Electrical codes requirements for kitchen remodel

If you remodeling your kitchen or building a new one, same codes from the international electrical code (NEC) will apply.

Electrical codes change regularly every three years, many of contractors and homeowner builders fail the city or county inspections not because they did something wrong, but just because they were not aware of the new code updates.

The NEC more likely to add or change few code sections related to the kitchen renovation. This article will help you to pass the electrical inspection for your kitchen remodel.

Kitchen Remodel Electrical Codes Requirements

Kitchens Branch circuits

  • At least two small appliances dedicated 20-amps branch circuits to serve kitchen counter top’s outlets and dinning area. (NEC 210.51(B)(1)) & (NEC 210(B)(3)).
  • One dedicated 15- or 20-amps branch circuit to the refrigerators (NEC 210.52(B)(1) Exception No.2).
  • One dedicated 15- or 20-amps branch circuit to serve the garbage disposable NEC 210.52(B)(1) Exception No.2).
  • A 20-amps dedicated branch circuit to serve the microwave.
  • One dedicated 15-or 20-amps branch circuit to serve the dishwasher (NEC 210.52(B)(1) Exception No.2).
  • The branch circuit for the electrical range is usually 50-amps, check the manufacturer spec for the specific sizing of the branch circuit. if the range is gas fired, usually the electrician provide a 20-amps circuit to supply the range ignitor only.
kitchen countertops spacing and protections

GFCI Kitchen Outlets

  • Kitchen counter top’s outlets shall be GFCI protected. (NEC 210.8(A)(6)).
  • Where the outlet installed within 6 feet measured from the inside sink edge, it shall be GFCI protected.(NEC 210.8(A)(7)).

National electrical code allowing kitchen GFCI protection to be done at the electrical panel by GFCI breaker and to use regular outlet. However, it is inconvenient for the homeowner to go outside to reset the breaker every time it trips.

Regular outlet protected by GFCI
Regular outlet protected by GFCI

AFCI Kitchen outlets

All 15- and 20- Amps branch circuits serving outlets located in the kitchen and dinning room shall be protected by AFCI protected in addition to GFCI protection where it is required. (NEC 210.12(A)).

Kitchen Remodel lighting requirements

One 15- or 20- Amps branch circuit to serve kitchen pendant, and recessed lighting.

Read more: Electrical code requirements for bathroom remodel.

Kitchen countertop’s outlet spacing and location

  • At least one GFCI outlet for a counter top 12” inches or wider.(NEC 210.52(C)(1)).
  • At least one GFCI outlet for an Island countertop space 12” inches or wider in short dimension and 24 inches in long dimension or wider.(NEC 210.52(C)(2)).
  • At least one GFCI outlet for an peninsular countertop space 12” inches or wider in short dimension and 24 inches in long dimension or wider.(NEC 210.52(C)(3)).
  • At least one GFCI outlet shall be installed within 24” inches measured from every countertop edge if the countertop separated by a range or a sink, the edge of the range or the sink now considered new edge for the counter top and 24” inches rule apply again and then an additional GFCI outlet every 4′ ft. In other meaning, at any points you have an kitchen countertop outlet within 24” inches.(NEC 210.52(C)(1)).
  • Kitchen countertop’s outlet shall be installed on or above the countertop but shall not be installed higher than 20” inches above the countertop surface.(NEC 210.52(C)(5)).
Kitchen outlet Rough-in
Kitchen counter top outlet rough-in phase

Tamper-resistant requirements

Any outlet located within the kitchen space shall be tamper resistant. Tamper resistant requirements are not required if the outlet located more 5.5 ft. above the floor.

Tamper-resistant requirements do not apply for the outlet behind kitchen appliances such as range, refrigerator and microwave. (NEC 210.8 (A))&(NEC 406.12).

Reference Codes – National Electrical Code- California Electrical Code