DO I Need To Update My Kitchen Electrical During My Kitchen Project?

Jenny Cazares | Discovery Team | Dean Cabinetry

Should I talk with an electrician about any kitchen electrical updates during my remodel?

I absolutely recommend consulting an electrician about any electrical changes or updates that may be required. You may think that by keeping the same layout or “footprint” of your kitchen, you don’t need to make any changes to your electrical. 

There are a few things you may not be aware of:

Current Building Codes– Depending on the age of your home, when you pull a permit for a kitchen remodel, your new kitchen outlets must meet current building codes.

  • Required upgrade to GFI outlets for new and existing outlets
    • Requirement: NEC (National Electrical Code) that all 15 amp, 20 amp and 125 volt outlets within kitchen surface space be GFCI outlets
  • Additional outlets required
    • In kitchens, electrical outlets should be placed no farther than 48 inches apart, so that no point on the countertop is more than 24 inches away from a receptacle.
  • Outlet to circuit breaker ratio
    • a maximum draw of 1.5 amps to each receptacle, which allows for 10 receptacles on a 20-amp circuit.

If you are required to have upgrades for your new kitchen outlets, you want to make sure you’re properly set up for what you’re envisioning for your new kitchen.

What should I discuss with my electrician about my kitchen remodel?

You should have an idea of what you would like to achieve for your new kitchen electrical layout. Speak with a kitchen cabinet partner and work on a design together for a kitchen layout or draw a sketch. 

Even if you’re not changing the current footprint of your kitchen, still you may want to make electrical changes. When designing your new kitchen, consider discussing with your electrician:

  • Venting your hood outdoors and installing a blower insert
  • Relocating appliances in your kitchen
  • Adding outlets and USB ports to an island, countertop space
  • Outlets needed in the island for major appliances (e.g. dishwasher, oven, drawer microwave)

What if my electrician says everything is “good to go” with my new electrical changes?

If the additional electrical changes can be made, and it works within your budget, then you’re ready to move forward with your new kitchen layout. The worst thing is to not be prepared. Especially if you’re looking to make changes to modernize the functionality of your kitchen. Imagine designing your kitchen layout, ordering cabinets, and the electrical changes you’d like to make that simply won’t work!

What if my electrician says a kitchen electrical change cannot be made?

They are the professionals, and if something can’t be done according to code, they will let you know. As a result, at least you will know upfront if you have the option to move an appliance, or if you can have the electrical outlets you need in your island. This will help you to properly plan your kitchen design with your cabinet partner. They may offer an easy alternative for your unique situation.

In conclusion, we hope this blog has been informative when designing your new kitchen and considering your electrical needs.  Keep in mind that some kitchen remodeling, wiring, and electrical may be required. Therefore, it’s a good idea to factor these changes into your budget, so there are no unexpected costs.