Watching home to repo shows, I wonder what the electrical code for Flint, Michigan out of Genesee county is. Like the one show being in California stated each kitchen outlet must have its own dedicated circuit breaker.

Asking because I know how to wire but don't know regulations or code, and wanting to redo my 100 year old house that has deteriorated 2-wire wiring.

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    Unless things have changed from 2013, California electric code does not require each kitchen receptacle be on its own dedicated breaker. novato.org/home/showdocument?id=464 – Jim Stewart Jan 3 '17 at 15:49
  • Well I stated that from what I heard them say on the repo show. I believe it being an episode from the couple who work out of Orange county – Edward Jan 3 '17 at 15:52
  • What city/county are you in? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 3 '17 at 23:16
  • @ThreePhaseEel updated. Flint, MI – Edward Jan 3 '17 at 23:19

According to Mike Holt's NEC® Adoption List, Michigan has adopted the 2014 version of the National Electrical Code (NEC). However, Counties/Cities/Towns/etc. can make amendments to the NEC, which will apply within that jurisdiction. For a copy of the amendments, you'll want to check with the local building department.

According to the NEC, at least two 20-ampere small appliance branch circuits are required to supply (basically) all the receptacles in the kitchen (see NEC 210.11, and 210.52(B)).

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Michigan is too broad a geographic area. You need to contact your local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and ask. (You'll usually find them at city hall, in the building permits department.)

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  • Oh? I was thinking such things where at a state level, not a city or county level – Edward Jan 3 '17 at 15:43
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    The local inspector is the decider. If he keeps healthy relationships with his town council, he can get a local rule passed as easy as asking for it, unless he runs up against "anti-big-government" types. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 5 '17 at 18:37

On Flint code, ask these guys but it looks like NEC 2014.

Among other things, 2014 code gives you broad flexibility to retrofit grounds.

NEC is a model regulation, meaning it's written by a private party with an eye toward offering it to States to adopt as their law. Most States do. This is commonly done with State laws, as it's wasteful to maintain 50 completely separate laws for the same thing.

NEC is written by committees at the NFPA, the National Fire Protection Association, a non-profit organization who is out to save lives and save insurers money. It creates a quasi-standard so a California electrician can transfer his skills to Michigan with little trouble. States can write their own code if they really want to, but it's a huge expense to administer it, and it's gonna come out about the same anyway. Like Canada's separate Code. EU has a totally separate Code, which Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are adopting, even though they're not part of the EU.

The guys on TV don't care much about accuracy. A breaker for every kitchen receptacle would be required if you only had two of them.

Now here's why they did it, and why it's a great idea. Think about a high-end California customer like on the show. Heck, think about anybody who cooks these days. They have lots of kitchen gadgets. Many gadgets are 1500W, and if you put two of them on the same breaker, it'll trip even if it's a 20A (2400W) circuit. And kitchen receptacles are rarely marked. So plugging in randomly, the cook has a 50% chance of an annoying breaker trip, and running 3 such appliances is absolutely out of the question. How annoying.

Whereas, if each duplex receptacle is on a separate circuit, it becomes rather intuitive for the chef to avoid the trip problem.

What's the cost of this? If you're DIY'ing, the cost is ridiculously low - maybe an extra $100 - $200 tops - which is rounding error on a kitchen remodel. This longer wires and extra GFCI devices. The biggest problem with this setup is needing more slots in the breaker panel, which is why I'm absolutely bananas about buying the largest panel you can possibly buy. Seriously, 60 is not too many.

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  • Aren't you glad the 42 space limit on panelboards was lifted? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 4 '17 at 1:09
  • Oh, heavens, yes! – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 4 '17 at 1:10
  • Thanks for the info. Wouldn't it be best then from that to use 2 25 or 30 amp breakers? Also talking about the number of breaker spaces in the box eventually the main will just trip based on what your serviced for right? – Edward Jan 4 '17 at 1:18
  • @Edward -- as to the latter, you are correct, that's why adding up the breaker handles on the branch breakers doesn't say anything about the size of your service. – ThreePhaseEel Jan 4 '17 at 1:23
  • @Edward the size of the breakers are limited. 15 & 20 amp need to be used because the switches, outlets and fixtures are not rated for higher values. You can have a duplex 15 amp outlet on a 20 amp circuit. it is also legal to have a 15 amp switch on a 20 amp circuit as long as it is rated for the load it is controlling. – Ed Beal Jan 4 '17 at 14:26

Kitchen outlets must have their own dedicated breaker if following the latest NEC. California is usually the strictest of areas on electrical code mainly because of their power issues but they do not require each outlet to have its own line.

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  • What is NEC? I know electricity and writing but not regulations, thus the question. Would there be any other requirements. I am sure any outlets near water require that GFCI outlet. – Edward Jan 3 '17 at 16:05
  • National Electrical Code. Yes anything near water gets a GFCI outlet and some people just install them in the whole kitchen. – DMoore Jan 3 '17 at 16:08
  • So NEC is a federal regulations thing, and what each state has their own as well and decide what part of NEC they want to enforce? – Edward Jan 3 '17 at 16:09
  • @Edward Typically, it gets down to what each locality wants to enforce. For example: Chicago, Illinois has their own electrical code. – statueuphemism Jan 3 '17 at 16:45
  • I guess then it falls to what is best practices right? Since I could say try to get away with replacing my own roof without a permit. – Edward Jan 3 '17 at 16:48

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