If you live in an older home that still has its original kitchen, adding more circuits and outlets may be at the top of your wish list when you plan to remodel. Old kitchens weren't designed for modern appliances, so you may constantly have to share outlets and turn off some things to operate others without tripping a breaker. Before you start remodeling, consult a residential electrician. Here's what they can do.
1. Plan How Many Circuits And Outlets You Need
You want enough circuits and outlets for your current needs and for future expansion. The electrician has to start by looking over your electrical panel. If it's old too, there may not be room for more circuits. In that case, you may need a panel upgrade.
Then the electrician can help you determine the number of outlets and circuits you need. Large appliances and some small ones need a dedicated circuit to reduce the risk of tripping a breaker. The electrician has to follow the National Electric Code concerning the minimum number of circuits, and they may also need to follow local building codes if they differ.
Appliances that may need a dedicated circuit include the refrigerator, range, microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, cooktop, toaster oven, air fryer, and high-speed blender. Some circuits may be dedicated to a single appliance, while you might be able to take turns using a circuit with small appliances if you don't need to use them at the same time.
Once the electrician knows how many dedicated circuits and shared circuits are needed for your kitchen, the next step is to determine where the outlets will be so they can create an installation plan and hook up your new electrical system.
2. Determine Where To Put GFCI Outlets
GFCI outlets are needed in all rooms where the floor might get wet or water might be splashed near the outlet. Every outlet in your kitchen doesn't need to be a GFCI outlet, so the residential electrician has to determine where these outlets should be placed. They are for your safety to prevent an electrical shock and they're required by electrical codes.
You'll probably need them on your countertops and on outlets near your sink. Outlets on the opposite side of the room from the sink may not need GFCI outlets, but your electrician understands the codes and knows where to use them.
3. Install Hardwiring For Kitchen Lights
Kitchen lights tend to be overhead lights, hanging lights, recessed lights, or under-cabinet lighting. Some of these lights may plug into an outlet, but then the cord shows and that's not an attractive look.
Instead, the electrician may decide hardwiring is a good choice so the lights connect directly to the wiring behind the wall or above the ceiling, and the lights are operated by a wall switch. That keeps lights and cords out of the way in a busy kitchen and also optimizes illumination.
For more info, contact a local residential electrician.