A 'receptacle outlet'

Jim_DSeptember 8, 2011

Hello everyone. Just joined after making use of the site for months. You all are SO helpful.

I have a question...

I am remodeling a kitchen.

With respect to counters, The NEC says (210.52(C)(1) ) "Receptacle outlets shall be installed so that no point along the wall line is more than 600 mm ... from a receptacle outlet."

I believe that if I install a combination device with a switch on the top and a receptacle outlet on the bottom I have met the requirement. NEC does not say "duplex receptacle".

This is the device I have in mind...


1. Is my understanding correct?

2. I really need to be certain so can anyone substantiate with a case, a clarification or other documentary evidence that I can refer to when the inspector comes calling.


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The URL returns a blank screen.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 8:32PM
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Here's a fixed link to the page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fixed link

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 9:44PM
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Not sure why the URL did not work. Very sorry.

I've continued to comb through the 2008 NEC and can't fin any reason why a single receptacle would not meet the requirement.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 9:51PM
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Samneric, how nice. Thank you.

Seems to me that should satisfy the requirement. Yet the electrician says, "It's not code." I suspect what he means is, "I've never used one before."


PS What was the problem with the link?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 9:59PM
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You're right that code doesn't specifically mandate duplex devices at required countertop receptacle outlets. And "It's not code" often does mean "it's new to me".

But keep in mind that the receptacle spacing requirements in the NEC are intended to prevent the user's need for extension cords. Using simplex instead of duplex devices will eliminate half of the available receptacles, and may naturally be resisted by inspectors whose approval you need.

The link had an illegal character after "3054".

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 5:26AM
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What I am wanting to do is use 3 such devices in 3 of the 10 available positions (single gang boxes) on 3 separate branch circuits at counters in the kitchen.

Can an inspector fail if you are in certainly in compliance with applicable codes?


    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 5:36AM
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"Can an inspector fail if you are in certainly in compliance with applicable codes? "

They aren't supposed to, but they can. You can appeal up the chain of command if you are 100% sure you are right, but who needs that kind of extra pain in their life?

Why not just use a 2 gang electrical box if you need a switch there? The extra cost is only a couple of pennies and you'll likely save yourself some headaches.

Also, in case you don't know already, virtually nothing that you would want on a switch is allowed to be on the counter circuit. You'll end up with a pretty full single gang box by the time you get a live and load for the outlet and an in and out for the switch plus a pigtail for the ground.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 8:37AM
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What are you planning on using the switch for?

If it is lighting it will require a separate circuit from the kitchen counter small appliance branch circuit. Lighting is not allowed on that circuit.

Be sure and watch box fill also.
With two circuits you are going to have a lot of wires in the box.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 10:13AM
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Thanks for the answers and the advice folks.

The problem is that I need a place to put in a switch for under-cabinet lighting. The back splash is granite. I'd really like to avoid cutting a hole big enough for a 2-gang box.

Ok, based on what you are telling me about box fill, I will be careful. If need be, I will have to use a deep box with a single gang front, but effectively a double gang back. I could also make sure it is the last receptacle on the run so I only have incoming for that.

As to the issue at hand (what does code really require for receptacles), the folks who make Sillites are pretty adamant that a simplex fulfills the requirement.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 10:49PM
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Ron Natalie

But pay heed to Bricks observation that you can not put lighting on the small appliance receptacle circuit.

As far as I know, as long as there are other receptacles on the circuit, you can use a single here.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 5:22AM
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