Wiring in a 'movable island'

simancoJune 19, 2011

We have a 36 x 36 "island." I say "island" because it might be better described as a cart -- it's on wheels. It's on wheels because this is a small kitchen in the middle of the house -- we sometimes need to move it out of the way to move stuff around!

We have had a couple appliances sitting on top of the island for years. There is a wall outlet within reach and the cords drape through the air without much danger as we can't walk that direction anyway.

Now there is a further complication. We would like to install two single-element 220v induction hobs in this island. Each hob requires 20A protection.

There is unused space within the island to run wiring and / or mount junction boxes. There is also room under the counter so that there is room to mount the hobs.

There is a full, un-finished basement with easy access to run whatever wires would be needed.

My ideal situation:

Both induction hobs as well as at least one 120v outlet in the island.

Followed by:

One induction hob and one 120v outlet.


One induction hob.

Is there any good way to do any of these without removing the wheels and making the "island cart" into an island by permanently affixing it to the floor? For one hob I can envision a 12 gauge cord running to an appropriate outlet installed in the wall - but it gets more complicated with two hobs and wanting that 120v outlet.

Any and all help would be appreciated!



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It is a table, not an island.
Anything you do is going to need to be cord and plug connected.

You could go so far as to put a small panel inside the island and use a single larger capacity lug and receptacle (3-wore for 120 V only, 4-wire for 120/240 V.

It is an area that the NEC does not actually cover since it is NOT permanent wiring installed in a building.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 9:33AM
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That is exactly what I had in mind. But ... I live In the middle of nowhere and have a horrible selection of places to find such things a small panels.

Where would I be likely to find a sub panel that has ... Three to Five spaces fir breakers? Can I drive out to a big box and find such things?


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 7:27PM
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Something like the link below? You only need a 60A panel, and that one is capable of 125A (I have nothing to do with the referenced web site, and have never purchased anything from them). You need room for at least 3 circuits (2 @ 240 plus 1 @ 120). You'll want to use #4CU cordage, with a 15-60 NEMA receptacle (4 wire) to plug in this cart. Be careful to turn the power off to the devices before unplugging the cart; otherwise a 60A draw can throw a pretty mean arc.

Here is a link that might be useful: small 125A panel

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 10:19PM
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"But ... I live In the middle of nowhere and have a horrible selection of places to find such things a small panels. "

Try poking around online.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 9:30AM
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Another question ...

What is the best way for a cordset to exit a wooden island?

Since there is a toe-kick I can just drill a hole and let it slip out the bottom over to the plug . . . But I would think that some sort of clamp / strain relief would be best, but don't really have any ideas on what to use?

Any advice?


    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 6:15PM
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Assuming you are making your cord connection in a junction box or panel, then a NM cable clamp should provide the necessary strain relief. You do want avoid doing a sharp 90 degree bend from the box out to the opening though.

Obviously you also don't want the cord to abrade where it passes through the wood. Most hardware stores carry plastic bushings that install into the wood and provide the cord protection - made just for this purpose. They're usually in the area where there's drawers of misc hardware.

Just as a thought, you may want to create a small space in the cabinet where you could push the cord back into when not in use and you want to move the "island".

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 8:20PM
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