Refrigerator Outlet (yes, again..)

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
But around The Holidays, you push the table up to the wall, plug in assorted warming trays, chafing dishes, and crock pots for the party. That's why the dining room needs some extra 'oomph' in the outlets.
Fair point. I was about to say I don't ever see anything in a Dining Room other than a table and a chandelier, haha.
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
This is a good chance to sell customer a panel switch out.
I'm going to recommend it, but right now he just wants to swap out the old cloth wiring in the unit and re wire it because it's all on a few 15A circuits and he's got window A/C units upwards of 10,000 btus, etc.

He's also got an open homeowners permit for bathroom remodel that he wants to close out ASAP and I'm going to be using that currently open wall between the bathroom and kitchen for my homeruns.
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
One could also put the fridge on an SABC that supplies only non-counter kitchen receptacles.
That is a possible solution. Problem is I have to keep lighting off this circuit or it violates SABC requirements, but that's an interesting thought. Thanks Larry.

I'm curious, what are your thoughts about the dining room light never being connected to the receptacles in the room due to SABC requirements?

I've honestly never been one to be keen about the idea of separating lighting and receptacles. Having all the lighting on a couple circuits bugs me because if those circuits trip, you're in the dark in an emergency. I've always been one to prefer localized circuits to the individual rooms, but that's just me. I think it makes for a cleaner panel and easier to locate OCPD in the event of an emergency.
 
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Frank DuVal

Senior Member
Location
Fredericksburg, VA 21 Hours from Winged Horses wi
Occupation
Electrical Contractor, Electrical Engineer
Having lived in a house with dining light and kitchen light on receptacle circuit and being in the dark, I always separate lights and receptacles. ;)

When was the last time a lighting circuit "blew a fuse" and left you in the dark? It has always been a plugged in object that caused the failure in my life.

I cannot remember only putting in two SABCs. I don't do tract houses.

Under counter lighting and a refrigerator would do well together, but our buddies writing code disagree, for no good reason, other than somehow they think we electricians would take advantage of this and screw it up.....:D
 

flashlight

Senior Member
Location
NY, NY
"Under counter lighting and a refrigerator would do well together, but our buddies writing code disagree, for no good reason, other than somehow they think we electricians would take advantage of this and screw it up...."

I agree, even kitchen and DR lighting would leave a good margin with the exception of a fancy chandelier with 30 40W bulbs.
And, as somebody said, if it were on a lighting circuit it's an early warning of power outage for fridge.
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
Location
Union, KY, USA
Make sure every household has a hungry teenage boy or two and you'll know when power to the fridge goes out. Assuming he says , "Hey-- the little light in the fridge burned out"
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
Having lived in a house with dining light and kitchen light on receptacle circuit and being in the dark, I always separate lights and receptacles. ;)

When was the last time a lighting circuit "blew a fuse" and left you in the dark? It has always been a plugged in object that caused the failure in my life.
Fair point that plugging something in to a receptacle is more likely to cause a failure than the lighting circuit being entirely on its' own.

I just don't like the idea that, given that the lighting circuit does trip, all the lights in the entire house are out. In the event of an emergency, I would like a few lights to remain on, which is why I would much rather a single room trip a breaker, than the entirety of the lighting circuit.
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
How often are these circuits tripping and leaving people in the dark?

The refrigerator runs occasionally. I don't see the issue sharing one of the SABC.
Jim, I'm simply trying to conserve as much of the Kitchen Counter Top SABC's as possible. As stated in the OP, I've encountered coffee makers that pull upwards of 15A, so in my mind, conserving as much of those circuits as possible is the ideal outcome.

That being said, I'd put the fridge on a dedicated circuit and be done, but I'm limited to 12 breaker spaces and a panel upgrade isn't in the immediate future.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Location
Henrico County, VA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I'm curious, what are your thoughts about the dining room light never being connected to the receptacles in the room due to SABC requirements?
I agree with the practice of separation, because I understand why. One wouldn't want to be plunged into sudden darkness at the moment the hot appliance in front of them decided to take out the circuit.

I've honestly never been one to be keen about the idea of separating lighting and receptacles. Having all the lighting on a couple circuits bugs me because if those circuits trip, you're in the dark in an emergency.
In a way, you're setting up for the inconvenience/hazard you're trying to avoid. With separate lighting and receptacle circuits, you have two separate sources of power for lighting in each room or other area.

Then there's the visible perceived performance factor: overhead lighting blinking every time you turn on a TV or other item. And when is every light most likely to be turned on? When the vacuum cleaner is about to be used.

A single 20a circuits for the receptacles in two or three bedrooms can carry lamps as well as most left-plugged-in loads, plus a vacuum, while two 15a circuits may never hold with lights and a heavy-duty vacuum going.

Plus, the lighting loads are known, calculable, and relatively unchanging, as well as easier to wire with #14, while receptacles aren't so bad with #12, so I traditionally wire using 15a for lights/fans, and 20a for receptacles.

I think it makes for a cleaner panel and easier to locate OCPD in the event of an emergency.
I don't see the difficulty with "main floor lighting" or "middle floor bedroom receptacles", etc. As for cleaner panels, It makes no real difference, as the quantity of circuits would be almost the same either way.

I do have a preferred method of panel arrangement I've noticed many residential panels several 1/2" KOs on the neutral bus side (when there's only one) and a few larger ones on the other side, so I use that as my guide.

Therefore, I like to stack the multi-pole breakers down one side, large to small, and likewise the single-poles on the other side. Here's a pair I did "my way" a few years ago:

DSC00850.JPG
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
It appears I have a few different options, two of which I was aware of, the other options were the ones I was seeking clarification about.

The two I was aware of were that I could put the fridge on either (1) one of the min. two counter top 20A SABC's or (2) it's own dedicated circuit.
I'm trying to conserve as much of the circuit capacity on the counter tops as possible and not only does the dedicated seem like overkill, but I'm limited to 12 breaker spaces.

The option I was seeking clarification about was the idea of putting it on a general purpose branch circuit, which was clarified to me is (somewhat) non-existent in the kitchen (in terms of receptacles) because the wall receptacles in the kitchen are also required to be fed by a 20A SABC. I say "somewhat" because there is another general purpose circuit in the room for the lighting.

So my third option is to put the fridge a third 20A SABC that feeds the kitchen wall receptacles and dining room and my fourth option is to put it on with the general purpose lighting circuit.

Right now I'm debating between the kitchen wall / dining room SABC receptacles and the general purpose lighting circuit, but I've got the clarification I was seeking.

Thank you everyone, I appreciate the input.
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
I don't believe that is a compliant option.
I don't see anything that makes it non-compliant. SABC's are allowed to have refrigeration equipment on them, not required to. As long as the SABC requirements in the kitchen are met, hooking it up to the general purpose lighting circuit seems like a compliant option... but it's entirely possible I'm missing something.

I suppose if you include the fridge outlet in with the phrasing "all wall and floor receptacles in the kitchen shall be fed by the SABC" it would be non-compliant.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
Speaking as a customer, I surprised the electrician during our kitchen remodel by insisting on a dedicated outlet for the refrigerator, and then another dedicated outlet for the counter top microwave (1200 watts). I don't remember now if I wound up with 3 SABC's in the kitchen or if the microwave wound up as one of the two. If the sparky is pulling back to the panel anyway, it's hardly any more trouble to pull another circuit, or even two.
 

McLintock

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician
It also depends on the home your working on, if it’s a big fridge of a small one. I run a 12/3 to the kitchen too do the microwave and fridge. You never know what a homeowner might put in later, better safe than have to go back and try to run another circuit.

One of the last houses I did it had three fridges, probably could have put them all on the same circuit as the name plate read 5 amps. But the house has three fridge circuits. The dumbest part of this house is the owner wanted the fridge’s on switch’s (a green guy trying to save energy) first time he left the house for a couple weeks he turned the fridge’s off and came back to a mess as the fridge’s had ice makers.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
I don't see anything that makes it non-compliant. SABC's are allowed to have refrigeration equipment on them, not required to. As long as the SABC requirements in the kitchen are met, hooking it up to the general purpose lighting circuit seems like a compliant option... but it's entirely possible I'm missing something.

I suppose if you include the fridge outlet in with the phrasing "all wall and floor receptacles in the kitchen shall be fed by the SABC" it would be non-compliant.
See post #9 - (two options for the fridge)
 

Jerramundi

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Occupation
Licensed Residential Electrician
Speaking as a customer, I surprised the electrician during our kitchen remodel by insisting on a dedicated outlet for the refrigerator, and then another dedicated outlet for the counter top microwave (1200 watts). I don't remember now if I wound up with 3 SABC's in the kitchen or if the microwave wound up as one of the two. If the sparky is pulling back to the panel anyway, it's hardly any more trouble to pull another circuit, or even two.
The issue is limited number of circuits (12) and no panel upgrade to happen any time soon. It's doable. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to distribute the loads.
 
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