Electrical outlets in backsplash

sanjuangirlJune 6, 2013

I want to avoid the ugly outlets in the middle of my beautiful- to- be bs. I don't want the "snake" look either of the cords coming down from the top on the items that remain plugged in. I want to move several of the plugs down close to the counters and put them sideways so they disappear behind the coffee maker and toaster. My husband says It is probably a code violation, so not to do it. Does a anyone know? I'm in California. It seems like I got this idea from a beautiful kitchen that was posted here.

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raee_gw

That is what I told my GC to do, but it didn't quite happen. They placed the outlets in the traditional vertical fashion and not as low as I wanted. Not because of any code thing, they just couldn't cope with not doing it the "old school" way.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 11:05AM
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joaniepoanie

Your electrician would know...if you are DIY, definitely check the code where you live...I like the idea though and thought to do it in my kitchen but I think it was against code so mine are in the usual spot....I don't even think about it now and it doesn't bother me...looks like everyone else's kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 11:08AM
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palimpsest

The national residential building code is not that specific about exact heights and such (it's set as ranges), I don't know about local codes.

I almost always specify a couple of low horizontal outlets maybe about 3" above counterheight for things that are always plugged in, and higher outlets hidden up behind the light rail for things that are occasionally plugged in and to meet (actually exceed ) the outlet requirements.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 11:34AM
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kaysd

I did low horizontal outlets in San Diego, CA.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 12:45PM
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breezygirl

The bottom of my outlets are 1.25" above counter height. All four of my outlets are like this. No problem with code whatsoever.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 1:16PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

I'm in California too. We put them low and horizontal just above the 1" soapstone backsplash. No problem passing inspection.

-Babka

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 1:21PM
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Gooster

I am in california and have them low and horizontal on the one side (and undercabinet in others)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 2:20PM
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artemis78

Check your local code, obviously, but we also did low horizontal outlets and passed inspection with no problem in the Bay Area.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 2:54PM
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deedles

Isn't is proximity to the water that dictates placement and GFI, etc?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 3:11PM
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brickeyee

"Isn't is proximity to the water that dictates placement and GFI, etc?"

All kitchen counter outlets must be GFCI protected.

Other outlets within 6 feet (IIRC) of water sources ALSO must be GFCI protected under the most recent code (that may not even be in effect in our area).

The only thing the NEC prohibits is receptacles face up in counters.
There are other restrictions about them being to high above the counter, or below the counter in the cabinet face if the counter overhang is large.

Two separate 20 amp circuits are required, and they can only have limited things on them besides the kitchen counter receptacles.

This post was edited by brickeyee on Thu, Jun 6, 13 at 15:34

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 3:33PM
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sanjuangirl

Thanks so much for all of the useful information and the STUNNING photos of your gorgeous backsplash Babka! What is it?

I'm going to have my electrician go for it. Hopefully my dh will be away when they're being done so he won't freak.;)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 6:53PM
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scrappy25

OK Babka, you are going to have to post more of your kitchen than that little tantalizing peek! Love the cabs and backspash even though I don't see your outlets at all in your pics.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:00PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Oh, my. I was a poster here on the kitchen forum back in 2005 when we did our remodel. Now we are doing the master bath and I learned so much here on the forum...to question everything... Soapstone was a new thing then, and I didn't want a 4" back splash up from the countertop, but I didn't want the tumbled marble mini bricks to just but up against the countertop. So we came up with the 1" piece and the horizontal outlets.

-Babka

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 9:46PM
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slonewby

I have a TON of outlets and didn't really want to take on the hassle of changing that. Soooo....I went with a very simple beveled subway BS and used my outlets as an accent (because I couldn't find any accents that I liked)....instead of hiding them, I dressed them up. It isn't for everyone but it looks great in my french country kitchen!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 11:40PM
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breezygirl

Regarding the GFI, you can place those outlets "upstream" of the visible outlets on the wall and meet code. For example, I hid my GFIs in my pantry. The remainder of the kitchen outlets feed through that line so are protected. Code meet, and no ugly GFIs in my future tile bs.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 1:31AM
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