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Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

Install Kitchen Electrical Wiring

Summary: Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Kitchen Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects*.

How to Install Kitchen Electrical Wiring

Install and Repair Kitchen Electrical Wiring
Kitchen Blueprint Layout
Kitchen Electrical Code Requirements

Kitchens are one of the most popular gathering places of the whole house.

Whether you enjoy practical cooking functionality or friendly entertainment, improvements within the kitchen electrical wiring systems will add greatly to this all important gathering area.

Your kitchen electrical wiring diagrams should reflect the following to bring your home to an enhanced level of code requirements which help you enjoy lower energy bills when you implement energy efficiency into your kitchen electrical design.

Basic home electrical wiring for kitchens wiring practices
Code requirements and energy efficient specifications now incorporate an energy saving design along with safety features that help to protect you and your family while enjoying your newly completed kitchen project.

Kitchen Electrical Wiring Upgrades Can Add Value to the Home


Kitchen Blueprint and Wiring Design Layout

Residential Plan Design by: Heidi Agler

Kitchen Electrical Code Requirements and Energy Efficient Specifications

Kitchen Wiring Diagram Lights One half of the kitchen lighting wattage must be High Efficiency (fluorescent or equivalent) and switched separately from other lights.
wirig diagram kitchen gfci Kitchen countertops, including islands wider than 12 inches, and any usable spaces wider than 2 feet, shall be provided with an electrical outlet at 48" on center. GFCI protection is required for these outlets.
Kitchen 20 Amp Appliance Circuits Provide a minimum of 2 - 20 amp electric circuits for kitchen appliances.
Kitchen Counter Appliance Circuit Provide 2 small-appliance branch circuits for outlets in the kitchen limited to supplying wall and counter space outlets only.
wiring diagram kitchen plugs A GFCI is required for all 120 volt receptacles installed for the electrical wiring at kitchen countertops and within 6-feet of sinks.
Wiring Diagram Range Receptacle The home electrical wiring for kitchens requires that you provide a 4-wire oven receptacle for electric an range.

Electrical Circuit Wiring Options for the Kitchen

Flush Lights

Pendant Fixture

Ceiling Fan
Recessed Lighting Pendant Lighting Ceiling Fans
Cook Top Microwave Oven Free Standing Range Stove
Drop-In Oven Microwave Oven Freestanding Stove
Garbage Disposal Dishwasher Trash Compactor
Garbage Disposal Dishwasher Trash Compactor
Ground Fault Receptacle Dimmer Switch Telephone Jack
GFCI Receptacles Light Dimmer Telephone Jack

Building in Energy Efficiency for the Kitchen

  1. Of all the areas of your home, the devices connected to the home electrical wiring for kitchens are among the highest energy consumers.
  2. With functionality being the key factor with items such as the oven range and cook top, newer designs are becoming more energy efficient.

Energy Guide Label
Consumer Energy Guide Labels found on major appliances will show the estimated annual cost to operate the appliance based upon the energy source provided. This will help you decide which appliance is right for you and your home electrical wiring for kitchens devices.


Electrical Circuit Wiring for Kitchens

Recessed flush can lighting will improve light quality and give a new look. Pendant lights will compliment your kitchen electrical arrangement. Ceiling fans are a charming touch while ventilating the area.

Ovens - Styles and Options

Drop-in Cabinet Style
Freestanding Oven Unit


Kitchen Electrical Circuit Options

Garbage Disposal
Trash Compactor


Kitchen Safety and Practicality

GFCI Outlets
Every home electrical wiring for kitchens design should include the safety features provided with Ground Fault Receptacles, which is now a NEC Code Requirement.
Lighting Dimmer Controls
Telephone Jack

More about Kitchen Electrical Wiring


Frequently Asked Questions about How to Wire a Kitchen

Kitchen Counter Outlets and Back Splashes

Counter Top Back Splash Outlets

Question from Dan:
  • I have installed the rough wiring for a kitchen, and at the back of what will be the counter top.
  • I estimate will be approximately 2-3 inches clearance I'll have at the base of the outlet box to the top of the counter top.
  • Does code allow for a In back splash outlet? What should I do to extend the wall up more or what?

Dave's Reply:
  • Dan, the back splash could be treated the same as if it were tile, so installing outlets there should be ok. It would not be ideal because it would require cutting into the back splash, but it would work.
  • You will need to be very careful to plan the location of the outlets and keeping in mind the height of the counter top and the depth of the back splash.
  • A box extension may be required after the back splash is in place. Also make sure the wires will extend 6 inches past the finished opening for the outlet. GFI protection will be required.
  • Planning kitchen electrical wiring with respect to cabinets and the counter tops is essential.

Small Kitchen Counter Top Outlets

Wiring Connections for Kitchen Outlets

Question from Robert:

  • Robert, what you are referring to is a multi-wire circuit where there are two circuits that share the same neutral being fed from a two pole circuit breaker.
  • So Robert, the wiring is standard except that the neutral is pigtailed for sharing.
  • Good to see that GFCI outlets will be installed as required for then kitchen.

Caution When Replacing Kitchen Outlets

Walt from New York asks:
So I'm changing all the outlets in my house. I'm stuck on the kitchen. I copied the wire configuration from old to new, but when I turn the power back on it keeps tripping the circuit breaker. I didn't use GFCI's, but I will purchase some since reading some posts on this site saying that it is the electrical code, even so I don't understand why the breaker keeps tripping. I live in a old house and the previous outlets weren't GFCI's either but they worked fine. What is it that i'm missing?

The most common problem that causes tripping circuit breakers after replacing kitchen outlets is due to either the screws on the side of the outlet which may be coming in contact with the metal outlet box or the bare ground wire is coming into contact with an area of the outlet that is energized. Turn off the circuit breaker for the kitchen outlet circuit and remove and inspect each outlet. If the outlet boxes are metal then wrap electrical tape around the sides of the outlet and cover the screws to prevent them from coming into contact with the box.

Electrical Terminal Block for a Kitchen Cook top

My electric 4 burner kitchen cook top just fried due to careless installation causing stripped wiring and has melted the terminal block. The existing terminal block is 40 amp. After 3 days I still cant locate a 40 amp replacement connector. Can I use a 30 amp connector in its place?

Dave's Reply:
Karin, to prevent any problems in the future it is best to stay with the original size of 40 amps for the terminal block. You should be able to locate one from an appliance replacement parts supplier or you may try Grainger.

Replacing Multi-Wire Kitchen Outlets

Chris, from Winnipeg, Canada asks:
I have 4 standard 120V 15A outlet plugs in my kitchen that I recently wanted to replace. So I went to Home Depot and bought some new plugs and installed them. When I turned on the breaker switch, I saw a spark behind the breaker and it flipped back to the off position.
I consulted with an electrician and he asked me if I had broken off the tabs on the hot side of the outlets. I didn't. So I went back and sure enough the old plugs were missing the tabs. I removed the tabs on the new outlets and now everything works fine.
My question is why did this happen and have I done any damage to the breaker or new outlets that I should be concerned about?
Thank You.

From what you have described, the kitchen outlets that you replaced are wired as multi-wire circuits, which means that there are two circuits that supply power to these outlets, one for the top outlet and one for the bottom outlet, and they both share the neutral. When this method is used the tab cannot be in place otherwise there will be a direct short between the two circuits. Removing the tabs isolated the two circuits as they should be. The circuit breaker should not be damaged because they are designed to trip off and protect the circuit. When a short circuit condition occurs a flash may be seen as you have observed and in most cases this will not damage the circuit breaker.

Question from Ginnie, a Homeowner from Unity, SK, Canada:

Can I use a circuit for an outlet and switch for some kitchen island light fixtures?

I am renovating my kitchen and I have an outlet in the wall that is part of a run. I was wondering if it is possibly to move the outlet above the new cabinets, put a switch on the outlet because it will control a couple lamps over the new island. I know that part is possible but I want to continue the run of power back down to the basement like the original outlet it has. Can I do that by wiring through the switch back down to the basement or will the switch connected to the outlet at the top interfere with the run? Hope that makes sense. Thanks a lot.

Dave’s Answer:
Kitchen Lighting and Circuit Wiring

It would be best if he circuit that runs down to the basement is not used for the kitchen lights unless it is a general purpose branch circuit that serves lighting in the kitchen area as well. Once a lighting circuit is determined the wiring connections may be made to control the island light fixture from a wall switch that is part of an existing branch circuit.

Question from Robert in Cleveland, Ohio:

Why am I getting shocked from the kitchen outlet?

I recently installed a new back splash in the kitchen. I shut off the breaker for that side, and removed the plastic face plate over the outlet. I pulled the outlet out keeping the wiring intact , and when finished with the back splash, I put the outlet back in it’s place and replaced the old face plate with a stainless one. Now when I touch the face plate I get a shock, but it works okay. What could be wrong?

Dave’s Answer:
Kitchen Receptacles and GFCI Protection

The outlet circuit should be turned off so the outlet can be removed to see if the side terminals or wire connections are coming into contact with the cover plate or the side of the outlet box.
A shock from an outlet should be prevented if the kitchen outlet circuits have GFCI protection. If it is discovered that the kitchen outlet circuits are not GFCI protected then protection should be provided.

Citation Reference: NEC Electrical Code
NEC Article 210.8a(6)
All kitchen countertop receptacles are required to have GFCI Protection.

Does a GFCI Outlet Need to be Grounded?

Ed in New Jersey asks: Does a GFCI Outlet need to be grounded?

My Fluorescent Light is Not Working Does it Need a New Ballast

Bud in Ohio asks: I have a built-in light fixture above my stove that is at least 20 years old. I just tried to replace the starter and the bulb and the bulb flashed once and then was dead.

Range Circuit Wiring and 3-Wire Outlets

How to Connect an Electric Range Cord: Electric Range Installation with a typical 220 or 240 Volt electric power cord wiring system, You may find yourself with either a 3-wire or 4-wire electric range cord.

Electric Cooktop Circuit Requirements for Renters

Cook Top Electrical Circuit Requirements – You can only supply 240 volts to a 2 burner 240 volt cook top, and the circuit would need to be rated at the specifications of the cook top that you have.

Kitchen Stove Electrical Circuit Checks

How to Check Circuit Wiring for an Electric Stove – The circuit breaker should be checked to make sure that half of the circuit is not tripped off. Inspect the flex whip and wiring for damage or loose connections.

Testing the Circuit for Your Kitchen Stove

How to a Test a Kitchen Stove Electrical Circuit when trying to connect or install the stove

See more at the Electrical Questions Category Listing.

Articles about Kitchen Electrical Wiring

Garbage Disposal Electrical Wiring Diagram
How to Wire a Switch and Outlet for a Garbage Disposal: Disposal wiring diagrams with pictures for wiring the outlet.

Kitchen Electrical Circuit Wiring
How to Wire a Kitchen: Basic home electrical wiring for kitchens and common wiring practices with photos and wiring diagrams.

How to Install Kitchen Electrical Wiring
Electrical Circuit Requirements When Wiring a Kitchen.

How to Wire a Kitchen
Kitchen Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.

Kitchen Remodeling and Electrical Wiring
How to Rewire a Kitchen – Considerations for Homeowners about Remodeling and Ingredients for a Successful Home Construction Project – So many times homeowners with good intentions of saving money end up costing themselves far more because they do not understand the vital phases of the construction process.

Find out more about Kitchen Electrical Wiring
» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «
Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.

  guide to electrical wiring  

See How to Wire it Right!

Learn about How to Wire a House
Complete Guide to Residential Electrical Wiring

Perfect for the Homeowner, Handyman,
Electrician and Building Inspector.

Home Electrical Wiring - Room by Room
Wiring Outlets
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 120 Volt Circuits
Wiring 240 Volt Circuits
Multi-Wired Circuits
Methods for Installing Home Electric Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

More about Residential Electric Wiring