island and under cabinet recep wiring

PekeJune 8, 2013

My electrician ran wiring to the island before the wood floor was installed. Now he is telling me that if I use 2 things at once on the island it will flip the breaker. He knew we were putting a shelf for a microwave there. He knew we also wanted plug mold on each end of the island. He also knew we would use the island as a buffet area so several food warmers or crock pots would be used at the same time.

The island is not in yet, but the floor and huge wall cabinets are in where he ran the electrical wire under the floor. I think he said we could only use 15 amp. I could be wrong.

So what do we do now? I also want a warming drawer in the island. My fault for not telling him on this one.

We are using plug molds under the upper cabinets and ucls. We had planned on direct wire LED lights. Now I am wondering how he is wiring them both with only one wire. Did he forget or is he correct? He installed wall receps so I guess he forgot we were using plug mold. He has had many copies of the specs, but he never uses them or brings them. He works when I am at work. Then if something is done wrong, he charges us again to fix it. If he had looked at the specs he wouldn't have had to redo it.

We told him we cannot afford him any longer and canceled yesterday's work. He texted me back and said okay. Then he showed up the next day to do more work. (He only works hourly and will not give us an estimate or bid.)

Last, plugmolds let you get receps off the backsplash, but what about light switches? Do they stay on backsplash?
Thanks, peke

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Here is the other yellow wire in the floor. I couldn't see any markings on the wire that said what wire he used.

The temporary movable island was there previously so it will be replaced. We can get to the conduit on the floor so I guess he will have to put a larger wire in. Or new electrician will.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Ron Natalie

First off are you sure this guy is an electrician? I have severe doubts. The circuits for kitchen small appliance receptacles has to be 20A. Yellow jacked NM is usually #12 which would tend to imply a 20A circuit.

I have no idea what the "two things at once" nonsense is. You could legitimately put all the small appliance receptacles in the entire kitchen on 2 circuits (and tract houses typically are). Of course if the microwave you intend to use says it requires a dedicated circuit, you best do that.

You also absolutely CAN NOT put direct wired lighting on the same circuit as your receptacles in the kitchen.

FIRE THIS BOZO and get someone who actually has an electricians license. This is absolutely trivial basic stuff that even apprentices should know.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:33AM
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So the yellow covering tells me that the wire is #12.(usually)

Two things at once....that confused me. Maybe he meant the warming drawer and microwave plus a mixer would flip breakers.

I haven't seen any warming drawers that say to use a dedicated circuit. I will watch for that along with the microwave. So we might need to run another wire for a dedicated circuit. Through same conduit? Or don't get a microwave that needs a dedicated circuit.

Direct wired thing-that was me. He didn't say that one. I didn't understand how he was going to connect the ucl lights AND the plug mold. I guess he wasn't planning on the plug mold since he put wall receps in.

Could he move the wall receps up for the plug molds? It is costing us a fortune to redo the electric. It would have been cheaper to have yanked all electrical and started from scratch.

We started July 2012 with this electrician. We went through 6-7 "electricians" from June 2011 until July 2012. They told us they were licensed electricians, but kept stalling on showing us their licenses. He was the only one who offered it before we asked. We checked for insurance.

I hate for a different electrician to come in. He has done everything so we can track everything to his work. We just cannot afford him. All of our other contractors help each other if they are here at the same time. The electrician charged me for helping the cabinet and gas guys lift my oven into the cabinet. I was there that day. He stood and watched them and talked to them. Meanwhile he was charging me by the hour times two people. All he did was direct wire the oven and plug in the garbage disposal for over $700.00. There were other things he could have been doing while waiting. He does good work, but geez he is expensive. Nothing is itemized either on his bill.

Question do we need another wire run in the same conduit to have a warming drawer and a plug mold on each end of the island? Or will it be a bigger wire? there any way for me to tell the # of amps going to the island? Not all the breakers are labeled yet. Only the ones we are using. Island and ucl wiring are not hooked up yet. I guess I won't know until he connects everything. But now we can't afford him anymore. Peke

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 1:58PM
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Ron Natalie

Sounds like your GC is equally incompetent.

The answer on your warming drawer is in the instructions for it. If it is direct wired it can not share the circuit with the small appliance recepticles. The code is clear, NO OUTHER OUTLETS.

NM wiring is pretty commonly 15A for 14g, 20A for 20g. The wire is marked, I guaratee it. It is not listed and illegal without the marking.

You better make sure your island receptacles meet code as well. If you set them more than 12" from the edge of the countertop, they won't meet the requirement.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 4:13PM
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I found the markings. I was looking for printed lettering. It looks like it says 12/2 ground with nm-b 600volts.

So that is too small. I guess we pay him again to run a bigger wire. It takes weeks and weeks to get him out here. He is so busy, but we will have to wait so we can do it right. Thanks for your help. Peke

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:00AM
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"15A for 14g, 20A for 20g."

looks like a typo.
Ron knows very well that #12 NM is rated for 20 amps.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 11:37AM
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I'm reading plug mold threads and this came up.
You might have already talked about this elsewhere, but how did everything come out?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:07AM
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I would be interested too. Plugmolds here too. Same yellow wire too.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 3:59PM
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What's the obsession with UC plugmold???
Do all of you put all your appliances away and only take them out to use them?
Don't you have switches at the backsplash?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 5:11PM
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