Is Outlet Required If the Kitchen Island Can Be Moved?

barlowmomJuly 20, 2014

I know that outlets are required on islands, and why.

However, what I'm building is more like a table: 29" high, 3 legs, and two small custom cabinet bases where the last leg would be underneath. The cabinet bases will not go to the floor and will be supported by bun feet. I will be able to sweep underneath it and the floor will be fully finished.

We will use it for eating, homework, and baking prep, but I would put any appliances on the perimeter out of the reach of the kids.

If I build it like a table so that it could be moved, can I use a floor receptacle underneath it rather than an outlet mounted in the cabinet base piece?

Has anyone done anything like this?

FWIW, our town just adopted the 2009 IRC.

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I'd replace the bun feet with lockable wheels. The inspector wouldn't have a case.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:40AM
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Or if it's moveable...could you just move it out when the inspector comes?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:22AM
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Every place has slightly different code. Generally, if it's a movable piece of furniture it doesn't have to have an outlet, but that may not be true where you live.

Bun feet count as legs. If two people can lift and move the island in the same way as they would a large table, and if your code allows for freestanding tables, you're fine. If two people can't carry it a foot, it's probably not "moveable" and the locking castors would be a good idea to give the illusion that it's meant to be moved.

A floor recepticle would be a good idea for the safety reasons outlets are required, but that might be a much bigger problem for the inspection. It has to be totally flush and waterproof, etc. I wouldn't do it. If you decide you really want it, it would probably be best to install outlets in the island and have an enclosed cord that ran down to a pigtail that plugs in, rather than having loose cords flopping around and people crawling under the table to plug them in and out all the time. The "it's a table" plan sounds much better. Start practicing calling it "the kitchen table" now. Never use the "I" word. It's a table with cupboards.

Hints: Never argue with the inspector. Be deferential and ask questions. "Don't you think my cute bun feet are legs too?" If you can keep excitable men on your side from being there (lowering the flying testosterone) you'll be better off. Short calm men and placid women get the best inspection reports.

Don't put anything in the cabinets before inspection, or if you think you should, put some tea towels and plastic pitchers, so if you have to show how you move it, they won't weigh much, and if you have to open the doors to lift it, there's no harm if something falls out.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 4:44PM
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Thanks, all! I will see what the cabinet sub says about adding wheels.

I am not sure about keeping the wheels in the long term, as my 3 year old has discovered how to unlock the wheels on our temporary island and I can see the destructive potential.

But If I'm the only one there at inspection and it doesn't have wheels, it won't be moving. I'm too small.

Will report back when the issue is resolved....

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:34PM
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