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Thread: NEC's definition of "dedicated"

  1. #1

    NEC's definition of "dedicated"

    A colleague just stumped me with a question. He asked about NEC for a kitchen outlet to serve the ancillary electrics of a gas range.

    I said, "Major appliance? If memory serves, code should be for a 20A dedicated circuit."

    He replied that he knew about the dedicated circuit requirement, but no one had ever defined the term "dedicated" in his hearing. Nor in mine, as it turns out, so now we're both confused.

    If we parse the term "dedicated" rigorously, the implication is that no device other than the target appliance should be physically able to share the circuit.

    The appliance should then have provided for it only a single-outlet receptacle at its location, and NEC would presumably forbid the installation of a dual-outlet receptacle in its place. (Leaving aside the possibility of a split dual outlet served by two circuits.)

    Is that level of formalism correct? Are we splitting hairs without necessity?

  2. #2
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    Re: NEC's definition of "dedicated"

    We must avoid the confusion in terms...ancillary electrics of a gas range is not interchangeable with "dedicated".

    As an example, the ancillary electrics of a gas range could be on one with the SA circuit, but the accompaning range hood with microwave would be on it's own "dedicated" circuit. The MW is not a part of the range, although the hood serves as an "ancillary" component of the range(many communities require a hood vent, but not a MW).
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    Re: NEC's definition of "dedicated"

    then have provided for it only a single-outlet receptacle at its location
    I agree.
    Dave Nix

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    Re: NEC's definition of "dedicated"

    Originally posted by Chris Thorne:
    A colleague just stumped me with a question. He asked about NEC for a kitchen outlet to serve the ancillary electrics of a gas range.

    I said, "Major appliance? If memory serves, code should be for a 20A dedicated circuit."

    There is no NEC requirement that requires a gas stove to have a dedicated circuit.
    There is also no rule that requires a dedicated circuit for a "major appliance".
    Generally you would size the circuit for the load to be served.
    The gas range receptacle can be fed from the required kitchen small appliance branch circuits.

    I don't see a defintion for dedicated circuit in the NEC. I do see individual branch circuit which says "A branch circuit that supplies only one utilization equipment"
    There are two kinds of people - those smart enough to know they don’t know, and those dumb enough to insist they do.-----Margery Eagan

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    Re: NEC's definition of "dedicated"

    Nevermind this part

    [ December 14, 2005, 07:31 AM: Message edited by: electricmanscott ]
    There are two kinds of people - those smart enough to know they don’t know, and those dumb enough to insist they do.-----Margery Eagan

    Open shop since 1988

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    Re: NEC's definition of "dedicated"

    Actually in kitchens, there is a requirement for refrigeration to be on an INDIVIDUAL BRANCH CIRCUIT if it is not supplied from the SAB circuit. This would mean that the fridge would be on an Individual Branch Circuit (some people call that a dedicated circuit) with a single receptacle.
    210.52(B)(1), and exception #2 to (B)(1).

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    Re: NEC's definition of "dedicated"

    Pierre an does an individual branch circuit imply an individual outlet? A branch circuit refers to the conductors between the overcurrent device and the outlet.

    The requirement is fridge outlet on sa circuit Or individual branch circuit. So I still say there is no requirement that appliances must be on a dedicated circuit.
    I'm just being tommy technical.
    There are two kinds of people - those smart enough to know they don’t know, and those dumb enough to insist they do.-----Margery Eagan

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    Re: NEC's definition of "dedicated"

    "Dedicated" is not a code defined term. It is a term that is used in the trade. I agree there is no requirement that a gas range be on an "individual branch circuit". Individual branch circuit is defined as "serving only one utilization equipment". If the refrigeration circuit can only serve one "equipment" then it seems logical that it would need to either be hard-wired or serve a single outlet receptacle, not a duplex receptacle. This also prevents the user from plugging in an appliance that should be GFCI protected to the non-GFCI receptacle.

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    Re: NEC's definition of "dedicated"

    I like your use of the term "imply", as I think that is just what the section/exception/definition does.

    Branch Circuit,Individual.
    A branch circuit that supplies only one utilization equipment.

    If the fridge is attached to the branch circuit by an attachment plug, than the receptacle that the individual branch circuit is supplying is required to be an single receptacle.

    I was not trying to state that APPLIANCES in general need to be provided with an individual branch circuit. My comment is in reference to the refrigeration in a residential kitchen.

    [ December 14, 2005, 10:02 AM: Message edited by: pierre ]

  10. #10

    Re: NEC's definition of "dedicated"

    A wealth of replies here! And no small controversy.

    >As an example, the ancillary electrics of a
    >gas range could be on one with the SA circuit

    I would normally agree with that.

    I do know a GC who took over a half-completed kitchen job from another GC. Inspector noticed a branch off of the 20A SA countertop circuit into the bay where the range was to be installed, and said, "I can't pass this. You want to have the range on its own 20."

    My friend wasn't too put out by this, as there were a few other unquestionable flags that he had to call the spark sub back in for, and this was all on someone else's dime anyway.

    But he was curious about the reasoning, and said to the inspector, "Homeowner wants a gas range, the piping and valving are right there. The only electric draw at this station is going to be displays, relays and the internal fan. Not many amps."

    Inspector, a grizzled old specimen, shook his head. Said that in his view, one function of code was to anticipate reasonable future changes in use and to do so in a safe way.

    The range, he said, would get replaced several times over during the lifetime of the home. And there was no guarantee that the homeowner at that time would select a model that was equally thrifty with current. An occasional range which takes 110 may consume most of a 20A circuit. If that load lives on the countertop SA, and someone plugs in and runs a muscular small appliance from that circuit as well, they're in breaker trip territory.

    Whereas with the range on a separate 20A breaker, future modifications are accomodated in a way that minimizes interferences.

    He went on to tell a few old-school inspector horror stories about people with regularly tripping kitchen breakers who would mechanically stop the breaker at the panel, instead of fixing the underlying capacity problem. I suppose if I'd seen a few of those, and the resulting disasters, I'd be planning in a belt-and-suspenders way myself.

    So the range got its own ckt and the inspector was happy. My friend the GC recalls that his elec sub put in a dual-outlet 20A receptacle and it passed. Presumably because, buried behind the body of the range, nothing else was likely to get piggybacked onto the same circuit via the second outlet.

    But the application of that model -- the intent to minimize the possibility of overloaded kitchen circuits whereever possible -- would lead one to think that either a hardwired or a solo-outlet circuit would be in line with the thinking.

    It sounds as though this is to some extent a gray area dependent upon the proclivities of the individual inspector and jurisdiction.

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