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    Default Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Hello,
    I have posted on here before but it has been quite some time. Receptacle spacing along a kitchen counter top wall is every two feet. Would a small back splash 7 inches in height be considered a wall or require an receptacle?

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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathew Keith Stouffer View Post
    Receptacle spacing along a kitchen counter top wall is every two feet. Would a small back splash 7 inches in height be considered a wall or require an receptacle?
    This "Receptacle spacing along a kitchen counter top wall" should read like this: "Receptacle spacing along a kitchen counter top wall line"

    A wall with no backsplash or a wall with a full-height backsplash has the wall wall line.

    Measure from the edge of the range or sink as a receptacle is not required behind them, and any countertop space measured along the wall line which is less than 12" does not require a receptacle either (may have one, just not "required" to have one).

    It is also a bit more complex than the above, but the above is a good start.

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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Yes it needs recetpacles.

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

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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    It is not every two feet, it is no space more than 2 foot from a receptacle. A countertop 12 " or wider needs a receptacle.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    It is not every two feet, it is no space more than 2 foot from a receptacle. A countertop 12 " or wider needs a receptacle.
    With that interpretation a 24" deep counter top would need a receptacle every inch along the wall.

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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    With that interpretation a 24" deep counter top would need a receptacle every inch along the wall.
    LInear WALL SPACE, not countertop depth.


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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    From the 2011 NEC:

    210.52(B)(1)
    (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 installation described in Figure 210.52(C)(1).


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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    It is not every two feet, it is no space more than 2 foot from a receptacle.
    Thank you for that clarification - I didn't point that out as I should have.

    Some people think it is every 4 feet, but that comes from the "no point along the wall line is more than 600 mm (24 in.) measured horizontally from a receptacle outlet" because an appliance centered between two receptacle outlets can be 24 inches from either outlet ... okay, so that is effectively every 4 feet ...

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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathew Keith Stouffer View Post
    Hello,
    I have posted on here before but it has been quite some time. Receptacle spacing along a kitchen counter top wall is every two feet. Would a small back splash 7 inches in height be considered a wall or require an receptacle?
    Others have explained receptacle spacing quite well. However, it this counter top happens to be an island, then only one receptacle is required for the island.


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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    Others have explained receptacle spacing quite well. However, it this counter top happens to be an island, then only one receptacle is required for the island.
    If you have a sink in the middle of the island and counter work space on both sides you need a receptacle on both sides.


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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathew Keith Stouffer View Post
    Hello,
    I have posted on here before but it has been quite some time. Receptacle spacing along a kitchen counter top wall is every two feet. Would a small back splash 7 inches in height be considered a wall or require an receptacle?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    Others have explained receptacle spacing quite well. However, it this counter top happens to be an island, then only one receptacle is required for the island.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Bennett View Post
    If you have a sink in the middle of the island and counter work space on both sides you need a receptacle on both sides.
    Depends.

    However, based on the description, that countertop with a backsplash cannot really be an "island" as the countertop is up against a "wall" and there is a wall line which the countertop meets.

    This leads to discussions based on the inspector's or plan reviewer's "interpretation" of just what an "island" is - some of these discussions are quite heated, some are quite entertaining, and none really solve anything as it is quite difficult to convince an inspector or plan reviewer that there "logic" is not as good as the "logic" which holds the opposite point of view.

    My opinion is that if there is a "wall" then the countertop simply cannot be an "island" as an "island" is isolated from any and all walls ... otherwise it could be a "peninsula" (but might not be ) or it could be a countertop along a wall with a wall line (but might not be ).

    Let the debate and discussion begin.

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  12. #12

    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathew Keith Stouffer View Post
    Hello,
    I have posted on here before but it has been quite some time. Receptacle spacing along a kitchen counter top wall is every two feet. Would a small back splash 7 inches in height be considered a wall or require an receptacle?

    I tried to add a pic, it is too big. What is the secret?


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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Depends.

    However, based on the description, that countertop with a backsplash cannot really be an "island" as the countertop is up against a "wall" and there is a wall line which the countertop meets.

    Let the debate and discussion begin.
    A common arrangement in my area is an Island with a backslash of about 6 inches. On top of the backsplash is a countertop that is cantilevered over the rear side of the island. Bar stools are often placed so they can take advantage of the elevated countertop and glare down upon the cook using the island.

    In this case the backsplash is not really a wall in that it does not extend floor to ceiling, only just higher than the main countertop at 36". Often there is a cook top or sink installed in the island. These tend to be in 4-6000+ sq ft homes.

    It is not a pennisula because it is not an extension of any other portion of the cabinetry. It is an island because it is freestanding. It is in the center of the room and only extends about 48 high. Some are large enough to have more that 24 inches of countertop to one or both sides of the sink/cooktop while others have less than 24 inches to either side of the countertop interuption.

    If they have less than 24 inches to either side of the countertop interuption, then I look for at least one receptacle not less than 12 inches below the countertop. If greater than 24 inches, I look for backsplash receptacles.

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

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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    A common arrangement in my area is an Island with a backslash of about 6 inches. On top of the backsplash is a countertop that is cantilevered over the rear side of the island. Bar stools are often placed so they can take advantage of the elevated countertop and glare down upon the cook using the island.

    In this case the backsplash is not really a wall in that it does not extend floor to ceiling, only just higher than the main countertop at 36". Often there is a cook top or sink installed in the island. These tend to be in 4-6000+ sq ft homes.
    The countertop is not an island countertop, the countertop has a wall line and therefore should have receptacle outlets spaced as required for any other countertop with a wall line.

    The NEC is addressing countertop spaces and wall lines. If there is a backsplash there is a wall line.

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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathew Keith Stouffer View Post
    I tried to add a pic, it is too big. What is the secret?
    google: photo resizer, and choose


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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Open folder picture is in and LEFT click on pict. Look for "resize pictures",


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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    ...yeah, what Gary says. You will have a choice then of the various sizes to choose for your photo. I usually choose the 'small' which will still have a decent view in your post.
    Note that this image resizer tool will also be helpful if you insert pictures into your report. Huge pictures take up too much room and may bog down your pdf email to a client. The client still gets a reasonable picture.
    Also, if you save all your pictures, the 'small' setting will allow you to save without needlessly clogging your own machine.


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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    For island outlets, one or two are required as mentioned above, but what about the location under the counter top overhang?

    It is my understanding that there should be no outlets under an overhang that is greater than 12 inches. How about this picture where the outlet is under an overhang that is greater than 12 inches, but is not greater than twelve inches under the overhang from the side.

    This is a new house and was approved by the AHJ ?? ii Is this considered OK from a code perspective ???

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    For island outlets, one or two are required as mentioned above, but what about the location under the counter top overhang?

    It is my understanding that there should be no outlets under an overhang that is greater than 12 inches. How about this picture where the outlet is under an overhang that is greater than 12 inches, but is not greater than twelve inches under the overhang from the side.

    This is a new house and was approved by the AHJ ?? ii Is this considered OK from a code perspective ???
    What NEC edition are you under?

    From the 2008 NEC: (underlining and bold are mine)
    - 210.52 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets.
    - - (C) Countertops.
    - - - (5) Receptacle Outlet Location. Receptacle outlets shall be located above, but not more than 500 mm (20 in.) above, the countertop. Receptacle outlets rendered not readily accessible 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 these 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.

    "Is this considered OK from a code perspective ???"

    Not as shown.

    IF ... if that receptacle outlet was located in the end of the cabinet, yes, however, it is located below the 13" overhang, so no.

    Now, if the electrician were to look at is as though the receptacle was located under an overhang of less than 6" as viewed from the end of the cabinet (like you took the photo) ... still "not as shown" because the receptacle outlet is located below the 13" overhang and is not located on the end of the cabinet where there is no, or almost no, overhang.

    From the 2011 NEC (basically one sentence was added - see italics): (italics, underlining and bold are mine)
    - 210.52 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets.
    - - (C) Countertops.
    - - - (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 application shall be permitted to be installed in countertops. Receptacle outlets rendered not readily accessible 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 these 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.

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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    For island outlets, one or two are required as mentioned above, but what about the location under the counter top overhang?

    It is my understanding that there should be no outlets under an overhang that is greater than 12 inches. How about this picture where the outlet is under an overhang that is greater than 12 inches, but is not greater than twelve inches under the overhang from the side.

    This is a new house and was approved by the AHJ ?? ii Is this considered OK from a code perspective ???

    Well it depends on what you mean by ok from a code perspective.

    If they are supposed to be the required outlet to meet the counter top small appliance receptacle requirement - then NO they are not within the required location as per the NEC.

    If you want to know if can they be installed in that location -- Then yes then can be installed there but they do not meet the qualifications to be counted as the required counter top receptacles.

    - - - Updated - - -


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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by jack davenport View Post
    If you want to know if can they be installed in that location -- Then yes then can be installed there but they do not meet the qualifications to be counted as the required counter top receptacles.
    Very good point Jack, that receptacle outlet could meet the required receptacle outlet for the wall space in the room the overhang is facing.

    Can't tell from the photo if there is another receptacle which meets the required wall receptacle (the wall is wider than 24"), so that might be able to serve as that receptacle - provided it is an 20 amp arc-fault protected circuit.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Very good point Jack, that receptacle outlet could meet the required receptacle outlet for the wall space in the room the overhang is facing.

    Can't tell from the photo if there is another receptacle which meets the required wall receptacle (the wall is wider than 24"), so that might be able to serve as that receptacle - provided it is an 20 amp arc-fault protected circuit.
    If that area on that side of the counter is a "family room" or Living room then it can be on a 15 ampere AFCI, and it can not be on the small appliance circuit .
    This type of set up is becoming popular in my neck of the woods.


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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by jack davenport View Post
    If that area on that side of the counter is a "family room" or Living room then it can be on a 15 ampere AFCI, and it can not be on the small appliance circuit .
    This type of set up is becoming popular in my neck of the woods.
    That receptacle is required to be on a 20 amp circuit. (bold is mine)
    210.52 Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets
    - (B) Small Appliances.
    - - (1) Receptacle Outlets Served. In the kitchen, pantry, breakfast room, dining room, or similar area of a dwelling unit, the two or more 20-ampere small-appliance branch circuits required by 210.11(C)(1) shall serve all wall and floor receptacle outlets covered by 210.52(A), all countertop outlets covered by 210.52(C), and receptacle outlets for refrigeration equipment.
    - - - Exception No. 1: In addition to the required receptacles specified by 210.52, switched receptacles supplied from a general-purpose branch circuit as defined in 210.70(A)(1), Exception No. 1, shall be permitted.
    - - - Exception No. 2: The receptacle outlet for refrigeration equipment shall be permitted to be supplied from an individual branch circuit rated 15 amperes or greater.

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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    How would you consider a family room similar to any of those areas simply due to its proximity to the kitchen?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    How would you consider a family room similar to any of those areas simply due to its proximity to the kitchen?
    "simply due to its proximity to the kitchen"

    Yep.

    That is what is done all over Florida and the other places I've been.

    The room on the other side of that wall, whether dining room, breakfast room, family room, living room, etc, has the same use of and for that receptacle outlet.

    Add in the fact that there is a countertop with an overhang there for people to eat at and you have your "breakfast/eating bar" which is definitely a "similar area".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    In will go so far as to say this one will come down to the local AHJ for clarification.

    There is the Florida Voodoo way and there is the rest of the USA ( just poking ya Jerry )


    Seriously that location can be argued both ways. Up here in the Great North if that is a Living room then it goes on any other general purpose circuit - not a small appliance circuit.
    Down south well...........................


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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Looks like Mathew Keith stepped out a long time ago....we never got to see the picture he was trying to upload to show what started all this. Maybe it wasn't that important after all...


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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Weekly View Post
    Looks like Mathew Keith stepped out a long time ago....we never got to see the picture he was trying to upload to show what started all this. Maybe it wasn't that important after all...

    See post #18 - that is what the recent discussion has been about.

    I think that with an eating bar overhang / food preparation overhand, that regardless of what the "name" of the room is on the other side of the counter from the kitchen the purpose and intent of the is going to be the same, whether the "name" of that room is "dining room", "breakfast room", or "similar area" (a "living room" is a "similar area" with that same use).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Kitchen Counter Top Receptacle requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I think that with an eating bar overhang / food preparation overhand
    That may not be an eating bar or food prep area.
    In my house we would call it a "Junk collection and display shelf".

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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