Adding to kitchen circuit

I currently have 4 15amp duplex kitchen receptacles running through a gfci. These are on 12-2 wire on a 20 amp breaker.

Two additional outlets were recently added above the kitchen cabinets that are on a switch.

I noticed that the receptacles that were added recently were tapped into the last receptacle in the above mentioned loop and they are being ran with 14-3 wire, 15amp duplex receptacles (these receptacles are on a switch, which is getting its power from that last outlet mentioned before). Is this ok or does that need to be 12-3 wire?

Thanks, I want to make this right.


Are they convenience receptacles or are they on a small appliance branch circuit? Either way, what you have described is not OK.

You should hire an electrician to do the work. I am not telling you that because I used to be an electrician. I am telling you to get an electrician because I do electrical fire investigations. Most of the fires I have investigated have been caused by wiring that complied with the National Electrical Code and other building codes. There is a reason that most jurisdictions require 16,000 hours practical experience to get an electrical contractor’s license (8,000 hours for a journeyman).

I agree that if you have a concern bring out a licensed guy to check the work. It sounds like they wanted lights or something above the cabinet. The plugs allow the option of changing out the lighting which is something I see often. The closest outlet is often used to get power for the installation of a new light. To answer your question, there is a need for 12/3 in this installation as described.

You can’t use 14 AWG wire on a 20 amp circuit. It’s a fire hazard.

Also, there are restrictions on what can be on the two required dedicated circuits serving the kitchen counters. You should contact an electrician. The wire size is definitely wrong.

Thank you for the responses, I will have someone come out and correct the issue.

I appreciate it!

Sorry but I can’t answer DIY type of questions on this site

What do-it-yourselfers don’t seem to understand is that a little knowledge is dangerous. Like you, Mike, I come here to help home inspectors. It may come across as arrogant or unhelpful to those who come here looking for DIY instructions but we are, in reality, doing them a big favor by telling them to hire a properly trained professional.