Here's a question copied from another message forum board (non electrical)
As forum boards usually go, he got several wrong replies from DIY's
I'm a L.V.P (Low Voltage Puke to the uneducated), and I'm not up on some things.
We're remodeling the kitchen, and the cabinet installers are coming Tuesday. I'd like to get wiring roughed in this weekend before they bury me in new millwork.
Question about kitchen branch circuits - what I'm aware of: Current code requires a minimum of 2) 20A circuits for a kitchen. A countertop of more than 12" horiz. run requires an outlet accessable to it. Within the "run" of the countertop, no more than a 24" reach to an outlet.
What I'd like to do is install duplex recepticles at the required spacing, and split them (breaking the connector tabs between outlets - hot side). Each 1/2 would have it's own feed from each of the 2) 20A circuits.
My question is: Would I have to run separate neutrals to each 1/2 of the outlet, or just upsize the guage of the neutral and keep them "commoned" (they go back to the same buss bar anyway)??
Do NOT do it with a 12-3 or any other shared nuetral way.
This will NOT work. I hope you haven't done it already.
All kitchen recepticles need to be GFCI protected by NEC code.
If you use a shared nuetral on a GFCI, as soon as you use one half of the recepticle you will trip both GFCI's. The unbalance of current on the nuetral will be read by both GFCI's and will trip them. You will never be able to use the recepticles.
I am a master electrician, and have had to fish lots of wire into remodeled kitchens where home owners tried this. It will NOT work.
If you are going to do it, use 2 12-2 wires and break both tabs on each recepticle. As stated you will then have to put the two circuits on a 2 pull breaker. Reason being that you have to turn off both circuits to work on one recepticle.
If you are going to do this, do NOT wire your refridgerator into either of these circuits. If one trips they both trip and you do not want that surprise after a vacation or long weekend. Also when pulling the wire, make sure you don't GFCI protect the refridgerator, yet another surprise you don't want.
Why do homeowners insist on doing it the least practical way? Is it to impress their neighbors and friends? I dunno.
This dope needs to run 12-3 NM and jump out with 12-2 to another box. Also, be sure to splice the neutral through so it doesn't accidentially send 160 volts to the microwave and 50 volts to a coffee maker. This prevents the "unbalanced" load in the neutral wire from ruining your kitchen appliances.