Subpanel for Kitchen Reno, or squeeze by?
Allow me to introduce myself -- I usually post on the Kitchen Forum. I am in the early stages of a complete kitchen renovation that I am doing mostly myself, but I have hired an electrician for the wiring. (I found a friendly one who is letting me help while his usual partner is on another job.) My question regards whether or not to put in a subpanel.
I have 7 free breakers, but I really wanted 8 branches. Here are the branches that I want:
(2) 20A small appliance
(1) 20A Dishwasher
(1) 15A (or 20?) microwave (dedicated)
(1) 15A garbage disposal (dedicated)
(1) 20A radiant floor heat
(1) 15A refrigerator (dedicated)
(1) 15A general lighting.
(I assume this seems right?)
I have two options, of course: put in a subpanel or find a way to consolidate two branches. (My CH22CCM100 box is evidently not rated for tandem breakers.) I am aware that I can put the fridge on a small appliance branch (under an exception to 210.52(B)(1) ), but I do not want to do that. I'd rather put in the subpanel. I also want the MW on a dedicated branch. My electrician and I couldn't readily identify two other branches in the house to join.
However, he had an idea that hadn't occurred to me. The current kitchen light is on a 15A branch circuit that has only a few other lights and receptacles on it. This branch supplies the dining room light, a nearby powder room, a receptacle in the dining room, and a switched receptacle in the basement. During the reno, we would be adding another ceiling fixture, over-sink fixture, and under-cabinet lights. His opinion was that, at least load-wise, this branch could adequately handle the kitchen lighting. (FWIW, this branch used to supply the fridge, too, and has never blown a breaker or anything. Of course, we will remove the fridge receptacle in the final setup.)
Sooooo, would you use a subpanel or not? As it is, I am so close to the required number of breakers! OTOH, I like the idea of a "clean install." I also worry about filling up the load center; although I don't have any plans to add more branches to my modest house, I suppose you never know.
Thanks for any thoughts!