plugs on the counter

ae2gaAugust 18, 2012

This is mostly a hypothetical question, but I'd like to know if it is possible (as in code legal) to put plugs on the counter instead of on the wall in the backsplash? Has anyone ever done this?

I know there are products like plug mold and mockett and it seems that the kitchen would be so much prettier with plugs located on the back of the counter instead of higher on the walls. And I've seen some pretty kitchens with the plugs under the upper cabinets, but as one who never uses anything above the first shelf of an upper cabinets, I refuse to even entertain upper cabinets. And I much prefer to cut the counter for plugs than to cut the backsplash tile.

Your thoughts? Pictures? Ideas? Suggestions? Words of warning?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Sophie Wheeler

It's not code acceptable to place outlets in a wet locations like kitchen counters. For obvious reasons.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 12:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ae2ga

The only obvious area seems to be immediately surrounding the sink, but there is often a significant amount of counter and backsplash that is not near the sink and not in a wet area - so it's not so obvious to me why it can't be done at all.

I read the code (NEC-210) which says not 18" above the counter and every counter longer than 1' must have a receptacle every 4'. And I can understand why it's not safe for electrical plugs to be put in wet areas, though electrical switches are often right next to sinks.

So what if, in keeping with the 18" rule, there was... like a pumpout of a few inches placed 4 inches above the counter. I've seen many counters with the 4" of counter material on the wall, so if that space were built out a bit, plugs could go there. Yes? No?

I think I need to ask this is electrical too.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 5:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
35ftcabo

I think the code also says it can't be lower than 4", but your city/town's code is what you need to check. You wouldn't want outlets directly in the countertop - what about washing it? Spilling liquids?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 6:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ae2ga

Actually, I really do want plugs at the back of the counter, but am coming to realize I may not be able to have them. I'm a big girl who can clean and cook without electrocuting myself. Which is really too bad - I hate it when I am so protected by rules that I can't have something I want. There has to be a way to make this work.

Thanks anyway.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 2:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
willtv

Try the link below

Here is a link that might be useful: Pop-up Receptacle

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 2:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ae2ga

Will - now that sounds cool! I see it's a relatively new product; do you know if it meets the NEC?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Sophie Wheeler

Receptacles and covers come in many many colors more than just the standard white and ivory shown at the big boxes. Have the actual plug done in a color that blends in, and you can photocopy your tile to decopauge a "wallpaper ready" plate cover. They all but disappear then.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Sophie Wheeler

When they are horizontal, they are also much less obtrusive.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 3:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aliris19

I'm pretty sure buehl has some nifty pop-up electrical receptors. They fit into a cylinder and can be lifted out of the countertop and recess back down in when not in use. Did you try searching?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 6:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ae2ga

I did try searching but knowing that Buehl has such gives me a different search parameter. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 7:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
breezygirl

Buehl posted photos of her Mocketts on this thread. Try an internet search for "gardenweb.com mockett buehl" to find more threads.

Here is a link that might be useful: Buehl's Mocketts

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lwerner

> Have the actual plug done in a color that blends in, and you can
> photocopy your tile to decopauge a "wallpaper ready" plate cover.

If your backsplash is stone or large tiles, you can have outlet covers made from the same stone. Someone here on the forums (maybe cloud_swift) posted photos of hers and a link to the company that made them. (They're up in Oregon, I think.)

Laura

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 11:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ae2ga

Thanks so much Breezy - and searching Google has to be better than searching here where I couldn't find anything.

If I have to, I will just suck it up and deal with sockets in the backsplash - even with the colored covers, I'm not groovy on it. But right now, I'm still hopeful of finding an alternative.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 12:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
willtv

Fron the conpany's website.
"The GFCI receptacle is rated at 15 amps, 125 volts AC and 60 Hertz. It is compliant with UL 943, CSA C22.2 No. 144.1, NEC Section 210.52(C)(5) and NEC Section 406.5(E)."

HTH

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brickeyee

"Fron the conpany's website.
"The GFCI receptacle is rated at 15 amps, 125 volts AC and 60 Hertz. It is compliant with UL 943, CSA C22.2 No. 144.1, NEC Section 210.52(C)(5) and NEC Section 406.5(E)." "

You want a copy if the actual listing granted by the lab that verified compliance, not claims on a web site.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brickeyee

"It's not code acceptable to place outlets in a wet locations like kitchen counters. "

Not correct.

The code does not allow them face up in a counter.
You could 'tomb stone' then vertically or horizontally.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
torontotim

I'd go with strips of outlets up under the upper cabs. You need outlets on the walls around the workspace, and putting them on the counters is just going to bite you in the butt when something spills on the counter. Will also be a real sticking point when you go to sell your house in the future and the inspector tells the potential buyer they need to rip out the counters and move the outlets.

Here is a link that might be useful: Discussion on under cab outlets

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 12:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Sophie Wheeler

Well of course you can have wet rated exterior grade outlets (with all of their obvious installation) in a wet location, but normal everyday household outlets, no, those can't be in a shower or on a kitchen counter.

Many inspectors do not allow the Mockets because they are essentially "extension cords", not direct hardwired outlets as the NEC requires. It's best to get all of the literature and certifications and make a trip down in person to talk to the electrical inspector in the codes office before planning on using them. They might say no, but they might say yes instead. A lot of times it depends on the actual inspector that you get, so it's best to talk with the top guy first if you can.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 12:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ae2ga

Thanks so much everyone. I will not have upper cabinets because to me they're mostly a waste of space since I can only easily reach the first shelf. Bottom drawers and cabs with two 36" pantries are the way I'm going.

I like both the Mockett and the plug mold under the counter/top of bottom cabs. I don't leave small appliances on the countertops so not having a place for the coffee maker for coffee that I don't drink is not a problem. I understand no plugs ON the conuters (horizontal), but under the countertop along the edge and Mocketts would work great for me.

And I know it sounds selfish, but this house will be sold when I am carted off to the oold folks home or when I'm dead - what others do after the fact is not a concern of mine. for now, I want the house the way I want the house - future buyers and sellers can do as they please.

Thanks for the heads-up Brickeye on verifying the certification.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dljmth

Thanks for posting these solutions. We don't have upper cabinets either and complicating things more is that most of the walls are windowed. Can someone pease post a picture of the under counter idea? Not sure I know how that works. Are they just essentially part of the cabinet so the cabinet drawer is smaller?
Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ae2ga

Take a look at this older thread.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0110103425949.html

If you scroll down, you'll find pics.

Here is a link that might be useful: plugs under the counter

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dljmth

Thanks for pointing me to those pictures. Very helpful! I may see if that will work. This is the kitchen inspiration we are trying to achieve and they just put the outlets in the lower cabinets. Only 2 of them along the sink wall (plus one at the end) which doesn't look too bad. We liked the idea of our countertop flush with the cabinets - a more contemporary style, which would mean we would have to have outlets as in the picture. If we have a slight overhang then we can do it as was posted in that previous thread. Thanks for all the ideas!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 7:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ae2ga

Wow Laura - that is a pretty inspirational picture - LOVE all of those windows. I don't know if it's code-legal, but what about putting outlets on the window frames - is there enough room? is it legal?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dljmth

I did look into placing them on the window ledge and my architect tried but we can't because they don't work for various reasons. I will likely just go with what is pictured as it will be the simplest solution.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 12:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
breezygirl

Sillites can be installed in window sills (their original intention). They are UL and NEC rated so meet code. I used two in my kitchen.

Here's one I put into the end of a 4" thick wall. I couldn't have used a traditional duplex outlet here without destroying the structural integrity of the wall and didn't want to drill into my peninsula cabs in such a visible spot. Sillite to the rescue! (The paining here is now finished so the wall is now the same color as my fridge end panel creating a more cohesive look.)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 2:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
breezygirl

Forgot to include the link. As an additional selling factor, the sillite cover is paintable for extra unobtrusiveness.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sillites

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 2:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

If you are putting them in the backsplash, be sure your electrician puts them lower than ours did...I'd mind them a lot less if they were closer to the counter. In the craft room, he put them even higher which I hate....never noticed or thought to notice until the counters went in and it was too late....

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 7:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ae2ga

Annie - that is the reason for this post. I want to understand my options before I get started beause I already know that I don't want electrical receptacles marring the back splash tile so need to learn how NEC applies, what materials and options are available, and the possibilities of having what I want before I get started.

I can only afford to do this once - I want to get it right.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 3:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ellen4100

I put a strip plug under the top cabinets so that the backsplash wasn't "disturbed". It looks MUCH neater.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 4:26PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Here's as close to a reveal as I may ever get... :)
I'm not going to call this a reveal because I am not...
crcollins1_gw
Barker cabinets?
So who has Barker cabinets and would be willing to...
tigger9759
IKEA kitchen nearly done- so delayed
We've been extremely delayed!! The granite is going...
Chinchette
Please help me with my layout options. Again.
Hello! Several months ago I posted to get layout advice...
ainelane
Two toned kitchen love em or hate em?
I am loosing my mind. I originally wanted a dark shaker...
abick2
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™