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Outlet locations for countertops??


DonTx
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I know what the NEC and the IRC says about countertop outlets for the Kitchen.

How about other countertops such as the Butlers Pantry (no sink) or at the Wine counter (no sink)?

I'm finding more and more builders putting the outlets at these areas down on the wall, not at the countertop.

The only reference I find is IRC E3801.4.1 or NEC 210.52, but I believe these are really talking about Kitchen countertops.

I would think that the Powers that Be Writing These Codes don't want electrical cords hanging off of countertops.

Any thoughts?

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I would agree. I believe part of the rationale for the outlet location requirements on island cabinets is based on that very idea (hanging cords are bad).

I would think the requirements would apply to those other types of counter top as well, but there may be nothing specific in any code to support that position. If you need GFCI protection at parts of a kitchen counter top far from a sink, why wouldn't you need them at those other wet locations with no sink? If that rule tranfers to the other types of location, why wouldn't the ones about location also apply?

Brian G.

Just Thinking Out Loud [:-taped]

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Originally posted by Donald Lawson

I know what the NEC and the IRC says about countertop outlets for the Kitchen.

How about other countertops such as the Butlers Pantry (no sink) or at the Wine counter (no sink)?

I'm finding more and more builders putting the outlets at these areas down on the wall, not at the countertop.

The only reference I find is IRC E3801.4.1 or NEC 210.52, but I believe these are really talking about Kitchen countertops.

210.52© is talking about countertops in kitchens and dining rooms. Most of the butler's pantries and wine counters I see are, I would argue, part of the kitchen or dining room.

If there's a countertop in an area that's not a kitchen or dining room, I've got to wonder what sort of appliances are likely to be used there. Frankly, it doesn't seem like much of a risk to me.

I would think that the Powers that Be Writing These Codes don't want electrical cords hanging off of countertops.

Any thoughts?

My understanding is that the powers that be (that would be the code making panels, CMPs for short) balance lots of concerns when considering proposed changes. But if you set politics aside, one of the first things they want to see is substantiation. On the proposal form, that's described as "tests, research papers, fire experience, etc." But the thing that really gets their attention is "body count." If you can show that people die or are injured as a result of a lack of outlets above butler pantry countertops, they'll sit up and listen.

It's too late to make a proposal for the 2008 edition. But if you start gathering statistics you might have a shot at the 2011 edition.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Thanks Jim & Brian,

I'm seeing more and more of these counter spaces in areas other than the Kitchen/Dining Rooms. Saturday I had a Wine bar off of the Family Room. No sink, outlets down at the baseboard. Utility Room had a countertop, no sink, 1 outlet at the far left and an outlet on the wall at the far right (countertop was about 6 foot long). Then there was another countertop space in the Gameroom and one in the Media Room. No sinks and no outlets except for the ones on the walls.

Most of the "appliances" that are plugged in on these countertops are either Radio's, chillers, small TV's, funky lights, etc.

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The rationale from the builders side. "If I can get away with the wall receptacle to cover the wall placement codes * no more than 6'... or any space that is 2' or more in width...* then in my mind I have done my job."

Why put it at the counter when it will cover dual purposes at the wall.

The ones I like are the wet bar receptacles inside the doored cabinet instead of at the counter top to omit GFCI.

Cheap builder had a wife and 2 girlfriends. Livin' on the edge!

1-4 omitted receptacles per house buys the builder a new girlfriend for a few nights.

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