What's the code for plug under island overhang?

nhbasketsApril 12, 2014

The island in our new build kitchen is ~9'x5'. The builder only planned to install one outlet in the island, as that's all is required by code. IMO, code is the minimum. Given the length of the island, I'm thinking I want a second plug on the other end as you never know where you'll want to put a crockpot when entertaining.

Two sides of the island have overhangs of at least 12". The builder is telling me that you cannot install a plug when the overhang is this depth. If I place the plug near the end of the overhang, would that meet code?

This is the area I'm looking at.

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sjhockeyfan325

We put an outlet under the overhang and it's one of the things that initially did not pass inspection. We put a solid cover plate over it for the final inspection.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 12:13PM
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illinigirl

Our (Michigan) code required at least one outlet on the island that is NOT under an overhang (there can be others that are under an overhang in addition). We put sillites on the working side of the island over the trash pullout, then on the two sides of the island with a 15" overhang. One side of my island has no outlet (by my choice).

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 12:27PM
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firstmmo

Each area can establish their own code....better check with your city. Your island is beautiful!!!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 1:18AM
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Trebruchet

The idea behind this code requirement is to keep people from inappropriate or dangerous use of extension cords.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 9:13AM
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nhbaskets

Thank you for your input. I think I'm going to call our city's building inspector and ask. As with everything else on this new build, best to be armed with the facts.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 9:24AM
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Trebruchet

nhbaskets:

Remember, the code is what the inspector says it is on the day he says it. He can send you a certified letter specifying one thing, then red tag it at installation if he's in the mood. Don't ask me how I know.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 2:29PM
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nhbaskets

Well that's disturbing, Trebuchet. Didn't have a chance to call today but marked where I wanted outlets on the island for the electrician. I'm sure they will not do the one under the overhang so I'm ready for a fight if the City says it's okay...at least on that day. ;)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 7:59PM
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oldbat2be

nhbaskets - DH recessed the outlets into the skirts we'd planned. I remember he had to make a jig to do this. That said, our two outlets are easily accessible (you don't have to lean way down under the island overhang to get to the outlets), so it definitely makes sense to not have them under the over hang. How tall are your skirts and can you do this here?

And before anyone asks, the outlet is combo outlet + usb.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 9:47PM
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nhbaskets

Oldbat--I had thought of that exactly where you suggested but I'm afraid that the skirting is not tall enough at 3". It was suppose to be 4" but DH was concerned about hitting it when seated so our installer ripped it down to 3". Thanks for the suggestion!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 10:10PM
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2ajsmama

It's going to be hard to get the required receptacle(s) in there - I'm not up on latest code, you might need 2 b/c of the size of the island.

Used to be no more than 12" below the countertop with no more than 6" overhang. Of course, the higher the receptacle and the less the overhang the safer and more convenient it is to use. No face-up receptacles (I'm not sure how Sill-lites qualify - are they pop-up?) on the countertop.

Edit: Sorry, just saw you said 12" overhang on 2 sides. If you can cut the pantry side down to 6" you could put one there. I originally thought you had drawers on that side too but now I can see blue so that's all open. If you don't actually need seating (knee room) there that would be perfect solution, I'd run Plugmold the whole length and you can use that side for buffet serving (though personally I don't like cords hanging over the edge of counter, if they were close and you secured the excess with a rubberband or twist tie it would do.

AFAIK, once you have the required receptacle(s) (check if it's 1 or 2 for that size), you may have as many other receptacles as you want in the island. I have 1 (that serves as junction box for my Plugmold) at regular "wall height" on the pony wall that my countertop extends over for seating, I don't use that for small appliances but do find it convenient when vacuuming.

This post was edited by ajsmama on Tue, Apr 15, 14 at 9:18

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 8:56AM
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sjhockeyfan325

I'm not up on latest code, you might need 2 b/c of the size of the island.

At least in California, only one outlet is required for any size island.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:35AM
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sjhockeyfan325

I meant at least in San Francisco.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:36AM
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2ajsmama

Yes, regional codes can be more stringent than the NEC. But I haven't looked at code since we built in 2007, it was 1 then with the overhang/height restrictions I mentioned.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 2:55PM
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nhbaskets

Thank you for your comments. The builders electrician has told us that only one is required in the island, no matter the size. I would prefer two, on opposite ends. I'll keep you posted as to what the final result is.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:55PM
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