The Kitchen


Minimum required:


  • Counter top outlets.
    • All counter top outlets in the kitchen must be GFCI protected. You need an outlet for every counter space 12" or longer. The first outlet must be within 24" of the edge of the counter, then you can go not more than 48" of un-broken counter space between them. If the counter space is broken, by a gap, range top, sink, etc., the spacing starts over.
  • Island and peninsula outlets.
    • A kitchen counter island or peninsula of 24" or greater requires at least one outlet. This outlet can be cut-in to the cabinet not more that 12" below the counter top surface. If your island or peninsula is separated by a range top, sink, etc., and there is less than 12" of counter top behind that item, you will need an outlet on each side.
  • Refrigerator outlet.
    • The outlet in the wall behind the refrigerator, or any other large appliance with a dedicated space that is not easily moved, does not require GFCI protection.


  • One wall switch controlled light.
    • Your choice of light and switch location.

In my example:

  • Range.
    • If you have an electric range, you will most likely need a 50 amp 240 volt outlet for it. For regular slide in ranges, the outlet should be mounted just up off of the wall bottom-plate, to keep it as low as possible behind the range. A gas range also requires power. Some gas ranges have electric ovens that require their own circuit. Others simply need power for the igniter and clock, which can use a regular outlet fed from one of your kitchen outlet circuits.
  • Dishwasher.
    • A dishwasher will require it's own circuit of the proper size. It can be plugged in to an outlet or connected directly.
  • Disposal.
    • A disposal will require it's own circuit. They are most commonly ran off of a switched outlet, with the switch being mounted beside the sink. Another option is to use an outlet with constant power and install an air switch in the counter or sink.
  • Under Counter Lights
    • Fluorescent strip lights under the cabinets, nice for counter-top light.
  • Pendants
    • Pendant lights over the island, on a separate switch.

Common Options

  • More outlets.
    • Add as many as you'd like, just be sure they're all GFCI protected if they are serving a counter top space.
  • More lights.
    • It's up to you, a light over the sink, switched next to the disposal, is common practice.
  • Microwave.
    • Everybody has a microwave right? Plan for where it will go, especially if a built-in unit, and give it it's own outlet on a dedicated circuit.
  • Insta-Hot.
    • Will require it's own outlet on a dedicated circuit.
  • Switch the lights from multiple locations.
    • Add an extra switch by the other entrance points so you can turn your lights on or off from there also.