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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 66
cpalm1 Offline OP
Me and a buddy bought a house to fix up and sell and hopefully makes some $$$. most of the repairs are cosmetic, but there are a few minor electrical things that need to be done. tyhe biggest thing was installing GFCIs at all required outlets. bathrooms and garage went fine, but when i got to the kitchen i found something funny. there are 4 countertop duplex recepticals. each duplex is split so that it's recepticals are on two different circuits. Of course this cannot be done on a GFCI, so i ended up putting two of the GFCIs on one circuit and the other two on the second ciruit.

My question is: before the days of GFCI was it common to have split circuit recepticals in the kitchen? i have never seen this before. also, this is a multiwire circuit but it is not on a double pole breaker. I know this is against code with split recepticals. However since i have eliminated the split recepticals, is it OK now or do i have to put a 2 pole breaker in?

Also, this house does not appear to have a main disconnect in the 200A breaker panel. there is no seperate main disconnect. I have not opened it up yet to inspect whats going on inside. However, i suspect that the main wires are just connected to the bus bars. Were there any panels designed to work this way, or was the origional electrician too cheap to put in a main breaker?

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
I never seen split kitchen Recepticals. I imagine the electriction was making it so you could use 2 appliances with a big load in the same receptical at the same time. Because it was 2 circuits on the same yoke it should have been a double Pole breaker.

You are fine just putting one circuit for half the kitchen GFI's. These can be single pole breakers (20 amp with #12 wire).

No main disconect would be acceptable if is with the meter. There is also an exception if the panel does not have more than 6 breakers.

Pricing of electrical products around here reflect demand not what's included. A panel without a main is almost the same or more than one with. But if you need the just main breaker and any hardware you might be better off buying the whole panel.


Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
In Ontario 3 split kitchen receptacles was/is part of the code. Now you are allowed to have 5 dedicated 20 amp instead. You could have solved the problem with double GFCI breakers.

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
Found a similar situation when rehabbing my buddy's kitchen in Madison, WI.

Wound up converting to individual 20a's

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 66
cpalm1 Offline OP
"You could have solved the problem with double GFCI breakers"

I considered that, but because this is a multi-wire (shared neutral) system it wouldn't work. plus outlets are cheaper than breakers.

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 333
A 120/240 2 pole GFCI breaker will work for a 120v multi-wire circuit. At least Cutler-Hammer's breaker will work.


Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 329
Ref the panel:Is it a split bus? They had no main, only 4 or 6 2 poles on the top. One of them controlled the whole bottom half.

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