How far above a kitchen countertop do electrical outlets have to be?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

There is no minimum height requirement, but there is a maximum: kitchen countertop receptacles cannot be more than 20-inches above the counter, per National Electrical Code [NEC 210.52(C)(5)]. Also, they should not be installed horizontally on the counter itself, like in in the photo below, unless they are rated for countertop installation. See our blog post Can a receptacle outlet be mounted face-up (horizontally) on a countertop? for more on this.

    Also, see our blog post How far apart should kitchen counter receptacles be spaced?

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  To learn more about electrical wiring, devices, and receptacles, see these other blog posts:

 • What is the difference between what trips a GFCI (ground fault) receptacle and a circuit breaker?

Why is an opening in the wall around the side of an electrical receptacle outlet a safety defect?  

Does a washing machine receptacle outlet require GFCI protection?

What is the building code requirement for receptacle outlets at stairs and stair landings?

What is a "backstab" receptacle outlet? 

Why are some electric receptacle outlets upside down (ground slot up) in a house?   

What is the height requirement for an electric receptacle outlet? 

Where are GFCI receptacle outlets required?

 Does a home inspector remove receptacle outlet cover plates?

When was the current receptacle/outlet spacing of 12-feet first required? 

When was the three-slot (grounding) outlet/receptacle first required? 

How do the new tamper-resistant electric outlets work?

Why is there no bathroom electric receptacle in this old house?

How can I tell if the electric receptacle outlets are grounded? 

How far apart should the electrical receptacles be placed?

• What are the most common problems/defects found with electric receptacle outlets during a home inspection?

    Visit our ELECTRICAL page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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