Kitchen Electrical

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This page is about the rough wiring in a kitchen, for information on lighting fixtures and lighting plans visit the Kitchen Lighting Guide page. Always observe local codes and hire licensed contractors.

Modern kitchen electrical requirements by code need 2- 20 amp small appliance circuits. No lighting or large appliances except the refrigerator should be on these circuits. If your kitchen does not have two then consider running a home run from the panel for a new circuit. These receptacles need to be gfci protected.

As far as the major appliances go in kitchen electrical most things need a home run from the panel. The dishwasher, the disposal, the microwave, and of course the range, cook top or wall oven need a home run. The amount of power needed determines the wire size and the breaker size. The appliances need to be picked out before for a finish cabinet plan, or remodeling begins. Check the specs of each appliance to find out the power used and the recommended wire and breaker size.

Kitchen lighting should be on a lighting circuit and not one of the two 20 amp small appliance circuits. Kitchen lighting circuits can be a 15 amp breaker with 14-2 wire. have a detailed lighting plan with accurate locations for all the general room lighting,  cabinet lighting, pendants, and dining table chandelier's placement, as well as appliance locations. See example picture below of a kitchen electrical plan.

The general room lighting is typically recessed cans, but can be be a large fixture in the middle, or a track/monorail system. General kitchen lighting should be on a 3way switch that turns the lights from two main entrances to the kitchen. 3way switches need a run of 3 wire run between the switches for the two switches to same lighting operation to work.

Under Cabinet lights will need a switch. The best way for installing under cabinet wiring is for the wire to go through a hole in the back of the cabinet on the bottom of the cabinet so it is hidden. If you must have low voltage wiring then know that the transformer has to be hidden somewhere, and low voltage wiring is not supposed to be run inside of the wall. The power for under cabinet lighting can come out in one place along a bank of cabinets and then the under cabinet lights can be looped to each other using flexible armor cable wire, or for direct wire under cabinet lights I usually run all the wire in the walls from a switch and poke out wire every place there is a light.
Direct wire under cab light

In a Kitchen electrical plan the counter top plugs need to be 4' apart or less, and within 2' from the sink and cook top, or range. All kitchen plugs need to be gfci protected. The cheapest way is to run all the plugs on a circuit through one gfci, do not double gfci. Kitchen islands and peninsulas need a receptacle, and if over 4' need two. An island receptacle often has to be on the side of a cabinet if there is not a higher bar wall at the back.

See the web site or more detailed lighting fixture information.

Kitchen Electrical Plan 


 Kitchen Lighting Plan lights only