I am in the midst of a complete, to-the-frame remodel of a house. As part of this, I have to design the new kitchen. This made me wonder: What, exactly, are the loads we expect to have in a kitchen? How much power do they really draw?
Now, we can't look at nameplates, because we don't have access to them. Nor can we be 'sure' about which everyday appliance will be set where on the counter.
Code requires at least two "small appliance branch circuits" of 20-amp capacity to serve the kitchen and dining areas. Code is silent as to how those circuits will be distributed.
One common approach - to 'split' receptacles and have each half served by a different circuit - has gone by the wayside. Not only are we now required to have the two circuits turn off together, there's no such thing as a 2-pole AFCI/GFCI breaker. Try bringing two separate feeds into a box, and confusion reigns.
My own planned kitchen will have two counters, flanking an aisle. I COULD just run one circuit to each counter ... but does that make good design sense? What about the microwave?
Well, I needed data. What, I wondered, do my existing counter-top appliances really draw?
Let me introduce the Kill-A-Watt. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_A_Watt
This tool lets you monitor an appliance as it operates; simply plug the appliance into the Kill-A-Watt, and the meter into the receptacle.
I used this tool to get my readings as I used the appliances normally.
Here's a table of the appliances tested, and the readings:
Mr. Coffee: 5A
Foreman grill: 6A
Deep Fryer: 10A
Rice cooker: 2A
Compact Fridge: 1A
There it is. Let the discussion begin!