Wet Bar Wiring

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Waterloo, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. Waterloo

    Waterloo New Member

    Jul 30, 2007
    I am finishing a basement and adding a wet bar in the process. The wet bar will be a pair of 6' long countertops on either side of a 3ft wide walkway, with a refrigerator at the end. Overall, this area will have a normal refrigerator, kegerator, garbage disposal, and outlets (4).

    How many circuits must I run? My kitchen has separate runs for its refrigerator vs disposal vs outlets. If I follow that pattern, I'll need 4 circuits for this area - one for each applicance, and one GFCI for the outlets.

    Must I use separate circuits for each appliance, or can I combine both refrigerators on one circuit?

    Note: I'll throw the lights on a branch with other lights in the area.

  2. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Jun 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    Depends on the amperage draw of each appliance.

    (1) Cord-and-Plug-Connected Equipment Not Fastened in Place. The rating of any one cord-and-plug-connected utilization equipment not fastened in place shall not exceed 80 percent of the branch-circuit ampere rating.
    (2) Utilization Equipment Fastened in Place. The total rating of utilization equipment fastened in place, other than luminaires (lighting fixtures), shall not exceed 50 percent of the branch-circuit ampere rating where lighting units, cord-and-plug-connected utilization equipment not fastened in place, or both, are also supplied.
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  4. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    I woud run a 15 or 20 Amp multiwire branch circuit (MWBC) which provides two circuits. You can run it with a single cable, say 12/3 with ground for a 20 Amp circuit or 14/3 with ground for a 15 Amp circuit.

    The refrigerators are almost certainly less than 80 percent of the capacity of the circuit and are probably plug and cord connected. I would put them first on the circuit with a one two receptacles; ideally on one duplex or two single receptacles. The next receptacle on that circuit would be a GFCI receptacle, and any subsequent receptacles connected to the load terminals of the GFCI outlet.

    The other side of the MWBC would serve the disposer; fastened-in-place unless it is furnished with a cord (unusual). You could legally connect the lights to that circuit if it falls within the current limits but may have dim/flicker probelms when the motor starts. All receptacles other than for the refrigeration equipment and disposer would be GFCI protected.

    Unless you know that the refrigerator and kegerator amps are low, I would put in the 20 Amp circuit. That would allow you to put a couple of receptacles that would serve a blender or other equipment.

    You will have to check the amps of refrigerators and disposer and may have to adjust to meet the current requirements.
  5. kd

    kd New Member

    Dec 11, 2006
    I would put the refer and kegger on a standard 20 amp circuit (non GFCI ). Then run a 20 amp circuit for the disposal because you might want in the future to put instant hot water under the sink. Then I would run a GFCI circuit for the counter top receptacles. I recommend no multi-wire circuits, (12-3wG) because they bring in complicated rules that people do not follow, create risk, and they will not work with an AFCI if someone wanted to install one in the future.
  6. 480sparky

    480sparky In the Trades

    Oct 8, 2007
    Electrical Contractor
    If the recep is within 6' of the sink, it must be GFI'd.

  7. Waterloo

    Waterloo New Member

    Jul 30, 2007
    I'm a big fan of doing stuff consistently. I don't have any multi-wire branches, nor do I have 15A circuits. I'll stick with 12/2.

    How does this sound:
    1 20A circuit for both refrigerators and two receptacles for small countertop appliances. I haven't had much luck finding RLAs for refrigerators on the web, but one is essentially an under-counter, and the other would be a "normal" 18-20cuft unit. The two receptacles would simply be due to the vicinity of those two outlets in relation to the refrigerators.

    1 20A circuit for disposal and the other two receptacles. Is this permissable with an directly wired disposal? I'm guessing I'd have to put in a junction box and pigtail it to the disposal. Or, find a disposal with a cord!!

    All receptacles would be at the "end" of the run (appliances first), and the first receptacle would need to be GFCI with the second one connected to load. The disposal would be 1/2hp at 4.5A. No need for under-counter hot water - this area is one of the closest to the tank.

    I appreciate the feedback!
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
  8. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    Your loads are within the limits for 20 Amp circuits. The 1/2 HP disposer will not exceed 50% of the circuit capacity so you can add more receptacles and lights if you need them.

    I have a 22 CuFt refrigerator that has a nameplate rating of 7.6 Amps so you should be ok with a standard and a smaller one. Refrigerators are not continuous loads so you should be able to supply the receptacles on the end of the circuit as long as you don't plug in a microwave. It takes quite a while to trip a breaker at 20 Amp load.
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