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  1. #1
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    Default Under cabinet light connection deficiency

    New construction inspection. The under cabinet lights in the kitchen are flexible cord connected with cords passing through the bottom of the cabinets and connected to receptacles in the cabinets. I know this isn't a correct wiring method for a permanently installed fixture. But, can these receptacles be installed in the cabinets for this application? Also, can a flexible cord in any application pass through a cabinet or does it fall somewhere under the same restriction as passing through a "wall, ceiling, floor, etc".?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Under cabinet light connection deficiency

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Robin View Post
    The under cabinet lights in the kitchen are flexible cord connected with cords passing through the bottom of the cabinets and connected to receptacles in the cabinets. I know this isn't a correct wiring method for a permanently installed fixture. But, can these receptacles be installed in the cabinets for this application?
    "Can" they be? Sure, you even took a photo of one.

    Is that "allowed"? Nope.

    Also, can a flexible cord in any application pass through a cabinet or does it fall somewhere under the same restriction as passing through a "wall, ceiling, floor, etc".?
    Nope and yep.

    - 400.8 Uses Not Permitted.
    - - Unless specifically permitted in 400.7, flexible cords and cables shall not be used for the following:
    - - - (1) As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure
    - - - (2) Where run through holes in walls, structural ceilings, suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or floors
    - - - (3) Where run through doorways, windows, or similar openings
    - - - (4) Where attached to building surfaces
    - - - - Exception to (4): Flexible cord and cable shall be permitted to be attached to building surfaces in accordance with the provisions of 368.56(B)
    - - - (5) Where concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located above suspended or dropped ceilings
    - - - (6) Where installed in raceways, except as otherwise permitted in this Code
    - - - (7) Where subject to physical damage

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Under cabinet light connection deficiency

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck;204051[QUOTE
    ]"Can" they be? Sure, you even took a photo of one.

    Is that "allowed"? Nope.
    Thanks Jerry. Your fluency with the NEC is always appreciated. Is there a specific code reference regarding installation of receptacles in kitchen cabinets? Also, wondering whether they would technically be required to be GFCI protected since they are just above the counter tops (?)


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Under cabinet light connection deficiency

    There is no NEC prohibition against receptacles in cabinets. As they would not be serving the countertops they would not need GFI protection.

    I am also going to disagree with some of Jerrys points in blue

    - 400.8 Uses Not Permitted.
    - - Unless specifically permitted in 400.7, flexible cords and cables shall not be used for the following:
    - - - (1) As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure This is not wiring for a structure.
    - - - (2) Where run through holes in walls, structural ceilings, suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or floors A cabinet is not one of these. A cord is allowed to extend through a cabinet for a DW in Article 422. This is a similar application.
    - - - (3) Where run through doorways, windows, or similar openings
    - - - (4) Where attached to building surfaces
    - - - - Exception to (4): Flexible cord and cable shall be permitted to be attached to building surfaces in accordance with the provisions of 368.56(B)
    - - - (5) Where concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located above suspended or dropped ceilings
    - - - (6) Where installed in raceways, except as otherwise permitted in this Code
    - - - (7) Where subject to physical damage What would damage this cord? A cord for a floor lamp is more suseptible to damage.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Under cabinet light connection deficiency

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    There is no NEC prohibition against receptacles in cabinets. As they would not be serving the countertops they would not need GFI protection.

    I am also going to disagree with some of Jerrys points in blue

    - 400.8 Uses Not Permitted.
    - - Unless specifically permitted in 400.7, flexible cords and cables shall not be used for the following:
    - - - (1) As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure This is not wiring for a structure.
    - - - (2) Where run through holes in walls, structural ceilings, suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or floors A cabinet is not one of these. A cord is allowed to extend through a cabinet for a DW in Article 422. This is a similar application.
    - - - (3) Where run through doorways, windows, or similar openings
    - - - (4) Where attached to building surfaces
    - - - - Exception to (4): Flexible cord and cable shall be permitted to be attached to building surfaces in accordance with the provisions of 368.56(B)
    - - - (5) Where concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located above suspended or dropped ceilings
    - - - (6) Where installed in raceways, except as otherwise permitted in this Code
    - - - (7) Where subject to physical damage What would damage this cord? A cord for a floor lamp is more suseptible to damage.
    I have to agree with Jim.. I think that this is open to interpretation and the opinion of whoever is making the decision. In my area I know of two AHJ's that require hard wire for such lighting and 3 more that allow plug- in as pictured.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
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    Location
    Berks County PA
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    35

    Default Re: Under cabinet light connection deficiency

    How does this connection differ from a built-in microwave, where the manufacturer's instructions tell us to drill a hole in the cabinet to pass the cord through and plug the cord into an outlet inside the cabinet?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Under cabinet light connection deficiency

    I was first going to ask Jim what he disagreed with me on, then I noticed that I copied and pasted one extra line in my previous reply - *I think* that is the only part Jim was disagreeing with me, we shall see: (have have highlighted the additional unintended wording in gray and will see if that is the only part Jim disagrees with me on)
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Robin
    The under cabinet lights in the kitchen are flexible cord connected with cords passing through the bottom of the cabinets and connected to receptacles in the cabinets. I know this isn't a correct wiring method for a permanently installed fixture. But, can these receptacles be installed in the cabinets for this application?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
    "Can" they be? Sure, you even took a photo of one.

    Is that "allowed"? Nope.
    I should have quoted the questions separately as I typically do, instead of in one quote - me bad.

    "The under cabinet lights in the kitchen are flexible cord connected with cords passing through the bottom of the cabinets and connected to receptacles in the cabinets. I know this isn't a correct wiring method for a permanently installed fixture." This part is not allowed.

    "But, can these receptacles be installed in the cabinets for this application?" Yes, receptacles are allowed to be installed in cabinets. I suspect that this is the part that some took issue with, such as comparing it to a microwave, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    There is no NEC prohibition against receptacles in cabinets. As they would not be serving the countertops they would not need GFI protection.
    I agree, see above.

    I am also going to disagree with some of Jerrys points in blue

    - 400.8 Uses Not Permitted.
    - - Unless specifically permitted in 400.7, flexible cords and cables shall not be used for the following:
    - - - (1) As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure This is not wiring for a structure.
    - - - (2) Where run through holes in walls, structural ceilings, suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or floors A cabinet is not one of these. A cord is allowed to extend through a cabinet for a DW in Article 422. This is a similar application.
    - - - (3) Where run through doorways, windows, or similar openings
    - - - (4) Where attached to building surfaces
    - - - - Exception to (4): Flexible cord and cable shall be permitted to be attached to building surfaces in accordance with the provisions of 368.56(B)
    - - - (5) Where concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located above suspended or dropped ceilings
    - - - (6) Where installed in raceways, except as otherwise permitted in this Code
    - - - (7) Where subject to physical damage What would damage this cord? A cord for a floor lamp is more suseptible to damage.
    Jim, are you saying that that cord *IS* allowed to be installed and used like it is? If not, what part are you disagreeing with me on?

    It is not "(1) As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure", and it is being used for that.

    You don't consider the surfaces of the cabinets as part of "(4) Where attached to building surfaces"?

    You don't think that lamp cord is "(7) Where subject to physical damage"? Yes, I know that you and I disagree on things being subject to physical damage often, but here, for that lamp cord?

    Jim, are you saying that securing the lamp cord and running it through the cabinet as shown is an acceptable and allowed installation according to the NEC?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Under cabinet light connection deficiency

    I cannot think any inspector I know would give you a red sticker for that wiring as shown.

    The parts I disagreed with were in blue in my quote of your post. I have no issues with the receptacles in the cabinets as shown.

    That cord is not being used as premise wiring. Premise wiring would be if a receptacle were wired using lamp cord. The instructions probably called for a method similar to as shown.

    I don't see how placing dishes or glasses into that cabinet would damage that cable tucked. Except for the plug it looked tightly tucked into the corner.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
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    Default Re: Under cabinet light connection deficiency

    I am going to address what is PICTURED, and the deficiencies I SEE therein, i.e. the DEFECTIVE RECEPTACLE outlet area installation (Ch.'s 3 & 4).

    This cabinet has been installed in front of a receptacle location. The shelf is atop the actual mounting strap, and therefore the supposed box containing same.

    It (the box) obviously does not extend to/through the cabinet back, neither, it is obvious, is there an extension ring present.

    The cabinet back IS combustible (wall surface/finish).

    The plate is not properly fitted to a BOX front. The plate has been altered/trimmed (short at top) - unlisted, akin to not being present.

    Finished to within 1/8" of the box, plate must meet/overlap.

    The receptacle face(s) are inset to the plate.

    It is allowed to have a receptacle outlet in a cabinet - this is NOT how it is done correctly.

    When cords or cables pass through building finishes they must be protected from damage.

    A cabinet is a building FINISH, when same is permanently afixed to the building.

    There are listed low voltage lighting systems which use corded interconnection systems to a fused power supply set, and "household current" systems which and are listed to install to furniture cabinetry. The pictured cord & plug set does not suggest the former, and wouldn't be a listed installation as pictured or as I understood it to have been described.

    However, returning to the pictured receptacle installation, it is that which is deficient - and dangerous.



    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 07-27-2012 at 06:24 AM.

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