Some Questions for new Build

buzzyngAugust 29, 2013

Have a couple questions that I'm seeking everyone's expertise.

- I have a run of 12/2 for some outside outlets but also want to run a couple lights off that circuit. Can I use 14/2 for the lights/switch or have to stay 12/2 for whole circuit?

- for outlet boxes on a covered porch, can they be regular boxes with a weatherproof cover or a complete waterproof outlet box/cover?

- as I was running a couple circuits, I realized I had forgot an outlet and a light. Any issue with just tapping into existing circuit to add them (as long as I'm not exceeding capacity)?

Thanks in advance

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Ron Natalie

You can mix 12 and 14 on a circuit, but you must use a 15A breaker.

You need a weather proof cover in damp and wet areas. You need an in-use cover in the wet area (where rain could fall/be blown on).

Most residential small circuits do not have limits on what can be connected to it. Certain (bathrooms, laundries, kitchens) can't be tapped into. General lighting circuits are usually ok.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 9:09PM
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Thanks for the quick response. I thought that was the case on 12/14 circuit so will just have to run 12/2 to the switch :-(

For the kitchen circuits, I ran two separate 20Amp circuits but they are woefully under utilized so I added the kitchen nook to one of the circuits. Is that acceptable?


    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Ron Natalie

The nook RECEPTACLES are allowed (and in fact required) to be on the designated 20A small appliance circuits. The lighting however can not be.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 7:17AM
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Awesome, I thought I read it but couldn't validate. While I have your attention :-) have a couple more.

- one of the two kitchen circuits only has two outlets on it. I only have one outlet in the laundry room and one in the hallway which is by the kitchen (within 10' of the kitchen island where a desk goes). Can I put those two outlets on it?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 7:32PM
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Ron Natalie


The kitchen area (which includes the pantry, nook ,etc...) requires two or more small appliance circuits rated at 20A that serve the receptacles there and NO OTHER OUTLETS .
The laundry requires it's own 20A circuit for the receptacles there and that circuit can serve nothing else.

The bathroom receptacles must be on a 20A circuit. There are a couple of ways to do this. Either a 20A circuit can serve outlets (receptacles, lights, fan) in a single bathroom **OR** you can use a 20A circuit to serve only RECEPTACLES in multiple bathrooms.

Other than those locations above and the specialized circuits they supply, your general purpose (15 or 20A 115) lighting circuits, can be doled out to whatever OUTLETS you want.

Note that in the current code, most living space (other than kitchens, baths, etc..>) must be protected by AFCI. So keep that in mind as well. GFCI is required for bath receptacles, some bath lights and fans, kitchen countertops, outside, garages, and unfinished basements.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 8:11PM
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Ok. I've run sep circuits for bathroom outlets and separate for lights/fans so that's good.

I didn't realize sep for laundry room. I've run a 20a for washing machine and then have only one outlet. Do I have to run a sep one for just that outlet or possibly use the washer?

Tx for your assistance

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 10:33PM
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Ron Natalie

You can connect all the receptacles in the laundry area to the single 20A circuit if you like. However, if you want to use multiple circuits they all need to be 20A and they all need to not have any other outlets on them.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 8:34AM
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Thanks. I will connect the one outlet in the laundry to the washing machine 20a circuit and that will be all that is on it.

For the range hood, it is separate location from the micro, can it be tied into the 20a small app kitchen circuit?

I also tied the frig into the 20a small app kitchen circuit, acceptable?

Lastly (for now :-), assume I can connect the recessed lights and vent fans for rough in since they will be covered with insulation


    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 3:47PM
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Ron Natalie

If the range hood is hard wired, then it can NOT be on the small appliance circuits.

If the fridge has a plug you have a choice of running EITHER on the small appliance circuit or on it's own (15A or greater).

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 7:11PM
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Since I haven't picked out the hood yet, could I just plan for outlet and then pigtail the hood if it happens to be hardwired?

The fridge has a plug so I will just use the small app circuit since that one wont have much else.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 3:31AM
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Ron Natalie

I'd run a separate circuit for the hood. You can NOT use one of the small appliance circuits if it ends up being hardwired.

I don't know why at this point when things are trivially easy to add circuits, you are skimping. You put a countertop microwave of decent capacity or one of these super expresso coffee machines and you could be eating up a good chunk of a 20a circuit.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 8:36AM
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Good point, I'll just run a sep 15a circuit for the hood and be done with it. tx

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 5:36PM
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