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  1. #1
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    I know this has been kicked around on here numerous times. However, a disagreement or misunderstanding of the requirement came up on an inspection last week. This is a SFH built in 2011. Each side of the countertop exceeds the 12in width requirement. So I stated an outlet is missing on one end of the island, the nonvisible end has an outlet. The builder refered to NEC 210.52c stating if the space behind the sink or range is geater than 12 inches, meaning the sink does not split the island into 2 sections, so only one outlet is required on the island. Thoughts.

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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    I know this has been kicked around on here numerous times. However, a disagreement or misunderstanding of the requirement came up on an inspection last week. This is a SFH built in 2011. Each side of the countertop exceeds the 12in width requirement. So I stated an outlet is missing on one end of the island, the nonvisible end has an outlet. The builder refered to NEC 210.52c stating if the space behind the sink or range is geater than 12 inches, meaning the sink does not split the island into 2 sections, so only one outlet is required on the island. Thoughts.
    "Builder" is right. Its one flat island of uninterrupted contiguous countertop of the same elevation.


  3. #3
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    There is a sink in the middle of the island


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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    From the 2005. I don't remember any changes to this.

    (2) Island Counter Spaces.
    At least one receptacle shall
    be installed at each island counter space with a long dimension
    of 600 mm (24 in.) or greater and a short dimension of
    300 mm (12 in.) or greater. Where a rangetop or sink is
    installed in an island counter and the width of the counter
    behind the rangetop or sink is less than 300 mm (12 in.),
    the rangetop or sink is considered to divide the island into

    two separate countertop spaces as de
    fined in 210.52(C)(4).

    The width is greater than 12" so this is one space, not two.


    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    It is unfortunate as to the way the NEC is worded in that section, however, after all, the NEC is a "minimum" standard and the NEC even admits and states:
    - 90.1 Purpose.
    - - (B) Adequacy. This Code contains provisions that are considered necessary for safety. Compliance therewith and proper maintenance results in an installation that is essentially free from hazard but not necessarily efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service or future expansion of electrical use.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    So do to the distance from the sink to the edge of the countertop exceeding 12 inches, only one outlet is required. correct?


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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    So do to the distance from the sink to the edge of the countertop exceeding 12 inches, only one outlet is required. correct?
    Unfortunately.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    So do to the distance from the sink to the edge of the countertop exceeding 12 inches, only one outlet is required. correct?
    Mat,

    In a word...Correct, because the depth of countertop area behind the sink is greater than 12" the island countertop is a continuous space and unseparated. Focus on 210.52(C)(4) in the 2011, focus on the second paragraph in 210.52(C) in the 2008.

    Bottom line, be it 2002, 2005, 2008, or 2011, you need just ONE receptacle location for that pictured and described countertop island shaped like a "D" with a small circular island sink at the flat side. That radius "backside" of the island sink is far more than 12" deep and any portion that is more than 12" makes that connection to the remaining countertop areas on either side of the tiny round sink, etc.(shown in yellow below) is one un-separated, un-interupted, un-divided and continuous flat island countertop area, requiring only one countertop-serving receptacle outlet as per Exception item 2 to C(5).


    Only one receptace outlet location is required for that entire island countertop, the "builder" is RIGHT.

    Due to the distance behind the sink being more than 12 inches deep, the area adacent to the sink and the area behind the sink is considered one contiguous and uninterupted island area. It is not separated or divided.

    Therefore it is one flat contiguous island countertop and requires only one receptacle outlet location.

    Perhaps it might be clearer (than mud?) if you drew an arc line 12 inches behind and around the backside of that round island prep sink, and connect that to a straight line from the flat edge of the countertop on each side of that sink out to the arc line. If there is countertop equal to and beyond that 12 inch out backside footprint - and it connects with the areas aside that sink, etc. that makes the island one amophous irregular singular island countertop surface to be served.

    Since the island is flat, and at the same elevation, and there is no overhanging cabinet, etc. within 20 inches above the countertop surface, the singular receptacle location on the side (as long as not under more than 6" of overhang, etc. is singularly completely meeting the minimum receptacle requirements for the island countertop.



    The language changed significiantly in 2008 NEC from 2005, and reverted back slightly and the explanation language shifted to separate spaces (C)(4) in the 2011 edition. Quoting 2005 only makes it more confusing. Both 2008 and 2011 make it clearer.

    Underlined below are changes from prior edition of the NEC. Deletions are not noted.

    2008 NEC:

    210.52(C) Countertops. In kitchens, pantires, breakfast rooms, dining rooms, and similar areas of dwelling units, receptacle outlets for countertop spaces shall be installed in accordance with 210.52(C)(1) through (C)(5).





    When a range, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink is installed in an island or peninsular countertop and the width of the countertop behind the range, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink is less than 300 mm (12 in.), the range, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink is considered to divide the countertop space into two separate countertop spaces as defined in 210.52(C)(4). Each separate countertop space shall comply with the applicable requirements in 210.52(C).
    (1) Wall Countertop Spaces. A receptacle outlet shall be installed at each wall countertop space that is 300 mm (12 in.) or wider. Receptacle outlets shall be installed so that no point along the wall line is more than 600 mm (24 in.) measured horizontally from a receptacle outlet in that space.



    Exception. Receptacle outlets shall not be required on a wall directly behind a range, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink in the installatin described in Figure 210.52(C)(1).
    (2) Island Countertop Spaces. At least one receptacle shall be installed at each island countertop space with a long dimension of 600 mm (24 in.) or greater and a short dimension of 300 mm (12 in.) or greater.
    (3) Peninsular Countertop Spaces. At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed at each peninsular countertop space with a long dimension of 600 mm (24 in.) or greater and a short imension of 300 mm (12 in.) or greater. A peninsular countertop is measured from the connecting edge.
    (4) Separate Spaces. Countertop spaces separated by rangetops, refrigerators, or sinks shall be considered as separate countertop spaces in applying the requirements of 210.52(C)(1), (C)(2), and (C)(3).
    (5) Receptacle Outlet Location. Receptacle outlets shall be located above, but not more than 500 mm (20 in.) above, for the countertop. Recceptacle outlets rendered not readily accessibly by appliances fastened in place, appliance garages, sinks or rangetops as covered in 210.52(C)(1), Exception, or appliances occupying dedicated space shall not be considered as those required outlets.
    Exception to (5): To comply with the conditions specified in (1) or (2), receptacle outlets shall be permitted to be mounted not more than 300 mm (12 in.) below the countertop. Receptacles mounted below a countertop in accordance with this exception shall not be located where the countertop extends more than 150 mm (6 in.) beyond its support base.
    (1) Construction for the physically impaired.


    (2) On island and peninsular countertops where the countertop is flat across its entire surface (no backsplashes, dividers, etc.) and there are no means to mount a receptacle within 500 mm (20 in.) above the countertop, such as an overhead cabinet.
    2011 NEC





    210.52(C) Countertops. In kitchens, pantires, breakfast rooms, dining rooms, and similar areas of dwelling units, receptacle outlets for countertop spaces shall be installed in accordance with 210.52(C)(1) through (C)(5).
    (1) Wall Countertop Spaces. A receptacle outlet shall be installed at each wall countertop space that is 300 mm (12 in.) or wider. Receptacle outlets shall be installed so that no point along the wall line is more than 600 mm (24 in.) measured horizontally from a receptacle outlet in that space.



    Exception. Receptacle outlets shall not be required on a wall directly behind a range, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink in the installatin described in Figure 210.52(C)(1).
    (2) Island Countertop Spaces. At least one receptacle shall be installed at each island countertop space with a long dimension of 600 mm (24 in.) or greater and a short dimension of 300 mm (12 in.) or greater.
    (3) Peninsular Countertop Spaces. At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed at each peninsular countertop space with a long dimension of 600 mm (24 in.) or greater and a short imension of 300 mm (12 in.) or greater. A peninsular countertop is measured from the connecting edge.
    (4) Separate Spaces. Countertop spaces separated by rangetops, refrigerators, or sinks shall be considered as separate countertop spaces in applying the requirements of 210.52(C)(1). If a range, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink is installed in an island or peninsular countertop and the depth of the countertop behind the range, ounter-mounted cooking unit, or sink is less than 300 mm (12 in.), the range, counter-mounted cooking unit, or sink shall be considered to divide the countertop space into two separate countertop spaces. Each separate countertop space shall comply with the applicable requirements in 210.52(C).
    (5) Receptacle Outlet Location. Receptacle outlets shall be located on or above, but not more than 500 mm (20 in.) above, the countertop. Receptacle outlet assemblies listed for the application shall be permitted to be installed in countertops. Recceptacle outlets rendered not readily accessibly by appliances fastened in place, appliance garages, sinks or rangetops as covered in 210.52(C)(1), Exception, or appliances occupying dedicated space shall not be considered as those required outlets.
    Informational Note: See 406.5(E) for requirements for installation of receptacles in countertops.





    Exception to (5): To comply with the conditions specified in (1) or (2), receptacle outlets shall be permitted to be mounted not more than 300 mm (12 in.) below the countertop. Receptacles mounted below a countertop in accordance with this exception shall not be located where the countertop extends more than 150 mm (6 in.) beyond its support base.
    (1) Construction for the physically impaired.



    (2) On island and peninsular countertops where the countertop is flat across its entire surface (no backsplashes, dividers, etc.) and there are no means to mount a receptacle within 500 mm (20 in.) above the countertop, such as an overhead cabinet.




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    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-28-2012 at 10:48 PM.

  9. #9
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    So do to the distance from the sink to the edge of the countertop exceeding 12 inches, only one outlet is required. correct?
    Yes, only one is required.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    I dont care what the code says

    At least 2 are required. A sink dividing a counter. You cannot place a receptacle on the other side of a sink and stretch the cord across it. If there were a backsplash on there you would need at least 2.........same thing.

    The builder is an idiot trying to find the proper words to allow the electrician to do less and the builder pay less.


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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I dont care what the code says

    At least 2 are required. A sink dividing a counter. You cannot place a receptacle on the other side of a sink and stretch the cord across it. If there were a backsplash on there you would need at least 2.........same thing.

    The builder is an idiot trying to find the proper words to allow the electrician to do less and the builder pay less.
    Opinions like this cannot be enforced by the inspectors, nor if taken to the legal system. Your feeling is a design isssue which the code clearly states they are not. If someone wanted an extra receptacle they should have paid for it. Don't try and shift the blame onto someone else and say they should do it for free.

    How would someone stretch a 2' cord across that island or are we going to use the "what if" they use an extension cord?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    (3) Peninsular Countertop Spaces. At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed at each peninsular countertop space with a long dimension of 600 mm (24 in.) or greater and a short imension of 300 mm (12 in.) or greater. A peninsular countertop is measured from the connecting edge.

    Regarding the peninsula, a recepticle is required at the connecting edge. If the countertop length exceeds 4 feet is another receptacle required on the end. This is my understanding based on past experience or did I just make this up

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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    (3) Peninsular Countertop Spaces. At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed at each peninsular countertop space with a long dimension of 600 mm (24 in.) or greater and a short imension of 300 mm (12 in.) or greater. A peninsular countertop is measured from the connecting edge.

    Regarding the peninsula, a recepticle is required at the connecting edge. If the countertop length exceeds 4 feet is another receptacle required on the end. This is my understanding based on past experience or did I just make this up
    Confused is more likely.

    I think you may be confusing the proximity to each vanity sink at least one edge relative to a GFCI protected receptacle for a bathroom area with more than one sink to kitchen, pantry, breakfast area, butler's pantry, and similar areas related to food preparation and/or serving areas with Small appliance branch circuit supplied minimum receptacle outlet placement for serving peninsular countertop surfaces in Kitchens, etc. in dwelling units.

    I think you are also confusing wall receptacle spacing and requirements (walls including half-walls, partitions, etc. and room dividers, open railing "guards" etc. vs. what is and is not a "peninsula" countertop.

    Understanding the difference between a true peninsula countertop surface which is anchored by a wall, be it a full height wall, a half-height partition wall, or a permanently installed room divider, vs. a countertop with wall space anchored and solely upon installed cabinetry perhaps.

    The differing via code cycle regarding partition walls and the wall (not countertop) receptacles required, the clarifications regarding wall receptacles not over five feet from the floor being separate and distinct from receptacles serving countertops, etc. and the changes in more recent code editions which exempt wall spaces encumbered by permanently installed cabinetry, book cases, etc. from having required wall receptacles spacing or floor receptacles within 18" of the wall line in their stead.

    However there has been no such requirement as you indicate for flat countertop surfaces which are peninsular which are uninterupted or singular continuous flat countertop surfaces for kitchens, dining areas, breakfast, and similar areas.

    If "interupted" by a counter-mounted appliance, a range, a sink, etc. and the area behind same is less than 12" deep there is no receptacle required behind same and the areas adjacent if of sufficient width and depth may require receptacle, if the area behind is more than 12" deep the area of the peninsula countertop is considered to be continuous, not considered separated areas, and requires just the one receptacle outlet location to serve the countertop.

    If there is a divider, or a change in elevation - the countertop is not contiguous.



    You have pictured a single elevation ("bar"/eating area/w/overhang). Only if this dry-bar/ "peninsula" is attached or installed and/or the finished flooring underneath isn't continuous in your most recent post would it mandate a receptacle outlet serving the countertop, and as pictured it would require only one. Cannot make out what if anything might be "interrupting" or "dividing" on the other side, doesn't appear to have anything that would qualify.The cantilievered "bar"/eating area requires receptacle outlet placement in accordance with the code if it is more than 12" deep and 24" wide, and that appears to be the case -- However if it is a non-permanent, non-installed or affixed drybar and small/lightweight enough that it can be moved or removed as FURNITURE - it would NOT require any countertop receptacle outlet.

    I don't see any indication that the "drybar" is other than free-standing and mobile, desite its placement adacent to the installed "ell" or "L" shaped "wet-bar" along the walls installation. The floor tile, lack of trim from "bar" to floor, etc. SUGGESTS that this is a free-standing unattached, uninstalled piece of furniture which is mobile. If that is the case, no countertop receptacle is required to "serve" the free-standing unattached "furniture" regardless of its having been placed adjacent to a wetbar countertop.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 02-29-2012 at 11:42 AM.

  14. #14
    Robert Rolleston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    What do the homeowners think about it? Maybe they are willing to pay the minimal cost to add the outlet for added convenience.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I dont care what the code says

    At least 2 are required. A sink dividing a counter. You cannot place a receptacle on the other side of a sink and stretch the cord across it. If there were a backsplash on there you would need at least 2.........same thing.

    The builder is an idiot trying to find the proper words to allow the electrician to do less and the builder pay less.
    Not caring what the code says (only one is required) and saying that two are required is a contradiction. The wording is pretty clear that only one is required, you are free to install as many as you like, the NEC is a minimum standard.


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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I dont care what the code says.
    Then why bother to inspect anything? If you don't care what code says you have no standard to inspect to. Lack of places on some configurations of islands and peninsulas are part of the reasoning for placement requirements. The NEC would become an unmanageable document if it had rules to cover every contingency individually. Nothing but money stops you from building better than code and a lot of folks don't want to spend it.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Then why bother to inspect anything? If you don't care what code says you have no standard to inspect to. Lack of places on some configurations of islands and peninsulas are part of the reasoning for placement requirements. The NEC would become an unmanageable document if it had rules to cover every contingency individually. Nothing but money stops you from building better than code and a lot of folks don't want to spend it.
    I said "i" dont care. I writte many things up that are not in a book. Its called common sence and good building practices


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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I said "i" dont care. I writte many things up that are not in a book. Its called common sence and good building practices

    Hi Ted,

    There is a difference between our opinions for a better product, recommendations for safety, improvement, etc., regardless of the code. The key is in the presentation of the information (recommendations vs. requirements)

    In post #10, you said "2 are required" and that is not accurate.

    For all we know, the builder, the electrician, the architect encouraged the owner to pay extra for an additional receptcale and the owner declined.


    Sincerely,

    Corey


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I said "i" dont care. I writte many things up that are not in a book. Its called common sence and good building practices
    You should write them separately and note them as suggestions. If you are writing them up as violations then that sounds like you will be creating a bad name for yourself.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Rolleston View Post
    You should write them separately and note them as suggestions. If you are writing them up as violations then that sounds like you will be creating a bad name for yourself.
    Everyone is assuming how i write it up. I never said how I write it up.

    On another note. Bad name by who? After 3 decades


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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Everyone is assuming how i write it up. I never said how I write it up.

    On another note. Bad name by who? After 3 decades
    In the other post you said two are required. What is there to assume? Required means that the island is deficient and does not meet the requirements. On the other hand if you said adding another receptacle would enhance usability, or safety you are stating an opinion and not saying that the install does not meet the requirements.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    In the other post you said two are required. What is there to assume? Required means that the island is deficient and does not meet the requirements. On the other hand if you said adding another receptacle would enhance usability, or safety you are stating an opinion and not saying that the install does not meet the requirements.
    Well said.


  23. #23
    Robert Rolleston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I dont care what the code says

    At least 2 are required. A sink dividing a counter. You cannot place a receptacle on the other side of a sink and stretch the cord across it. If there were a backsplash on there you would need at least 2.........same thing.

    The builder is an idiot trying to find the proper words to allow the electrician to do less and the builder pay less.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Everyone is assuming how i write it up. I never said how I write it up.

    On another note. Bad name by who? After 3 decades
    You already stated how you write it up.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Well said.

    No. Not well said. Still assuming. It is my opinion that two are required. The reason for my opinion is for convenience and safety as well as good building prcatices.

    I would write it up as such. Now what you did not assume is that I would have told them the facts in the matter about what a book says. I said I did not care what the book says. I would write it up anyway. I did not give anyone a complete detailed write up.

    My opinion about inspectors is that they forgot or simply never new that what they are hired for is advise and oopinion as in./....."What do you think about that." "

    My inspection on Saturday am is for a young woman I already inspected for a few weeks back. That inspection came from another young woman that I did an inspection for a year ago or so.

    Both their questions were. If it were you daughter buying the home would you???????????????

    My clients hire me for an inspection and advise and an opinion. I gladly give it to them as though my daughter were buying the home.

    As far as I am concerned there is no other way to inspect.

    Anyone can follow a script. Anyone can "learn the process of home inspection" As many say.

    Anyone can walk around with a hand held device clicking away and never put their soul into the inspection and they only write what the script says and nothing else.

    We are not government building or city building department inspectors. We are home inspectors. We have thoughts and opinions and can regard our clients as if they were a member of the family we were inspecting for.

    Many want to and will only follow a script. Many care too much about maybe getting a bad name.....with who is always my questions.

    If you write stuff up like that the word will get around and it will give you a bad name........with? My concern is for my clients only. They know when an item was put into play in the building process and I tell them but I also add my Professional opinion as to how I believe it should have been done.

    Around here, and I am guesing about everywhere, Electiricians get very little for new construction. Give them an add on from the client and they will smile because they just made twice or more for that one lousy receptacle. Put it in for the clients conveniencve and possible safety concern at the time of the build???????? Not by many electricians. They will save the few bucks in materials and laber so they can make something from that new construction job.

    I do understand.

    Maybe I should have wrote this book back at my first post. Then again I am trying to cut back.

    My opinion is that most electricians would say that there should be one there for the convenience and possible safety and good building practices.

    I also gently confront builders all the time and appeal to their common, logical sence. The vast majority of the time they agree and most of the time they do make changes. It is all in the delivery at the time.

    My favorite is a return in the master bedroom suite for the HVAC. I see now adays that most HVAC companies are either bidding on that or the builders are now getting it that you cannot pump all that tonage into a good size master suite with the only return being under the master bedroom door.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 03-01-2012 at 08:09 PM.

  25. #25
    Robert Rolleston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Sounds good

    As long as you write it up as a suggestion and bring it up in a friendly manner to both the homeowner and the electrician/builder contractor. And let the homeowner know there may be a charge for it. You can't expect the builder to do more for without charging especially since that area is already finished. If they agree to it good but you can't call them an idiot if they don't.

    It cost them money to take a worker off another job to go back and install that outlet.


  26. #26
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    No. Not well said. Still assuming. It is my opinion that two are required. The reason for my opinion is for convenience and safety as well as good building prcatices.
    It's the use of the word required that is the problem. For most of us required means it's a code requirement which it is not.


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