How do I tell the rating of the circuit in my kitchen

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eatmorecoffee

#1: Post by eatmorecoffee »

I am hoping to find that my kitchen circuitry is rated for 20A service. How do I tell what the rating is?
Brian Salamon

slooowr6

#2: Post by slooowr6 »

Check the layout of the outlet receptacle. If it looks like "||" then it's a 15amp, if it looks like "||-" then you have a 20amp. One thing to keep in mind is it's common for several outlets to be on the same 20amp circuit, if you plan to use a 20amp machine make sure when the machine is on no other outlet on the same circuit is used.

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jesawdy

#3: Post by jesawdy »

Caveat - I am NOT an electrician. Use common sense and caution. Hire an electrician if you don't know what you are doing.

Nowadays, most new homes have multiple 20 Amp appliance circuits in the kitchen at the countertop level. As the previous poster stated, a true 20 Amp plug will have a straight up and down slot (|) and a tee-shaped slot (|-), or possibly even just a (-) for a dedicated 20 Amp circuit (I may be wrong here).

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You need three things... the appropriate outlet, the proper gauge (likely 12AWG, not 14AWG) wiring internal to your walls (and a reasonable length to the circuit breaker) and a 20A breaker installed in the circuit panel for that particular circuit.

I would first check the circuit breaker for the outlet in question in your Circuit Breaker panel box. It should be marked 20A.

Once you have found the circuit, see what other outlets are affected. If another high draw device like a toaster, blender or microwave are on the same circuit, you will need to takes steps to avoid the use of both at the same time. Better yet, relocate the other devices and or disable the other outlets if possible.

With the circuit off, remove the outlet cover and receptacle and check to see if you the wiring is 12AWG or better (meaning a lower number here, 10AWG is better than 12AWG). The wire is usually printed with the AWG rating on the wire insulation).

If you don't have a 20A rated receptacle (google NEMA 5-20, available at all home centers), you'll need to change the outlet receptacle.
Jeff Sawdy

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another_jim
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#4: Post by another_jim »

Any US house or apartment built in the last 30 years will have two or more 20 amp circuits for kitchen outlets, wired in 10 or 12 gauge. It's older places that require the careful checking.

You can share your machine and grinder on the same circuit, in a pinch, even two 15 amp machines, since they heat so fast, the breaker won't pop. You can't have the machine on the same circuit as 15 amp plus appliance that runs flat out -- i.e. a large microwave or toaster.
Jim Schulman

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Compass Coffee
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#5: Post by Compass Coffee »

another_jim wrote:You can share your machine and grinder on the same circuit, in a pinch, even two 15 amp machines, since they heat so fast, the breaker won't pop. You can't have the machine on the same circuit as 15 amp plus appliance that runs flat out -- i.e. a large microwave or toaster.
OTH you can (not should but can) have your Bricoletta (with it's recommended 20 amp service) and grinder on the same 20 amp circuit as your 1000w nuker and grind then pull a shot while nuker running. Wouldn't necessarily advise it, but have been doing it for 13+ months. Seldom pull shots while nuker running but tested it when first got the Bric' and have occasionally done it while entertaining heating something in the nuker and forgetting it was running.
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

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another_jim
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#6: Post by another_jim »

Compass Coffee wrote:OTH you can (not should but can) have your Bricoletta (with it's recommended 20 amp service) and grinder on the same 20 amp circuit as your 1000w nuker and grind then pull a shot while nuker running. Wouldn't necessarily advise it, but have been doing it for 13+ months. Seldom pull shots while nuker running but tested it when first got the Bric' and have occasionally done it while entertaining heating something in the nuker and forgetting it was running.
A circuit breaker's "pop time" depends on how much extra load is on; a flat out short pops it instantly. 30 amps on a 20 amp leg will take about a minute. Since the bric never runs flat out this long (except at a cold start) it's pretty safe.

Shh, don't tell, I used to roast bean on the same circuit in my old place.

Wiring, on the other hand, is a lot worse behaved than breakers. If you see a big voltage drop when the load is on (measuring at a spare outlet), it's likely there's some sloppy connections, and this is a true fire hazard (the sloppy connection gets hot). This, more than anything else is worth checking when putting in a large load. Usually it's easy to tell, all the motors on same circuit slow down when the espresso heater kicks in, and the lights on that circuit dim. Then it's time to call the electrician.
Jim Schulman

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HB
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#7: Post by HB »

Compass Coffee wrote:Wouldn't necessarily advise it, but have been doing it for 13+ months.
I strongly advise against exceeding the circuit's rated load, period, and not just on the grounds of personal safety. My home insurance provider once suggested a smart homeowner does not provide cause to delay or deny a claim if there were ever a fire in their home. It sounded like good advice to me.
Dan Kehn

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Compass Coffee
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#8: Post by Compass Coffee »

another_jim wrote:A circuit breaker's "pop time" depends on how much extra load is on; a flat out short pops it instantly. 30 amps on a 20 amp leg will take about a minute. Since the bric never runs flat out this long (except at a cold start) it's pretty safe.
Exactly. Though I woudn't want to attempt making a dozen caps grinding, pulling and steaming for each individually with boiler re-fill thrown in mid-way while nuker running! Oh, and FoodSaver on same circuit re-vac'ing bean jars thrown in too.
Shh, don't tell, I used to roast bean on the same circuit in my old place.
Why sure it wouldn't be a problem. Couldn't take too much current to profile roast a bean. (As opposed to roasting beans :wink: )
Wiring, on the other hand, is a lot worse behaved than breakers. If you see a big voltage drop when the load is on (measuring at a spare outlet), it's likely there's some sloppy connections, and this is a true fire hazard (the sloppy connection gets hot). This, more than anything else is worth checking when putting in a large load. Usually it's easy to tell, all the motors on same circuit slow down when the espresso heater kicks in, and the lights on that circuit dim. Then it's time to call the electrician.
Excellent warning/advice!
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

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cannonfodder
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#9: Post by cannonfodder »

Now that brings up a funny image. Jim hunched over one of his uber controlled poppers suspending a bean in the air chamber with tooth picks and rigging a thermocouple to the surface of the bean. :lol:
Dave Stephens

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Compass Coffee
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#10: Post by Compass Coffee » replying to cannonfodder »

But probably not toothpicks 'cuz of burning point. Maybe a fine wire mesh net suspending and enclosing the bean.
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com