hypothetical kitchen plug question

ae2gaAugust 18, 2012

For purely aesthetic reasons, I prefer not to have the kitchen plugs on the wall in the backsplash. I understand the wet area problem, and I understand the NEC 210 requirement of not more than 18" above the counter, but it does seem to me that near the sink is the only wet area(where there is likely to be an electrical switch for the garbage disposal if there is one - I will not have one).

Often, I see kitchen counters with backsplash of the same material that runs 4" up the wall. Is it possible to build that 4" out a bit to make a horizontal space of a couple inches and install the kitchen plugs in that horizonal space? I'm thinking something like plugmold? Or instead of having plugs one next to the other or a four-square of outlets, placing them in a line (flat part above the 4" of backsplash but not on the wall). In my head, doing this would meet the NEC210 code I read with plugs not on the counter AND the not more than 18" above the counter rule.

I hope this makes sense and there's an answer. Thanks so much.

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If the AHJ thinks the horizontal area is part of the counter surface they may not allow upward facing receptacles to be installed.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 9:49AM
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Thanks Brickeye. Maybe possible but not likely is the vibe I'm getting about this.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 2:07PM
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You only need about 2.5 inches of height to install a junction box on its side.

Watch out for box fill issues with smaller boxes though (depth is your friend).

Trying to get a GFCI receptacle into a minimum capacity box can be a real PITA, even within the NEC fill allowances.
(one #12 for the ground, two #12 for the device, two #12 inputs lines, two #12 output lines, and use external clamps (internal clamps take another #12 allowance).

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 10:11AM
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For things you plug in temporarily (a blender, a food processor, etc), one clever approach I've see is to put the sockets just below counter level behind a bottom hinged wooded plate that otherwise looks like it's a drawer. You can hide light switches there too. It's a great way to put these two things on an island, but it works just as well on a counter along a wall.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:47PM
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