The kitchen houses many small and large appliances, and the existing electrical wiring should accommodate these gadgets. Unfortunately, if you live in an older home, your kitchen probably has two or three outlets that you share among the appliances. Overloading circuits can cause electrical hazards in your home. A kitchen rewiring project allows you to create a safe and efficient electrical system. With this in mind, here are three tips to consider when rewiring the space.
Set Up Adequate Circuitry
One of the causes of tripped breakers and electrical-related appliance damage in the kitchen is overloaded circuits. Since there aren't adequate outlets, users use power strips to plug multiple power-hungry gadgets into one outlet. This setup causes a circuit overload, which can lead to fire hazards and potential damage to appliances. When rewiring your kitchen, plan for adequate circuits.
The more gadgets you have, the more circuits you may require. Some appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges, ovens, and water purifiers are plugged in at all times; therefore, they need dedicated circuits. Small gadgets, such as toasters, blenders, and coffee makers, can be plugged in on demand. Thus, they can share two or three countertop outlets.
Position Outlets Correctly
You need to position your kitchen outlets correctly for maximum efficiency. Place outlets where they are needed the most to eliminate challenges during food preparation. For example, if you have a breakfast section, make sure there's an outlet where you can plug in your coffee maker, sandwich maker, juicer, and other breakfast-related appliances. Install an outlet in your baking station for the mixer and food processor.
Kitchens double up as working spaces in some homes. In this case, you need an outlet on the island to charge your laptops, phones, and other devices. Remember, receptacles don't have to be an eyesore in your kitchen. To maintain visual appeal, you can install the outlets under the cabinets where no one will see them. Alternatively, color-coordinate the outlets with the backsplash.
Install AFCI and GFCI Outlets
Even with proper installation, outlets can pose an electrical hazard in the kitchen. Users can suffer electrical shocks if they touch receptacles with wet hands. Keep your kitchen safe by installing AFCI and GFCI outlets. Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) prevent electrical hazards that create heat through arcing. Examples of these risks include the following:
- Sparks from wiring damaged by rodents
- Overheating of a plugged appliance
- Contact between wiring and nails during a remodel
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) monitor electric current in circuits. They cut off power when they detect an unusual current flow, such as a flow through a human body. These outlets can eliminate electrical hazards in your kitchen.
Consider the above issues when rewiring your kitchen. For professional services, contact an electrician.