Island electrical / outlet requirements in MA

oldbat2beMarch 3, 2012

Our island is approximately 6' x 7' long and we're in Massachusetts (North Shore of Boston).

Downstairs is wide open basement with a new sub panel to the kitchen nearby, so we have easy access to wiring.

Here's a drawing of the island, with proposed outlet locations in green.

Can anyone speak to MA code on what is required for outlets on an island? I.e., how many and where.

If we followed the above, we would plan on duplex, TR outlets in three locations.

At the curved end of the island, we would like to mount an outlet on the wooden skirt which will be attached to the two front posts, and run electrical to it, along the steel frame.

Any advice/thoughts/recommendations on this appreciated.

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Ron Natalie

Mass. is on the 2011 NEC (not that it makes much of a difference, there hasn't been a whole lot of substantive changes other than the TR requirement) with regard to things of late.

As far as the code goes, if that thing is an ISLAND (that is, no side of it touches a wall), you are only required to have ONE receptacle on it. I'm not sure I catch all the lines in your picture. You can place the receptacles under the counter overhang as long as the countertop doesn't hang over more than 6"

If this is really a peninsula (i.e. the sink side is up against a wall), you only need one receptacle on the peninsula side but you need to follow the normal wall rules on the wall side (no point along the wall more than 2' so you'd need one in the area to the right of the sink).

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 10:29AM
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Thanks ronnatalie. It is an island. I think we will go with two receptacles.

Follow-up question please -- can we build the rectacles into the wooden 'skirt' we will be adding? I.E., mount the electrical box onto the skirt. Similar concept to plugmold but the receptacle would be flush with the skirt.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 11:56AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Yes, the outlet can go into the table stretchers (Pick black or color matched outlets please!), but the wiring for that outlet can not just be Romex stapled to the underside of the island. It will need to be individual strands in conduit or BX for the exposed locations. And the outlets underneath the overhang that you show will be useless and a bit of a safety hazard with people sitting there. Eliminate them. As previously explained, they need to be within 6" of the side if they are under the counter overhang. That's both so you don't need to bend over so far to get to them and because appliance cords are relatively short.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 12:15PM
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Ron Natalie

I agree, as long as there's less than 6" of overhang and a legal outlet can go under the countertop in the apron.

There's nothing that bars NM from being used on the underside of the counter/table top.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 6:37PM
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