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Looking at a kitchen’s electric requirements

July 26, 2022

Architects are blending style with safety in the kitchen space

Electricity, running through millions of wires buried in the ground or hidden behind thick walls, is an extremely crucial requirement of one’s home. Today, architects and designers have weaved electronic gadgets and appliances into a home in the most innovative manner, and this is particularly evident in the kitchen. There is little in a kitchen, which does not have an electric current running through it.

Known as the heart of a home, the kitchen is the most dangerous part of the house as well, and electricity is a major component in making it so. Moreover, the unpredictable reaction of electricity to weather and other external factors adds a few notches to the danger quotient. Whether a homeowner is remodelling the kitchen or starting from square one, the electrical requirements will differ from the rest of the house, especially safety requirements.

A four-plex outlet is preferred over it as it doubles the plug-in capacity. Photo Courtesy: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

For the kitchen, architects have made electrical safety a necessity. From wiring for basic appliances to sophisticated ones, today architects are undertaking various measures to ensure safety. The use of electric testers is on the rise, which enables one to test circuits and electric appliances before they can be purchased. The device can also be used to check old appliances.

In the past, builders and electricians were unable to predict the technological innovations in the field of kitchen appliances, which has become common today. The change has been drastic, so much so, that the number of circuits required for an entire house merely five decades ago is now used in a modern kitchen alone.

Most kitchens were built with one, or maybe two, receptacle circuits. These pull illumination from the general lighting circuit, which is responsible for powering ceiling lights. Moreover, today, a simple 40-watt bulb under the sink cabinet can light up the dark corners. Therefore, there are varied electrical requirements in the kitchen that have come up, which architects are now intelligently adopting in their designs.

Moreover, ovens and cook-tops require an individual 220-volt circuit, which the architects are sure to incorporate in the modern kitchen. Photo Courtesy: Le Creuset on Unsplash

Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI)

Decades-old kitchens today are quite underpowered, as, during those times, the idea of safety was quite different to what is perceived now. Today, while remodelling or creating a new kitchen, architects are adding ground-fault-protected circuits. These have become mandatory by safety codes today.

Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) are designed to evade electrocution. This is achieved by cutting off the electrical current when one unintentionally comes in contact with a livewire. The GFCI has become essential under the standard codes of requirements in prominent countries. Here, along with outlets within 6 feet of the water source, all the receptacles that are servicing the kitchen islands and countertops are required to be installed with GFCI. Keeping the codes in mind, architects and designers, along with homeowners, are consciously making an effort to ensure that all kitchen outlets are GFCI protected.

Powering every gadget is yet another option that designers are adopting. Photo Courtesy: Kwon Junho on Unsplash