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Thread: Proper kitchen receptacle wiring

  1. #1
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    Default Proper kitchen receptacle wiring

    My kitchen has 3 above-counter split receptacles. Each is wired with a double 15A breaker (for a total of 6 individual circuits, taking up 6 slots in the panel). There is nothing else on these breakers.
    Is this the required method by the CEC (Ontario), or can I daisy-chain two receptacles (while maintaining the top/bottom split).

    If this is allowed it would free up 2 much needed spaces in the panel.
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    Last edited by Guido; February 25th, 2011 at 07:23 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guido
    My kitchen has 3 above-counter split receptacles. Each is wired with a double 15A breaker (for a total of 6 individual circuits, taking up 6 slots in the panel). There is nothing else on these breakers.
    Is this the required method by the CEC (Ontario), or can I daisy-chain two receptacles (while maintaining the top/bottom split).
    Yes, you can have a maximum of two 15A split receptacles on each double pole 15A breaker.

    They must be arranged so that the split receptacles on the same breakers are not adjacent to one another. If you do combine them, do not double lug your breakers. You need to connect them in a box outside of your panel. Under Canadian rules you can't make any splices inside the panel. The only exception is for panel replacement and existing wires are too short to terminate in the new panel.

    Just keep in mind that under current code, you need to protect these with those expensive double pole GFCI breakers. Because this is a multiwire or shared neutral setup, you can't use two GFCI receptacles to protect the two legs.

    Just to mention, there is now an alternate strategy permited. You can use 20A receptacles on 20A circuits and protect them with the 20A T-slot GFCI receptacles. However, this doesn't do you any good since you have 14/3 cable already installed and not #12.

    Homer
    Last edited by Homer; October 20th, 2004 at 09:40 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homer
    If you do combine them, do not double lug your breakers.
    Is this a "kitchen only" rule? Because I know some of my breakers currently have 2 wires under the screw (but I was told that type of breaker was designed for 2 wires so it's OK).

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer
    Just keep in mind that under current code, you need to protect these with those expensive double pole GFCI breakers. Because this is a multiwire or shared neutral setup, you can't use two GFCI receptacles to protect the two legs.
    Sorry, I'm confused. Please bear with me.
    How is the above setup different than what you mentioned in the other thread:
    "So, you can run one 3-wire multiwire circuit (12/3 or 14/3) into the first box, and splice into two 12/2 or 14/2 cables so the neutral in no longer shared. These two circuits can then be protected by GFCI receptacles."
    I don't understand why one is considered shared neutral, and the other isn't (they both seem the same to me).

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer
    Just to mention, there is now an alternate strategy permited. You can use 20A receptacles on 20A circuits and protect them with the 20A T-slot GFCI receptacles. However, this doesn't do you any good since you have 14/3 cable already installed and not #12.
    Homer
    That would be my last case option. The kitcken is located above the panel, so it's not out of the question, but it's still a lot of work, and a lot of money (20A double pole breaker is $50 alone!).
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    Last edited by Guido; February 25th, 2011 at 07:23 AM.

  4. #4
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    Is this a "kitchen only" rule? Because I know some of my breakers currently have 2 wires under the screw (but I was told that type of breaker was designed for 2 wires so it's OK).
    This has nothing to do with the location of the circuit. There are a few breakers that are approved for two wires. Make sure that yours are.

    Sorry, I'm confused. Please bear with me.
    How is the above setup different than what you mentioned in the other thread:
    "So, you can run one 3-wire multiwire circuit (12/3 or 14/3) into the first box, and splice into two 12/2 or 14/2 cables so the neutral in no longer shared. These two circuits can then be protected by GFCI receptacles."
    I don't understand why one is considered shared neutral, and the other isn't (they both seem the same to me).
    They are both shared neutral multiwire circuits.

    Until recently, the code specifically stated that the kitchen counter receptacles had to be split receptacles. Split receptacles are fed from multiwire circuits. You cannot protect a split receptacle with anything other than a 2-pole GFCI breaker because the neutral is shared right at the receptacle.

    If you replaced the 15A split receptacles with 15A non-split receptacles you would be in violation of the code.

    Recently, because of this problem, the code was changed to allow you to choose between;

    1) Two 15A multiwire circuits with split receptacles and a 2-pole GFCI breaker.

    and

    2) Two 20A circuits protected by 20A T-slot GFCI receptacles.

    So, you have the split receptacles on multiwire circuits based on the older code before GFCI protection was required. Protecting the existing split receptacles can only be done with an expensive 2-pole GFCI breaker.

    Homer

  5. #5
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    Just curious - when did the code change allowing non-split 20A receptacles in the kitchen?

    Thank you very much for all your help, bit by bit it's all coming together. I appreciate it.

    I just saw the electrical forum - did I post this in the wrong place? If so I'll ask the moderator to move it. I was looking for Canadian specific content.
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    Last edited by Guido; February 25th, 2011 at 07:24 AM.

  6. #6
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    This is the right place for Canadian specific questions.

    In January 2003, Ontario made amendments to these sections of the 2002 CEC.

    Here is a link to a bulletin.

    Homer
    Last edited by Homer; October 22nd, 2004 at 05:51 PM.

  7. #7

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    Homer good catch on the ammendment. However I noticed this ammendment only applies to Ontario not other provinces. Did you catch that part of only one provice involved?

    Wg

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wgoodrich
    Did you catch that part of only one province involved?
    Yes, Ontario is the jurisdiction of the poster. His profile shows his home to be Toronto.

    I do not know if any other provinces have made similar ammendments but we can't make that assumption.

    Any forum readers in other provinces should abide by the original split-receptacle requirements of the 2002 CEC.

    Homer

  9. #9
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    Yup, I'm in Toronto. Thanks!

    I just read that notice and the wording seems like GFCI protection is required only for receptacles WITHIN ONE METER of sinks. I always thought it was for EVERY kitchen counter receptacle.

    If I'm not mistaken, the US allows 15A receptacles on a 20A circuit IF there is more than 1 receptacle on that circuit. Am I correct? If so, what is the reasoning behind allowing lower rated receptacles than the circuit can provide? Isn't this an obvious hazard?
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    Last edited by Guido; February 25th, 2011 at 07:25 AM.

  10. #10
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    Something with a 15A plug should not be drawing more than 15 amps. Therefore, a 20A breaker shouldn't be a hazard. The hazard is avoided when you have a single receptacle, but given a duplex receptacle, you can utilize the full 20A when using both receptacles (say 15A + 5A).

    If a short circuit occurs, both 15A and 20A breakers trip at the same level of short circuit current. All 15A UL listed receptacles should be rated for 20A passthrough with 15A going to any one set of prongs, since this is specifically permitted in the NEC.

    If canadian code never allowed 15A receptacles on 20A circuits, then the listing agencies may never have tested them for 20A passthrough and they could be a hazard. Hopefully, everything you have is both CSA and UL listed.
    Mark
    Kent, WA

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