2 branches in one electrical box

daver234November 30, 2013

I'm starting a kitchen remodel. I've run a new dedicated 20A, 12/2 branch for an over-range microwave. The outlet will be in the cabinet above the microwave. I also want to run some LED under-cabinet lights and was thinking of putting the transformer into the same cabinet.

I have access to the overhead lighting branch as well (15A, 14/2). I'd like for the under-cabinet lighting transformer outlet to be switched.

Should I (or can I) install a double-gang box and run the 14/2 wire to outlets on one side of the box and then the dedicated microwave circuit on the other side of the box?

Or should I just install a single gang box for the microwave and plug the transformer into the unused outlet and wire it as a switched split outlet. In a previous house, this is essentially how I wired my undercounter lights, except they were not controlled by a switch.

I don't want to pull any new branches for the undercounter lighting as this seems like overkill for a 60W (max) set of lights.

Thanks in advance!

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Ron Natalie

If by outlet you mean RECEPTACLE with minor exception (none of which seems to apply here) you CAN NOT use a 15A circuit. PERIOD. END OF STORY. It matters not how the boxes are arranged. All receptacles need to be on the two or more small appliance circuits.

If by outlet you mean a hardwired lighting outlet (low voltage transformer or whatever), then you're free to connect it to any circuit OTHER than the dedicated small appliance circuits.

There's no restriction on mixing circuits in boxes.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 10:23PM
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Yes, receptacle. I wasn't planning to hardwire the transformer - it's a plug-in type.

I want to make sure I was clear though - the existing 15A circuit serves a bunch of locations in the house: kitchen overheads, garage overheads, foyer, etc. There are some outlets already on this circuit. So, the restriction is that all receptacles in the kitchen must be on one of the two 20A circuits, no matter whether the receptacle is in a cabinet or not?

Is it common to extent one of the 20A kitchen circuits into a cabinet to serve as place to plug in lighting? Are there any restrictions to making one of the receptacles on this circuit switched?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 7:03AM
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Ron Natalie

Actually a switched receptacle (presumably for lighting) is permitted to be on another circuit.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 9:16AM
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