How Many Outlets on a 20 Amp Circuit In a Kitchen ? (Explained)

The kitchen is the room that uses high amounts of electricity compared to other rooms. Therefore, it needs to have many electrical wiring systems to support the appliances in the kitchen.

A 20-amp circuit is essential to power high voltage appliances like microwaves, blenders, and much more. It is safe to have 20 amp circuits in the kitchen to supply power to all the kitchen appliances. Having the circuit will reduce crowding appliances in the single outlet. This guide will figure out how many outlets are on a 20-amp circuit in a kitchen.

Why Do Kitchens Require 20 Amp Circuits And Outlets?

 Kitchens have very powerful appliances, which you operate daily. Kitchens require 20 amp circuits and outlets to supply enough power to operate these appliances.

Some powerful appliances are the microwave, toasters, blenders, and related equipment. In many cases, two of the countertop outlets in a kitchen are usually 20 amp outlets. For easy identification, most electricians install the circuits sideways.

The National electrical code requires every kitchen to have 20 amp circuits and outlets. According to the code, each countertop in the kitchen should have a minimum of two 20-amp 120-volt circuits.

How Many Outlets Can Be On A 20 Amp Circuit?

The National electrical code does not clearly state any limit on the number of outlets in a 20-amp circuit. However, you need to understand the 20-amp circuit and know it requires some limits. A 20-amp circuit should have a maximum of 10 outlets. A single outlet draws a maximum power of 180 watts or 1.5 amps, while a 20-amp circuit peaks at 2400 watts.

After doing the normal calculations, it is clear that a 20-amp circuit can support 13 devices in its outlets. That means the circuit will be 90% occupied, which means the devices have overcrowded. Overcrowding of devices will make the breaker constantly trip.

To avoid underperformance of the devices, the national electrical code limits the circuit to 80% load or less. The remaining 20% is left if some more powerful appliances are installed, which will consume more power than normal.

How Can I Properly Manage My Outlets In The Kitchen?

You are probably planning to maximize the 10 electrical outlets in your 20-amp circuit to supply enough power to all your appliances. A receptacle will only draw current if you plug something into it. Your outlets will be at risk if you always try to maximize the electrical outlets.

Outlets consume power differently because they are all attached to different appliances, which are not the same. Some appliances are more powerful than others. Connecting many powerful appliances to the same 20 amp will lead to overheating the wires, which will inflict electrical damages. To avoid all these, you should establish a layout plan before installing outlets.

How to Reduce Energy Use in Your Kitchen

Everybody knows the kind of appliances they have in their kitchen. There are the high power appliances and the other appliances whose power consumption levels are normal. Your home has at least two heavy draw appliances plus other kitchen appliances, which will take about 39% of your energy consumption.

You can use these heavy-draw appliances only when you need them to reduce energy use. If you have alternatives for these heavy-draw appliances, I advise you to use them instead. For example, if you are idle in the house, you can wash clothes manually and avoid using the washing machine. If you can use a manual blender to blend juice, you can avoid the electric blender. By rarely using heavy-draw appliances, you will eventually reduce the energy consumption in your kitchen.

How Many 20 Amp Circuits Do I Need In A Kitchen?

 According to the national electrical code, a kitchen should have at least two 20-amp circuits with 120 volts. Technically the kitchen consumes more power than other places in the household, followed by the bathroom.

This is the basic reason why the kitchen cannot have less than two 20 amp circuits. You should not place 20 amp circuits more than 4 feet apart. If you are planning to renovate your kitchen, ensure you consult your electrician to see how you will handle the circuits. Place outlets in the kitchen more than forty-eight inches apart.

The Amp Outlets to Purchase

At this point, you already know that the 20 amp 120-volt outlets are the best for your kitchen. Other than the 20 amp, 120-volt outlet, the other most common outlet is the 15-amp outlet. Although this 15-amp outlet works well, it will not support the appliances in your kitchen. If you purchase the 15-amp outlet, use it for a lighting circuit like a ceiling fixture or small appliances.

Appliances Circuits

A refrigerator is a heavy draw appliance, which will only work with the 20-amp 120-volt circuit. Always ensure you dedicate a 120 volt to your refrigerator.

The kitchen will need some lighting for you to carry out your operations. A lighting circuit will require a 15-amp 120-volt circuit for ceiling fixtures and strip lights.


Then National electrical code has set some standard limits on the amount of power required by appliances in the kitchen. You can opt to follow the codes from the national electrical code or research the local codes in your area.

If you need some help, consult an electrician to ensure safety in the kitchen and avoid wire damages. Every device you have has different power requirements from the other devices. The circuit that will supply power to a specific device has specific amps and volts.

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