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undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

Posted by diy_mike (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 11, 10 at 14:37

I have two 20 amp circuits feeding my kitchen outlets..
3 outlets each. I just realized I dont have a feed for
my under/overcabinet lighting so I would like to put the
lights (~400-500w MAX) on one of the outlet feeds which
is GFCI'd at the breaker. Is legal to do? I've read conflicting things on the web if NEC allows this.

Would I be better feeding only 2 outlets on the feed with
the lights and putting the other 4 on the other 20 amp feed?

Thanks,
Mike


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

Can't put the lights on either of those 2 circuits no matter what you do. You have to run a third circuit or a circuit tied into other lighting for the under cabinet lights. The code states that no other outlets or lighting may be on the 2 circuits.


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

hmm okay thats what I figured.. okay.. how about leaving the outlets alone on their own and putting the under cabinet lighting on a circuit shared with the garbage disposal? currently the garbage disposal has a
dedicated 20 amp circuit.

The 2 lighting circuits (big room) I have in the room are both pretty well used so thats why I hesistate adding more to those circuits.


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

Same rule applies.


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

"currently the garbage disposal has a
dedicated 20 amp circuit."

Any circuit that is dedicated can't be used for anything else. That is what dedicated means.

If you have 2 lighting circuits in a room already, you would really have to have a LOT of lights to need a 3rd. Have you actually done the calculations or are you just guessing?


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

Does the GD require a dedicated circuit, or is it just the only load that was hooked up (the GD cannot go on the counter circuits).

Unless the GD installation instructions REQUIRE a dedicated circuit, it can be shared.


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

The GD doesnt require a dedicated circuit. I just happened to run it one. It draws about 5-6 amps amps when running. I am going to wire off the GD circuit for the under cabinet lighting.

I have a pretty big kitchen.. 30x15 so about 18x 75 watt (max) recessed lights and 2x 40 watt pendants are spread on the two 20 amp lighting circuits. Hence my hesistation to add more onto those circuits.

Thanks,
Mike


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

> 18x 75 watt (max) recessed lightts and 2x 40 watt ...

Yikes, that's almost as much energy (and heat) as a portable space heater. I sure hope you don't use your kittchen much, or else have lots of $$$ for electric bills.

Looked at any compact fluorescents lately?


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

not to hijack the thread but does the code allow one to have outlets (above cabinets for rope lighting) switch operated and low uc lighting to be on the same circuit. The rope and uc lighting will be led. I plan to connect two pigtails to feed the uc led's on opposing walls which will be operated by individual switches.

Since I'm only looking at a total of 90 watts, I guess I could also add the 7 led recessed lamps at a 75 watt total for a grand total of 165 w on a 15 amp breaker? unless the switch box will be to crowded with the lead in and 3 outs plus the 3 pigtails.

Not claiming to be an electrician by any means as the aforementioned more than likely proves.


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

"does the code allow one to have outlets (above cabinets for rope lighting) switch operated and low uc lighting to be on the same circuit. "

Not an issue as long as you do not overload the circuit.

The two small appliance branch circuits on the kitchen counters are the tightly restricted ones.


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

Thanks Brickeyee. I was first thinking of jumping off the back splash wall outlets for a tv outlet mounted in the base cabinet and to the power supply for the low voltage uc lighting until I read the thread above.

So basically, do not touch the outlets mounted in the back splash or is it just the ones required to be GFI. I have 2 exisitng outlets (non gfi) adjacent to where the new gas rangetop wil be installed. However, I need to add an outlet for the igniter. Can I add this one between the exisiting ones? Or since I'm running a new circuit for the microwave can I come of this circuit? Someone or I read somewhere that the micro had to be on its on circuit.


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

A gas range is allowed on the kitchen counter small appliance circuits.

If you had a dedicated "tv outlet" that was NOT a wall-counter outlet you would be in trouble.

With a very few exceptions nothing else is allowed to be on the wall-counter circuits by design.

A 20 amp circuit with a coffee maker and a toaster are at the limit of the circuit usually.


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

I understand that the code does not allow the small appliance circuits to be shared, but, ( there is always a but) why?


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

Brickeyee, sorry but I do not understand the statement

"If you had a dedicated "tv outlet" that was NOT a wall-counter outlet you would be in trouble."

are you saying that I can't jump off the gfi outlets to mount an outlet for the tv in the lazy susan or I can't have a tv outlet mounted in the lazy susan no matter where the feed comes from or I can't mount the tv outlet in the backsplash. Yes I'm confused.


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

With a couple notable exceptions, no permanently installed items are supposed to be on the small appliance circuits.

eg you can put a microwave on the counter and plug it in to a small appliance circuit. You can't install an over the range microwave unit and run its power from that same circuit.


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

All the receptacles on the small appliance branch circuits must be wall-counter receptacles.

Putting a receptacle on that circuit in ANY other location is a problem.


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

is this a local or national code? because I've talked to 2 licensed electricians about jumping off these outlets adding the tv and uc lighting and both said that would not be a problem. One of the electricians does all the work for my KD.

On a side note to my dismay they both mentioned that I would have to reinstall the peninsula outlet.


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RE: undercabinet lighting and counter outlets on same circuit?

The NEC is the National Electric Code, but jurisdictions can adopt it in while, in part, or change any part they want for local use (depending on what authority they have, especially in Dillon Rule states).

The small appliance branch circuits under the NEC are restricted to the wall-counter space receptacles in the kitchen, and with just a few exceptions (gas range, refrigerator if you really want to (IIRC)) but NO other outlets are allowed.
No garbage disposals, dishwashers, lights, receptacles NOT on the wall-counter space.

It is easy enough to overload the circuits with counter appliances that ARE allowed without allowing them to go anywhere else.
Coffee makers, toasters, toaster ovens, and microwaves ca overload ONE of the circuits easily enough to cause nuisance tripping.
By making sure appliances commonly used together are on the two separate circuits a lot of nuisance tripping can be eliminated.
It can still be a problem if you try to use the microwave with a large kitchen mixer on the same circuit.

If the two appliances are both started at the same time it may trip (both pull more power ant initial start up).

Many kitchen appliances are very close to 15 amps (1800 watts) and at least part of the time may be over that briefly.
Put two of them on the same 20 amp circuit and a nuisance trip is possible.
The fact that many also cycle on and off in operation (microwave on less than 100% output, coffee makers pot heater, taster oven on temperature setting below full blast) and you may go weeks with little problem, and then have it happen almost daily, and then even stop again.

If you have a lot of higher power kitchen appliances that may get used together you could even consider more than the minimum required two circuits.


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