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Does a kitchen island counter require a electrical outlet by code?
Sunday, December 26, 2021
“At least one receptacle shall be installed at each island countertop space with a long dimension of 600 mm (24 inches) or greater and a short dimension of 300 mm (12 inches) or greater,” per National Electrical Code [NEC 210.52 (C)(2)]. But an island counter that is not secured and readily moveable is furniture and does not require an outlet.
So only one receptacle, no matter what the size of the island, was all that was required up until the 2020 edition of the NEC. Now one receptacle is required within the first 9 feet of length, and an additional receptacle for each additional 18 square feet, or fraction thereof, after that.
Another code requirement specifes that the island receptacle "cannot be more than 300 mm (12 inches) below the countertop, and only where the countertop extends out 150 mm (6 inches) or less," per NEC 210.52 (C)(5)(Exception 2).
Also, if you want a receptacle on the counter surface, only listed pop-up receptacles can be installed (no face-up receptacles), per NEC 406.5 (G). To learn more about pop-up receptacles, see our blog post Can a receptacle outlet be mounted face-up (horizontally) on a countertop?
And, of course, all receptacles serving a kitchen countertop must be GFCI-protected.
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To learn more about electrical wiring, devices, and receptacles, see these other blog posts:
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