Remodeling Kitchens: Electrical
Earlier, we talked about determining the locations of each fixture as the first step in each rough-in, and that means nailing an electrical box to the studs and joist for every receptacle, light and telephone (don't forget those!).
For recessed lights there's a special box to use, and for ceiling fans you need another special box or 2x4 blocking to reinforce a regular box.
The lights can usually run on one 15-amp circuit, but generally you'll also need two 20 amp circuits for small countertop appliances and the refrigerator. GFCI protection is needed on all receptacles for countertop use.
The disposer and the dishwasher each need dedicated 15 amp circuits (although codes in some areas allow them to share one circuit). A 50-amp circuit is needed for the range and possibly a dedicated 20 amp circuit for the microwave oven. The 15-amp circuits can be wired with 14/2 wire, but the 20-amp circuits require 12/2 cable and the 50-amp circuit requires 6/3 cable.
One common way to run each circuit is to start at the last fixture, drill all the holes necessary to run the cable to the other fixtures and continue all the way back to the service panel.
Then leave the box of cable at the last fixture. Unwind enough cable to get started and then pull it through the holes in the framing down to the service panel.
Loop a couple extra feet through any other fixture box on the same run and leave a few feet extra at the panel for later making the final tie-in.
On long runs, you'll have to go back to the source periodically to pull the cable through. You can cut the cable at the source after reaching the panel with the other end, but leave a foot for connecting your devices later on. Fold it back into the box for now, though, to keep it out of the way.
Cable for the lights, of course, can end at the switch boxes, and you can run cable from the switches back to the panel. By the way, if you want a 3-way switch controlling a light (switches at two different spots), run the supply cable (typically 14-2) to one box.
Run another cable with a third lead wire (14-3) from the first box to the second box. Run another cable to the lights (14-2) from the second box. Then later when you connect the cables to 3-way switches, they'll work together turning the lights on and off.
NOTE: If you're installing recessed lights, be sure to connect them before installing drywall, since the connections are usually up above the box itself. Always use wire nuts to join the like-colored wires in the junction box.
Plumbing & Electrical Inspections
Whether you hire a licensed plumber and electrician or do the job yourself, work must be inspected before covering the walls so be sure your local building officials are called in before you move on. Otherwise, you may have to remove the wall surface to prove the plumbing and wiring are up to code.