Return to the Electrical Wiring Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
electrical wiring under kitchen island

Posted by platron (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 30, 10 at 18:22

We recently moved back into our apartment after an extensive renovation that included installing a kitchen island. I noticed belatedly that there is a good 3/8" gap between the base trim of the island and the floor, which makes cleanup annoying of course, but I'm most worried about electrical safety. Peering with a flashlight, I can see bx cables lying directly on the floor beneath the island. The fear is that a large amount of spilled water could electricute someone standing in it and, say, touching the kitchen sink. The outlets on the island itself are GFCI, but that wouldn't affect this situation.

Since noticing this, I shut off power to the island from the circuit breakers (which also shuts off half the kitchen wall outlets). Was this paranoid or prudent? How is the safety of floor level wiring supposed to be assured?

Thanks in advance,

Peter


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: electrical wiring under kitchen island

The main issue with safety of wiring in any place is the risk of damage to the wire, by, say walking on it.

Since you said BX, you do mean the armoured cable, right? Where I am in Canada, they only use Romex (non-armoured) under islands etc, the code allowing this because the wires are enclosed.

Provided the wires are not damaged in any way, they are quite waterproof and presumably there are no junction boxes or anything at that floor level, so at worst, they could be lying in a pool of water.

For that matter, if you had a flood in the kitchen, and water ran through the floor into a light fixture in the floor below, you could potentially be in the same situation, yet it's allowed.

If you were really concerned, you could have that breaker replaced with a GFCI one (what do these wires supply power to anyway?) which certainly couldn't hurt.

I'm not an electrician but I work with electricity as part of my job and I see a lot of new construction, and, like I said, if it's armoured cable, it's *better* than most of what I see, so from what you've said, I wouldn't worry.

As for the gap, it keeps the kick out of any potential water and allows some airflow. If the kick is a clip-on panel, you may be able to slide it down.


 o
RE: electrical wiring under kitchen island

I'd be more worried about rust. If this area is a wet location AC is not allowed for wet locations. Electric shock however is probably not a concern. In most cases lying on the floor doesn't qualify as proper support either. The whole installation sounds shoddy.


 o
RE: electrical wiring under kitchen island

"If this area is a wet location AC is not allowed for wet locations. "

Under an island in a residential setting is NOT a wet location.

In a commercial kitchen it would be (garden hose cleanup is common).


 o
RE: electrical wiring under kitchen island

Thanks for the responses.
Alan - The GFCI breaker sounds like a reasonable idea. I believe there is a junction box at floor level, but I can't see it clearly under the kick.
ronnatalie/brickeyee - The location is not officially wet, but since the wires are just under the kick they could easily get wet. I was thinking about this while brining a turkey last week...


 o
RE: electrical wiring under kitchen island

I wouldn't be super concerned. There's a big difference between an occasional spill and standing water. In 30 years I think I've only had one kitchen incident where I had a large amount of water on the floor (someone left a faucet running full on and walked away for a couple of minutes). Nevertheless, the GFCI breaker is always a good idea.


 o
RE: electrical wiring under kitchen island

"since the wires are just under the kick they could easily get wet."

That is not going to be an issue.

If you get enough water under the island to cause problems with AC you are looking at a lot of other even more serious problems.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Electrical Wiring Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here