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I believe that's what the code calls for (I'm in Alberta, Canada) but maybe I'm making it up. I'm just wondering what the reason behind that is. Is it to spread the load out more in the event that you're using several appliances right next to each other?

I ask because I wired an island that has three outlets on it but I only ran one 14/3 wire to all of them. So there is two circuits and each half of each duplex receptacle will be on a separate circuit, but the adjacent outlets are on the same two circuits (if that makes sense). Is there something I'm missing that could cause a catastrophic failure?

Thanks!

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You guessed it. You put adjacent receptacles in a kitchen where you regularly have high wattage items, toaster, blenders, microwaves, on separate circuits. Additionally, each circuit in a kitchen or bathroom should be protected by a GFIC outlet.

I'm not sure of the code in your area, but typically you use 14/3 (the thinner wire) only for lights on a 15 Amp breaker. For receptacles, you typically use 12/3 and a 20 Amp breaker.

If you have a failure, it won't be catastrophic as long as you match your breaker amperage to your wire capacity. Though if you are using toasters and stuff on your island, you may be popping the circuit now and then.

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Thanks! Sorry for the delay in accepting. –  canadianer Oct 20 at 5:25

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