Ductless range hoods are easier to install than ducted hoods because they rely on filters to remove cooking odors rather than transferring the offensive smells outside through ducts. Installing ductwork involves cutting into walls and/or roofs, which is a difficult and dirty job, and also presents a potential for leaks. Although ductless range hoods don't require ducts, they usually require hardwiring into your electrical system. Fortunately, although it may seem intimidating. hardwiring an electrical appliance is relatively simple and completely safe if you maintain mindfulness of the dangers of working with electricity.
What are your options for hardwiring a range hood into an existing circuit?
You can wire the hood into the nearest electrical outlet or into the overhead light in your kitchen. Your choice will be determined by the location of the outlet in the electrical circuit. Electrical outlets have two sets of connection terminals to allow multiple outlets to be powered on one circuit. Outlets are joined together by these terminals. The last outlet on a circuit will have one set of terminals free for further connections.
How can you tell if am outlet is at the end of a circuit?
You will need to turn off the circuit breaker that controls power to the outlet and remove the center screw of the cover plate that hides the outlets. Look inside the outlet box that holds the outlet inside the wall to determine if one or two sets of three wires are present. If only one set is connected, you can use the outlet to power your hood.
What will you need to power your range hood?
Check the circuit breaker that controls your outlet or overhead light to determine the gauge of wire you will need. A 20 amp line will need 12 gauge wire, while a 15 amp line will only require lighter 14 gauge wire.
You will need a three wire sheath consisting of a black "hot" wire, a white neutral wire, and a green ground wire. The length you will need shouldn't exceed a few meters if you intend to connect the hood to a nearby power source.
Wire cutter/stripper tool
You'll need this to cut the sheath of wire to length and to strip about three centimeters of insulation from the end of each individual wire in the sheath for connection purposes.
Wire nuts and electrical tape
You'll need these to secure connected wires.
Screwdriver, hammer, and flashlight
You'll need these tools for various purposes.
Running the wire sheath through a wall or ceiling
This is the most daunting part of the job and may cause the average homeowner to throw up their hands and call an electrical contractor in the area to finish the job. Nevertheless, with patience and persistence, you can snake a sheath of wire from your range hood to a nearby outlet or overhead light.
Connecting the wiring
If you are connecting to an outlet, you will connect the black wire to the bottom gold terminal, the white wire to the bottom silver terminal and the green wire to the green terminal on top of the outlet.
If connecting to your overhead light wiring, you will removing existing wire nuts and electrical tape and add your new wires to the existing wires by twisting similarly colored wires together. You will then twist a wire nut onto the twisted wire ends and secure the wire nuts with electrical tape.
After all wiring is connected, replace all components and then on the breaker. You're finished (after cleaning up your mess, of course).
For more information, contact Richard Salter Electric Ltd does electrical repairs or a similar company.