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Mark Makers
LSU Fan
Livingston Parish
Member since Jul 2015
1864 posts

Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
Just had new cabinets put in the house and our microwave will now be in our island below the counter which will require a new outlet and looking for some advice on how to achieve this. Microwave specs say it pulls 14.2 amps and I have a couple options below:

1) The island has an existing 120v 20amp circuit that I could tie into, but there are 3 additional outlets in the island it would share. This seems the easiest but concerns with overloading the circuit if other items are plugged in on the countertop, (crock pots, etc)

2) I have a 240v 40 amp circuit that was dedicated to an electric cook top. Since we are going with a gas cook top now, this would be available to use as dedicated circuit for microwave if there is a safe way to convert this to a 120v outlet using the heavier gauge wiring that is in place.

What say you, electricians of TD? Thanks!
This post was edited on 1/13 at 8:57 am


eng08
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2013
4085 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
What’s likelihood of running microwave plus other items on outlet. I’d plug it into that.

Should you trip it several times or if the electrician is there already - just get him to swap out the 240v/40 amp breaker with one sized for the microwave


notsince98
Missouri Fan
KC, MO
Member since Oct 2012
11347 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
quote:

What’s likelihood of running microwave plus other items on outlet. I’d plug it into that.


I would not do this. A crock pot, pressure cooker, skillet, etc. any of them would trip the breaker if the microwave is on too. You need a dedicated microwave circuit.

The stove circuit "can" work but they need to have run the neutral with the two hots. If they don't have a neutral then it won't work w/out a small transformer OR maybe you can buy a 240V microwave. Built-in microwaves can come in 240V flavor but they are pricey. Not sure about a countertop type.

Do not use the ground as a neutral conductor.
This post was edited on 1/13 at 9:53 am


Mark Makers
LSU Fan
Livingston Parish
Member since Jul 2015
1864 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
I do have 2 hots, a neutral, and a ground on the 240v wiring. What would be the proper way to install? Do they make 120v outlets that will accept larger gauge wiring? Do I pig tail off the larger gauge with smaller gauge wire and change to a 20 amp breaker to protect it?


notsince98
Missouri Fan
KC, MO
Member since Oct 2012
11347 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
quote:

I do have 2 hots, a neutral, and a ground on the 240v wiring. What would be the proper way to install? Do they make 120v outlets that will accept larger gauge wiring? Do I pig tail off the larger gauge with smaller gauge wire and change to a 20 amp breaker to protect it?


You would first have to remove the 2-pole breaker in the panel and swap that out to a single pole breaker. 20A would be recommended.

What size are the existing wires? If they are #8 AWG, they might land on a receptacle OK.

You'll connect the hot wire connected to the 20A breaker and the neutral to the receptacle. If the existing wire is too large, you can use a UL listed splice kit of some kind to step the wire size down. If you use a 20A breaker, do not splice down smaller than #12 AWG. Going larger than #12 on a 20A breaker is OK, you just can't go smaller.


MikeBRLA
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jun 2005
11708 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
quote:

What would be the proper way to install?


Call a licensed electrician and have him convert the 220 to a 110 outlet. Since you already have a neutral there is shouldn’t cost too much.


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notsince98
Missouri Fan
KC, MO
Member since Oct 2012
11347 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
Just doing a bit more research, it looks like many 20A receptacles will take a #10 AWG for the largest. You'll need to splice down to #10 or #12 AWG before landing on the receptacle terminals.


Mark Makers
LSU Fan
Livingston Parish
Member since Jul 2015
1864 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
I'm assuming a 20 amp breaker may not accept an 8 gauge wire either...may need to be spliced down on both ends?


notsince98
Missouri Fan
KC, MO
Member since Oct 2012
11347 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
quote:

I'm assuming a 20 amp breaker may not accept an 8 gauge wire either...may need to be spliced down on both ends?


If you provide breaker info I can help figure it out.

Square-D residential stuff typically allows up to #8AWG on a 20A breaker but I would not assume that is an industry standard. I'm more familiar with commercial grade stuff.


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THRILLHO
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans, LA
Member since Apr 2006
47862 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
quote:

The stove circuit "can" work but they need to have run the neutral with the two hots.


FYI: he could have used the abandoned "hot" conductor for a neutral.

Replacing the stove circuit with a 20A/1P for the microwave is definitely the way to go. Don't forget that the receptacle needs to be GFI. If the microwave is being kind of "built in" to the island (i.e. the receptacle isn't easily accessible without having to take apart milwork), then the breaker needs to be GFI.


kengel2
LSU Fan
Team Gun
Member since Mar 2004
16311 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
quote:

2) I have a 240v 40 amp circuit that was dedicated to an electric cook top. Since we are going with a gas cook top now, this would be available to use as dedicated circuit for microwave if there is a safe way to convert this to a 120v outlet using the heavier gauge wiring that is in place.


An electrician can change the breaker and use that wiring.


SurfOrYak
LSU Fan
BR/MsDelta
Member since Jul 2015
220 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
With proper research and safety practices, this job is definitely within the skillset of a TD DIYer. And I can only guess what an electrician would charge for the simple task of replacing breakers and outlet.


The Nino
Atlanta United Fan
Member since Jan 2010
19473 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
Probably $300-500


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notsince98
Missouri Fan
KC, MO
Member since Oct 2012
11347 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
quote:

FYI: he could have used the abandoned "hot" conductor for a neutral.


Yes but it doesn't meet code. I cannot recommend something like that from where I sit.

The local AHJ would possibly let it slide if there was proper taping done on the ends to signify a change in usage.


eng08
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2013
4085 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
Yeah that’s a good way to get shocked


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TigerBalsagna
LSU Fan
tRedStick
Member since Jan 2015
500 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
I would make the 240v a feeder circuit to a 20A disconnect.


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kengel2
LSU Fan
Team Gun
Member since Mar 2004
16311 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
quote:

With proper research and safety practices, this job is definitely within the skillset of a TD DIYer. And I can only guess what an electrician would charge for the simple task of replacing breakers and outlet.


Id bet less than $250. Had to add some profit.
This post was edited on 1/13 at 6:52 pm


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Mark Makers
LSU Fan
Livingston Parish
Member since Jul 2015
1864 posts

re: Electrical advice needed - outlet for microwave
Yeah if I was planning to hire an electrician, I wouldn’t have posted here lol. Appreciate the help everyone, back to Lowes I go for a GFI breaker.

ETA: damn the price of gfi breakers surprised me...$50 vs $10 for standard breaker
This post was edited on 1/14 at 5:59 am


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