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  1. #1

    Default kitchen island outlet

    I was in another local area today & an electrician told me that in that area an outlet is not required at a kitchen island unless the island has a backsplash. I have not heard this one before, is there legitimacy to this or is it a call that the local AHJ can make?

    NHIE Practice Exam
    Clarksville Home Inspection
    JW Goad
    TN License #307 | KY License #2402

  2. #2
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    Crazy urban legend. Backsplash not relevant.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    I've heard of things like that ... but it is not legitimate.

    If it's an island, it needs at least one receptacle.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    Thought I would add the reason usually given (not applicable reason, but those code inspectors who do not understand the code give it):
    - They say that if there is no backsplash there is no wall space, thus no receptacle is required.
    - What they are not understanding is that islands are addressed separately from "wall space" requirements - there are no wall space requirements for islands.

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

  5. #5

    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    Thank you.

    Clarksville Home Inspection
    JW Goad
    TN License #307 | KY License #2402

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    Default Re: Kitchen Island Outlet Comment

    Hi Everyone,
    Although it may not be wrong with modern building standards, a word of caution to a client may save someone from serious injury. This is what I comment on regarding island outlets. I also explain using caution to my clients during the inspection. Imagine hooking your cell phone on your belt to a cord for a pot of chili and pulling it onto the floor.

    "An island outlet was observed in kitchen. This condition is typical for the age of the house. The outlet is located below the island counter. This condition may lead to a cord being pulled by children or a passing person dumping the attached cooking unit to the floor. Recommend using caution when using units that have high temperature fluid or cooking items."

    Making my city a better place to live.

    VETERANS HOME INSPECTION SERVICES
    HENREY JETTY
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    Veterans Home Inspection Services
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  7. #7
    Loren Sanders Sr.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island Outlet Comment

    Quote Originally Posted by HENREY JETTY View Post
    Hi Everyone,
    Although it may not be wrong with modern building standards, a word of caution to a client may save someone from serious injury. This is what I comment on regarding island outlets. I also explain using caution to my clients during the inspection. Imagine hooking your cell phone on your belt to a cord for a pot of chili and pulling it onto the floor.

    "An island outlet was observed in kitchen. This condition is typical for the age of the house. The outlet is located below the island counter. This condition may lead to a cord being pulled by children or a passing person dumping the attached cooking unit to the floor. Recommend using caution when using units that have high temperature fluid or cooking items."

    Making my city a better place to live.

    VETERANS HOME INSPECTION SERVICES
    HENREY JETTY
    585-362-2848
    HJETTY@ROCHESTER.RR.COM
    Veterans Home Inspection Services
    NY LIC # 16000044801
    National Radon Proficiency Certification # 107326
    I realize that probably the most important reason inspections are required are for the safety of the client and their family but for some reason this answer caused me to ask this question?

    Being an old guy retired plumber my knowledge of electricity is limited. But years ago I recall touching an electrical outlet where you plug in an appliance and my hands were wet and I received a hearty shock. My question is: Is there wording or disclaimer in your reports that notify the reader of the possibility of shock when you touch an outlet like I did? And how dangerous is this if the outlet is not grounded? Hope this is not a stupid question, but just curious...
    Another question arises about electricity for my inquiring mind. Also many years ago I was trying to break loose a galvanized vent line, they used Durham fittings back then, and when it finally broke loose, the handle of the iron pipe wrench hit the Electric Panel Box and sparked and made the sound electricity makes when contact is made. My question: Was I grounding the electricity through the wrench handle. As I recall, I did not receive a shock but the sound and spark did get my attention. Would I have received a shock if the wrench handle were made of Aluminum like some are? TIA and I know these questions are not relevant to normal inspections but thought I would ask the experts on the forum.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island Outlet Comment

    Quote Originally Posted by HENREY JETTY View Post
    Hi Everyone,
    "An island outlet was observed in kitchen. This condition is typical for the age of the house. The outlet is located below the island counter. This condition may lead to a cord being pulled by children or a passing person dumping the attached cooking unit to the floor. Recommend using caution when using units that have high temperature fluid or cooking items."
    Are you kidding? You might as well write that up for most outlets in a house. "A child might trip over a cord from a wall receptacle (outlet). Example: pulling a lamp onto the Rembrandt on the wall, careening the lamp onto the antique end table, and shattering the bulb which showers glass and mercury into the carpet creating a hazmat situation requiring EPA approved cleanup and causing injuries to inhabitants and pets."

    You could write an entire book with these kinds of warnings for every house. I realize that your statement is probably boiler plate in your report, but bloated reports don't make for better reports in my not so humble opinion.

    I'm here to help so I'm not from the government.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    In California if you have a builtin Island it is required to have a GFI outlet installed, free standing no.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    Islands need receptacles and they need to be mounted on the side if there is no backsplash. Lack of backsplash does not negate the requirement for recepteacles.

    IRC 3901.4.2, NEC 210.52C3
    Island Countertop Spaces. At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed at each island countertop space with a long dimension of 24 inches or greater and a short dimension of 12 inches or greater.

    E3901.4.5 Receptacle outlets shall be located not more than 20 inches above the countertop. Receptacle outlets shall not be installed in a face-up position in the work surfaces or countertops. Receptacle outlets rendered not readily accessible by appliances fastened in place, appliance garages, sinks or rangtops as addressed in the exception E3901.4.1 or appliances occuping dedicated space shall not be considered as these required outlets.

    Exception: Receptacle outlets shall be permitted to be mounted not more than 12 inches below the counter in construction designed for the phyiscally impaired and for island and peninulsar countertops where the countertop is flat acroos its entire surafce and there are no means to mount a recetpacle within 20 inches above the countertop, such as in an overhead cabinet. Receptacles mounted below the countertop in accordance with this exception shall not be located where the countertop extends more than 6 inches beyond its support base.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Kitchen Island Outlet Comment

    Hello Mr Henderson,
    With thirty years in the Army I have seen my fair share of stupid mistakes by really "smart" people. I always wondered where the adult leadership was to prevent or to train others to see bad things before they happen. I use multiple skill sets to ensure my clients get some of that experience. Allot of my buyers are purchasing their first house and when I see kids I can't help but make sure they know when something can go wrong in the best of circumstances. That may include prepared comments in my report. In response to your negative comment, Kids get up from tripping, no one I have ever met in my life has a Rembrandt, antiques can be replaced, and I am sure we both share a distain for the EPA. The probability of an accident with an island outlet when just adults live there is negligible. Add one child or grandchild and you should use caution.

    Look positive to understanding how others mean to 5137987_f520[1].jpgdo good work.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    A receptacle on the island is still less hazard than using an appliance with an extension cord.

    - - - Updated - - -

    A receptacle on the island is still less hazard than using an appliance with an extension cord.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    A receptacle on the island is still less hazard than using an appliance with an extension cord.
    I guess he would rather have that extension cord extend across from the island to the wall cabinets to power that appliance?

    "Common sense" is sometimes mistaken for "not thinking things through" to the final end.

    The required receptacle outlet in the island is required for a reason - IT IS SAFER THAN NOT HAVING a receptacle in the island.

    "Common sense" says to go with the "safer" option.

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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    I agree. Where does it end with the captain obvious warnings. But back to the original question. Were you looking at a built-in island that was anchored to the floor or a movable island. I have seen some that looked like they were built in but were not. The movable type obviously would not get a receptacle.

    If it weren't for lawyers, we would never need them.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Metzner View Post
    In California if you have a builtin Island it is required to have a GFI outlet installed, free standing no.
    Isn't an island freestanding by definition? If it was connected it would be a peninsula.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Metzner View Post
    In California if you have a builtin Island it is required to have a GFI outlet installed, free standing no.
    Isn't an island freestanding by definition? If it was connected it would be a peninsula.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Metzner View Post
    In California if you have a builtin Island it is required to have a GFI outlet installed, free standing no.
    Isn't an island freestanding by definition? If it was connected it would be a peninsula.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    Not knowing the difference between an island, peninsula, attached, movable and freestanding is a bit disappointing.

    Lon,
    A warning about the exposed cord on the side of an island is far less bloating than most of the useless information and diagrams that are included in many reports.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Isn't an island freestanding by definition? If it was connected it would be a peninsula.
    Jim,

    What he is saying is that an island which is not anchored/secured in place versus an island which is secured in place.

    And island countertop cabinet which is not secured in place is essentially a piece of furniture and would not require a receptacle in it.

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

  18. #18
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Lon,
    A warning about the exposed cord on the side of an island is far less bloating than most of the useless information and diagrams that are included in many reports.
    True, but....where do you stop if you are going to take the step from being your client's home inspector to being their nanny. If your giving that kind of advice in writing, then you could find yourself on the slippery slope of advising about the use of thousands of things in a home. My silly example of the lamp cord is actually what happened to a friend of mine, except the painting wasn't a Rembrandt but it was a painting from the 1600's of some inebriated dude holding a glass of wine......really, and it's valuable. His younger daughter was being chased by her sister and caught the lamp cord as she tried to duck behind a chair. My buddy's wife called me to ask how to clean up the CFL bulb. Would Henrey have warned them about the chances of this happening?

    We need some kind of icon for going off topic which is our style.......and what I'm about to do.....

    I believe that you have to have some CYA boiler plate in a report. For instance, you need some boiler plate saying that you can't inspect what you can't see. But nanny boiler plate is over the top and frankly, insulting to the client. The argument that "I have young first time buyers" doesn't justify nannyism. "If it prevents one accident, it's worth it" doesn't justify every bloviation. Giving verbal advise on changing the furnace filter, or how to use the evaporative cooler or a gas range is great but filling your report with that advice??? You'll be delivering a very big report to your clients. Whether you are a nanny by nature or you think you have great practical advice to convey, you make it harder for your client to find the important disclosures about the condition of the home that they are trying to buy among all the boiler plate advice. If you just have to be a nanny, I suggest you deliver your sage advice in a separate booklet (or book) from your report. My guess is that few clients will read it but you can feel good about it and yourself.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    Lon,
    I agree for the most part. Giving a link such as Home | CPSC.gov if you were wanting to cover the bases on where do you draw the line, or giving a booklet. Then on the other hand making a short comment about caution with an appliance plugged in and sitting on the island is one thing, then there is the list of things like using the stove's oven door as a step ladder. I look at it as a warm fuzzy for the HI that makes the HI feel like there is a personal touch to the report. Which is different from loading the report with advice on not being stupid.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    Some of you over think these things in your quest to limit all manner of risk as a home inspector. Life is a hazard.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    Personally, I would prefer a good commercial dog-house, painted to match or trimmed out, installed on the top of an isolated island. With today's short appliance cables nothing would hang over the side. This would do away with the side mounted receptacle and the cable where things & people can become involved.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Personally, I would prefer a good commercial dog-house, painted to match or trimmed out, installed on the top of an isolated island. With today's short appliance cables nothing would hang over the side. This would do away with the side mounted receptacle and the cable where things & people can become involved.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Personally, I would prefer a good commercial dog-house, painted to match or trimmed out, installed on the top of an isolated island. With today's short appliance cables nothing would hang over the side. This would do away with the side mounted receptacle and the cable where things & people can become involved.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: kitchen island outlet

    First off the island is required to have an outlet, that is GFCI protected, why would any electrician say otherwise?

    As for the cord hazard, that is an interesting approach in writing and I assume that most of us have some similar verbiage about other potential hazards.

    As for long reports, I write them and most of my clients appreciate them. I have found that many homeowners actually like to learn more about their home.

    As for report clutter thats why I include an executive summary that includes the high cost, high risk items.

    I also include a electrical and plumbing summary because those trades charge by the hour and I would like my clients to not have to pay them to find what I have already found.

    At least that is my approach.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

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