i have had this idea for years, yet never applied it b-4..... what would you guys think if an electrician wanted to run a raceway into the kitchen of a house properly sized of course for awg and considered derating if neccessary for # of current carrying conductors... this raceway would terminate in a j box(again prop size)behind the stove or fridge. could there be any argument to 314.29? since they took out that horrible word "readily" doesnt this seem permissible since you wont need to remove any building to get to j box, just the stove or fridge? trying to save money and time and i think with the price of wire it may actually be cost effective now! or maybe i just like my idea from way back when.
If I am getting this right, you want to run a good enough size conduit from the panel to a big j-box behind the fridge and then splice/branch out home runs from there. I have seen this method before used for rewiring. It meets code ok. It does not always pass inspection however.
I can't think of any NEC problems. But from a practical standpoint, I've found it is usually more cost effective to install multiple runs of 2 or 3 conductor NM cable. I've been down this road and if you're going to be needing a box larger than 4 & 11/16 square, you're going to be paying a premium price for the box.
I am generally opposed to large J-boxes, they can be a pain when troubleshooting (unless the installer has gone beyond the call of duty and carefully marked all conductors) and if there is an arcing fault in the box, you could knockout quite a few circuits.
However, you should try it at least once, you might like it.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Many kitchen items the area behind would not be acessable. Many things like ovens fridges etc are being installed much like dishwashers. Squeezed in, blind screwed into trims, and on occasion floors and countertops done after cabs can make them impossible to remove without damage. The maid aint pulling them out if I can't!
Why not behind a cabint back? If you want to trick it out, get a matching scrap of cab matrial and velcro it on as a cover. Or epoxy it to the J-box cover. I have done both before for people who get antsy about wall plates. (With glass fronts) Otherwise I just use a 4-6 gang deep masonary box and a blank wall plate behind Lower cab drawers, where it will be least noticed.
As for conduit derating, you would have beef it up a bit for a kitchen IMO. #10's +... you might as well just run 12/3, or 12/2/2's (4 conductor) in regular runs. Either way, I do it often, and like the sort of central J-box idea for kitchens. Except for the single shot appliances like GD/DW...
Mark Heller "Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason