't do that any more but was allowed back in the 70's/ 80's when GFCI's were new and expensive.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 8:18AM
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As stated 5A is the only mistake.
But to meet current code you should have
two 20 amp small appliance circutis in kitchen - only counter receptacles allowed
20 amp circuit for bathrooom. Only bathroom stuff on this circuit or receptacles only but in different bathrooms is permitted.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 9:04AM
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Yes, it does seem that there are two 20 amp small appliance circuits - #12 and #5A, but 5A is the one with the dimmer sharing problem.

On #12, there is one GFCI with a green light and the crosshatch T bar outlet receptacle that I was told by the building inspector that meant it was 20 amps. The electricians told me that this GFCI can be shared with the other two outlet pairs on that wall. Those look like they have slimmer 15 amp receptacles. They have no reset buttons or green light or crosshatch on the outlets. The electricians said that the circuit has to be 20 amp and one outlet pair has to be 20 amp but that the others on the circuit that trip from that 20 amp do not need to be. Does this make sense?

Additionally, there are two more outlet pairs on another wall that aren't apparently wired at all and do not come on or off when I go through all the breakers.

Would the building inspector pass the job with outlets that are there but seem to be dummies?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 10:41AM
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Ron Natalie

You can put as many 15 or 20A receptacles on the 20A small appliance circuit as you want as long as they only serve the kitchen/dining/pantry areas. A GFCI can be wired into the circuit so that it protects the later outlets (push the test button and see if they all go out).

All the outlets should work somehow. If the inspector knew they didn't he probably wouldn't pass it. Whether he'd detect them not working is up in the air (they don't tend to test everything unless you've got a real harry homeowner hack job around here).

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 11:03AM
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Ron Natalie

By the way, are the mystery dead outlets on a tripped GFCI by any chance?

Are we talking the same butcher, illegal, hack job as your other kitchen post?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 3:30AM
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There are no tripped GFCIs that we can detect. I really think that these outlets were not connected at all. They worked until the last time the kitchen was re-wired.

I have a highly recommended electrician coming from out of town next week to evaluate everything. I am putting together my lists of things that I need assessed so we can figure out how to fix things.

The weirdest part of this whole project was that there was one permit that was signed off without a final inspection.
I have copies of 7 more permits for the project pulled by the GC at various times. I do not see undercabinet lighting called out on any of the permits. Should it be? Outlets are called out.

Is there any recourse for a homeowner if the GC goes to his buddies again and gets sign-offs without having the inspector actually come to the premises? I find this highly disturbing.

The same general contractor is responsible for the whole kitchen project and then some- - they sold me a contract for everything.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 11:14AM
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"I do not see undercabinet lighting called out on any of the permits. Should it be?"

Depends on how they are installed.

If the under-cabinet lights are cord and plug connected they are not considered permanent wiring and should not need a permit.

If they are hard wired to branch circuit conductors they probably should be on a permit.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 11:29AM
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Washer and dryer on the same breaker? Is the washer 220v? or is the dryer 120v?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 3:23PM
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Both washer and dryer are 120 volts,

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 3:33PM
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