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When did the requirement for two 20-amp kitchen counter appliance circuits begin?
Thursday, June 14, 2018
The requirement for two separate 20-amp appliance circuits serving kitchen counters started with the 1959 National Electrical Code (NEC). It was upgraded to include GFCI-protection for counter receptacles within 6 feet of the sink in 1987 NEC, then expanded to include all kitchen counter receptacles beginning with 1996 NEC.
Because a new edition of the National Electrical Code does not always get adopted immediately by a local jurisdiction—in fact, some take quite a few years to upgrade—these requirements may not have taken effect immediately in your area.
For the required spacing, see our blog post How far apart should kitchen counter receptacles be spaced?
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