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Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3724
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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Im replacing an existing hard-wired range hood in my kitchen

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I'm replacing an existing hard-wired range hood in my kitchen of my house, approximately 20 years old. The circuit is shared with lights and a few outlets in an adjacent room.

The new under cabinet range hood we purchased is wired with a 3-prong plug. Manufacturer (Whirlpool) does not have any guidance on a hardwired installation.

I understand that by installing an outlet in the cabinet above, I would need to run a dedicated line to the electrical panel to meet current code. This is not an option for me.

I would like to replace the 3 prong cable with a Romex and splice in a junction box accessible from the above cabinet. Are there any issues with this approach?

Hello name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!


1) Code does not require a dedicated circuit for a range hood. However, the range hood can not be spliced or shared with the kitchen countertop receptacle circuits.


2) Is the range hood a hood only or is this a combination hood and microwave oven?


3) Why not install a 3-prong receptacle in the upper cabinet and splice into the existing hardwired circuit as long as it is not connected to the kitchen countertop receptacle circuits? Is there an attic above the kitchen range hood area where you can access and splice into? Where is the existing hardwired connection spliced at?


4) The problem with altering the Whirlpool 3 prong connection and converting it to a hardwired connection is that by doing this you will be voiding the UL listing. Therefore, not recommended.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the response.


1) I came across this reference to the 2005 NEC in a quick google search. My concern is item #5.


422.16(B)(4)Range Hoods.
Range hoods shall be permitted to be cord-and-plug connected with a flexible cord identified as suitable for use on range hoods in the installation instructions of the appliance manufacturer, where all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The flexible cord is terminated with a grounding- type attachment plug.
Exception: A listed range hood distinctly marked to identify it as protected by a system of double insulation, or its equivalent, shall not be required to be terminated with a grounding-type attachment plug.
(2) The length of the cord is not less than 18 in. and not over 36 in..
(3) Receptacles are located to avoid physical damage to the flexible cord.
(4) The receptacle is accessible.
(5) the receptacle is supplied by an individual branch circuit.

2) Range hood only.


3) This is what I would like to do but am getting put off by the above NEC requirement. The existing range hood circuit is independent from the kitchen circuitry so this is not a concern at least. The cable comes down from the attic above and exits through the drywall immediately behind the range hood. It would be a simple fix to install a electrical box in the cabinet above, provided it meets code.


4) Noted.

1) Here is the verbiage from the Whirlpool instruction sheet on the electrical requirements as shown on page 6:


"A 120 volt, 60 Hz, AC only, 15- or 20-amp, fused electrical
circuit is required. A time-delay fuse or circuit breaker is also
recommended. It is recommended that a separate circuit
serving only this range hood be provided"


2) 422.16(B)(4)Range Hoods.
Range hoods shall be permitted to be cord-and-plug connected with a flexible cord identified as suitable for use on range hoods in the installation instructions of the appliance manufacturer, where all of the following conditions are met:


3) Since the Whirlpool instructions only recommend and DO NOT require a dedicated circuit, this aligns with Article 422.16(B)(4). Since it is only a recommendation for a dedicated circuit, this means that it is not a requirement to have such a circuit since it is stated within their instruction sheet. Unless the range hood is a combo microwave oven type, I have never seen a typical standalone residential range hood using a dedicated 15 or 20 amp circuit.



Hope this helps.........If you have any additional questions, let me know and I'll be glad to answer them for you.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Just to confirm, I read the underlined NEC clause as applicable to the flexible cord supplied by the manufacturer. In other words, you need to use a flexible cord supplied or approved by the manufacturer AND all 5 requirements still apply. Am I mistaken here? If not, any idea as to the reasoning?


I know that codes can be misleading and not necessarily applicable in all cases, but I don't like superseding the requirements without understanding the logic behind it. I understand why this would apply to a microwave/hood like you suggested, but not a typical range hood.

1) Craig...... Yes, your reasoning is correct. Since the appliance was manufactured using a hardwired 3-prong cord supplied by the manufacturer, any alterations to the unit will void the UL listing.


2) My interpretation of Article 422.16 states "installation instructions of the appliance manufacturer"


Since the manufacturer installation instructions only recommend but DO NOT require a dedicated circuit, I see no problem in installing a 3-prong grounded duplex in the upper cabinet and connecting it to the existing circuit as per your previous comments.


Basically what Article 422.16 is stating is that a dedicated circuit for a range hood is required unless stated otherwise from the manufacturer. Since Whirlpool does not state or require a dedicated circuit and they only make recommendations for one, I see the Whirlpool dedicated circuit as an option for the installer. Code states to adhere to the "manufacturer installation instructions". In this range hood model, the manufacturer of the appliance is over-ruling the NEC (number 5) and only uses the verbiage "Recommended". They never use the word "Required".



I've seen many electrical appliances such as microwave ovens where the manufacturer specifically states within the electrical requirements that dedicated circuit is required. A recommendation is different from a requirement. As I mentioned in my previous reply, I've never come across a standalone range hood that had a dedicated circuit installed unless it was a microwave combo. Last week, I installed a combo microwave/hood where GE was the manufacturer and it stated in that particular model that a dedicated 20 amp circuit was required.


Many manufacturers will use the word "recommended" to cover themselves in the event that the connected appliance becomes overloaded and trips a breaker due to other loads that are supplied by the same circuit. If the existing circuit is only a few lights and the other room receptacles will not provide power to such loads as a portable heater or high wattage appliances, I do not see any need for a dedicated circuit on your installation.



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Craig............thank you for the positive service rating as well as the bonus..........much appreciated!


Take care and have a great day............Thanks................Kevin!